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@mbostock /.block
Last active Feb 16, 2017

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Prose-only Blocks
license: none

You can now create prose-only blocks on bl.ocks.org by creating a Gist with a single file: README.md. When your Gist is missing an index.html file, <bl.ocks.org> will hide the example iframe but continue to display everything else. And thus you can use your README as a quick and convenient way of posting text with less clutter than the default GitHub UI.

Funnily enough, I added this feature because the GitHub Gist API recently developed a bug: when listing a user’s gists, the files hash for each gist is empty. I previously filtered gists based on the presence of an index.html file. By removing the filter, bl.ocks.org is now immune to the bug, but I had to make a corresponding change to the Gist display page.

Oh, and you can still embed code in your prose, and it will be syntax-highlighted:

function shuffle(array) {
  var m = array.length, t, i;

  // While there remain elements to shuffle…
  while (m) {

    // Pick a remaining element…
    i = Math.floor(Math.random() * m--);

    // And swap it with the current element.
    t = array[m];
    array[m] = array[i];
    array[i] = t;
  }

  return array;
}

You can also have additional files, and their source will be rendered as well. Enjoy!

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