Does it work on windows?
Sure does. Install it now.
What is markup?
Whenever we write something we're using markup. It's merely a way of formatting content. For instance, if we are writing a
.txt file in notepad, we will be using
plain-text as the markup. But say we want to get more advanced, and add things like bold text or italic text to our content, then we could use a markup like
Microsoft Word (.doc),
Rich Text Format (.rtf) or simply
Markdown (.md) or
HTML (.html). These markups allow us to express our content with rich formatting.
For instance, bold in Markdown is
**bold**, where in HTML it is
<strong>bold</strong>. The markup that you choose for your content is highly dependent on what content you'd like to write. If you're mostly dealing with structural data (like a page layout) then
CoffeeKup would be a good way to go. If you're mostly dealing with textual data (like a blog post) then
Markdown would probably the way to go.
DocPad supports unlimited markups thanks to its plugin system. It doesn't believe in a one size fits all, but in always using the best tool for a job. Its easy to learn new markups, there may be a bit of a learning curve, but you'll quickly adjust, be empowered, and grateful that you now have a new tool under your belt.
DocPad currently only supports rendering plain-text formats, meaning that rendering binary formats like
jpg or binary-text formats like
rtf (they're not plain-text formats like
xml but in fact binary formats) does not currently work. We will be addressing this in a future release of DocPad.
What is a templating engine?
Often at times we will write documents which start seeming a bit repetitive, or we would like to add a bit of dynamicness to our document. Templating engines allow us to do this, as they allow for the insertion of logic into our chosen markup.
For instance, if I wanted to display a random number I could do the following:
<%= Math.random() %>
This is pretty useful, as we can also do things like loops, or assign certain pages or parts of our layout into new files and use them again and again whenever we need them, instead of having to manually duplicate content. This is what empowers us to be able to use Layouts - discussed next.
What is a layout?
Layouts wrap over our documents. They are generally the most generic and re-used part of an entire website, or book for that matter. They contain generally the layout of the page, including the structural information and the meta information (used for search engines etc).
What is a document's meta information/data?
At the start of each document is an optional area right up the top that looks something like this
--- title: "My awesome blog post" ---
That is your document's meta data. It won't be included in the output of the document, and is where you can assign extra data to your document such as title, date, tags, etc.
Is a document aware of it's meta data?
It sure is, if you are using eco as the rendering engine, you can totally do this:
--- title: My awesome blog post meaningOfLife: 42 --- What is the meaning of life? <%= @document.meaningOfLife %>
To use eco, simply ensure that you have the extension
.eco at the end of your file. E.g.
my-blog-post.html.eco. It doesn't have to be at the end, but it mustn't be the first extension (as the first extension is what you are rendering to).
What do the extensions mean?
.html.eco means process this with Eco and render it as HTML. Alternatively, we can get pretty inventive and do something like this:
.html.md.eco which means process this with Eco, then Markdown and finally render it as HTML.
There are two methods that Query-Engine provides for querying Backbone Collections. The first is
findAll and the second is
findAll does a once-off scan of all the models in the collection that matches the criteria and returns the result in a new Backbone Collection, pretty standard stuff.
findAllLive creates a new child collection with the original collection as the parent, the new child collection then listens to the change events of the parent, and will automatically test the changes against the child collection's criteria. This is incredibly effecient for long running collections which data changes over time.
findAllLive for short lived collections, especially inside your templates, as it will cause more and more and more child collections and listeners to be created and added, causing a memory leak and unexpected results.
Which one should I use and when?
findAllLive when defining long-running custom collections. Usual use cases are via the
collections property of your docpad configuration file, or via the
extendCollections event within your plugin.
findAll when you are needing once-off/short-living collections. Usual use cases are inside your templates, or inside other events within your plugin.
However, ideally wherever possible you should try and use DocPad's built-in template helpers or APIs for querying as these methods are highly optimised for DocPad, which the low-level Query-Engine methods are not.
How can I learn more about the NoSQL queries available and the internals of Query-Engine?
Take a look at the Query-Engine Using Guide
How do I hide a document from being rendered? E.g. a draft post.
Check out the
ignored meta data property.
How do I re-render a document on each request? E.g. dynamic documents.
Check out the
dynamic meta data property.
What are render passes?
Rendering is a multi step process. First we render everything that is a standalone document, that is to say documents that do not including anything else. Once that is done, we then render all documents that include other documents. This is useful as we can render blog posts first, then render the content listings second.
At times, you may have multiple levels of cross document references. For instance if document a references document B which references document C. In this case you would want to up the
renderPasses configuration option for each amount of cross document references you have.
How do I create custom 404 and 500 pages?
src/documents/404.html for 404 pages, and
src/documents/500.html for 500 pages. If you create a dynamic page (adding the
dynamic: true meta data header as mentioned above) your templating engine (e.g.
404.html.eco) will also get access to
req (the request instance),
res (the response instance),
err (the error that occured - for 500 errors pages only, not for 404 error pages). Allowing you to do something like this for
--- layout: default title: "An internal error occured - 500" dynamic: true --- ## An error occured on <%= @req.url %>: <%= @err.message %>
What data is exposed to my template engine?
Templating engines are renderers for languages which support business logic. For instance, the template engine Eco provides us with the following syntax
<% your business logic %> or to output a variable we can use
As such, the data which we expose to our templating engines is called the
templateData. Check out the full listing of template data & helpers here.
For instance, to output the current document's title with eco, you would use:
<%=@document.title%>. The reason for the
@ is because Eco associates the
templateData to the current scope, which with CoffeeScript (what eco uses) you access by using the
How can I use environment variables in DocPad?
All environment variables are automatically available in node applications through
process.env. DocPad also loads varibles from a special environment file. To quickly override existing environment variables for a single invocation of DocPad, specify it on the command line before the
$ API_URL=localhost:1234 docpad run
How do I disable certain plugins?
Check out the
enabledPlugins configuration property.
How do I only enable the plugins that I actually use?
Check out the
enableUnlistedPlugins configuration property.
How do I customise the configuration sent to a plugin?
Check out the
plugins configuration property.