There was a genuine debate in the blogosphere era (remember that term?) surrounding the use of “read more…” links. Proponents claimed a page of summaries were easier to skim than entire posts, but detractors lamented the extra clicks involved to get to content.

Admittedly I used them sparingly in the mid 2000s for gigantic posts, but gradually phased them out after thinking most of the “above the fold” summaries I was writing were superfluous. Or in the words of Roxette, Don’t bore us, get to the chorus!

(The irony isn’t lost on me that I dismissed an introduction in an introduction).

(As I write this post in a Sydney coffee shop in 2016, they started playing Coldplay's Yellow, and blasted a very specific roasted bean smell that somehow transported me briefly to the Boat Deck Cafe in Adelaide in 2006. Back when we used the term “blogosphere”. Sugoi).

Back to the present, I thought the summary and read more link pattern may be useful to hide some mildly NSFW anime figure, series and art reviews I’ve have queued up since forever. Given the last time I used this feature was in mid-2000’s WordPress, I had to check out how we do it in 2016 static site generators.

Hugo comes with the {{ .Summary }} method that returns content encountered before a standard <!--more--> comment, or 70 lines. I wanted to use the former, but avoid it doing auto summaries for posts where I don’t have that comment defined. The code example in the otherwise excellent Hugo documentation included a {{ .Truncated }} boolean example, so I thought I could do this:

<!-- Do not use this, included for reference -->
{{ if .Truncated }}
    {{ .Summary }}
    <a href="{{ .Permalink }}">Read more..!</a>
{{ else }}
    {{ .Content }}
{{ end }}

Keen-eyed Hugoians will point out {{ .Truncated }} always returns true here, so the full {{ .Content }} will never be rendered. To Hugo, the post is either truncated by including the <!--more--> comment, or because Hugo returned the first 70 words.

The recommended workaround in the Hugo forums is to append <!--more--> at the end of all posts you don’t want truncated, and include partway for those you do. So this post would have a read more link:

---
[frontmatter]
---
This is an introduction

This appears after clicking Read more...

But this one wouldn’t:

---
[frontmatter]
---
This is the entire post, without Read more..
<!--more-->

So I eagerly ran sed across 4000+ posts to add this, but facing the gigantic git status I wondered if there was a solution that didn’t rely on adding tons of superfluous markup.

A great thing about Hugo (and Jekyll, to be fair) is how easy it is to define your own params for a post. So I defined “more” in the frontmatter of posts that need read more links:

---
title: "Something" [..]
more: true
---

So now in my theme I can say:

<!-- This works --->
{{ if .Params.more }}
    {{ .Summary }}
    <a href="{{ .Permalink }}">Read more..!</a>
{{ else }}
    {{ .Content }}
{{ end }}

You could probably do the same thing by detecting the presence of a more comment, but this works.