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Created December 5, 2013 05:28
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#!/usr/bin/env ruby
# PBS 4 Dec. 2013
# Renders HTML for all the .markdown files in the current directory.
# Gives each file a .html suffix.
# Saves them in a subfolder called HTML.
require 'rdiscount'
require 'find'
require 'fileutils'
def markdown_file?(f)
filename = File.basename(f)
if filename[0] == ?. then return false end
if then return false end
extension = File.extname(filename)
if extension == '.markdown' then return true end
return false
def text_of_file(f)
file =, 'r')
s =
return s
def filename_with_suffix_dropped(filename)
filename_array = filename.split('.')
filename_array.delete_at(filename_array.length - 1)
filename = filename_array.join('.')
return filename
def filename_with_suffix_changed(filename, new_suffix)
filename = filename_with_suffix_dropped(filename)
return filename + new_suffix
def write_file(s, f)
f =, 'w')
def html_text_for_file(f)
markdown_text = text_of_file(f)
html_text =
filename = File.basename(f)
title = filename_with_suffix_dropped(filename)
style = "<style>body {margin-top: 3em;}\n.content {width: 33em; margin-left: 7em; margin-right: auto}</style>\n"
file_text = "<html>\n<head><title>#{title}</title>#{style}</head></body><div class=content>#{html_text}</div></body></html>"
return file_text
def generate_and_write_html(f)
filename = File.basename(f)
html_filename = filename_with_suffix_changed(filename, '.html')
folder = File.dirname(f)
html_folder = folder + "/html/"
html_filepath = html_folder + html_filename
html_text = html_text_for_file(f)
write_file(html_text, html_filepath)
folder = Dir.pwd
Find.find(folder) do |f|
filename = File.basename(f)
if markdown_file?(f)
print(filename + "\n")
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kejadlen commented Dec 5, 2013

Have you thought about using Rake for this? Seems like it would be a natural fit for simplifying this.

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jmeosbn commented Dec 5, 2013

Hi Brent!

Nice example of using rdiscount; however, MultiMarkdown has a batch mode -b that'll do this, as well as a compatibility mode -c if you want strict vanilla markdown parsing.

multimarkdown -b -c *.markdown

Additionally, if you start your md file with:

css: mystyles.css

A full HTML file will be created (rather than a snippet, also done with -f) and the referenced stylesheet used.

(not that writing your own script isn't fun of course! ;)

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sklppr commented Dec 5, 2013

But since we all love Ruby, here’s a more compact and idiomatic version:

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mcormier commented Dec 5, 2013

You may want to look at how Jekyll works. It has a simple command that monitors a directory and generates html when a file changes.

jekyll build --watch

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