Hugo Markdown Setup

March 3, 2018    scripts shell config

Now with my blog set up, I thought I should share the set up I use script I use when writing blog posts (and maybe markdown pages in general).

If you don’t know what Hugo is, I suggest you check it out. At its core a static site generator that takes markdown files and compiles them into static html files, but it does so much more. Packaged with the file compiler is a webserver that uses websockets to support a live reload feature. What this means in practice is that if you have a text editor that has an auto save feature, you can simply start up the server and start writing a post and watch it reload in a browser window.

My text editor of choice is Neovim, which is a refactor of Vim. I like the ideas behind the project and have yet to come across any downsides of it compared to Vim. In order to enable autosave in the editor, I open a new file and enter the following while in command mode:

autocmd TextChanged,TextChangedI <buffer> silent write

My server start script is still a work in progress. The current form can be viewed in the blog’s source code here. Here’s what it looks like today:


# Parse options for this script
# Extensable for future additions
while getopts "eh?" option
    case "${option}"
            printf '%s\n' "Use flag -e (end) to end development, default behavior starts development."
            printf '%s\n' "Use flag -e (end) to end development, default behavior starts development."

if [ $BEGIN == true ]
    printf '%s\n' "Beginning Development, Starting Hugo Server" \
    && `hugo server -w -D -F --disableFastRender >> /dev/null &` \
    && printf '%s\n' "Hugo Server Started" \
    && printf '%s\n' "http://localhost:1313"
elif [ $END == true ]
    printf '%s\n' "Stopping Hugo Server..." \
    && killall hugo >> /dev/null \
    && printf '%s\n' "Hugo Server Stopped!"

My goal with that script is to try to remain posix compliant in the script, so it will be portable to my future machines or to workstations other than my own. In brief, the script will start the hugo server in the current directory with a specific set of flags. It has a -h flag for help in the event that anyone else clones it and if the script is used with the -e flag it will end the current session. It’s not the best bash script and there are better ways to do it, but it gets the job done.

Unfortunately, I can’t launch my browser of choice from the script at the time of start up because OSX and firefox don’t play nice, so that piece is still manual at this time. However, I do echo the localhost hugo port, and use my terminal “parse for url” feature to simply open the blog on a new page.

While getting this set up, I did find typing out the current date/time everytime I started a .md file from scratch tedious and annoying. I found this little gem of a command:

:put =strftime('%FT%T%z')

This outputs:


This does not work with hugo because it is not completely ISO 8601 compliant as the timezone offset should be colon delimited between the hour and minute offset. Your output may vary depending on the implementation of strftime() on your system. I found on my Linux system that the shell command date +%FT%T%:z works, so calling this from Nvim with proper escapes suits me: r!date "+\%FT\%T\%:z" .

My system is using a BSD strftime() implementation with the had the following gem in the man page:

     There is no conversion specification for the phase of the moon.

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