Setting up rack-codehighlighter
If you write about software, you can make code look more attractive by
adding syntax highlighting to your pages. Nesta is a Sinatra app (and is
therefore built on top of Rack), which makes it easy to setup syntax
highlighting with the
Installing the gem
Before you can highlight any code, you've got a decision to make. There are several highlighting libraries available to you
rack-codehighlighter gem and your preferred highlighting
library (I'm using
coderay in this example) to your
Gemfile and run
$ echo 'gem "coderay"' >> Gemfile $ echo 'gem "rack-codehighlighter", :require => "rack/codehighlighter"' >> Gemfile $ bundle
Now edit your project's
config.ru file, as outlined in the
rack-codehighlighter README file. Because I'm using coderay the
bottom of my
config.ru file now looks like this:
use Rack::Codehighlighter, :coderay, :element => "pre>code", :markdown => true run Nesta::App
:markdown options that I've set in this example
work well if your content is written in Markdown; if you're using
Textile you'll want to tweak the setting (see the README).
Now start your app up in development mode, add a block of source code to one of your web pages, and tell the highlighter what syntax it is. Something like this should do it:
:::ruby def hello puts "Hi!" end
Reload the page. If
:::ruby has been removed from the HTML then the
highlighter is working -- if you look at the source you'll see that your
code has been wrapped in span tags.
Now you need some CSS to make it look pretty.
Adding some colour
If you've decided to use Ultraviolet it looks as though you can choose a theme and tell Rack::Codehighlighter to deal with it for you. I haven't investigated that yet -- see the README for notes on Ultraviolet.
CSS styles for Coderay
If you're using Coderay you'll need to provide your own CSS. I'm too lazy for that, but luckily some kind souls have shared their CSS with the rest of us. I like the GitHub styles and the RailsCasts colours.
Update: Since I first wrote this article,
coderay appears to have
updated the CSS class names that it uses to highlight code, and those
themes don't work any more. If you'd like to use them, make sure that
you tell Bundler to load an earlier version of
coderay (I'm using
0.9.8 successfully, and I'm not sure when the CSS class names were
If you're using a Nesta theme...
Themes load their CSS from their own
views folder (e.g.
themes/slate/views), but if you put a stylesheet in your site's
views folder Nesta will load that instead.
So we're going to pull a neat trick, and get Sass to include our stylesheet at the end of the theme's default CSS. Start by making a copy of the theme's Sass file:
$ mkdir -p views $ cp themes/slate/views/master.sass views/
Now get your Coderay CSS and store it in a
$ curl https://raw.github.com/pie4dan/CodeRay-GitHub-Theme/master/coderay.css \ > views/coderay-github.scss
Finally, get Sass to import the styles into the main stylesheet:
$ echo '@import "coderay-github"' >> views/master.sass
You should be all set. Try reloading your page and see if your code is in colour.
If you've designed your own site...
Download the source for one and put it in
$ mkdir -p public/css $ curl https://raw.github.com/pie4dan/CodeRay-GitHub-Theme/master/coderay.css \ > public/css/coderay-github.css
Edit your layout template and load the CSS with a <link> tag. You should be good to go...
- The rack-codehighlighter gem
- RailsCasts episode 207 from Ryan Bates