Open Project theme by Ribose

Open Project is a theme for Jekyll oriented towards presenting open efforts such as open-source software and specifications in a navigable and elegant way.

Open Project fits two types of sites: that describe one individual project, and that combine projects into sort of an open hub.

See also: CI_OPS for how to set up automated build and deployment of the site to AWS S3.


Starting a site with this theme

Getting started with Ruby

If you aren’t using Ruby often, the recommended way to install it is with RVM. Refer to RVM docs and use it to install a reasonably fresh Ruby version, let’s say 2.4.4.

Start new Jekyll site

jekyll new my-open-site

Installing theme

Add this line to your Jekyll site's Gemfile, replacing default theme requirement:

gem 'jekyll-theme-open-project'

Add this line to your Jekyll site's _config.yml, replacing default theme requirement:

theme: jekyll-theme-open-project

(Jekyll’s default theme was “minima” at the time of this writing.)

Execute to install dependencies:

$ bundle

Configuring site

Edit _config.yml to add necessary site-wide configuration options, and add necessary files and folders to site contents. This step depends on the type of site you’re creating: open hub or individual open project site.

Below sections explain core concepts of open project and hub, and go into detail about how to configure a project or hub site.

Building site

Execute to build the site locally and watch for changes:

$ bundle exec jekyll serve --host mysite.local --port 4000

This assumes you have mysite.local mapped, otherwise omit --host and it’ll use localhost.

Universal setup

These are applicable to both site types (hub and project).

  • You may want to remove the default page added by Jekyll, as this theme does not account for its existence.
  • Add following items to _config.yml:
  title: Site title
  description: Site description
  # The above two are used by jekyll-seo-tag for things such as
  # `<title>` and `<meta>` tags, as well as elsewhere by the theme.

      output: true
      permalink: /blog/:month-:day-:year/:title/
      output: true
      permalink: /:name/

    - scope:
        path: ""
        layout: default
    - scope:
        path: _posts
        type: posts
        layout: post

    - jekyll-seo-tag

Logo consists of a symbol and site name.

Symbol is basically an icon for the site. Should look OK in dimensions of 30x30px, and fit inside a square. Should be in SVG format (see also the SVG guidelines section). Place the symbol in _includes/symbol.svg.

Site name displayed to the right of the symbol. Limit the name to 1-3 words. By default, the title you define in site config is used (for project site, it is the name of the project). Alternatively, you can place site name in _includes/title.html with custom HTML or SVG. (In that case it must look good when placed in a 30px tall container, and in case of SVG same SVG guidelines apply).

You may want to supply _includes/legal.html with content like this:

<span class="copyright">Copyright © 2018 MyCompany. All rights reserved.</span>
  <a href="">Terms</a>
  <a href="">Privacy</a>


Project sites and hub site can have a blog.


Create blog index page as _pages/blog.html, with nothing but frontmatter. Use layout called "blog-index", pass hero_include: index-page-hero.html, and set title and description as appropriate for blog index page.


title: Blog
description: >-
  Get the latest announcements and technical how-to’s
  about our software and projects.
layout: blog-index
hero_include: index-page-hero.html


Place posts under _posts and name files e.g. 2018-04-20-welcome-to-jekyll.markdown. This is typical Jekyll setup.

Hub site

The hub represents your company or department, links to all projects and offers a software and specification index.

Additional items allowed/expected in _config.yml:


# Since a hub would typically represent an organization as opposed
# to individual, this would make sense:
  type: Organization

    output: false
  # ... (other collections)

Project, spec and software data

See the section about project data structure.

When used within hub site (only), each project subdirectory must contain a file "" with frontmatter like this:

title: Sample Awesome Project

description: >-
  A sentence or two go here.

# Whether the project is included in featured three projects on hub home page
featured: true | false

home_url: <URL to standalone project site>

Software index page

Create software index in _pages/software.html, with nothing but frontmatter. Use layout called "software-index", pass hero_include: index-page-hero.html, and set title and description as appropriate.


title: Software
description: Open-source software developed with MyCompany’s cooperation.
layout: software-index
hero_include: index-page-hero.html

Specification index page

Create spec index in _pages/specs.html, with nothing but frontmatter. Use layout called "spec-index", pass hero_include: index-page-hero.html, and set title and description as appropriate.


title: Specifications
description: Because specifications are cool!
layout: spec-index
hero_include: index-page-hero.html

Project site

When project is set up as a standalone site, _config.yml should include site-wide title that is the same as project name.

Additional items allowed/expected in _config.yml:

  - name: Your Name
    email: [email protected]

author: "Company or Individual Name Goes Here"

  # ... (other collections)
    output: true
    permalink: /:name/
    output: true
    permalink: /:name/

  # ... (other defaults)
  - scope:
      path: _software
      type: software
      layout: product
  - scope:
      path: _specs
      type: specs
      layout: spec

File layout is the same as described in the section about shared project data structure, with _software and _specs directories found in the root of your Jekyll site.

Describing a project: shared data structure

Each project is expected to have a machine-readable and unique name, a title, a description, a symbol, and one or more software products and/or specs.

Following data structure is shared and used to describe projects, whether on hub home site or each individual project site:

- <project-name>/
  - _includes/
    - symbol.svg
  - _software/
    - <name>.md
  - _specs/
    - <name>.md

Software and specs

An open project serves as an umbrella for related software products and/or specifications.

Each product or spec is described by its own .md file with frontmatter, placed under _software/ or _specs/ subdirectory, respectively, of your open project’s Jekyll site.

Note: even though they’re in different subdirectories, all software products and specs within one project share URL namespace and hence must have unique names.

YAML frontmatter that can be used with both software and specs:

title: A Few Words
# Shown to the user
# and used for HTML metadata if jekyll-seo-tag is enabled

description: A sentence.
# Not necessarily shown to the user,
# but used for HTML metadata if jekyll-seo-tag is enabled

Software product

YAML frontmatter specific to software:

version: v1.2.3
stack: [Python, Django, AWS]


Recommended: use a dedicated service supporting versioned and well-structured multi-page docs, such as Read the Docs. You can link users to that documentation using docs_url in software product’s frontmatter.

Otherwise, if this open project’s page will serve as the authoritative source of documentation for the software product, documentation contents are expected to follow frontmatter.

Keep in mind that project name and description from before will be displayed by the theme first. Start with second-level header (##), with installation instructions or quick-start guide.


YAML frontmatter specific to specs:

rfc_id: XXXX
# IETF RFC URL would be in the form 

ietf_datatracker_id: some-string-identifier-here
ietf_datatracker_ver: "01"
# IETF datatracker URL would be in the form


Specs that are not hosted elsewhere (such as for RFCs) are expected to contain the actual specification content after frontmatter. Start with second-level header (##).


Should look OK in dimensions of 30x30px, and fit inside a square. Should be in SVG format (see also the SVG guidelines section). Place the symbol in _includes/symbol.svg within project directory.

SVG guidelines

  • Ensure SVG markup does not use IDs. It may appear multiple times on the page hence IDs would fail markup validation.
  • Ensure root element specifies its viewBox, but no width or height attributes.
  • You can style SVG shapes using in site’s assets/css/style.scss.

Content guidelines

  • Project, software, spec title: 1-3 words, capital case
  • Project, software, spec description: about 12 words, no markup
  • Project description (featured): about 20-24 words, no markup
  • Blog post title: 3–7 words
  • Blog post excerpt: about 20–24 words, no markup

Select layout reference

Normally you don’t need to specify layouts manually, except where instructed in site setup sections of this document.

Commonly used layouts are:

  • blog-index: Blog index page. Pages using this layout are recommended to supply hero_include.

  • post: Blog post

  • software-index: Software index page (hub site only). Suggested to supply hero_include. Will show a list of software across projects within the hub.

  • spec-index: Specification index page (hub site only). Suggested to supply hero_include. Will show a list of specs across projects within the hub.

  • product: Software product (project site only)

  • spec: Open specification (project site only)

Page frontmatter

Typical expected page frontmatter is title and description. Those are also used by jekyll-seo-tag plugin to add the appropriate meta tags.

Commonly supported in page frontmatter is the hero_include option, which would show hero unit underneath top header. Currently, theme supports _includes/index-page-hero.html as the only value you can pass for hero_include (or you can leave hero_include out altogether).

Style customization

To customize site appearance, create a file in your Jekyll site under assets/css/style.scss with following exact contents:


@import '{{ site.theme }}';

You can define custom style rules after the import, and customize variables before the import.

Custom rules

One suggested custom rule would be to change the fill color for SVG paths used for your custom site symbol to white, unless it’s white by default.

The rule would look like this:

.site-logo svg path {
  fill: white;

SASS variables

Following are the variables along with their defaults:

# Primary color—should be bright but dark enough to be readable,
# since some text elements are set using this color:
$primary-color: lightblue !default;

# Darker variation of primary color used for background on elements where
# text is set in white:
$primary-dark-color: navy !default;

# Bright color for accent elements, such as buttons (not yet in use).
# Text on those elements is set in bold and white, so this color
# should be dark enough:
$accent-color: red !default;

# Below are used for `background` CSS rule for top header, and for
# hero unit respectively. Gradients can be supplied.
$header-background: $primary-dark-color !default;
$hero-background: $primary-dark-color !default;


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at

This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.

Theme development

Generally, this directory is setup like a Jekyll site. To set it up, run bundle install.

To experiment with this code, add content (projects, software, specs) and run bundle exec jekyll serve. This starts a Jekyll server using this theme at http://localhost:4000.

Put your layouts in _layouts, your includes in _includes, your sass files in _sass and any other assets in assets.

Add pages, documents, data, etc. like normal to test your theme's contents.

As you make modifications to your theme and to your content, your site will regenerate and you should see the changes in the browser after a refresh, like normal.

When your theme is released, only files specified with gemspec file will be included. If you modify theme to add more directories that need to be included in the gem, edit regexp in the gemspec.

Building and releasing

To check your theme, run:


It’ll build Jekyll site and run some checks, like HTML markup validation.

To build new gem and push it to, run:



The theme is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.