Building static websites in Julia

Franklin is a simple static site generator oriented towards technical blogging and light, fast-loading pages.

Key features

  • Augmented markdown allowing definition of LaTeX-like commands,

  • Easy inclusion of user-defined div-blocks,

  • Maths rendered via KaTeX, code via highlight.js both can be pre-rendered,

  • Can live-evaluate Julia code blocks,

  • Live preview of modifications,

  • Simple optimisation step to compress and pre-render the website,

  • Simple publication step to deploy the website,

  • Straightforward integration with Literate.jl.

Quick start

To install Franklin with Julia ≥ 1.1,

(v1.3) pkg> add Franklin

You can then just try it out:

julia> using Franklin
julia> newsite("mySite", template="pure-sm")
✓ Website folder generated at "mySite" (now the current directory).
→ Use serve() from Franklin to see the website in your browser.

julia> serve()
→ Initial full pass...
→ Starting the server...
✓ LiveServer listening on http://localhost:8000/ ...
  (use CTRL+C to shut down)

If you navigate to that URL in your browser, you will see the website. If you then open index.md in an editor and modify it at will, the changes will be live rendered in your browser. You can also inspect the file menu1.md which offers more examples of what Franklin can do.

Installing optional extras

Franklin allows a post-processing step to compress HTML and CSS and pre-render code blocks and math environments. This requires a couple of dependencies:

  • python3 for the minification of the site,

  • node.js for the pre-rendering of KaTeX and code highlighting.

You will then need to install highlight.js, which you should do from Julia using the NodeJS.jl package:

julia> using NodeJS
julia> run(`sudo $(npm_cmd()) install highlight.js`)

Assuming you have python3, Franklin will try to install the python package css_html_js_minify via pip3.