Get this blog

tags: github-pages  jekyll 

It’s a new decade tomorrow for you 0-based types, so I figured I’d try a new blog setup. I’ve used all sorts of things, but the GitHub Jekyll stuff seems easy to setup. This is whatever I did to get what you see here. Mostly, I have this to remind myself what I did if I do this again.

I suppose you could also fork my repository. Most of the interesting stuff is in the Makefile.

Fork jekyll-now

Fork jekyll-now and follow its very simple instructions. You’ll have everything going in 5 minutes (if you know a little git).

I had to edit the _config.yml file to make GitHub recognize everything, but that was easy.

Add tags capability

I hacked in tags support by following these instructions:


GitHub pages doesn’t use any plugins that I may specify. I can generate the site locally and push to the gh-pages branch, but I haven’t done that yet.

Syntax highlighting

GitHub Pages and Jekyll only use Rouge for syntax highlighting now, so I didn’t use the fenceposting markup (triple backtick, or ```).

Finding build errors

GitHub will note that there’s a problem building your site. Look in Settings > Options and scroll down to the GitHub Pages part.

That’s too much work though, so I added a target in my Makefile. It uses the GitHub API to get the latest build info and extract the error message. There’s also a simpler status target to simply output the status.

I’ve already installed Jekyll locally following the instructions from GitHub. When I don’t get a good message from make error, I run make localserver and Jekyll gives me better errors.

Forcing a rebuild

Pushing to GitHub builds the site, but there might be an error. The information on the GitHub Settings page isn’t that useful, but you can get more information from the API, so there’s a target for that.


I use aspell. There’s a personal word list in .aspell.rws (and apparently that .rws extension is important). Before I pass off the text to aspell, I strip out the code blocks.

Markdown linting

I use the mdl program from Markdown Lint with a configuration file in .mdlrc. I do a little preprocessing to take out the code blocks that mdl doesn’t understand.

Further reading