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ghp-import

Easily import docs to your gh-pages branch.

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GitHub Pages Import

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As part of gunicorn, Benoit Chesneau and I have been starting to look at how to host documentation. There's the obvious method of using GitHub's post-receive hook to trigger doc builds and rsync to a webserver, but we ended up wanting to try out github's hosting to make the whole interface a bit more robust.

GitHub Pages is a pretty awesome service that GitHub provides for hosting project documentation. The only thing is that it requires a gh-pages branch that is the site's document root. This means that keeping documentation sources in the branch with code is a bit difficult. And it really turns into a head scratcher for things like Sphinx that want to access documentation sources and code sources at the same time.

Then I stumbled across an interesting looking package called github-tools that looked almost like what I wanted. It was a tad complicated and more involved than I wanted but it gave me an idea. Why not just write a script that can copy a directory to the gh-pages branch of the repository. This saves me from even having to think about the branch and everything becomes magical.

This is what ghp-import was written for.

Big Fat Warning

This will DESTROY your gh-pages branch. If you love it, you'll want to take backups before playing with this. This script assumes that gh-pages is 100% derivative. You should never edit files in your gh-pages branch by hand if you're using this script because you will lose your work.

When used with a prefix, only files below the set prefix will be destroyed, limiting the above warning to just that directory and everything below it.

Usage

Usage: ghp-import [OPTIONS] DIRECTORY

Options:
  -n, --no-jekyll       Include a .nojekyll file in the branch.
  -c CNAME, --cname=CNAME
                        Write a CNAME file with the given CNAME.
  -m MESG, --message=MESG
                        The commit message to use on the target branch.
  -p, --push            Push the branch to origin/{branch} after committing.
  -x PREFIX, --prefix=PREFIX
                        The prefix to add to each file that gets pushed to the
                        remote. Only files below this prefix will be cleared
                        out. [none]
  -f, --force           Force the push to the repository.
  -o, --no-history      Force new commit without parent history.
  -r REMOTE, --remote=REMOTE
                        The name of the remote to push to. [origin]
  -b BRANCH, --branch=BRANCH
                        Name of the branch to write to. [gh-pages]
  -s, --shell           Use the shell when invoking Git. [False]
  -l, --follow-links    Follow symlinks when adding files. [False]
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit

Its pretty simple. Inside your repository just run ghp-import $DOCS_DIR where $DOCS_DIR is the path to the built documentation. This will write a commit to your gh-pages branch with the current documents in it.

If you specify -p it will also attempt to push the gh-pages branch to GitHub. By default it'll just run git push origin gh-pages. You can specify a different remote using the -r flag.

The -o option will discard any previous history and ensure that only a single commit is always pushed to the gh-pages branch. This is useful to avoid bloating the repository size and is highly recommended.

You can specify a different branch with -b. This is useful for user and organization page, which are served from the master branch.

Some Windows users report needing to pass Git commands through the shell which can be accomplished by passing -s.

The -l option will cause the import to follow symlinks for users that have odd configurations that include symlinking outside of their documentation directory.

Python Usage

You can also call ghp_import directly from your Python code as a library. The library has one public function ghp_import.ghp_import, which accepts the following arguments:

  • srcdir: The path to the built documentation (required).
  • remote: The name of the remote to push to. Default: origin.
  • branch: Name of the branch to write to. Default: gh-pages.
  • mesg: The commit message to use on the target branch. Default: Update documentation.
  • push: Push the branch to {remote}/{branch} after committing. Default: False.
  • prefix: The prefix to add to each file that gets pushed to the remote. Default: None.
  • force: Force the push to the repository. Default: False.
  • no_history: Force new commit without parent history. Default: False.
  • use_shell: Default: Use the shell when invoking Git. False.
  • followlinks: Follow symlinks when adding files. Default: False.
  • cname: Write a CNAME file with the given CNAME. Default: None.
  • nojekyll: Include a .nojekyll file in the branch. Default: False.

With Python's current working directory (cwd) inside your repository, do the following:

from ghp_import import ghp_import
ghp_import('docs', push=True, cname='example.com')

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