What to Know

What’s a MDiocre?

MDiocre is a simple static website generator that takes Markdown-formatted files, as well as a template and inserts whatever the Markdown content is into the template. It does this by using specially-formatted HTML comments which can set and get variables from and within the content, and to the template.

Why should I use it?

Well… if you’re looking for something sophisticated, don’t - you might be better off with Jekyll or Hugo. Or anything from here.

What changed in 3.0?

  • The project no longer requires Pandoc, which is kind of overkill for a project that’s just going to use Markdown anyway.

  • It is overall lighter than version 2.0, and less “monolithic”. Every file is simply copied / converted over from the source directory to the build directory, no need for that “having to process images and HTML separately” bs.

  • No more fussing around with configuration files (what do you mean I must have 2 config files?!). Templates are evaluated on a per-file basis. And yeah, that means throwing away that entire concept of “submodules”, lol.

  • To add to the previous point, it has been substituted with the concept of a per-file template linking. The downside is of course, more chores to be done when changing folder structures. But it can give you more control rather than having to fight the configs.

  • API-minded, has string-based functions that expose the core functionality of MDiocre.

  • The comment syntax has changed:
    • It isn’t as space-sensitive as before.

    • It has a standardized prefix: The : character. So…
      • <!--var:something--> is now <!--:something-->

      • <!--hello=lemons--> is now <!--:hello = lemons-->

      • <!--lemons=hello, hello--> is now <!--:lemons = hello, hello-->

  • You can perform basic math and assign it to a variable. Something like: <!--:math = 3 * 9 + 1 / 5-->

  • No limitations on variable names! (theoretically…) So instead of lame_variable_name you can have names that look like… well, normal names! Like aWeSoMe VaRiabLe nAmE! And yes, that means <!--:aWeSoMe = 4 * 7 + 2--> or <!--:aWeSoMe-->

tl;dr: It’s way simpler now :)

Why 3.0, or, the History

MDiocre was originally written in 2018 to generate a newer iteration of my website. It was initially several bash scripts that combined various tools with pandoc to create an easy workflow for me to blog, that can even be used on the go.

I then rewrote it in Python with the intent of having an easier, more “general” way of makin static websites. It turned out to be rather cumbersome with the configuration files and the concept of “submodules” and such. Nevertheless, this is what I used to maintain my website for some time. Another flaw with this iteration is that it assumes a ToC-like index in a particular format, and it could not be customized. The no-index pages had to be explicitly stated in the site configs.

I decided it would be best to start off from scratch and rethink the design of MDiocre. I intend for this version to be a lot simpler to deal with.

In summary, we now have 3 iterations of MDiocre:

Plans for 3.1

  • Hacking in reStructured Text.

  • Modular index page generation.

Implemented

  • Split up the parser, thereby opening up support for other parsers. reStructured Text support now added!

  • Index pages, tags, feeds are not built-in; instead implemented in scripts under the samples directory.

Plans for 3.2

  • Removing deprecated functions

  • Add file and string conversion to the GUI