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Metadata for Foliant.

Project description

Metadata for Foliant

This extension adds metadata support for Foliant. It also allows to add meta commands which use project's metadata and are called like this: foliant meta <command>. Finally, it adds the meta generate command to Foliant, which generates the yaml-file with project metadata.


$ pip install foliantcontrib.meta

Specifying metadata

Metadata for the main section (more on sections in User's Guide below) may be specified in the beginning of a Markdown-file using YAML Front Matter format:

title: Description of the product
key: value

You may also use regular XML-like format with meta tag:

    title="Description of the product"

If meta tag is present, all Metadata from YAML Front Matter is ignored.

User's guide

Metadata allows you to specific properties to your documents, which won't be visible directly to the end-user. These properties may be:

  • the document author's name;
  • Jira ticket id;
  • date of last revision;
  • or anything else, there is no limitation.

This module is required for metadata to work in your projects. But it doesn't care about most of the fields and their values. The only exception being the id field. See Special fields section.


You can specify metadata for a whole chapter and for it's portions, which are called sections. Section is a fragment of the document from one heading to another one of the same level of higher.

Metadata specified at the beginning of the document (before the first heading) is applied to the whole Markdown document. We call it the main section of the chapter.

Note that you can specify metadata for the main section either in YAML Front Matter format, or with meta tag.

If you specify metadata after the heading of some level, it will be applied to all content inside this heading, including the nested headings. See the illustration below.

Special fields

Right now there's only one field that is treated specially: the id field.

If specified, it will be used as identifier of the section. Note that IDs must be unique within the project.

If id field is omitted — the section will get auto generated id based on:

  • chapter filename for main section,
  • title for general sections.

Additional info

Metadata works only for files, mentioned in the chapters section in foliant.yml. All other files in src dir are ignored.

When using includes, all metadata from the included content is removed.

Developer's guide

You can use the powers of metadata in your preprocessors, backends and other tools. You can define fields with special meaning for your tools and process sections based on these fields.

Getting metadata

Typical way to work with metadata is to run the load_meta function from the foliant.meta.generate module.

load_meta(chapters: list, md_root: str or PosixPath = 'src') -> Meta

This function collects metadata and returns a Meta object, which gives access to all sections and meta-fields in the project.

The required parameter is chapters — list of chapters loaded from foliant.yml

>>> from foliant.meta.generate import load_meta
>>> meta = load_meta([''])

You can also specify the md_root parameter. If your tool is a CLI extension, md_root should point to the project's src dir. But if you are building a preprocessor or a backend, you would probably want to point it to the __folianttmp__ dir with the current state of the sources.

The Meta class

Meta class holds all metadata and offers few handy methods to work with it.

load_meta_from_file(filename: str or PosixPath)

This method allows you to load meta into the Meta class instance from previously generated yaml-file. Use it only with empty Meta class:

>>> from foliant.meta.classes import Meta
>>> meta = Meta()
>>> meta.load_meta_from_file('meta.yml')


This method returns an iterator which yields project's meta-sections (Section objects) in the proper order from the first chapter to the last one.

get_chapter(self, filename: str or PosixPath) -> Chapter

Get chapter (Chapter object) by its path. filename should be path to chapter relative to the Project dir (or absolute path).

get_by_id(self, id_: str) -> Section

Get section (Section object) by its id.


A property which holds the list of chapters (Chapter objects).

The Chapter class

Chapter class represents a project's chapter. It has several important methods which may be useful for working with metadata.


This method returns an iterator which yields chapter's meta-sections (Section objects) in the proper order from the first chapter to the last one.

get_section_by_offset(offset: int) -> Section:

This method allows you to get section (Section object) by just pointing to a place in text. Pointing is performed by specifying offset from the beginning of the file in offset parameter.

important properties


A property which holds the main section of the chapter.


Chapter's name as stated in foliant.yml ('').


Chapter's filepath string ('src/').

The Section class

Section represents a meta section.


This method returns an iterator which yields the section's child sections (Section objects) in the proper order.

get_source(self, without_meta=True) -> str

Returns section's source. The section title is also included in the output. If without_meta is True, all meta tags are cut out from the text.

is_main(self) -> bool

Determine whether the section is main or not.

important properties


Holds section's ID.


Section's title.


Holds reference to section's chapter.


Holds section's parent section. Main sections have None in this property.


Holds list of section's children in proper order.


Holds a dictionary with fields and their values, defined in the <meta> tag (or YAML front matter if it is a main section).


Section's level. Main section has level 0, section, defined inside the ### heading will have level 3.

start and end

Section's offsets from the beginning of the chapter.


Holds reference to section's chapter's filename for easy access.

Meta Generate command

meta generate command collects metadata from the Foliant project and saves it into a YAML-file.


To generate meta file run the meta generate command:

$ foliant meta generate

Metadata for the document will appear in the meta.yml file.


Meta generate command has just one option right now. It is specified under meta section in config:

    filename: meta.yml

filename : name of the YAML-file with generated project metadata.

Project details

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