About the HSF website

This site is maintained by the HSF GitHub contributors. If you’re interested to become one contact the HSF coordination team or any team member. It was set up by Torre Wenaus and Benedikt Hegner.


This website is implemented using GitHub’s Pages service, which makes it easy to create a website associated with a GitHub account or project. Pages uses Jekyll, a tool to automatically build a website from source files (which are kept in GitHub). It supports structured sites like blogs in a simple but powerful way. The site content is written using the easy Markdown syntax (which is used by GitHub itself).

A HSF documentation provides some useful hints to make using Jekyll in the HSF context easier.

How to add and edit information

For adding information to this page or improving it, we follow the pull request workflow in GitHub.

Just fork our HSF website repository, edit the files you want to edit, push them to your fork, and open a pull request.

If you wish (and it is recommended) you can easily set up a local instance of the newsletter site in order to preview your submissions. See the documentation on installing and running Jekyll. The website uses the main branch of the hsf.github.io repository.

If you are not familiar with GitHub and Git, you can read our survival kit!

General structure of website content files

All Markdown files of this site start with a section surrounded by ---. This so-called front-matter contains metadata about the content. Such metadata are, e.g., the author of the document or the title of the document.

In the front-matter (but not in the text itself), you need to replace any & characters (which has a special meaning in HTML) by &. This is particularly important for the title attribute.

Adding content from collaborative tools


The recommended way to host a collaborative note book, e.g. for taking meeting minutes is to use CodiMD, which is a collaborative ediitng tool utilising Markdown directly. This makes it trivial to move the content into the HSF website for archiving.

CERN has its own CodiMD instance, but currently this only works if every contributor has a full CERN account (EduGain authentication is proposed, but it doesn’t work yet AFAWU). An alternative is the demo CodiMD service, but be aware that there is no long term guarantee for content here, so move it to the website after your meeting.

We find that recycling the same document for a series of meetings is extremely useful as the live notes link can be copied and cloned from one meeting to the next.


Google Docs can also be used for shared notebooks, but in this case there is a need to convert the document to Markdown before it can be added to the website. This is less convenient, but we have documentation on how to do it.

Adding a working group or activity

Before adding any new activity or proposing a new working group please discuss with the HSF Coordination Team! We will make sure it gets proposed in an HSF meeting for approval.

Then, for the technical creation, add a new file in the _workinggroups or _activities directory. Follow the front-matter of the other files in there. The Working Groups / Activities menu in the navigation bar will be updated automatically: the menu entry text is the title attribute in the front-matter section.

Adding an event

Add a new file in events/_posts and follow the front-matter (see above) of the other files in there. The Events page and the Upcoming Events sidebar will be updated automatically.

Adding a training event

For training events we have a special handling that lists all of these together on the Training Working Group page. To create a new entry you can either:

  1. Run the interactive script scripts/add_training_event.py (recommended)
  2. Directly edit the _data/trainning-schools.yml file and add another entry following the structure of the existing entries (note that events are sorted chronologically by starting date)
    • There is one very rare thing you may need to do if the URL for the training event will not validate in the link checker, which is to add the tag url_proof_ignore: true to the YAML file (an example is a school that used a web technology that insists on setting cookies and issues continual redirects without this)

Adding news or announcements

Add a new file in announcements/_posts and follow the front matter of the other files in there. The front page will get a new box with all information.

Please don’t forget adding an event until in the front-matter: this is used for ordering events and as the end date for adding the event in the Upcoming Events sidebar.

Adding a newsletter

Newsletters are occasional longer articles we publish. Each of these lives in newsletter/_posts. The format is very similar to the other content on the website, follow the front matter of the other files in there.

You can highlight a newsletter by updating the centre column of the frontpage of the website (see below).

Adding your profile

Some pages, like the training community page feature “floating heads” corresponding to profiles of community members. See howto profile for how to create your profile and how to include selected profiles into a page.

Technical details

Page templates

As of writing, this website contains the following page templates for wider usage:

The menu bar is defined in _includes/navbar.ext, from which all page layouts inherit. The layout is somewhat hard-coded, but working groups and activities are generated automatically.

Main page

The main page contains three blocks, mostly hard-coded:

They are filled with Liquid snippets.

Useful references