OK, I've been pretty slow with writing articles for this little can of worms. Hope to pick up the pace next year.

So, while thinking about it, I decided it might be a good idea to get my installation of Pelican up to date. So, I checked the version using the pelican --version command and found I was on version 3.7.1. The current version is 4.2.0; so, it seemed like a good idea to update.

To upgrade and regenerate the content required two commands.

pip install --upgrade pelican

pelican content

A good start, but then realized, the local copies of the plugins and themes needed to be upgraded as well. So, I made a back up copies of my existing folders and cloned fresh versions.

git clone --recursive https://github.com/getpelican/pelican-plugins

git clone --recursive https://github.com/getpelican/pelican-themes ~/pelican-themes

Also see Pelican Documentation

Regenerated my site files and went to test it using the commands I had used previously.

cd output
python -m pelican.server

I received a warning that I was missing the TIMEZONE directive. That meant adding the line TIMEZONE = "America/Chicago" to my pelicanconf.py file.

I also received a warning that I should now use a different command to launch my local testing site:

pelican -l output

So, pelican upgrade complete!

Adding Search

I had previously played around with adding the tipue_search plugin to make the site searchable. Followed their directions and without too much difficult, search is now a thing!


The only real customization that I've done to the site is the idea of having the displayed theme for the site change based on the month the site was generated. For this, I'm using the pelican-bootstrap3 theme, which in turn allows my to use any of the bootswatch themes.

To get it to work, the following code was added to the pelicanconf.py file. It calculates the current month and uses the month to select the theme to use from a THEME_LIST. The end result is that the BOOTSTRAP_THEME and BOOTSTRAP_NAVBAR_INVERSE variables get set by this bit of code.

# Bootstrap3 theme settings
# https://bootswatch.com/
    1: ("lumen", False),
    2: ("spacelab", True),
    3: ("yeti", True),
    4: ("sandstone", True),
    5: ("shamrock", False),
    6: ("cerulean", False),
    7: ("materia", False),
    8: ("cosmo", False),
    9: ("pulse", False),
    10: ("journal", False),
    11: ("united", True),
    12: ("amelia", False),
MONTH = datetime.now().month

I tried to choose themes to reflect the season (e.g. winter is icy colors, spring is more greens, and summer has warmer colors). Amelia and Shamrock are two themes that are actually available but, not advertised. They may have a few more rough edges, but I liked the colors.

Next Steps

I still have an issue with the font awesome icons on the sidebar not displaying on my android tablet version of the site. Need to figure out why that it.

I've thought about allowing comments on the site. Didn't really want to use the Disqus comment system since this site is currently stand alone. There are a couple of choices to play around with there.

If I'm going to start linking to data from external sites, using the Goodreads plug-in might be fun since I'm a reader.