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Muse: A tiny site management system


One of the things I've done sine the beginning wrt Digamma is to attempt to dogfood my own work using Digamma as much as possible. Although this site is tiny, it's still a big pain in the butt managing it, and anything that I can do to minimize that is helpful. Over the years, I've written multiple site management tools, but they either felt too heavy, or didn't really do enough of what I wanted. Muse is an attempt to change that. Currently, it only handles formatting files, taking them from a Org-mode/Muse-mode-like syntax, and translating them into HTML. Eventually, I'd like to add full site mangement tools to it (like tagging keywords & what not), but I'm starting small.

Name


I've been using an "org-mode"-like syntax for... well forever. I've found note books marked up with
* some note
- list
- list
- list
* some other note
- repeat


from 15 years ago (c. 1998). When I originally saw org-mode, I thought the syntax looked cool, but I wanted to make something a bit more light-weight, and less emacs focused. I had no idea at the time that there was an emacs system called Muse and it was effectively what I was writing here. The format is a bit more strict than org-mode or emacs-Muse, but that's mostly because I was lazy & didn't write a proper parser for the syntax, and instead opted for a push-down automaton.

Syntax


The basic syntax is pretty simple:
* Header 1
** Header 2
*** Header 3

- unordered list 
- unordered list 
- unordered list 

# ordered list
# ordered list
# ordered list

[/link/to/somewhere A URL Link to somwhere]
[!/link/to/image.img Alt-text goes here]

Some formatting: *BOLD* or _ITALIC_

`code goes here` 

`as
does
multi-line
code` 


Things like &, <, > are handled as expected, and \ can be used to insert a raw character. There are some forms of hightlighting, such as the usual things *BOLD* and _ITALIC_ both work as expected. However, in order to avoid confusion, bolds & `code` must start in column 1. That's the broken part of using a pushdown automaton for parsing. Of course, I don't expect anyone else to use this, so it's a-ok by me ^_^. There's also some table stuff, but there's quite a bit more to do there before I'm really happy with it.

Future improvements


Currently, I do most of the linking manually; I'd like to add in some sort of CMS-ish type of system for recording locations. A predecessor to Muse actually had this functionality, but I moved on (I didn't like the internal structure). Certainly, I'd like to be able to categorize things, and I'd like to update people that the site has been modified via RSS. I may just rip the code out of the old system, and add it back into Muse, so as to keep things light weight. The previous system also had it's own revision control, which was kinda cool, but I thought that was actually outside the purview of a simple static site system, so I removed it. Might want to reevaluate that as I add assets to this site.
Another item I'd like to do is to break the output system down so that I can output Markdown & others directly; I have a sed script that does most of the work toward converting Muse documents to Markdown, so that they can be processed with pandoc, but there's more to be done there.
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