Writing web documentation

The big picture

  • Development related content such as developer guide, benchmark documentation, tools description, … are simple Markdown files in e.g. /web/content/docs
  • You can preview documentation locally with Hugo – a static site generator (minimum version: 0.64.1)

Benchmark documentation can also be given in form of Jupyter Notebooks, see Jupyter notebooks as documentation for details.


  • Download Hugo and put it in your PATH. Attention: Use the extended version: e.g. hugo_extended_0.64.1_Windows-64bit.zip
  • Install Yarn; for downloading required JavaScript & CSS development packages

Getting started

  • Inside the source-directory ogs/web:
    • Run yarn and yarn build once (this will install required CSS and JavaScript packages)
    • Run hugo server
    • Open http://localhost:1313

As you make modifications to the site it will be rebuild and the page in the browser gets reloaded.


Create a new page

By using hugo new you can create a new page with the correct frontmatter for that kind of page:

hugo new docs/benchmarks/elliptic/groundwater-flow-dirichlet/index.md
  • path is relative to content/ and determines the URL of the page

Or you can simply create a new index.md-file in the correct location and fill it by yourself. Prefer to use page bundles when you want to add other assets, e.g. images, to the page.

Page bundle example structure

├── docs
│   ├── my-post
│   │   ├── image1.jpg
│   │   ├── image2.png
│   │   └── index.md

This page will be available at the URL /docs/my-post/ and the content of the page is in index.md.

Setup navigation for a page

The are submenus (shown in the left sidebar) for specific sections such as for benchmarks. The submenus consist of groups (e.g. Elliptic) and page entries. Groups are defined in config.toml:

name = "Elliptic"
identifier = "elliptic"
weight = 1

To add your page to a group as an entry add the following frontmatter:

weight = 101

parent = "elliptic"

weight specifies the order of groups and pages in ascending order (top -> down).

Write a page

We use Markdown for the actual content. Hugo uses the GoldMark Markdown parser with the following additional markdown extensions:


Use regular Markdown syntax:

![Alt text](square_1e2_neumann_gradients.png "Caption text")

The path to the image is the relative path to the current page bundle.

You can add size attributes to the filename with a #-character:

![Alt text](square_1e2_neumann_gradients.png#two-third "Caption text")

Possible size values are one-third, one-half and two-third.


Equations can be set with typical LaTeX syntax by using MathJax. Blocks are defined by $$ at the beginning and $$ at the end of the block or by simply using a LaTex environment like \begin{equation}...\end{equation}. Inline math uses one $ as the delimiter. For more usage instructions see the MathJax LaTeX help.

Files and Downloads

Files belonging directly to a page (e.g. images shown on that same page) should be added directly. Other stuff such as linked PDF files, book chapter input files should be uploaded elsewhere and linked to. You can ask @bilke to host these files for you (on Azure cloud storage).

Bibliography references

Bibliography items from Documentation/bibliography/.bib can be referenced by their id (always use lowercase ids) with the bib-shortcode:

{{< bib "kolditz2012" >}}

The bib-file has to be converted into a yaml-file with the pybtex-convert-tool:

pybtex-convert Documentation/bibliography/ogs.bib web/data/bib_ogs.yaml
pybtex-convert Documentation/bibliography/other.bib web/data/bib_other.yaml

This yaml-file is then used by the shortcode.

Advanced topics

Update search index

ALGOLIA_WRITE_KEY=XXX node_modules/.bin/hugo-algolia --toml -s

Used components

This article was written by Lars Bilke. If you are missing something or you find an error please let us know. Generated with Hugo 0.96.0. Last revision: June 28, 2022
Commit: [web] Added docs on jupyter notebook generated web pages. 7bfbc49  | Edit this page on