GitHub has unveiled a new Page Generator, a free, simple system for adding visual punch to project pages. Various themes are available, and content is easily editable.
Jake Boxer, a developer at GitHub, told .net that designer Jason Costello came up with the idea: "GitHub already had a basic page generator, but we wanted to do it better. Developers constantly publish awesome new projects on GitHub, but often lack the design skills or time to make attractive web pages to promote their projects. Jason and I wanted to help developers jump this hurdle."
Costello elaborates: "It was during my first week at GitHub I became aware of our ability to host and generate Pages, along with the large number of developers using them to promote their projects. The concept of the new generator came immediately while discussing the topic with developer Corey Donohoe. We talked about how great it would be if developers could create a landing page for a project that was friendly, well-designed and effortless to generate."
Beyond assisting developers in terms of design and saving time, Costello told us that the revamped system offers further benefits: "The real power of a theme is under the hood. The mark-up is simple and most themes are responsive, with styles that optimise legibility on both large screens and mobile devices. This keeps the document searchable and accessible. We also believe more time will be spent on documentation as a result of the speed and ease of GitHub Pages – and clear documentation is beneficial to everyone."
Boxer added that these improvements will change GitHub for the better: "Giving developers a beautiful starting point is huge. Almost every developer knows HTML and CSS, but many lack the design skills to make something beautiful from scratch. We provide them with a beautiful starting point, and they can customise it from there."
Currently, many GitHub projects merely offer the main repo page with a file list and 'README', which is fine for developers, but daunting for beginners or non-developers. Boxer told us the new system offers the potential to dramatically widen GitHub's reach: "An attractive and simple page that just says 'here's what my project is and here's how to download and install it' is a great intro for anyone and the new Page Generator makes it a snap to build a page like that."