I ❤️ Quarto


December 20, 2022

I recently decided to switch my page from Jekyll (GitHub Pages default) to Quatro. Both support creating pages in Markdown with configs in YAML, to build static web pages from them. They are simple and quite similar, but I found Quarto easier to use, has great dev tools, and better documentation. Moreover, Quarto supports \(\TeX\) out-of-the-box, without plug-ins and crazy syntax like Jekyll.

To create a blog template in Quatro you only need to run > Quarto: Create Project and pick “Blog Project” in VS Code, or use the command

quarto create-project myblog --type website:blog

This creates a template to fill in. It has the structure like below

├── index.qmd
├── posts
│   ├── _metadata.yml
│   └── post.qmd
├── _quarto.yml
└── styles.css

The main configuration file is _quatro.yml, which can be as simple as below. Here you set the title of the page and the theme, which can be further customized using styles.css. It can also contain navbar and other elements.

  type: website

  title: "Title goes here"

    theme: simplex
    css: styles.css

The next important file is index.qml which is a QML (YAML/Markdown) template for the main page. For a blog, it contains a listing or elements to be displayed, like a list of blog posts. It can be a literal list of elements to include, a directory (e.g. contents: posts), a pattern, or a list of patterns. It has many configurations to customize it.

  - id: blog
    contents: posts
    sort: "date desc"
    type: default
    categories: true
    sort-ui: false
    filter-ui: false
page-layout: full
title-block-banner: false

In my case, I decided to show a large list of blog posts mixed with links to other content stored in external/links.yml file, so the contents looked like the below.

      - "posts/*.qmd"
      - "external/links.yml"

Finally, the posts are just Markdown files with a metadata header. One nice feature is that you can use aliases to setup redirects.

title: "Title of the post"
date: 2022-12-20
  - "/rediect-from-here"
categories: [tag]

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed
do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

When you are ready, run

quarto preview

it will open a live preview for the page, so you can edit it and instantly check the results.

When you’re ready, to publish it in GitHub Pages, you need a create a repository, in Settings / Pages define it as a page, with gh-pages as the source branch, and run

quarto publish gh-pages

That’s all!