Can We Build a Static Site Generator for #IndieWeb

We have locked away our content behind LMS silos for too long. This has lead to academics and taxpayers being exploited. Instead of us all recreating the wheel at each university academics should ban together and start remixing and publishing our courses in the open.

I believe the easiest way to accomplish this is with a basic static website that focus on plain old simple html (POSH..note real acronym contains semantic but I simplified for audience). I will be using these templates in my instructional design class: and

Yet I have begun working with on building a citation generator because doing citations in correct APA and microformats is a huge PITA.

That got me thinking could we build an entire static site generator that would spit out the HTML folks could then host on their own domain. So I took out the ruler and graph paper.

The goal would be a connected repo where I can make updates that would publish to both the syllabus and the course.

J Gregory McVerry, Sketc cc-by-sa

On the first screen a new user would add biographical data. This would turn into the h-card that could be embedded through the project.

On screen two all of the courses created by the user would be listed and their would be an add new course button.

After selecting new course the user would be taken to screen three. They can add the top level info for an h-entry on the homepage. They can also add objectives and readings that could be embedded throughout the static site. For citations I would plan to fork the citation builder from @ncsu. Given our struggles to build one.

From there you can go to the page selector screen and choose to add pages. Choices include syllabus, home page,  module page, and a markdown notesd page.

jgmac1106 sketch, two, CC-BY-SA

Then on each page type you will have a section selector. This will change based on page type. For the syllabus you have course description (prepopulated), biographical data (pre populated), objectives (pre populated), tasks, readings (pre populated), and a blank text areas. All modals for adding sections are included in last page.

jgmac1106. Sketch3, CC BY-SA

On the homepage you sections would be a pre-popluated heading. Then you can choose from featured image (build by forking @cogdog’s CC Flickr Atribution tools), featured video, Description, task, and assessment.

jgmac1106. Sketch4. CC BY-SA

On the module page you add featured image, featured video, description, task, and assessment.

jgmac1106, sketch4, CC-BY-SA

Some of the section elements will require an additional modal to collect the data. And thatis about it. I could imagine this being all the UI I would need to a static site IndieWeb course generator. Of course anyone can sketch this out with graph paper. The real skill will come from the plumbers who lay the pipes to make it all work.

Also published on Medium.

11 responses on “Can We Build a Static Site Generator for #IndieWeb”

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