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Notes On Creating A Hexo Theme


To Update NPM: npm install npm@latest -g.

In 2015 it makes sense to use NVM. NVM Installation Instructions.

Update NPM: npm install npm@latest -g

Hexo: why can’t you use helper functions in source code? This should be in docs.

Creating a Custom Index File in Hexo

Trying to generate a custom index file in source, hexo would ignore source/index.md no matter what I did. What I had to do was uninstall hexo-generator-index. See here. Then it works. So, that will be part of the setup for my theme. But, it’s worth it in order to properly seperate the theme from the content, I think. Having everyone edit the theme index.ejs template is no good.

Hexo Rendering Raw EJS File Problem I Encountered

Sometimes the server would keep rendering an old version of my code, but as text. So I’d see stuff like

<% if (site.tags.length){ %>

The raw ejs, essentially. Restarting the server or running hexo clean didn’t do anything.

After some time, I realized it was due to the gedit swap files being read by hexo as the actual layout files: for example, tag.ejs~. My partial helpers looked like: <%- partial('_partials/tag') %>, and apparently hexo was reading in tag.ejs~ instead of tag.ejs. And therefore, the ejs wasn’t rendering.

To fix this, I simply changed my partial helper to <%- partial('_partials/tag.ejs') %>. Problem solved.

Hexo Excerpt Variable

I was confused by the behavior of the hexo excerpt variable. If you define excerpt: something in the front matter, hexo ignores that. Instead, to get it to work, one needs to add a <!-- more --> comment in the source of the post. Or, you can install a plugin that allows you to define custom excerpt in the front matter.

Scripts Directory

One of the things I really discovered too late is the “Scripts” directory in the theme folder. In Hexo, the various plugins drive the structure of the site, as opposed to the placement of different files and directories, as in Jekyll. The plugins programatically create folder structure, etc, where in Jekyll I mostly used the liquid markup to structure the site.

The problem is, then, that the user wants to extend hexo to do some sort of custom thing. If one had to publish a new plugin, that’d be too much work. But the theme level scripts folder allows one to extend the base hexo functionality in ‘user space’ effectively.