Webby is a fantastic little website management system. It would be called a content management system if it were a bigger kid. But, it’s just a runt with a special knack for transforming text. And that’s really all it does – manages the legwork of turning text into something else, an ASCII Alchemist if you will.

Webby works by combining the contents of a page with a layout to produce HTML. The layout contains everything common to all the pages – HTML headers, navigation menu, footer, etc. – and the page contains just the information for that page. You can use your favorite markup language to write your pages; Webby supports quite a few.

Install Webby and try it out!

sudo gem install webby


But Wait! There’s More!

Webby has a great autobuild feature that continuously generates HTML whenever the pages or layouts change. The HTML is served up using Webrick, a simple webserver that is bundled with Ruby. Whenever you change a page, you can immediately see those changes without having to run any commands.

$ webby autobuild
[10:21:26]  INFO: starting autobuild (Ctrl-C to stop)
[10:21:26]  INFO: creating output/index.html
[10:22:57]  INFO: creating output/index.html

Webby is not limited to producing HTML. By no means! Do you ever get tired of repeating the same color code #D3C4A2 in your CSS files? Webby can help. Need some customized JavaScript for your website. Webby can help. Anytime you find yourself repeating the same bit of text over and over, then you should be using Webby.

Read the tutorial section for a quick introduction to Webby, and enjoy the wonders of ASCII Alchemy.