Rohith's Blog

I write about tech.

14 May 2020

Setting up a blog from a Notion Table

version license

Generate a minimalistic blog from a Notion.so table.

Courtesy: dragonman225

I used Notablog to generate a sub-blog on this domain using posts from a Notion table. I plan on using this in as a Content Management System with the hope that it would simplify my workflow.

You can check out the generated blog here

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Make sure you have Node.js v12.0.0 or higher. Check with command node -v. For existing users who want to upgrade from v0.3.x, please go through all below steps (do a clean install), except that you can continue to use your Notion table.

  1. Install Notablog.
   npm i -g notablog
  1. Clone the notablog-starter repository.
   git clone https://github.com/dragonman225/notablog-starter.git
  1. Duplicate this Notion table template.

  2. Make the table you’ve duplicated public and copy its URL for the next step.

  3. Go into notablog-starter/ directory, open config.json. Replace the value of url with the URL of the table you’ve duplicated.

  4. Inside notablog-starter/ directory, run command:

   notablog generate .
  1. After it finishes, go to notablog-starter/public/ directory, open index.html with a browser to preview your site.
  • Optionally, you could change the previewBrowser field in config.json to the path of a browser executable you have on your computer and issue the following command anywhere to preview.
  notablog preview <path_to_the_notablog-starter>

Congratulations! Your website is ready now

  • You can copy files in notablog-starter/public/ directory to a server or upload them to any static hosting service to share your content with the world.

  • Whenever you want to update your site, go into notablog-starter/ directory and issue command notablog generate ., or issue the command from outside notablog-starter/ with the pattern notablog generate <path_to_the_notablog-starter>.

  • Some options for static hosting services:

  • Some options for self-hosting:

Blog Management Interface

This is the documentation of Notion table template

Column Name Property Type Description
title Title The page title.
tags Multi-Select Topics related to the page.
publish Checkbox Determine if a page should be rendered.
inMenu Checkbox Determine if a page should appear in the navigation bar.
inList Checkbox Determine if a page should appear in the article list.
template Select Specify which template to use for the page. Available template names depend on the theme you use.
url Text A string to be used as the filename and the URL of the generated page. It should not contain / and \. If it’s empty, the id of the page is used.
description Text Short intro of the page. Styles are working.
date Date User customizable date, convenient for importing posts from other platforms or adjusting the order of posts.
  • Hack: Check publish but leave inMenu and inList unchecked to make a page seem like hidden because people can only view it when they know its URL.

API Reference (Outdated)

Introduction

notablog itself is designed to be installed as a dependency, and invoked from NPM script. This way we can separate application code and user assets so that it’s less confusing for a user. To make things even more simple, I have prepared notablog-starter, so a user doesn’t have to setup folder structure manually. The concept is inspired by a popular project hexo.

With the design, a user only sees notablog-starter when using, therefore the following documentation will be in the context of notablog-starter.

Simplified Folder Structure

notablog-starter
├── config.json
├── public
├── source
│   └── notion_cache
└── themes
    └── pure
  • config.json - Site config.

| Field | Type | Description | | :—: | :—-: | :——————————————————————: | | url | string | The URL of a Notion table compatible with Notablog. | | theme | string | The theme to use. It should be one of the folder names in themes/. |

  • public/ - Contains generated static assets of the blog.

  • source/notion_cache/ - Cached JSON files of Notion pages. They are used when a user runs npm run generate, if a page contains no changes, the generator reads data from these cached files.

  • themes/ - Store themes.

Theme

A theme contains layout templates, CSS files, fonts, and other assets that shapes the style and look of a blog.

Folder Structure

<name>
├── layout
└── assets
  • <name> - Theme folder name, also the name to be used in notablog-starter/config.json.
  • layout/ - Contains page templates. It is required to have at least one index layout (index.html) and one post layout (post.html). You can have more templates, and a user can use those bonus templates by specifying the template’s filename in template field on Notion.
  • assets/ - Other assets. Anything in this folder will be copied to notablog-starter/public/ when running npm run generate.

Template Language

  • Currently, I use Squirrelly.js as template engine.

  • Template index.html gets the following structure of data :

  { { L L L g e e e e d L L L g ] . . . e t e e e 9 9 p p } } }
  • Template post.html or others gets the following structure of data :
  { l { " y } }

Notes

Code Structure

Generated by dependency-cruiser NPM package.

Git

master is the working branch, latest release is v0.4.1, which is at branch v0.4.1.

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