Contribution Guidelines

How to contribute to the WAMWiki

We use Hugo, an open-source static site generator.

Hugo takes Markdown or HTML pages, applies a theme, and wraps everything up into a website.

We prefer to write documentation pages in R-Markdown / Quarto so that we can easily combine text, equations, R-code and R-output. We then knit the R-Markdown /Quarto pages into Markdown so that Hugo can use them.

All submissions, including submissions by project members, require review. We use GitHub pull requests for this purpose. Consult GitHub Help for more information on using pull requests.

If you are not familiar with Git, Github, R-Markdown you can send your contributions by email to

Quick guide

Here’s a quick guide to updating the Reference code and tutorial pages. It assumes you’re familiar with the GitHub workflow and explain how to configure the automated preview of your doc updates.

  1. Fork the repo on GitHub.
  2. Clone the repository locally.
  3. Create a folder for your tutorial located within content/en/docs/ or a subdirectory within.
  4. Add a _index.Rmd or _index.qmd file, data and images files as needed within the same folder not in subfolders.
  5. Knit the .Rmd/.qmd to get the .md .html and plot files.
  6. Check that everything looks good on a local site or at least on the .html file produced.
  7. Create a pull request to get your changes merged into the main branch and update the website. Your PR should include at least the .Rmd/.qmd, .md files as well as the data, plots and images files if needed to knit the .Rmd/.qmd.

Detailed workflow from .Rmd/.qmd to a working webpage

A brief explanation of all the steps needed to get started or refresh your memory.

Create a new folder for your tutorial

First question is where?

When building the website Hugo is looking for .md within the /content/en/ directory and subdirectories within. All files needed for a page (plots, images) should be located at the same level as the .md file referring to them. The url to a page is {site url}/path_within_content_en/name_of_file _without_md_extension. So if you create a “Unicorn_magic” folder including a file, the page url will be {site url}/unicorn_magic/h2. The exception is files “” are seen as root and their url would be{site url}/path_within_content_en/. If your file is then its url will be {site url}/unicorn_magic.

In most cases, having a folder with is the easiest for navigation and folder structure.

We thus suggest to create a folder in the appropriate location within content/en containing a file _index.Rmd/.qmd.

We expect most contributions in the Reference code and tutorials part of the website, which corresponds to what is in the folder content/en/docs. The other folders within content/en correspond to general information about the website, the community and meetings, and should be much more stable.

Initialise a .Rmd/.qmd file

To make your life easier, you can download a short .Rmd file with the suggested structure of the frontmatter and suggested knitr options here.

Your file frontmatter should include at least the following properties in the YAML

  • title: what appears at the top of the page, within quotation marks
  • linkTitle: what url to the page look like, within quotation marks
  • author: your name
  • weight: the higher the weight the lower the page link in side menus, just a number
  • description: what textual links to the page look like, no quotation marks but start with “>” then starts a new line, see example below or in the source Markdown files
  • math: true/false if you have any equations
  • (if using Rmarkdown) output: should be html and specify the option to keep the md file. You must insure that a Markdown file is kept after kniting as Hugo works on Markdown, not R-Markdown. In RStudio, it can be done if you go to Edit the R Markdown format options for the current file (that is the little cogwheel right of the knit button) -> Output Options... -> Advanced and check Keep markdown source file. Another option is to use the R package hugodown which has a specific ouput with output: hugodown::md_document (not recommended since Hugodown is not well developed).
  • (if using Quarto) format: should be hugo-md which will generate only a markdown file formatted for Hugo.

Here is what the frontmatter of your .Rmd file should look like

title: "Name of your QG tutorial"
linkTitle: "Heritability of Magical beast"
author: "Wam community extraordinaire"
weight: 4
math: true
description: >
  Fitting a simple animal model of unicorn color preference.  
    keep_md: yes

Write a working _index.Rmd/.qmd file

  • Reading data: Save your data files directly in your working folder (i.e. folder where you have your .Rmd/.qmd file). All your call to read data will be of the type read.csv("mydata.csv") (assuming you are using .csv). Since data files are used only when knitting and not shown on pages, they can be saved in a subfolder.
  • Including images: Save them in your working folder and refer to them using either Markdown notation (![](cute_image.jpg)) or with a R code chunk as:
  • Including R plots: You need to save plots generated by R somewhere that is accessible by hugo . The easiest place is simply your working folder, so include the following R chunk at the beginning of your file just below the frontmatter. It will generate the R plots and save them in your working directory.
```{r setup_fig, include=FALSE}
knitr::opts_chunk$set(fig.path = "")

Knit your file

  • Make sure that your file knit correctly without any error or warning. Since you will be potentially knitting your file multiple times, I recommend caching the output or your R code chunks so that knitting is faster. When option cache = TRUE for a code chunk then R code is run once and the output are saved (cached). The R code chunks are rerun only when you edit the code chunks or the cached fies are compromised.

You can setup the cache option globally for all code chunks with

```{r setup_cache, include=FALSE}
knitr::opts_chunk$set(cache = TRUE)

Check the output on local site

You need to have a working installation of Hugo. If you don’t, see setting-up Hugo

In a terminal, from your fork root directory, run:

hugo server

By default your site will be available at http://localhost:1313/. Now that you’re serving your site locally, Hugo will watch for changes to the content and automatically refresh your site. Now that you’re serving your site locally, Hugo will watch for changes to the content and automatically refresh your site each you save a .md file (i.e. each time you knit your .Rmd).

Create a Pull Request to github

  1. While editing your tutorial, continue with the usual GitHub workflow to edit files, and commit them. You can also push them regularly to your fork
  2. Once you are happy with your tutorial/edits, make sure your knit the latest version of your _index.Rmd file, then include all latest changes in a commit.
  3. Make sure you have pushed to your fork through (one or multiple) commit(s) your .Rmd and rendered .md file as well as any data, images and plots files as needed.
  4. Create a pull request to merge the changes in your fork to the branch master on wamwiki

Updating a single page

If you’ve just spotted something you’d like to change while using the docs, here is a shortcut for you:

  • Click Edit this page in the top right hand corner of the page.

You can also edit the page on your fork (please make sure that your fork is up-to-date with the latest commit on the master branch) and make a pull request of course

Creating an issue

If you’ve found a problem in the Wamwiki docs, but you’re not sure how to fix it yourself, please create an issue in the repo. You can also create an issue about a specific page by clicking the Create documentation issue button in the top right hand corner of the page.

Setting-up Hugo

If you want to run your own local Hugo server to preview your changes as you work you need to have the extended version of Hugo installed on your computer including its dependencies git, Go and Dart Sass. For information on how to install follow the links below:

Useful resources about the Docsy theme, Hugo and Github