Scott Watermasysk

Still Learning to Code

Sinatra Jekyll Server

My blog is currently hosted on the excellent Heroku platform and I use Jekyll to generate my site’s content. For a variety of reasons1, I am planning on moving off of Jekyll and onto something I have been building on the side.

In preparation for this move, I needed to switch the Heroku stack from 1.8.6 to at least 1.8.7. However, the rack component I had been previously using (Rack-Jekyll) had an inner dependency I did not need which was causing the stack change to fail2. My first reaction was to tweak to the Rack-Jekyll source. However, my own needs are actually much simpler than Rack-Jekyll’s. In addition, everything I need to host this site on Heroku with Jekyll is currently handled extremely well by Sinatra:

  1. Write static files to the browser
  2. Set proper status codes

What I ended up with I creatively named, SinatraJekyll, is listed below:

require 'sinatra/base'

class SinatraJekyll < Sinatra::Base  

  get /.+/ do
    send_sinatra_file(request.path) {404}

  not_found do
    send_sinatra_file('404.html') {"Sorry, I cannot find #{request.path}"}

  def send_sinatra_file(path, &missing_file_block)
    file_path = File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), '_site',  path)
    file_path = File.join(file_path, 'index.html') unless file_path =~ /\.[a-z]+$/i  
    File.exist?(file_path) ? send_file(file_path) :


As you can see there is not much too it, but it seems to be working very well. I thought about creating a repository for it, but as it stands it is just a single file with less than 20 lines so a gist seems like the best home for now.

If you have a feedback and/or suggestions on the code, please let me know.

1 Really it boils down to I have an insatiable need to re-do/re-write this blog every year.

2 Rack-Jekyll will actually build the Jekyll site (if necessary). Because of this, it has a dependency on Jekyll, which has a dependency on Liquid. For whatever reason, the most recent version of Liquid has a dependency on a version of RubyGems (1.3.7) which is not available on Heroku at this time. It appears all the parties know about the issue(s) and fixes are on the way. I could have very likely used an older version of one or more of the gems and everything would have been OK….but what’s the fun in doing that. :)