April 2019 Update: In Bloom

April has just ended, which means summer is coming! April in Texas means lots of rain, the first hot days of summer, and bluebonnets in bloom along every highway. It's also been a relatively slow month for Orchid, but lots of really cool stuff is just about to bloom here too!

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

As of the time of writing, Orchid is at 196 stars on Github. Just 4 more stars until the next major milestone of 200, will you help us get there?

What's New?

Orchid is now at version 0.16.10, with a few minor updates released throughout the month.

  • Orchid no longer includes any Lombok code, for a more stable codebase and a better roadmap for converting the remaining Java code to Kotlin.
  • Relative base URLs are now supported
  • Adds baseUrl and homepageUrl filters to be more tolerant when formatting ad-hoc URLs
  • Updates to Pebble 3.0.9, which includes the embed tag I contributed to that project. This will go a long way in improving theme development in Orchid
  • Improved error-handling

In Progress

I've been pretty busy in April and haven't had as much time to dedicate to Orchid development. One of my other hobbies is woodworking, and I've been taking some time in this nice weather to build a new coffee table as a late Christmas present to my wife. I'm pretty proud of my work on it, it's teaching me some skills that are valuable in software development, and you can keep an eye out for a blog post on that! Here's my progress on this build so far:

Design in SketchUp

Tabletop in Progress

But despite that, I'm also making some great progress toward the next major release, 0.17.0! This will be a significant refactoring and improvement of the wiki and deployment features in Orchid to allow better integrations with all the major Git hosting platforms and pave the way for easier integration of similar features in the future.

It's a pretty significant change and is taking a lot of work, but I have a goal of finally getting it out this month! Here's the full list of features that you can expect in this release:

  • Netlify deploys optimized for really large sites, and able to upload serverless Functions
  • Deploy site to GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, or Azure DevOps (currently, only GitHub is supported)
  • Import wiki content directly from GitHub Wikis

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 Dev.to, 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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