Here's the script that I use to generate this site from jinja2 templates! It has a couple of direct dependencies, namely jinja2 (obviously), frontmatter, and optionally html5print. I'll run over the code, getting set up, and a little documentation later on.


First off, you'll need to install two python dependencies: the Jinja2 API for the templates, and Python Frontmatter for the site content. These can be installed with your systems pip tool, for example:

pip install jinja2
pip install python-frontmatter

There is also an optional dependency: html5print , which is used for making the HTML output more readable. I'd recommend installing it because the output is pretty horrible otherwise.

pip install html5print

After that, just copy and paste the following code into a python file (preferably named tinygen.py, for brand visibility) and put it in a blank directory where your site will go.

The Code

import os

import sys

import shutil

import frontmatter

import jinja2


    import html5print # optional html prettification, requires html5print

except ImportError:

    print("html5print module not found. Rendering site without beautification.")

# set up the jinja2 environment

env = jinja2.Environment(

    loader = jinja2.FileSystemLoader("templates") 


# render a content file

def render(path):


    print("Rendering " + path)


    f = frontmatter.load(path) # parse YAML frontmatter


    # check for metadata

    if f.metadata == {}:

        print("Warning: " + path + " has no YAML frontmatter.")

        print("Raw HTML and non-HTML files should be put in the 'static' directory")

        return open(path).read()


    # retrieve template


        t = env.get_template(f.metadata.pop("template"))

    except KeyError:

        print("Error: " + path + " has no valid template key! Using raw content.")

        return f.content        


    o = t.render(f.metadata, content = f.content) # render


    # optional html prettyfication, requires html5print

    if 'html5print' in sys.modules and "nobeautify" not in f.metadata:

        o = html5print.HTMLBeautifier.beautify(o, 4)


    return o

def main():


    # check that all the correct directories are in place

    nodir = False

    if not os.path.exists("content"):

        print("Error: 'content' directory required!")

        nodir = True

    if not os.path.exists("static"):

        print("Error: 'static' directory required!")

        nodir = True

    if not os.path.exists("templates"):

        print("Error: 'content' directory required!")

        nodir = True


    if nodir:



    # remove _site folder if it exists already

    if os.path.exists("_site"):



    # copy static folder as _site

    shutil.copytree("static", "_site")


    # step through the content directory

    for (root, dirs, files) in os.walk("content"):


        # remake each subdirectory in the _site directory if it doesnt already exist

        for d in dirs:

            if not os.path.exists(os.path.join("_site", root[8:], d)):

                os.mkdir(os.path.join("_site", root[8:], d))


        for f in files:


            # render file

            r = render(os.path.join(root, f))


            # write the rendered file to the _site directory

            n = open(os.path.join("_site", root[8:], f), "w")




How to use??????

In the directory containing tinygen.py, you'll want to make three more directories named "templates" , "content" and "static" . The "templates" directory will contain all of your jinja2 templates, the "content" directory will contain all of the content you'll be rendering, and the "static" folder will contain all of the content that you won't be rendering, such as images, scripts or stylesheets.

Those content files should be written in HTML appended with YAML Frontmatter (with the usual three hyphens before and after). The HTML content will be passed to the jinja2 renderer as under the "content" key. There is only one key that is required, which is "template" . This tells the renderer which template to use; just put in the filename. There's only one other key that is interpreted: "nobeautify" . If this key is present, the output HTML file will not be beautified by html5print, even if you have it installed.

The folder structure is fery flexible: when you run the script, it will render the whole filetree in "content" and merge it with "static" , outputting it into a new directory called "_site" while preserving both directory structures.

You can find further jinja2 template documentation here , and YAML documentation here .



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