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Make Notes

Use this program to generate MarkDown files from a template to be used as class notes for General Assembly WDI lessons. This program is only intended to be used by the instructional team.


  • Python 2.7 or higher


You can also run ./ -h to see usage as well.

usage: [-h] [--date DATE] [--config-path CONFIG_PATH]
                     [--notes-fields-path NOTES_FIELDS_PATH]

Initializes a notes markdownfile based on a GitHub repo in our organization.

positional arguments:
  repo_name             the name of the repo in our organization

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --date DATE, -d DATE  the date string that will be added to the top of the
                        notes file of the format "<YYYY>-<MM>-<DD>". If you
                        pass the value "today", today's date will be added.
  --config-path CONFIG_PATH, -c CONFIG_PATH
                        relative path to config JSON file that sets upglobal
                        configuration for this program (see documentation for
                        config format). Default value: "./data/config.json"
  --notes-fields-path NOTES_FIELDS_PATH, -n NOTES_FIELDS_PATH
                        relative path to notes fields JSON file thatdescribes
                        the template for the Markdown notesfile created by
                        this program (see documentation for notes fields
                        format). Default value: "./data/notes_fields.json"
  --ignore-http-errors, -i
                        ignore HTTP errors when requesting informationfrom
                        remote repo README; sections in notes generated from
                        tempplate using data from remote REAMDE will be blank.

PDF Generation

Nothing is included out of the box for markdown to PDF generation, but a PDF version of notes is a nice thing to have.

You an use Typora and export as PDF.

You could npm install -g markdown-pdf and then markdown-pdf <MarkdownFile> which will put a similarly named PDF file in the dir of the markdown file.


Out of the box, this program is configured to work with the lesson-notes repo. If you want to further configure this program for use elsewhere, there are two configuration files in data/:

  • config.json

    • the configuration keys are:
      • raw_domain: domain where the remote repos raw data lives,
      • domain: domain where the remote repos rendered data lives,
      • org_path: path to org or user where all repos live,
      • notes_rpath: relative path from this folder to the folder containing all of the notes folders,
      • objectives_pattern: string used to match "Objectives" section header,
      • next_header_pattern: string used to match all section headers
  • notes_fields.json

    • this files expects a list of objects with the following keys:
      • name: a name for the field. this is not rendered, just here for organizational purposes
      • format_str: a Python format string with named interpolation values of the format {<name of value>}.
        • valid values provided by this program are:
          • repo_name: the name of the repo passed as an argument to this program
          • date: the date argument passed to this program
          • repo_url: the url of the remote repo
          • repo_raw_url: the raw data url of the remote repo
          • readme_url: the url of the remote repo
          • readme_raw_url: the raw data url of the remote repo
          • readme_text: the full text of the remote repo
          • objectives_md: the Objectives section text from the remote repo


To turn on more verbose debugging with full stack trace, comment out

sys.tracebacklimit = 0

Report issues here or contact me at