Tinkerer uses Sphinx to generate your blog. The conf.py file is a Sphinx project configuration file extended with Tinkerer settings. Similarly, the directories (_static, _templates etc.) and the master document (master.rst) are part of a standard Sphinx project.

The logic to extract the post metadata and build the blog pages is implemented as a Sphinx extension (tinkerer.ext.blog). Since your blog is in fact a Sphinx project, all tinkering enabled by Sphinx will work on your blog too.

The Tinkerer command line is just facilitating authoring and build - for example creating a new post requires creating a path for the current date as $(YEAR)/$(MONTH)/$(DAY), creating the post file, populating the file with the Tinkerer directives and inserting it in the master document. Tinkerer command line takes care of all of these steps. For build, the destination directory is cleaned up and Sphinx build is invoked.

Tinkerer command line should be run from your blog’s root (the directory containing the conf.py file), except when setting up a new blog.


From your blog root directory, call:

tinker --post 'Hello World!'

A new post will be created and inserted at the top of the TOC in master.rst. Tinkerer will let you know where the file was created (path is based on current date and filename is normalized). Your post file looks like this:

Hello World!

.. author:: default
.. categories:: none
.. tags:: none
.. comments::

Add content below the title.


If left to default, Tinkerer will use the author specified in conf.py. For collaborative blogs, this can be replaced with any string containing the name of the author.


Specify a comma-separated list of categories under which the post will be filed.


Specify a comma-separated list of tags for the post.


This tells Tinkerer comments are enabled for this post. Remove the directive to disable posts.


At any point in your text, you can insert the more directive:

Hello World!

Some text.

.. more::

More text.

This tells Tinkerer to insert a “Read more…” link into the blog post. A “Read more…” link will appear on the front page and the text after the directive will be hidden. The full text will be displayed only on the page of the post.


From your blog root directory, call:

tinker --page 'About'

A new page named About will be created as pages/about.rst and inserted at the bottom of the TOC in master.rst (pages are always placed under the pages directory, filename is normalized). Your page file looks like this:


Unlike posts, pages do not have metadata associated with them. Pages are added to the top navigation bar in the order in which they were created. Pages do not display previous and next navigation links.


From your blog root directory, call:

tinker --draft 'Hello World!'

A new draft named Hello World! will be created under the drafts directory as hello_world_.rst (filename is normalized). The content of the file is identical to a post file but unlike posts, the draft will not be added to the TOC in master.rst file and will be ignored by the build. You can take your time to edit it. When it’s ready, from your blog root directory call:

tinker --post drafts/hello_world_.rst

This will promote your draft to a post by moving it to the appropriate $(YEAR)/$(MONTH)/$(DAY) path and adding it to the TOC in master.rst.

If you change your mind and want to tinker with it some more, from your blog root directory call:

tinker --draft 2011/12/25/hello_world_.rst

This will demote your post to a draft by moving it to the drafts directory and removing it from the TOC in master.rst.


From your blog root directory, call:

tinker --build

Your blog will be generated under blog/html.

Generated pages

The Sphinx build will convert all the RST documents of your blog to HTML pages. Besides these, Tinkerer will also generate the following:

The page will contain the latest 10 posts of your blog with titles hyperlinked to the post pages.
After the latest 10 posts, all other posts grouped by 10 will be written to page2.html, page3.html and so on.
For each category posts were filed under, Tinkerer will generate a page under the categories directory, hyperlinking all instances of the category to it.
Like categories above, Tinkerer will generate similar pages and hyperlinks for tags.
Additionally, Tinkerer will generate a blog archive containing all posts grouped by publishing year and ordered by publishing date as archive.html.
An RSS feed will be generated as rss.html.

Back to Tinkerer Reference.