How to update the Mahout Website

Committers and contributors are all welcomed and encouraged to update the Mahout website. Mahout uses Jekyll to build the website. A script is executed by Jenkins after any change is detected in the master branch of the official Apache repository ( e.g. after any PR is merged ). As such it is important that you, and any reviewers stage site changes locally before committing.

The process for updating the website is as follows:

Clone the Mahout Git Repository Locally

git clone

See Building from Source for more details.

Working with Markdown

Jekyll uses Kramdown to compile markdown into HTML.

Kramdown syntax is very similar to standard markdown, but with a few subtle diferences, please review to the Kramdown syntax guide.

Mahout is a highly mathematical project, and contributors will often want to use LaTeX Mathematics to explain concepts. While in some environments this is signalled to the compiler with \( ... \) in Kramdown LaTeX portions are signalled with enclosing $ characters, e.g. $$ ... $$

Stage changes locally

This step actually can be done while you are editing. Then you can see you changes in near-real time (pending browser refreshes).

In the terminal,

cd website
bundle exec jekyll serve

By default this will serve the website locally at You can open your favorite browser and make sure your changes look the way you expect them to.

Commit code and open a PR

Once you’re sure everything is right, you commit your code, push to your account (preferably on a branch other than trunk then click “OpenPR”). This process closely follows How To Contribute- Making Changes with an exception that for WEBSITE ONLY changes we relax the requirement to open a JIRA ticket. That is to say, small website changes such as fixing a broken link or typo, do not require a specific JIRA issues, and where you would normally commit with a message like MAHOUT-XXXX The thing I did (where XXXX is the assosciated JIRA number), you can instead simply create a message like WEBSITE Typos in There’s nothing to stop you from making a JIRA issue, it simply isn’t required.

The same goes for when you open a PR (where conventionally one includes the JIRA issue, you can again title WEBSITE to indicate there is no JIRA)

Wait for review

A committer will be along shortly to review your changes, please be patient. In the meantime, feel free to help us out by reviewing other contributors PRs. (Here’s a little secret, this is a great way to signal to us that you’re interested in becoming a committer too, as PR reviews is a big part of a committer’s job).

Once everything is confirmed to be in order, the committer will merge your pull request.

Committers ONLY

No further action is needed, this section is here to deliniate from the old CMS system and Jekyll builds of other projects. Jenkins will execute upon merging. This will build the website and copy it to the asf-site branch, where is served from.