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The dominant simple plain-text markup languages for the web are Textile and Markdown. A factor for the popularity of those markup formats is the widespread availability of simple, free packages for converting the formats to HTML. For example, the world of Ruby-powered websites has settled on RedCloth for converting Textile to HTML.

The default way to convert org-mode files to HTML is the powerful publishing functionality provided by emacs. However, emacs does not easiliy integrate into many existing website frameworks.

Org-ruby tries to make it easier to use org-mode files in both dyanmic and static website generation tools written in Ruby. Org-ruby is a simple Ruby gem to convert org-mode files to HTML.

Using Org-ruby

Org-ruby follows the same model as other Ruby markup libraries. You install the gem:

#+BEGIN_EXAMPLE sudo gem install org-ruby #+END_EXAMPLE

Then, to convert an org-file to HTML in your Ruby code:

#+BEGIN_EXAMPLE require 'rubygems' require 'org-ruby'

data = puts #+END_EXAMPLE

Walkthrough: Using org-ruby with Webby

Here is an example of how to integrate org-ruby into Webby, a static website generation tool written in Ruby.

Webby follows a similar pattern to other static site generation tools (like nanoc, Jekyll, and webgen):

  • You author website content in text with simple markup
  • Each page is fed through one or more filters to produce HTML
  • The HTML is mixed in with layouts to produce the final pages

For a Webby site, a the source for a page may look like this:

    #+BEGIN_EXAMPLE --- title: Special Directories created_at: 2009-12-17 status: Complete filter:
  • erb
  • maruku
  • tags:
  • powershell
  • --- <%= @page.title %> ==================

Special Directories are a set of directories, each of which has a function that will navigate you to the appropriate directory using the push-location cmdlet. For example, the function `home` might navigate to `c:\users\bdewey.`

Install -------

Copy the module to somewhere in `ENV:PSModulePath`. Then,

InstallModule SpecialDirectories #+END_EXAMPLE

In the above example, the text is written in Markdown. At the top of the file, metadata informs Webby to pass the text through two filters to produce HTML. The first filter, erb, handles embedded Ruby. In this case, it will replace <%= @page.title %> with the page title (Special Directories). The second filter uses Maruku to translate Markdown into HTML.

You can use the exact same pattern to include org-mode files in a Webby site. For this walkthrough, I assume you already have Webby installed, and that you've already created a site.

  1. Make sure you have org-ruby installed: =sudo gem install
  2. org-ruby=.
  3. You need to register a new Webby filter to handle org-mode
  4. content. Webby makes this easy. In the =lib/= folder of your site, create a file =orgmode.rb=:

#+BEGIN_EXAMPLE require 'org-ruby'

Webby::Filters.register :org do |input| end #+END_EXAMPLE

    This code creates a new filter, =org=, that will use the =org-ruby= parser to translate org-mode input into HTML.
  1. Create your content. For example:
    #+BEGIN_EXAMPLE --- title: Orgmode Parser created_at: 2009-12-21 status: Under development filter:
  • erb
  • org
  • tags:
  • orgmode
  • ruby
  • --- <%= @page.title %>

Status: <%= @page.status %>


Helpful Ruby routines for parsing orgmode files. The most significant thing this library does today is convert orgmode files to textile. Currently, you cannot do much to customize the conversion. The supplied textile conversion is optimized for extracting "content" from the orgfile as opposed to "metadata."


2009-12-29: Version 0.4

  • The first thing output in HTML gets the class "title"
  • HTML output is now indented
  • Proper support for multi-paragraph list items.

See? This paragraph is part of the last bullet.

  • Fixed bugs:
  • "rake spec" wouldn't work on Linux. Needed "require 'rubygems'".

This file will go through the erb and org filters; as defined in the previous step, the org filter will use org-ruby to generate HTML.

That's all there is to it!