Chirun Public Content Builder

A free to use public Chirun package and document builder is available at https://mas-coursebuild.ncl.ac.uk/public/, removing the requirement to install the Chirun software and its prerequisites to your local machine.

Warning

The public builder produces zipped HTML packages that must be downloaded and hosted for the web by some other service. The converted notes expire from the public builder servers after a short while.

Convert a Standalone Document

The Chirun public builder can be used to convert a single document from LaTeX or Markdown source into an accessible web-based HTML package. The process is as follows:

  • Visit https://mas-coursebuild.ncl.ac.uk/public/

  • Click the button labelled “Choose Files” and select your LaTeX or Markdown files to be uploaded and converted

  • (Optional) Click Show/hide settings to tweak the build settings

  • Click the button labelled “Upload”

Your document will be converted and the build log showing the output from the Chirun tool will be shown on screen. This output will be useful to help debug if anything goes wrong in the conversion process. For help and advice on Chirun build errors, see the Troubleshooting section.

If the conversion is successful, the message Finished! will be displayed at the bottom of the build log and the Download Output Package section will be displayed. Two new buttons are presented,

  • Clicking “Preview Content” will open your converted document in a new tab. This form of the output is indended only as a preview and will expire after a short while.

  • Clicking “Download Package” will download the converted HTML output as a .zip file, ready to be distributed to learners, for example by extracting and uploading the content to a web hosting service.

Tweaking the Build Settings

When uploading a single document to the public builder, the build settings that would normally be controlled by populating a Chirun config.yml file can instead be tweaked as part of the upload form.

The following settings are available:
  • The item type can be changed (see Content Item Types for further information)

  • For longer .tex documents the content can be automatically split on chapter or section

  • The item title can be customised

  • Showing a sidebar in the default theme can be enabled or disabled

  • Building a PDF version of the document can be turned on of off

Note

Multiple source files can be selected for upload. Alternatively, source files can be compressed into a .zip file before uploading.

Build Chirun Course Packages

Chirun supports compiling multiple documents (forming a Chirun “course package”) into a single output website. The source files are compiled into separate HTML pages and hyperlinked together.

Chirun course packages are controlled by a course configuration file named course.yml. To compile a Chirun course package, first compress all the source documents and a valid course.yml into a single .zip file. Then, follow the instructions in the previous section and upload the .zip file to the public builder.

More information on building a valid Chirun course.yml file can be found in the Compile a Chirun Course Package section.

The .zip file will be extracted and the configuration file will be automatically recognised and used. The properties in the course.yml file will override the settings selected in the “Show/hide settings” section.

Compile the Sample Course

The Chirun sample course can be compiled with the public builder and is a good place to start if you’d prefer to modify a working template rather than start from scratch.

  • The sample course is available on GitHub. First, either download the sample course files or clone the repository using git:

    git clone https://github.com/chirun-ncl/sample_course.git
    
  • Once you have the source files, enter the sample_course directory.

  • If you’d like to edit the sample course files to make some changes, do so now.

  • Compress the contents of the sample_course directory into a .zip file ready to upload to the public builder.

  • Follow the instructions in the section Convert a Standalone Document, but upload the compressed .zip file for conversion. All other instructions remain the same.

Note

  • Ensure that your config.yml file is at the root of the .zip package uploaded to the Chirun public builder.

  • You should not use the “Show/hide settings” section, as the settings there are overridden by the config.yml file in the sample course.