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C'est la Z

Using Emacs Episode 68 - Tramp and org-publish

I maintain a couple of small simple web sites. One provides information about my undergraduate honors CS program and another that isn't live yet is a FAQ for my CS teacher certification program.

Traditionally I would use ssh to connect to the host machine, fire up Emacs and edit the html files to update the sites. I always forget that with Emacs we can do better.

One way is with Tramp Mode. I was reminded of this by JCS's recent post. With Tramp, you can open a file on a remote host and edit it in place. This means I get my full Emacs config but am editing the file over there!!! It's very slick but I always forget about it even though I had already made a video on it.

Tramp is cool but I was still editing the html directly. I figured it would be easier to just use org-mode but that required figuring out how to make the html produced by org-mode look nice. Fortunately, it's not hard.

We can turn off the default CSS used by org-mode using:

#+OPTIONS: html-style:nil

Or if we want add custom CSS using one or more of these:

#+HTML_HEAD: <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style1.css" />
#+HTML_HEAD_EXTRA: <link rel="alternate stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style2.css" />

We can also embed html and custom CSS in our org-files.

This page from the org-mode documentation also lists many of the html components that are styled by default.

Armed with custom CSS we can use the org-mode exporting facilities to convert the file to a web page but the final step is to use org-publish. This lets us export one or more org-mode files and save the result in some specified directory. You can also publish static files like CSS files and images to go with the org to html files. Finally by using the tramp syntax we can publish to a remote host.

The goes through all of this.


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