Metalsmith.js is an extremely simple, pluggable static-site generator for NodeJS.
What sets metalsmith apart from other static-site generators is that Metalsmith.js works more like a library than a framework: it gives you a toolset that you can use however you wish. It does not require you to work within the confines of a predefined frame.

You can follow metalsmith.js development on Github.
Formal announcements are published in the News section of this website and on Twitter.
Informal announcements are made periodically in the Gitter community chat.

A brief history of the Metalsmith JS project

Philosophy & initial development

The metalsmith js project was pioneered by Segment co-founder Ian Storm Taylor in early 2014 as a Javascript alternative to the then leading, Ruby-powered static site generator, Jekyll. Development started at about the same time as Hexo, another Javascript-powered static site generator and the Go-based Hugo.

Drawing heavily on the pillars of the Linux philosophy and taking advantage of the growing Node and NPM ecosystem (then at version 3) Metalsmith became a popular choice for static sites and CLI tools like scaffolders and generators. Among others, Metalsmith was used behind-the-scenes for the VueJS CLI (version 2), the OpenLayers JS mapping library versions 3 & 4 and is still used to generate the nodejs.org website and qooxdoo framework website.

Community stewardship

In late 2016 Metalsmith development slowed down and started to stall as Segment moved its focus to other products. Segment passed the lead on metalsmith and its core plugins to community maintainers woodyrew, ismay, and Ajedi32. However due to an incomplete transfer with missing Github write permissions and NPM publishing rights they couldn’t move the project forward as efficiently as they’d wished.

Although Metalsmith arguably lost its technical edge over the years, the project remained maintained and relatively popular on NPM thanks to its extremely simple but powerful design. Users grew uncertain about the future of the project as evident in these Github issues. In mid-2020, webketje reached out to Segment and the maintainers with a proposal to become co-maintainer and get Metalsmith back on track. Options were weighed at length in mail conversations and a plan made public in this Github issue.

Ownership changes

The maintainers originally planned to fork the project and its plugins, but succeeded in a last effort to get in touch with Segment and set up a videoconference in early 2021 to collaborate on a full transfer to the open-source community. Moreover, a fork would mean the ecosystem would look more fragmented and the fork would need to be rebranded to address copyright concerns. In November 2020 Segment had been acquired by Twilio. Twilio preferred a formal transfer of the software over a release into the public domain, and that is why the maintainers agreed to an Intellectual Property Assignment. The maintainers decided against large foundations like the OpenJS Foundation, Apache Software foundation as they saw slower development speed and less freedom of direction. That is how, since September 2021, the copyright for Metalsmith software & its official plugins hosted under the Github Metalsmith organization has come under Kevin Van Lierde DBA webketje, and he became the lead developer/maintainer.

The copyright change has no impact on your legal ability to use any of the Metalsmith software, as permitted by their respective licenses, and Metalsmith licenses will remain as they were (MIT/(L)GPL) in future software versions.

You can consult the entry for the webketje company in the Belgian business register.
You can also consult the official Intellectual Property Assignment.

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