Blatter is a tiny tool for creating and publishing static web sites built from dynamic templates.

When developing your site, you can work locally on your own computer and view your work through a local web server Blatter provides. All of your URLs will work, relative and absolute. And if you choose to use dynamic templates for including common elements like headers and footers, (or for more advanced templating features), those templates will be rendered on the fly as you make changes and refine your work.

When you're satisfied with your changes, you can 'blat' the project out into a folder containing a purely static version of the site.

Static files like images and css are copied over, and all of the dynamic templates are rendered into a final static form. The finished product can then be uploaded to the live web site and published immediately.


Get started with blatter init:

$ blatter init --hello-world
Created directories static, templates, site, out
Created blatter.ini
Created hello world content.
Try it out with 'blatter serve' and 'blatter blat'.

The --hello-world creates a sample project for you. There's some static content (an image) and some templates.

$ ls * blatter.ini


site: index.html

static: images/

templates: base.html

Anything in 'site' will be rendered as a template and is available as a URL. Anything in 'static' is available as a URL too: the two directories are combined together.

The 'templates' directory will also be searched for templates but is not included in URLs. It's a handy place to keep template fragments and utilities that you want to use in published pages.

You can start a local web server:

$ blatter serve
Blatter server starting for:

 * Running on http://localhost:8008/
 * Restarting with reloader...

And if you fetch the / URL, blatter renders the template site/index.html and serves up the static/images/dot.png. You'd do it in a web browser, but here we'll show it in text:

$ curl http://localhost:8008/

<title>hello world!</title>

</head> <body>

<img src="images/dot.png"> blatter success!




Satisfied with that, blatter will publish the entire site, combining everything in static with a rendered version of everything in site.

$ blatter blat Merged static into out Generated 1 files in out $ ls out images/ index.html $ cat out/index.html <html>

<title>hello world!</title>

</head> <body>

<img src="images/dot.png"> blatter success!




You can even send that directly to a remote server if you like:

$ blatter publish --destination=www.my.host:/var/www/mysite/htdocs/


blatter init will create a basic configuration for you in blatter.ini. Any of the directories can be changed to suit your tastes.

Nested Sites and Chaining Blatters

If your site will reside somewhere other than / on the remote server, you can set the url_prefix configuration option to match the prefix on the remote server, for example '~jek/'.

Blatter can also manage multiple sites within a single virtual server. Say you have the following structure:


Each of these can be its own blatter project. Each of the products/... projects would set their url_prefix to match the desired final URL.

If a /products/... project needs to use resources from the root (/), such as /images/logo.png, the two projects can be linked together during development so that URLs will resolve in the built-in web server and you'll see all those shared images.

The only prerequisite for linking is that both blatter projects be available on the filesystem. To enable linking, configure the fallbacks for the project. If a URL can't be found in the project by normal means, each of the fallbacks will be tried in turn. If the fallbacks themselves have fallbacks, they're tried as well.

In the blatter.ini:




Jason Kirtland <jek@discorporate.us>

Copyright Jason Kirtland, all rights reserved. Available for use under the terms of the The MIT License, see LICENSE.