Kiln notes: avoiding duplicate pages

Posted on 2023-06-24

I'm using Kiln to manage this site. Kiln is a static site generator that has especially good support for the Gemini format, which I'm trying to get back into (tip: for those of you who want to view this site on Gemini, here you go!)

Kiln is very flexible about what types of inputs it will accept and what outputs it will create from them. However, it's not always easy to get good-looking HTML and good-looking Gemini text (aka GMI) from the same input, so sometimes I want to have a Markdown version for HTML output, in addition to the native GMI format.

I initially did this using this Kiln config setting, which mostly worked, except that when there was both a Markdown and GMI version of the input, the resulting HTML would be listed twice in the posts index. This is, obviously, not what I wanted. What I wanted was for HTML to be generated from a Markdown source if available, and only if no Markdown was available, for a GMI source to be used.

It turns out there's a way to do this. In the frontmatter of input files, you can set the outputs variable, which specifies which formats should be generated from that input. (Technically, it specifies which Kiln "tasks" to run, but since I have one task for each output format, it amounts to the same thing.) By default, if outputs isn't set, it gets generated for all formats. So all I needed to do was, for each GMI file that has a corresponding Markdown file, set outputs: ["Gemini"] in that file's frontmatter. And bam, no more duplicated posts! For example, compare the Markdown source for this page with the GMI source.

I don't know how many people use Kiln, so this post may be of very limited interest to anyone other than me, but I figured I'd share it and let the search engines find it, in case someone else has this same problem in the future. Teamwork, dreamwork and all that.

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