A full redesign of The Plain Libre Jekyll theme https://software.franco.net.eu.org/frnmst/the-flux-of-thought
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The Plain Libre

The Plain is just another white clean and minimalist Jekyll theme that designed to focus on writing matters. This theme is best use for personal blog type.

Original version

This version compared to the original one

  • Removed all analytics
  • Removed Google font
  • Removed Gravatar
  • Removed MathJax
  • Changed main font
  • Bigger font rendering
  • Changed background colors
  • outline: none for links
  • Simpler image handling
  • Last post update shown
  • Static commenting system
  • Tags and categories (TODO)
  • tag support (TODO)

Commenting system


This theme handles comments in the most static way possible: a mailto link is generated for each post thanks to GMAIL mail aliases, using the address specified in the _config.yml file. This idea came out while reading this page.

Moreover, for each post a comment section gets exposed. To get comments inside this section, you must create a new file in the _comments directory using the corresponding posts path name as file name. Let's say a user sends a comment for the another-post post. The mailto link will have this structure:


You may notice the substring 2017-02-11-another-post after the gmail's email (but it works for any mailer system supporting these kind of mail aliases). This string is part of the file name corresponding to the post which is:


Let's ingnore the ./_posts/ and .md substrings for a moment and save 2017-02-11-another-post somewhere. Since a post may have more than a comment, we must distinguish between one and another. To do this we create a new directory using the comment path, like the following:

$ mkdir _/comments/2017-02-11-another-post

and we will save the comment files inside to keep things tidy.

We then create a new markdown file corresponding to the comment, and its file name will be used as an id, for example:


You can use any non spaced string, and avoid using .md except at the end of this file name.

Out final comment path is:


As a final remark you may have noticed that each comment is referenced as a paragraph (using the id) and that markdown is enabled by default.

Comment attributes.

Comment files have 5 attributes:

  • layout

    • Always use comment as variable.
  • date

    • Use the format reported by the following date command: $ date "+%F %T %z"
  • from

    • string representing the name or the id or the mail of the person that commented the post.
  • subject

    • String representing the mail subject.

For example:

layout: comment
title: This is another post
date: 2017-02-11 23:37:05 +0100
from: x.y@y.x, A Mailer
subject: test subject

This is a test comment for the `Hello again` post.

def hi

Media files

Extending this ideas I came up with the following:


Just like comments, each media file is contained in one directory corresponding to a post. However, unlike comments, media content may be referenced from more than one post. This is how it works.

File locations

If out example post is ./_posts/2017-02-11-another-post.md and we want to add media files to it, we must create a corresponding directory in _media:


We can now place our file inside, for example:


Possible combinations

Now, let's go back to ./_posts/2017-02-11-another-post.md. To be able to display that picture we need to use the include liquid tag. In the simplest form the only required parameter is the file name:

{% include image.html file="terminal.png" %}

You can also use the alt and/or capiton tags:

{% include image.html file="terminal.png" alt="ter" caption="A terminal example caption" %}

You can also use plain markdown, which is not advisable in this case, since you need to input the whole path:

![ter]({{ site.baseurl }}/media/2017-02-11-another-post/terminal.png)

Calling files from another post.

In some cases you may want to recall media files from another post. You can do that using the otherpost tag. Let's say we are in the _posts/2015-09-09-download-this-theme.md post.

{% include image.html file="2017-02-11-another-post/terminal.png" alt="Terminal" caption="A terminal image from the other post" otherpost=true %}

As you can see you don't have to specify the full path but only the post name slash the file name. The rest is filled in automatically.

Finally, notice the otherpost=true tag at the end.


This feature is currently available only for images.

Static pages

Reading this gave me the idea to move the static pages like index, 404, etc.. in the _pages directory. If you want to add new pages remember to add a sensible permalink for each page and remember to keep include: [ "_pages" ] and collections: pages: output: false in the _config.yml file.


Use a square avatar in ./_assets/avatar.jpg.

Theme installation

# pacman -S ruby
$ gem update
$ gem install jekyll jekyll-sitemap


$ make




Copyright (C) 2017, Franco Masotti franco.masotti@student.unife.it