The documentation section Create and Edit Documents describes working with content.
Editing in GitHub
This method requires no setup and may be preferred by content authors. All file editing can be done in the GitHub Web App. Navigate to the resource repo. Files can also be renamed and new files created.
The main disadvantage is each changed file will require its own separate commit. Also, the Netlify preview is regenerated for each commit, which can be slow.
Using a Local Development Environment
This provides faster edit-preview cycle and allows multiple file changes to be grouped into a single commit. It is also possible to use tooling like VS Code to give syntax highlighting, pretty printing, validation and more. However, does it require a little technical setup and possible familiarity with developer tooling. Develop working on aspects of the site beyond content will want to use the approach.
Note there are problems with running Jekyll on Windows. And anyway, both the GitHub release workflow and the Netlify builds run on Linux. So Linux or Mac OS platform is really required. However, WSL on Windows is perfectly satisfactory for command line only access.
Get the Resource source code from GitHub
Use the command line or a graphical git client (GitHub for macOS/Windows, Sourcetree, Tower…) to clone the repository.
For the “Fundamentals Overview” repository, you would use the following command:
$ git clone email@example.com:w3c/wai-fundamentals-overview.git
The git URL is available by clicking the green ”Clone or download” button on the repository main page, for example: https://github.com/w3c/wai-fundamentals-overview
Install Use the Netlify CLI package
The netlify CLI package allows you to easily build and preview the resource locally.
Install and Initialize Jekyll
Initializing Jekyll happens on the command line:
$ bundle install
Serve and preview the website
The easiest way (but without live reload) is:
$ netlify build && netlify dev
Alternatively, to preview changes, run the following command line program to start a local server
$ bundle exec jekyll serve --livereload
--incremental to only update the changed pages. This is useful for big repositories:
$ bundle exec jekyll serve --livereload --incremental
Manually Managing Submodules
The Netlify CLI build command will initialise all submodules to the latest version on GitHub. The
.gitmodules specifies which branch is used for each and can be edited if you need to work on any submodule dependencies. This is the recommended way to work with submodules. However, you can manually manage when the submodules are refreshed from GitHub.
From your graphical git client, you should be able to “Update all Submodules”.
This is how it works on the command line when you cloned the project for the first time:
$ git submodule update --init --recursive
This inits submodules in your local projects (creates the directories) and recursively fetches the data.
When you already have an existing clone (i.e. the second time on this machine) and want to get the latest version of all submodules, run:
$ git submodule update --remote
See also: Git - Submodules
Symbolic links on Windows
A lot of repositories have symlinks (symbolic links) that point to central files in another repo, so that these files can be changed once for every resource (like languages or countries). When cloning a repository, Git will try to establish these symbolic links, but on Windows this is not enabled or permitted by default so you might run into these problems.
To enable the creation of symbolic links via Git, make sure the option “enable symbolic links” is checked when installing Git.
To make sure Git has permission to create the symbolic links when cloning the repository, go to “Local Security Policy” on your machine. Under “Local Policies” and then “User Rights Assignment” find the policy: “Create symbolic links”. Make sure that you, as an administrator or user, are allowed to create them.
To clone the repository and force the creation of symbolic links (change the name of the repository to the one you want to clone), you can use this command:
$ git clone --config core.symlinks=true firstname.lastname@example.org:w3c/wai-fundamentals-overview.git
This will also give an error if you don’t have the permissions set correctly yet, so it can also be used as a debug command. If the command is successful, you’ve cloned the repository including the symbolic links.Back to Top