wax_tasks 🐝

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wax_tasks is gem-packaged set of Rake tasks for creating minimal exhibition sites with Wax.

It can be used to: - generate collection markdown pages from a metadata file (wax:pages) - generate a client-side search index (wax:search) - generate either IIIF-compliant derivatives (wax:derivatives:iiif) or simple image derivatives (wax:derivatives:simple) from local image and pdf files

Getting Started


You’ll need Ruby >= 2.4 with bundler installed. Check your versions with:

“sh $ ruby -v ruby 2.4.2p198 (2017-09-14 revision 59899) [x86_64-darwin15]

$ bundler -v Bundler version 1.16.1

To use the image derivative tasks, you will also need to have ImageMagick and Ghostscript installed and functional. You can check to see if you have ImageMagick by running:

“sh $ convert -version Version: ImageMagick 6.9.9-20 Q16 x86_64 2017-10-15 http://www.imagemagick.org Copyright: (c) 1999-2017 ImageMagick Studio LLC License: http://www.imagemagick.org/script/license.php Features: Cipher DPC Modules Delegates (built-in): bzlib freetype jng jpeg ltdl lzma png tiff xml zlib

… and check Ghostscript with:

“sh $ gs -version GPL Ghostscript 9.21 (2017-03-16) Copyright (C) 2017 Artifex Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

Next, you’ll need a Jekyll site. You can clone the minicomp/wax demo site or start a site from scratch with:

“ $ gem install jekyll $ jekyll new wax && cd wax


Add wax_tasks to your Jekyll site’s Gemfile:

“by gem ‘wax_tasks’

… and install with bundler:

“sh $ bundle install

Create a Rakefile with the following:

“by spec = Gem::Specification.find_by_name ‘wax_tasks’ Dir.glob(“#specspec.gem_dir/lib/tasks/.rake“).each { |r| load r }


After following the installation instructions above, you will have access to the Rake tasks in your shell by running $ bundle exec rake wax:taskname in the root directory of your Jekyll site. To see the available tasks, run

“by $ bundle exec rake –tasks

Sample site _config.yml file:


basic settings

title: Wax. description: a jekyll theme for minimal exhibitions url: ‘https://minicomp.github.io’ baseurl: ‘/wax’

build settings

permalink: pretty # optional, creates /page/ link instead of page.html links

wax collection settings

collections: objects: # the collection name layout: ‘iiif-image-page’ output: true # this must be true for your .md pages to be built to html! metadata: source: ‘objects.csv’ # path to the metadata file, must be within ‘data’ images: source ‘sourceimages/objects’ # path to the directory of source images, must be within ‘data’

wax search index settings

lunr_index: main: index: ‘js/lunr-index.json’ # where the index will be generated collections: # the collections to index objects: content: false # whether or not to index the markdown page content (below the YAML) fields: # the metadata fields to index - ‘label’ - ‘artist’ - ‘location’ - ‘object_type’

The above example includes a single collection objects that comprises: 1. a CSV metadata:source file (objects.csv), and 2. a images:source directory of image and pdf files.

For more information on configuring Jekyll collections for wax_tasks, check out the minicomp/wax wiki and https://jekyllrb.com/docs/collections/.

Running the tasks


Takes a CSV, JSON, or YAML file of collection metadata and generates a markdown page for each record to a directory using a specified layout. Read More.

$ bundle exec rake wax:pagemaster collection-name


Generates a client-side JSON search index of your site for use with ElasticLunr.js. Read More.

$ bundle exec rake wax:search search-name


Takes a local directory of images and pdf files and generates a few image derivatives (i.e., ‘thumbnail’ 250w and ‘full’ 1140w) for Jekyll layouts and includes to use. Read More.

$ bundle exec rake wax:derivatives:iiif collection-name


Takes a local directory of images and pdf files and generates tiles and data that work with a IIIF compliant image viewer like OpenSeaDragon, Mirador, or Leaflet IIIF. Read More.

$ bundle exec rake wax:derivatives:iiif collection-name


Fork/clone the repository. After making code changes, run the tests ($ bundle exec rubocop and $ bundle exec rspec) before submitting a pull request. You can enable verbose tests with $ DEBUG=true bundle exec rspec.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.