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Casey Brooks for Orchid

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New Snippets plugin, 0.20.0 Released

The next major version of Orchid, 0.20.0, is now available! It includes the first introduction of the long-awaited Snippets plugin, as well as a number of smaller quality-of-life improvements throughout. Check out the full release notes here, and stick around for a general update of the development and community around Orchid!

This is the official Orchid newsletter, the newest and best documentation site generator. There is a growing need to keep the community up-to-date on all the happenings around Orchid, and here I will share Orchid's progress, milestones, and future plans! Follow along with this series to stay on top of Orchid's newest features, track adoption on Github, and see who's using Orchid!

On Github

Orchid is now at 343 stars on Github, and since the last newsletter has received a PR from Bruno Vernay with some improvements to the formatting of blog post filenames.

I also want to give a special thanks to everyone who provided feedback and suggestions for the new Snippets plugin! Both on the proposal issue and on Gitter, your suggestions are what decided the features to include in this first release, and it's my hope that it will provide exactly the solution you're looking for!

And thank you to everyone else who has been giving Orchid a try, reaching out with questions and feedback, and generally supporting this growing community!

What's New?

This latest release is a continuation of the "quality-of-life" improvements that have been suggested by the you and are making Orchid better and easier to use. Some of these changes required breaking the internal API (thus the major version bump to 0.20.0), but this version does not include any deprecations or breaking changes to the public, end-user features. Below are the new features available in 0.19.0:

  • New Snippets plugin allows you to lookup and embed snippets from code, files, and even external webpages!
  • The Admin Panel layout got a minor makeover to make it easier to use and more flexible.
  • Forms and snippets located during the site build are care listed and can be previewed in the admin panel.
  • Allows Forms to be embedded with a new form tag, instead of only as Components as before.
  • Replaces default accordion markup with details/summary HTML5 tag for best usage in all themes
  • Tabbed TemplateTags can now be rendered dynamically! You can now use loops and conditionals to add individual tabs to the body of tabbed tags, instead of having to have them be statically-determined.
  • Both the base URL and your theme can now be set in config.yml, instead of needing to be set in your Gradle or Maven build scripts.
  • Improvements to base URL management now allow plugins to provide "helpers" for determining the base URL, such as OrchidNetlify detecting when Orchid is running on Netlify's CI platform and using its build environment variables to find the base URL.
  • OrchidPosts now relaxes slightly the strict filename requirements for post files.

Full release notes and a migration guide are available here.

In Progress

The changes allowing base URLs to be set from config.yml, instead of being a flag from the CLI or build plugins, brings us closer to having relative urls for generated links instead absolute as they are now. Relative URLs don't include a base URL, but instead provide a path from the current page to the linked one, and will make it possible to view an Orchid site directly in the filesystem instead of needing to start an HTTP server to view it.

There is still work to be done on this, but it's now considered a mid- to short-term goal for Orchid instead of a long-term one, and it will be a huge win for those of you using Orchid for documentation. Thank you to everyone who has been asking for this, I hope to be able to provide this feature for you soon!

Are you interested in getting started with Orchid? There simply is no better way to manage all the documentation for your project, and I'd love to help you get set up!

If you have an open-source project that needs docs, are building a new portfolio, or are building any other kind of static site, I want to work with you to get you set up with Orchid! Comment on this post, send me a PM here on, reach out on Gitter, or contact me here and I will be with you every step of the way.

And as always, let me know if you start using Orchid so I can feature you in the next update!

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