Latemp - An Offline CMS

Welcome to the homepage of Latemp. Latemp (a play on "Template") is an offline content management system (also known as a “static site generator”) based on Website Meta Language, a powerful, off-line, framework for generating static HTML, and server-side HTML that embeds code (such as PHP, HTML::Mason, ASP, or Embperl). Latemp allows one to create attractive, themable sites, which are usable, accessible and fully standards compliant. Latemp is open-source software - fully usable, modifiable and distributable under the terms of the MIT X11 license.

You can find more information about Latemp in the about page. You can also see example sites that were prepared with Latemp and view their source code. The documentation page contains various documents describing how to use Latemp.

Finally, you can actually download Latemp, set it up and give it a try.

Should I use Latemp?

The title of this section is purposely risking Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, and accordingly the short answer as of 2016 is “probably not”. As I like to say, “every self-respecting programmer has written at least one static site generator”, since writing a basic one is easy and often tends to be easier than learning an existing one. Many programmers who wrote one decided to release it as “shrinkwrap” software (usually under an open source licence) and the Static Site Generators list currently lists over 400 of them.

Latemp started as a way to consolidate and extract some duplicate code and logic I had in some of my Website Meta Language sites, which themselves evolved out of directories of non-generated HTML pages that I maintained by hand directly on the servers (without version control!). Since the time it was released as open source software, it didn't really gain a lot of popularity outside my own personal use, although it inspired some sub-projects such as CPAN modules, articles, or blog posts.

I'm continuing to use Latemp for some of my sites, due to being familiar with it, because it works reliably for me, and because I cannot convert the code that uses it to something else overnight (lacking the necessary Chuck Norris nature). However, if you are seeking a static site generator, you are probably better off either writing your own using your favourite programming language and template system, or using a more popular alternative than Latemp.

Some of the other options are:

  1. Jekyll - this appears to be the poster child of static site generators, but after using it for one site, I found it too opaque, with some poorly documented plugins and extensions, and such a system where trivial things were easy, but anything harder was very hard. I ended up converting the site away from it.

  2. Ikiwiki takes the interesting approach of storing the pages in repositories of any number of version control systems, and allowing it to be used as both an online CMS and as a static site generator. It seems to have a poor taxonomy though.

  3. For the sources, I created yet another static site generator, this time using the Template Toolkit and some Perl and GNU Make glue. I didn't use Latemp because I felt it needed too many dependencies and was too hard to learn for such a site where I was trying to encourage collaborators. So I wrote more than one static site generator.


Latemp Post on the Codegreen Forum

I posted a post about Latemp on the Codegreen forum. It sparked some interesting discussion.

Version 0.6.0

Latemp version 0.6.0 was released. This is a new stable version.

Version 0.4.0

Latemp version 0.4.0 was released. This is a new stable version.

Latemp Now Runs on Windows

Latemp now runs on Microsoft Windows, after Website META Language was fixed to build on cygwin

First stable version of Latemp - 0.2.0

Latemp version 0.2.0 was released. This is the first stable version of Latemp.