Contributing to the HSF Web Site

The HSF web site is hosted by GitHub Pages which relies on a framework called Jekyll. This page documents a few useful hints that help contributing to the web site and assessing the result of your contributions. Refer to the linked documentations for details about GitHub Pages and Jekyll.

Content Format

Jekyll expect the web site contents to be written in Markdown with a special section at the beginning of the file called frontmatter. This section contains attribute definitions used to render the file. It is delimited by a pair of --- lines. A typical frontmatter section is:

title: Contributing to the HSF Web Site
author: Michel Jouvin
layout: default

After the frontmatter section, you have to write in markdown (or generate markdown from another format, see below).

File Name Format

Markdown files are organized by categories: events, newsletter, organization (meeting notes)… Markdown files in these categories are stored in a _post subdirectory. Jekyll expects the markdown file names in these _post directories to follow the following convention:


Adding a TOC

To generate a table of contents of the file, you need to add the following lines where you want to insert it:

* auto-gen TOC:

If you don’t want a heading, for example the page title (heading level 1), to be inserted into the TOC, you need to insert the following line right after the heading:


Look at the source of this page for an example.

Converting Contents from Word or GoogleDoc

Note that CodiMD is a better alternative for collaborative text which is destined for this website as it uses Markdown natively. However, if you do need to work from another source then…

pandoc is the swiss-army knife for the conversion between text formats. In particular it supports a very good conversion from Microsoft Word (docx) format to Jekyll markdown. The typical command to do this conversion is:

pandoc -t gfm --shift-heading-level-by=2 --atx-headers -o organization/_posts/2020/ document.docx

This method can be used to convert a GoogleDoc document to markdown. To do it, use the GoogleDoc menu File->Download as and export the GoogleDoc document as a docx file. Then use the command above to convert to markdown.

Linking to other subpages

Please prefix {{ site.baseurl }} in your markdown links, for example

[link text]({{ site.baseurl}}/workinggroups/dataanalysis.html)

Inserting images

To insert an image, add it (as a PNG or JPEG file) to the images directory. Then in the page where you want to insert it, add the following line:

![Replacement text]({{ site.baseurl }}/images/file){:height="400px" width="600px" .centered-image}


Checking the Results of Your Contribution

It is often desirable to assess the result of changes before publishing them. There is no services at GitHub to do that: you can only render the markdown contents, without all the CSS and other things. To achieve this, you need to install Jekyll on your local machine. Detailed instructions can be found on Jekyll web site but the short story is:

Once Jekyll has been started you can view the web site by connecting to localhost:4000.