Publishing using Sphinx to Github

I’ve been playing around with Sphinx as a digital publishing tool. It can take multiple files written in reStructuredText (similar to Markdown, which is plain text with minimal markup) and create not only a website, but also PDFs and ePubs (and more, list is on the website). An example is the Sublime Text Unofficial Documentation. If you click on the Read the Docs link in the bottom left of the window, you can see the documentation in other formats.

Read the Docs will automatically create a website and other files from a Github repository, but you can also publish yourself to Github without using another service. My problem came from an issue with Github ignoring the folder _static, which is where Sphinx puts assets for the website. The solution is simple enough, have a .nojekyll file in the root of the website. The question was how to do that automatically. What I did was add a new target to the Makefile[1]:

    touch $(BUILDDIR)/html/.nojekyll
    ghp-import $(BUILDDIR)/html/
    git push -u origin gh-pages
    @echo "Published to Github"

Now when I type make github, the website will be rebuilt, a .nojekyll file will be created, the website will be imported into the gh-pages branch and that branch will be pushed to Github.

[1]: This assumes you have already set up authentication to push a branch to Github and have installed ghp-import.