Contributing content

This page is for those who want to create or edit content pages on the Hub.

First, it might help to understand how this site works. The Hub is a static site. For authors, what's important about this is it means the content on the site is created from a big folder of text files. Each file generates one page of the site. The text files are kept in a Github repository. You can edit the site by editing those files. Only a few maintainers have permissions to directly edit those files, though. So for everyone else, you use the Github interface to propose edits, which the maintainers can then evaluate and accept.

To make changes, you have two options.

[Option 1] Editors: Do it all in Github

It's actually possible to contribute using only the Github website.

First, make sure you have a Github account. Then, go to the repository page.

Adding a page

If you'd just like to create an entirely new page, then, on the main Github repository page, click the "Add file" button in the upper right. Then click "Create new file". In the new page that comes up, enter the path where your file should live in the box that says "Name your file". The path should start with "content", then the url where your page should be created, then "". For instance, if you want to create a page at, then you should type "content/path/to/test-page/" in the box. Each time you hit /, Github will create a directory out of the last bit you typed. See the file organization page for a more detailed understanding of how the files and folders are placed.

Then in the main text box, type the contents of the page. It's best to use an existing file as a reference.

Editing an existing page

If you'd like to propose a change to an existing page, the easiest way is to use the "Edit" button in the Hub itself. Go to the page you want to change, then in the upper right corner, click the Github icon. You can also manually find it in the repository by looking in the content directory, then each folder in the page's url, just like you're looking through folders on your computer. See the file organization page for a more detailed understanding of how the files and folders are placed.

Once you've found the page, click the pencil icon in the upper right corner just above the page contents (next to the trash can and "Raw" and "Blame" buttons).

Writing content

Whether you're adding a new page or changing an existing one, you'll be writing in YAML and Markdown. See the YAML and Markdown section for more details on the formats.

You can actually get a rough idea of how it will display by clicking the "Preview" tab at the top of the box. This won't be exactly how the Hub displays it, and some Markdown features won't work, but it can help.

Submit your changes

Once you're done, you'll want to add a "commit message" which describes your proposed change. You do this below the main text box, in the section labeled "Propose new file" (or "Propose changes"). In the first text box there, write a brief, one-line summary of what you're adding and why. Then in the second, larger box, you can add details if you want.

Then click "Propose new file" at the bottom. Then click the big, green "Create pull request" button. Then you'll see a couple more text boxes where you can describe your changes. This is the main post (called a "pull request") which the maintainers will read to understand what you're trying to do. You can use the commit message you already wrote if it's good enough for that. Once you're finished, click "Create pull request" at the bottom and the maintainers will look at it and decide if they want to add your changes. They might also reply with questions or requests for tweaks before they accept it.

[Option 2] Developers: Clone the repository

For users familiar with git and the command line, you can clone the repository locally. You should probably first fork the repository: on the repo page, click the "Fork" button at the upper right of the page. Then make sure it shows your username as the owner (or whoever you want the owner to be), and the rest of the options you can leave as their defaults. Then click "Create fork". Then it'll take you to the page for your fork. Now you can clone it by clicking the big green "Code" button at the upper right. You'll probably want the "SSH" option, so copy the address (which should look like[your-username]/galaxy-hub.git but with your username instead of [your-username]) and paste it into a git clone command:

$ git clone --recursive '[your-username]/galaxy-hub.git'

Then cd into the directory it creates and create a new branch to work on:

$ cd galaxy-hub
$ git checkout -b your-branch-name

Then you're ready to start making changes! To create a page, create the directories that define its url (see file organization) inside the content directory, then create an file in the final directory you created. If you're editing an existing page, find its inside content. See the YAML and Markdown section for information on the formats to use in these files. To preview your changes as you make them, you can run the development server.

Once you're satisfied with your changes, commit them, then push them up to Github:

$ git push origin your-branch-name

The message you get after you do that will include a url you can visit to create the pull request to propose your changes. It should look something like Go to that url and create a description of your changes. This is what the maintainers will read to determine if they want to accept the changes. They may also ask for tweaks to make the changes acceptable for the Hub.

YAML and Markdown

Static files are written in YAML and Markdown.

Each file should start with the metadata in YAML format. This section starts and ends with a line with just three dashes (---). The YAML header is where you put the title of the page and other metadata like the date of an event. Then after the YAML section is the content of the page in Markdown. See this page for tips on formatting your Markdown.

Running the development server

First, make sure you have Node installed. Then, you'll need a package manager. These instructions use yarn 1*, but there are equivalent commands for npm.

*Do not use Yarn 2.

Get Node and Yarn

What if you don't already have Node and Yarn 1 installed?

On MacOS

If you don't already have Node and Yarn installed, then we recommend using Homebrew. If you don't have Homebrew, then install it with:

$ /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Then update your $PATH by following the displayed instructions.

To install Node:

$ brew install node

Then install Yarn 1:

$ npm install --global yarn

Clone the repo and launch the site

See the top of this section for instructions on how to clone the repository.

Then install the dependencies by cding into your local repository directory and using Yarn:

$ cd galaxy-hub
$ yarn install

Then this command will start a development server:

$ yarn develop

The development server is a local web server which you can access in your browser at http://localhost:8080 and see a live view of your version of the site. This includes a hot reloader which will update the site automatically each time you edit a file.

Note: The hot reloader is imperfect and sometimes crashes when you make big changes or delete a directory. Also, there is currently a bug which means that when you edit or add a page, any dynamic pages which list it won't get those updates (e.g. http://localhost:8080/events/ won't show a new event you added). For all these situations you'll have to re-run the yarn develop command.

To generate the static files for the entire site, just run the build command instead:

$ yarn build

The static files can then be found in the dist directory.