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PFT

PFT It is yet another Static, Unicode-ready, Hacker-friendly, Free-as-in-freedom, Privacy-preserving website generator written in Perl.

PFT stands for Plain F. Text, where the meaning of F. is up to personal interpretation. Like Fancy or Fantastic.

I started it from scratch because as I was not entirely satisfied with the similar products I tried, but also because I wanted to learn another language (Perl) with a side project. I got initially inspired by Dapper, which is similar in the spirit, but maybe a bit too raw, even for my needs.

Unicode-ready

While writing PFT I also learned how how to handle Unicode. As a result, PFT can seamlessly handle your UTF-8 text, with ☺ emoticons and similar 💩.

Hacker Friendly

PFT is designed to be Hacker Friendly: it’s a command-line application which handles your website’s boilerplate, hides you nothing, but stays out of the way.

It is designed as a toolkit, and comes with a number of commands:

  • pft init: Initialize a PFT site in the current directory;

  • pft edit: Create a content text (e.g. page or blog entry);

  • pft make: Build the website;

  • pft pub: Publish the website;

  • pft clean: Clear built tree;

  • pft grab: Grab a file as attachment or picture;

  • pft ls: List content and properties;

  • pft show: Show the compiled site in a web browser;

The manual of each sub-command is available in form of Unix Manual page, and by invoking it with the --help flag.

Content pages are simple locale-encoded Markdown text-files wrapped with a YAML header. Everything is transformed into HTML thanks to the Template::Alloy engine.

Free as in Freedom

PFT is Free as in Freedom and licensed as GNU GPL v3. Contributions and suggestions are welcome.

PFT is also Free as in Free Beer. Which means you can offer me a beer if you feel like doing it.

Privacy preserving:

By default, PFT comes with some simple templates, which do not rely on client-side scripts, cookies or trackers. This means a PFT site respects your privacy by default.

(Of course nothing prevents you from modifying it and provide something more fancy, or even serve it with cookies. As you would do for tea, really.)

Running PFT

PFT is released as CPAN distribution named App::PFT. If CPAN is installed on your system you can simply install PFT by running the following command:

cpan App::PFT

Requirements

The output of PFT is a directory containing a set of inter-connected HTML pages. The pages are linked by relative links, so the whole output site is relocatable. It can optionally be loaded online and served through any web server.

Currently only RSync over SSH is supported for uploading content on websites, RSync must be therefore installed on your source system, and your hosting provider should support SSH.

Hacking

PFT is currently composed by:

  • A Perl library named PFT which abstracts the filesystem access

  • A toolkit of Perl scripts named App::PFT which provides a command-line interface to the PFT structure.

Feel free to fork or to ping me with suggestion, proposals or pull requests.