Added September 2021 blog post on ApacheCon 2021

Blog post is titled "Join Cassandra at Apachecon 2021" about ApacheCon 2021
Modified blog index page

 patch by Diogenese Topper; reviewed Anthony Grasso, Erick Ramirez for CASSANDRA-16980
2 files changed
tree: 4116e4952b58c7fa656f4ecccb074874cecbfa42
  1. .asf.yaml
  2. .gitignore
  3. LICENSE.txt
  4. README.md
  5. doap.rdf
  6. run.sh
  7. site-content/
  8. site-ui/
README.md

Apache Cassandra website

The website repository code is separated into two main parts. These parts are represented by the directories at the root level of the project. Specifically the structure of the repository is:

ROOT
  - site-content
  - site-ui

Site UI

The ‘site-ui’ directory contains only the UI styling files that determines the look and feel of the site. A ui-bundle.zip file containing the styling information will be generated from the contents of this directory. Generation of the ui-bundle.zip will be done using gulp launched inside a Docker container.

Site Content

The ‘site-content’ directory contains all the raw page information e.g. where to download, developer guidelines, how to commit patches, etc. The live website HTML is generated from the contents of this directory. Generation of the HTML content is done by antora launched inside a Docker container. As part of the website HTML generation, the ui-bundle.zip file, and the Cassandra documentation location are passed to antora. It uses the ui-bundle.zip to style the website. The Cassandra documentation location will be used to gather and generate documentation for each Cassandra version.

Further Reading

For further details about why the directories are separated as described above and why we use antora please see the Details section at the bottom of this page.

Development Cycle

Making changes to the website content can be done using the following steps.

  1. Preview changes locally. See below for further details about how to do this.
  2. Commit changes in site-content/source/html to a fork and branch.
  3. Create a pull request back to this repository.
  4. Get the pull request reviewed and merged to trunk.
  5. Preview the rendered site on https://cassandra.staged.apache.org/ (wait til ci-cassandra.apache.org has deployed it).
  6. Merge asf-staging to asf-site.
  7. View the rendered site on https://cassandra.apache.org/.

Developer Quickstart

To test changes before committing, it is a requirement that you build the website locally. Building the Apache Cassandra website takes a number of steps. To make things easier we have provided a suite of tools to build the full website in a few simple commands and have it ready to commit via git. Please see the Details section at the bottom of this page for further details about the tooling.

Building Prerequisites

To build and run the Docker container you will need Docker version 2.0.0.0 or greater. If you need a copy of the site code you will need git as well.

Building the Website

If you need a copy of the site code run this command:

$ git clone https://github.com/apache/cassandra-website.git
$ cd ./cassandra-website

A run.sh wrapper script has been provided to simplify generating the docs and building the site. It provides a single commandline interface that generates the docker commands to run the website and UI docker containers.

The script has the following usage format

$ ./run.sh <COMPONENT> <COMMAND> [OPTIONS]

A complete list of components, commands and options can be found by running the following command.

$ ./run.sh -h

To build the website only, run the following command from within the ./cassandra-website directory (assuming you used the above clone command).

$ ./run.sh website build

This will build the website content using your local copy of the cassandra-website, and the current checked-out branch. Use this command if you want to make a change to a top-level webpage without building the docs for any versions of cassandra.

Once building has completed, the HTML content will be in the ./site-content/build/html/ directory ready to be reviewed and committed.

:warning: Tip: In order to prevent root-owned modified files in your repository, the container executes operations as a non-root user. By default, the user is build and has the user and group permissions set to UID=1000 and GID=1000 respectfully. These permissions are usually the first user configured on a linux machine.

If your local user has different user and group permissions you can set up the container user with your local UID:GID. In addition, you can set the build user in the container your local username. These changes can be made when building the container using the following command:

$ ./run.sh website container -a BUILD_USER_ARG:$(whoami) -a UID_ARG:$(id -u) -a GID_ARG:$(id -g)

If you need to customise the container user as noted above, you must do this before you build the website or run any other website command.

Build the Website when Developing

The website tooling is very flexible and allows for a wide range of development scenarios.

Build the website from a different branch

You can tell the website builder to use a different branch to the one you are on. This can be done using the following command.

$ ./run.sh website build -b cassandra-website:my_branch

This will build the website content using your local copy of the cassandra-website, and the branch named my_branch.

Build the website using a local clone of the repository

You can tell the website builder to use a different clone or fork of the repository.

To build using another local copy of the cassandra-website run the following command.

$ ./run.sh website build -u cassandra-website:/local/path/to/another/clone/of/cassandra-website

This will build the website using the contents of the local repository located in /local/path/to/another/clone/of/cassandra-website

Build the website using a remote clone of the repository

To build using a remote copy of the cassandra-website run the following command.

$ ./run.sh website build -u cassandra-website:https://github.com/my_orgranisation/cassandra-website.git

This will build the website using the contents of the remote repository located at https://github.com/my_orgranisation/cassandra-website.git

:warning: Tip: The HEAD branch of the Cassandra Website repository is always used by default unless an alternative branch is specified.

In both cases above the HEAD branch is used and translates to different branches. In first case where the repository is local, HEAD will translate to the currently checked out branch. In the second case where the repository is remote and needs to be cloned, HEAD will translate to default branch selected when the repository is cloned. You can specify a different branch using the -b option as per the example in Build a different branch.

Previewing the Website

An offline preview mode exists if you want to view the website as you make changes to the content. Preview mode can be launched using the following command.

$ ./run.sh website preview

The site can be viewed on http://localhost:5151.

The preview command operates the same as the build command. It will build the website content using your local copy of the cassandra-website, and the current checked-out branch. Additionally, it will then start a webserver to serve the HTML and a process that monitors the content files in your local copy of the repository. If a change is made to a content file, the website HTML will automatically be regenerated.

Press Ctrl+C to stop the preview server and end the continuous build.

:warning: Tip: You may need to refresh your browser when the auto rendering of the site is complete.

All options that are available in the build command can be used by the preview command. Hence, the options used in the previous examples can be specified when using the preview command.

Developer Advanced Usage Guide

The cassandra-website tooling can also be used to perform a number of other operations:

  • Generate the Apache Cassandra documentation.
  • Update the website styling and behaviour.

Generating the Cassandra Documentation

The website tooling provides the ability to generate the Cassandra AsciiDoc (.adoc) files. The content of the AsciiDoc files are sourced from nodetool and the cassandra.yaml configuration file. The AsciiDoc files need to exist in the Cassandra repository as either commits to the branch or changes ready to be committed before antora can generate the HTML formatted equivalent for publication to the Cassandra website.

By default, the Docker container that generates the version documentation will clone the Apache Cassandra project within the container when generating the documentation. The document generation process commits the generated AsciiDoc to this repository. This is done so antora can generate website HTML as well as the HTML for the various versions of the documentation using the committed AsciiDoc in each branch.

You can use your own local copy or fork of the Cassandra repository as the source for the versioned documentation. Doing this will also allow you to view and access the generated AsciiDoc files. To use your own copy or fork of the Cassandra repository, you can specify a local path to the run.sh script. In this case, when rendering multiple versions of the documentation, any changes to the generated AsciiDoc files will be committed to your local copy or fork. If multiple source branches are specified, commits will be made to each branch.

Generate documentation using a local clone of the repository

To generate the latest version of the Cassandra docs using a local copy or fork of the Cassandra repository, run the following command.

$ ./run.sh website docs -u cassandra:/local/path/to/cassandra/repository -b cassandra:trunk

The output of this command will be AsciiDoc (.adoc) files that antora can render into HTML. Note that antora is never executed when only the Cassandra versioned documentation is generated.

If you are generating only the Cassandra version documentation, you should always specify a local copy of a Cassandra repository. This is because the generated AsciiDoc files will be placed in the Cassandra directory or committed to the branch used to generate them. You will then be able to view the contents of the AsciiDoc files.

If you are generating only the Cassandra version documentation, and you specify a remote Cassandra repository location, the generated AsciiDoc files will be inaccessible. This is because the Cassandra repository will be cloned inside the container before the AsciiDoc files are generated. In this case a warning message will be displayed, and you will be asked whether to proceed with the operation. Specifying a remote Cassandra repository location is useful in cases where the HTML website is generated as well. See Generating the website and versioned documentation HTML at the sametime.

Generate documentation for multiple Cassandra versions

To generate multiple versions of the Cassandra documentation using a local copy or fork of the Cassandra repository, run the following command.

$ ./run.sh website docs -u cassandra:/local/path/to/cassandra/repository -b cassandra:trunk,cassandra-3.11,my_branch

In the above command, multiple branches separated by a comma (,) can be specified in the -b option.

Generating the website and versioned documentation HTML at the sametime

The website tooling can be used to run a complete end-to-end generation of the HTML website and versioned documentation. That is, it can first generate the AsciiDoc files for each Cassandra version, and then launch antora to generate the HTML website and versioned documentation for publication.

Generate the website and documentation using pre-generated Cassandra AsciiDoc in local repositories

If you have already generated the Cassandra AsciiDoc (.adoc) files and committed them to your repository, you can skip the Cassandra AsciiDoc generation process.

To build the website using a local clone of the Cassandra repository that contains the generated AsciiDoc files, and the Cassandra Website run the following command.

$ ./run.sh \
  website \
  build \
    -i \
    -u cassandra:/local/path/to/cassandra/repository \
    -u cassandra-website:/local/path/to/cassandra-website/repository

In the above command, the -i option is used to tell the tooling to include the Cassandra repository when antora is generating the HTML. This ensures the versioned documentation HTML is generated along with the website HTML. In this case, exiting AsciiDoc files in the Cassandra repository are used to generate the versioned documentation HTML. That is, no additional operations are run to pre-generate the Cassandra AsciiDoc files.

Generate the website and documentation using pre-generated Cassandra AsciiDoc in remote repositories

To build using a remote copy of the Cassandra repository that contains the generated AsciiDoc files, and the Cassandra Website run the following command.

$ ./run.sh \
  website \
  build \
    -i \
    -u cassandra:https://github.com/my_orgranisation/cassandra.git \
    -u cassandra-website:https://github.com/my_orgranisation/cassandra-website.git

You can have a combination of local and remote repository paths. For example, you could have a local copy of the Cassandra Website repository and want to use the remote Cassandra repository to include the current documentation when rendering the website. To do this you can run the following command.

$ ./run.sh \
  website \
  build \
    -i \
    -u cassandra:https://github.com/my_orgranisation/cassandra.git \
    -u cassandra-website:/local/path/to/cassandra-website/repository

Generate the website using local copy of the ui-bundle

You can use your own ui-bundle.zip file containing the information on how to style the website when building it. The ui-bundle.zip file can be generated using the ./run.sh script. See the Building the Site UI section for furher details on how to build the ui-bundle.zip.

To supply your own ui-bundle.zip file when building the website, run the following command.

$ ./run.sh website build -z /local/path/to/ui-bundle.zip

The path to the ui-bundle.zip file can also be a remote URL. You can supply the URL using the following command.

$ ./run.sh website build -z https://github.com/apache/cassandra-website/archive/refs/tags/ui-bundle-1.0.zip

The styling contained in the ui-bundle.zip will be applied to docs if they are being rendered as well.

By default, the Docker container used to render the site will reference a GitHub release version of the ui-bundle.zip.

Building the Site UI

To get a list of the tasks that can be executed, run the following commands.

$ ./run.sh website-ui

A task can be executed using the following commands:

$ ./run.sh website-ui <task>

A full list of tasks can be found by running the following command

$ ./run.sh website-ui tasks

Building Bundle

Antora needs a ui-bundle.zip when rendering the website and documentation content. It contains CSS, Java Script, fonts, images and other assets which define the look and feel of the website.

To generate the ui-bundle.zip from the assets in the site-ui directory, run the following command.

$ ./run.sh website-ui bundle

This will build the UI Bundle using your local copy of the styling assets located in ./site-ui/.

When packaged successfully, the ui-bundle.zip will be located in the ./site-ui/build/ directory of the repository.

:warning: Tip: In order to prevent root-owned modified files in your repository, the container executes operations as a non-root user. By default, the user is build and has the user and group permissions set to UID=1000 and GID=1000 respectfully. These permissions are usually the first user configured on a linux machine.

If your local user has different user and group permissions you can set up the container user with your local UID:GID. In addition, you can set the build user in the container your local username. These changes can be made when building the container using the following command:

$ ./run.sh website-ui container -a BUILD_USER_ARG:$(whoami) -a UID_ARG:$(id -u) -a GID_ARG:$(id -g)

If you need to customise the container user as noted above, you must do this before you build the UI Bundle or run any other website-ui command.

Preview UI

An offline preview mode exists if you want to view example website content as you make changes to the UI. Preview mode can be launched using the following command.

$ ./run website-ui preview

The example content can be viewed on http://localhost:5252.

While preview mode is running, any changes you make to the source files will be instantly reflected in the browser. This works by monitoring the project for changes, running the build task if a change is detected, and sending the updates to the browser.

The files in the preview-src/ folder provide the sample content that allow you to see the UI in action. In this folder, you will primarily find pages written in AsciiDoc. These pages provide a representative sample and kitchen sink of content from the real site.

Press Ctrl+C to stop the preview server and end the continuous build.

Merging asf-staging to asf-site

Updating the main website, after verifying the staged website, involves copying the asf-staging branch to asf-site. A normal git merge is not used, because the asf-staging is forced updated after each ci-cassandra.apache.org build. Instead make live the staged website by copying the asf-staging to the asf-site branch.

git fetch origin
git switch asf-site
git reset --hard origin/asf-staging
git push -f origin asf-site

Details

Tooling components

The tooling is made up of the following components

  • Run script: ./run.sh - Provides a single commandline interface that generates the docker commands to run the website and UI docker containers. Using the containers, it can build the Cassandra website UI components, generate the Cassandra versioned documentation, and generate the website HTML.
  • Website Docker container: site-content/Dockerfile and site-content/docker-entrypoint.sh - Contains the libraries necessary to generate the Cassandra versioned documentation, and generate the website HTML using Antora.
  • Antora Site YAML script: bin/site_yaml_generator.py - Used by the Website Docker container to create the YAML file that defines the sources for the website content, optionally the cassandra versioned documentation, and the UI styling bundle to apply.
  • Website UI Docker container: site-ui/Dockerfile and site-ui/docker-entrypoint.sh - Contains the libraries necessary to generate the UI bundle ZIP file the is applied by Antora to style the website and documentation.

Why is Antora being used

Antora is being used for the website generation because it is designed to create websites that have version documentation. For example, when a new version of Cassandra is released, a new version of the documentation will be generated as well. Hence, if there is a change in the behaviour of Cassandra or a tool in the project, it will be captured in the latest version of the documentation. Users of the project will have the ability to select the version of the documentation they are interested in.

Why is the styling separated from the content

Separating the layout/style, and the content means that stying changes can be made with little to no impact on content and vice-versa. In addition, changes to the styling can happen in parallel while website content is updated without conflict.