Jared Andrews

5: Archive Template

Now I am going to add the archives.html template to the theme.

Curiously, the Pelican 3.7.1 documentation mentions archives.html but does not document what variables are available. Fortunately, the Pelican "simple" theme has an archives.html:

{% extends "base.html" %}
{% block content %}
<h1>Archives for {{ SITENAME }}</h1>

{% for article in dates %}
    <dt>{{ article.locale_date }}</dt>
    <dd><a href="{{ SITEURL }}/{{ article.url }}">{{ article.title }}</a></dd>
{% endfor %}

It looks like archives.html has a dates variable which contains a list of articles. This is different than index.html and category.html which provide a list of articles named articles.

A Basic Archives Template

$ touch theme/templates/archives.html

To start, I want archives.html to be nearly identical index.html:

{% from 'macros.html' import get_article_list  %}
{% extends "base.html" %}
{% block content %}
{{ get_article_list(dates, DEFAULT_CATEGORY) }}
{% endblock content %}

Next I update base.html so that the "archive" link in the nav menu goes to the right place:

<a href="{{ SITEURL }}/archives.html">archive</a>

Handling External Links

I frequently contribute to other websites. I wanted to have a list of links on this site that went to outside urls. I also wanted to be able to tag these external links using the same tagging system being used for posts on this site. But I didn't want my external work to clog up the archives for this this site.

So I added a new category named external-links

$ mkdir content/external-links
$ touch content/external-links/index.md

Content of content/external-links/index.md:

Title: External Links 
Date: 2015-11-01 10:02

A list of things I have been involved with that are hosted on other websites.

The links included here are mostly focused on my involvement with [Spark & Fizz](https://sparkandfizz.com) and the greater DIY music community. If you are interested in seeing Software Development projects I have been involved with, please take a look at my [LinkedIn profile](https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaredtandrews).

The tags you see next to these posts typically describe the nature of my involvment.

I added my first post to the category as well:

$ touch content/external-links/boston_zine_fest.md

And wrote:

Title: Spark & Fizz Goes to Boston Zine Fest 2015
Date: 2015-10-17 10:02
Tags: spark-and-fizz, cameraman, video-editing, interviewer
Link: http://www.sparkandfizz.com/blog/2015/10/17/spark-fizz-goes-to-boston-zine-fest-2015

Notice the lack on content and the new Link key. For this to work I need to specifically handle posts with a category of External Links, if they have that category I would like to extract the Link value and use it.

Opening up macros.html again, let's change the previously defined get_article_list function to handle external links:

{% if article.category.name == 'External Links' %}
<a href="{{ article['link'] }}" target="_blank">{{ article.title }}</a>
{% else %}
<a href="{{ SITEURL }}/{{ article.url }}">{{ article.title }}</a>
{% endif %}

An if statement was added and I check for the External Links category. If a post has that category I open the link provided by article['link'] in a new a tab. Notice that Pelican automatically added the link attribute to article.

I am not very familiar with the Pelican codebase and I couldn't find any documentation about what would happen when adding new keys to a post such as Link above. I'm not sure if what I am doing here is totally misguided or not. Something I noticed was that I even though I declared Link in the markdown for the post I could only access it via article['link'], the case was dropped. I'm not sure why this is.

As I said I didn't want to show external links in the archive or the list on my homepage. Since all those places use the same get_article_list method to display post information I made a modification to that:

{% macro get_article_list(articles, default_category, hidden_category) %}
        {% for article in articles %}
            {% if article.category.name != hidden_category %}
                    {% if article.category.name == 'External Links' %}
                        <a href="{{ article['link'] }}" target="_blank">{{ article.title }}</a>
                    {% else %}
                        <a href="{{ SITEURL }}/{{ article.url }}">{{ article.title }}</a>
                    {% endif %}
                    <span class="post-meta">({{ get_meta_data_html(article, default_category) }})</span>
            {% endif %}
        {% endfor %}
{% endmacro %}

Basically if the caller of this method indicates a hidden_category, articles matching that category will be left out.

Now if I when I access http://localhost:8000/category/external-links.html I can see a list of just the external links, category.html is handling this display and it passes no hidden_category to get_article_list.

I also added a link to the top of archive.html that goes directly to that page:

    This page shows and archives of posts to this site. If you would like to see contributions I have made to outside sources [click here]({{ SITEURL }}/category/external-links.html)

Making Embedded Code Look Better

I am saving most of my design refinement for after the site is complete. But as I proofread these posts the way the embedded looks frustrates me. So I am changing it now. There is apparently a way to display code snippets with Pygments. I might try to use Pygments in the future, it looks cool but for now I was really only peeved by the indenting of the code. I modified theme/static/jaredandrews.css with:

.highlight {
    padding: 0 1.5em 0 1.5em;

This made the code distinct enough from the body text.

Wrapping Up

Now I have an Archive page that can be accessed from the nav menu.

To view this site the way it looked once all the changes described in this article were made, click here.

Commit on GitHub.