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Building Tools with GitHub by Ben Straub, Chris Dawson

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Chapter 6. Ruby and Jekyll

The Jekyll project calls itself a “blog-aware, static site generator in Ruby.” At its core, Jekyll is a very simple set of technologies for building websites. Simplicity is what gives Jekyll its power: using Jekyll you will never have to learn about database backends, complicated server installations, or any of the myriad processes involved with most monolithic website technologies. Many prominent technical bloggers use Jekyll as their blogging platform.

Like many of the open source technologies in heavy usage at GitHub, Jekyll was originally developed by Tom Preson Warner, one of the cofounders of GitHub, and Nick Quaranto, of 37 Signals, though there are now thousands of contributors to the Jekyll codebase. Unsurprisingly, the strength of the Jekyll tool comes not from the brilliance of the original developers or the brilliance of the idea, but the way those original developers cultivated community and involvement among their users.

Learning and Building with Jekyll

In this chapter we will investigate the structure of a Jekyll blog, illustrating the few major technology pieces involved. Once we have familiarized ourselves with Jekyll, we will then create a Jekyll blog from scratch using the command-line tools. Then we will write a Ruby program that scrapes a blog-like website and converts the scraped information into a new Jekyll blog.

What Is Jekyll?

Jekyll specifies a file structure format: conform to this format and Jekyll will compile your files ...

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