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Casey Brooks for Orchid

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January 2020 Orchid Newsletter: Gaining Traction

It's so incredible to see this project grow from a tiny seedling to the maturing sprout it is now. Especially since the 0.18.0 release, I've seen more people try out Orchid and adopt it for their documentation sites, and I'm so incredibly grateful for each and every download. But this is only the beginning, Orchid still has lots of growing-up to do, so why don't you come along for the ride and help shape the future of 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 has been growing so much since December's 0.18.0 release! Its now at 313 stars and version 0.18.2, with more downloads, new sites, and issues created than ever before! And it's all thanks to this wonderful community of individuals believing in a better way to do documentation, so thank you all!

The holidays were fairly quiet in terms of new releases and contributions, but Tom Beadman helped immensely with improving the asciidoctor integration. A small PR with huge impact for improving the quality-of-life for Asciidoctor fans, which now includes support for include::[] macros!

I also merged work Danilo Pianini had done for improving the YouTube tag to support aspect-ratios instead of fixed sized.

What's New?

Now that 0.18.0 is released, I've been able to work on some smaller features I've been wanting to support for a while. I had to restrain myself from working on them for 0.18.0 to prevent feature-creep, but it's been nice finally getting to add the following features:

  • The OrchidBible plugin has been broken for some time, as the APIs driving it had been decommissioned. I have removed the previously-broken bible() function, which pre-rendered Bible verses, and replaced it with a new Faithlife Reftagger meta-component, which will automatically create popups for all Bible verses it finds on the page!
  • Support for Mermaid JS markup has been added to the OrchidDiagrams plugin. As Mermaid is a javascript library, support is added through a meta-component instead of using pre-rendered markup like PlantUML.
  • The youtube template tag in OrchidWritersBlocks can now display videos of a given aspect-ratio, making them better-suited for responsive designs.
  • OrchidChangelog now supports single-file changelogs, such as the Keep A Changelog format format.

In Progress

Supporting include macros for Asciidoctor was a huge step forward, but there's still work to be done to improve that integration, and you can expect more Asciidoctor improvements in the coming weeks, with image::[] being the next target.

In addition to a few more quality-of-life improvements planned for the near-future, I've begun work on a new OrchidSnippets plugin! More details will come in a future post, but I'd love to get your feedback and suggestions for its implementation and usage in this issue on GitHub!

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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