Table of Contents

The file paths mentioned in this post only apply when the following configuration is set in your ‘.toml’ file:

    post = "/:year/:month/:slug/"


Starting this blog with blogdown and RStudio was pretty straight forward. I did not need to learn much about hugo which is the static website generator that I used and the project is well-documented. However I would also like to add posts from juypter notebooks which seems to be possible but let’s say less accessible. The tool I tried is hugo_jupyter which is supposed to work similar to blogdown. It runs a local server of the website which automatically rerenders the site if changes are made in relevant folders. The same can also be achieved if executing this simple hugo command inside the parent folder of your site (You have to open your browser and copy paste the displayed local host address though).

hugo server

hugo_jupyter will additionally watch a ./notebooks for changes in any jupyter notebooks it contains and convert them into .md to ./content/posts. For this you have to manually add the front-matter parameters title, date, slug, subtitle to the json metadata of your notebook using the jupyter GUI. Any other parameter that you add will not be passed to the .md file of your post. Any graphical output produced by any of your cells will be dropped and replaced by a link in the markdown format ![image_description](image_path). Then hugo will render your .md to .html automatically adding to the image path it finds in the markdown synthax like this yyyy/mm/slug/image_path. In order for this link to work we would need to place the image in ./static/yyyy/mm/slug.

All in all this would require a lot of manual steps after conversion of the notebook to .md format that I decided to only use the code of hugo_jupyter that converts the notebook to .md and make some changes to it so it also extracts images and places them in the appropriate ./static/yyyy/mm/slug path.

Feature blogdown hugo_jupyter
serve locally yes yes
encode front-matter parameters yes only 4
render graphical code output yes no
shortcode as function yes
markdown support pandoc hugo

(table generated with

Modified workflow

  1. I use the hugo server command in the terminal
  2. I added a .python folder with the file that contains the code added below which I modified from hugo_jupyter to (i) render all output plots and put the .png files in the appropriate paths and (ii) add front-matter parameters by passing them as kwargs to the render function.
  3. I can view all changes on my localhost server.
  4. Upload changes to github
  5. Netlify is linked to my github and automatically renders the whole page

from nbconvert import MarkdownExporter
from nbconvert.preprocessors import Preprocessor
from pathlib import Path
from traitlets.config import Config

import nbformat
import re

path = r'./notebooks/adding_posts_with_juypter.ipynb'

# here I customize some functions of the of the hugo_jupyter package

class CustomPreprocessor(Preprocessor):
    """Remove blank code cells and unnecessary whitespace."""2

    def preprocess(self, nb, resources):
        Remove blank cells
        for index, cell in enumerate(nb.cells):
            if cell.cell_type == 'code' and not cell.source:
                nb.cells[index], resources = self.preprocess_cell(cell, resources, index)
        return nb, resources

    def preprocess_cell(self, cell, resources, cell_index):
        Remove extraneous whitespace from code cells' source code
        if cell.cell_type == 'code':
            cell.source = cell.source.strip()

        return cell, resources

def doctor(string: str) -> str:
    """Get rid of all the wacky newlines nbconvert adds to markdown output and return result."""
    post_code_newlines_patt = re.compile(r'(```)(\n+)')
    inter_output_newlines_patt = re.compile(r'(\s{4}\S+)(\n+)(\s{4})')

    post_code_filtered = re.sub(post_code_newlines_patt, r'\1\n\n', string)
    inter_output_filtered = re.sub(inter_output_newlines_patt, r'\1\n\3', post_code_filtered)

    return inter_output_filtered

def make_yaml_header(**kwargs):

    header = '---\n'

    for key, value in kwargs.items():
        if type(value) in [str, int , float ] :
            header += '{} : {}\n'.format(key, value)
            header += '{}: \n'.format(key)
            for item in value:
                header += '  - {}\n'.format(item)

    header += '---\n'

    return header

def notebook_to_markdown( path, date, slug, **kwargs ):
    Convert notebook to Markdown format

        path: str, path to notebook
        date: datestring in YYYY-MM-DD format
        slug: str, front-matter parameter, used to compose adress of blogpost
        kwargs: str, float, int, list, tuple, other front-matter parameters recommended to pass title

    path_nb = Path(path)
    path_out = path_nb.parents[1] / 'static'/ date.split('-')[0] / date.split('-')[1] / slug
    path_post = path_nb.parents[1] / 'content/post/' / ( date + '-' + slug + '.md' )

    assert path_nb.exists()
    assert path_post.parent.exists()
    assert bool( re.match('[0-9]{4}-[0-1][0-9]-[0-3][0-9]', date) ), 'Incorrect date format, need YYYY-MM-DD'

    # convert notebook to .md----------------------------------------------------

    with Path(path).open() as fp:
        notebook =, as_version=4)

    c = Config()
    c.MarkdownExporter.preprocessors = [CustomPreprocessor]
    markdown_exporter = MarkdownExporter(config=c)

    markdown, resources = markdown_exporter.from_notebook_node(notebook)
    md = doctor(markdown)

    yaml = make_yaml_header(  date = date
                             , slug = slug
                             , **kwargs)

    md = yaml + md

    with'w') as f:
    # write outputs as png --------------------------------------------------------

    if 'outputs' in resources.keys():
        if not path_out.exists():
        for key in resources['outputs'].keys():
            with (path_out / key).open('wb') as f:
                f.write( resources['outputs'][key] )

if __name__ == "__main__":

    path = r'../notebooks/adding_posts_with_juypter.ipynb'

    notebook_to_markdown( path = r'../notebooks/adding_posts_with_juypter.ipynb'
                          , date = '2018-08-11'
                          , slug = 'post_with_jupyter'
                          , title = 'Adding posts as jupyter notebooks'
                          , author = 'Bjoern Koneswarakantha'
                          , categories = ['R vs. python','blogging']
                          , tags = ['R vs. python','hugo', 'python', 'R', 'hugo', 'hugo_jupyer']
                          , summary = 'Blogging with jupyter notebooks, hugo_jupyter and some tweaking. Comparison to\
                           R and blogdown'
                          , thumbnailImagePosition = 'left'
                          , thumbnailImage = ''

POC Graphical output

from matplotlib import pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline
import seaborn as sns

df = sns.load_dataset('iris')

sns.lmplot(x = 'petal_length', y = 'petal_width', data = df
           , hue = 'species'
           , fit_reg = False)
<seaborn.axisgrid.FacetGrid at 0x251a9439518>


POC shortcode

Look we can use shortcode to wrap text in tags

or higlight text