Extending handroll for fun

By Matt Layman on July 30, 2015

I released handroll 2.0 with a shiny new extension interface. This post will make a new extension from soup to nuts to demonstrate the ease of such a task. We’ll call it the ObnoxiousExtension. Our extension will make some noise on the console.

Let’s start with the code. Download the extension to play with it yourself.

from handroll.extensions.base import Extension

class ObnoxiousExtension(Extension):
    handle_pre_composition = True
    handle_frontmatter_loaded = True
    handle_post_composition = True

    def on_pre_composition(self, director):
        print 'Let\'s get this party started!'

    def on_frontmatter_loaded(self, source_file, frontmatter):
        print 'YO! Da front matter loaded.'

    def on_post_composition(self, director):
        print 'Peace out, homeslice!'

An extension must do two things:

  1. Declare what signals it should be notified about.
  2. Do its work in a signal handler method.

To express interest a signal, set the handle_* class attribute to True. This will cause the extension to register with the signal and receive events when they occur.

The extension can process a signal with the handler method. The handler method has a set signature, but anything goes in the body of the method. In the example, I did a boring print statement.

All the signals and handler methods that you can use are in the extension documentation. Any work that you do beyond the class attributes and handlers is entirely in your hands.

Once your extension is ready, you need to hook it in using a setuptools entry point. I created a minimal setup.py file (which is also available for download) to show that setuptools configuration.

from setuptools import setup

        'handroll.extensions': [
            'obnoxious = obnoxious:ObnoxiousExtension',

In this entry point, obnoxious on the left hand side is the name of the extension. obnoxious on the right hand side is the module name and ObnoxiousExtension is the class name.

That’s it for code. If you followed along, python setup.py sdist should create a source distribution to use. You can install the newly minted package and make your handroll site generation obnoxious.

To use the extension, add with_obnoxious = True to the [site] section of your handroll.conf. While editing this post with the extension enabled, I got this output whenever I saved the source file.

Let's get this party started!
YO! Da front matter loaded.
Peace out, homeslice!

I hope this gives you a clear idea of how to make a handroll extension. The source distribution for this little example is available for download.

If you want to chat about this with me, I'm @mblayman on Twitter.

Matt Layman

Matt is the lead software engineer at Storybird.

Always eager to talk about Python and other technology topics, Matt organizes Python Frederick in Frederick, Maryland (NW of Washington D.C.) and seeks to grow software skills for people in his community.