So I made a thing

So I made a thing — a “website” to be more specific, for hosting and linking to dhamma books.

I’m not a dev and I’m not a designer, so in many ways this is a “babby’s first website” kind of project.

Here it is:

The domain name is one of those newfangled gTLD’s …it was only 88c… I’m open to any other (unregistered) names though.

It’s built on a responsive “bare-bones” css boilerplate called skeleton. For the in-browser pdf viewer I’ve used Mozilla’s ‘PDF.js’; which has a few neat features including linking to sections:

or specific pages:

or even specific lines:,-100,650

I also noticed there wasn’t a place to find Bhikkhu Sujato’s “satipaṭṭhāna mūla”, so I put that up here:

Any comments, criticisms, or suggestions — don’t hesitate to leave them here! :slight_smile:


Is it possible to buy hard copies of these books?.
With Metta and have some of them.

Good first try @SCMatt ! I like the domain-name.
Still a bit of work to do I guess but the basic first layout is there.

You might want to think about the scope of your project: what exactly do you want to put on there and what do you want to achieve? There are many Dhamma teachers and many Dhamma books. Do you want to focus on just one or a few or do you want a much broader spectrum? How will your provide a structure and how do you want people to be able to navigate your site? Will you also feature articles, videos, classes etc.?

With regards to the layout, one thing I noticed straight away is that the pictures in the first section are not centered under their titles, but in the subsequent sections they are. I think you will find that if you make them display “block” instead of “inline-block” that problem will disappear.

Good luck! :grinning:


Thanks so much, this is very nice.

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Hi Matt,

I checked the responsiveness of the layout, and it’s pretty broken:

The thing with HTML/CSS, it’s simple to get things working pretty okay most of the time, but hard to get it 100% right all the time. But if you start with clear, semantic HTML, the basics will work fine, the rest is just details.

I diverted myself with some coding, and made a revised layout.

  • 100% semantic HTML5
  • no inline styles
  • no resets, dependencies or whatever: you don’t need them.
  • responsive goodness brought to you by display:inline-block.
  • some pretty colors from The New Defaults
  • one of my favorite free fonts, Alegreya.

It should work fine across browsers and display in any size screen. The styles can be easily adjusted via CSS. Enjoy!

Also, the images are not great quality, let me know if you want better ones. (371.6 KB)


Ayya @Vimala, regarding scope I’d like it to be as thorough as possible. By the domain name though I’ve already kinda limited it to books, and at that only those under Creative Commons type of shareability/non-commerciality. Maybe I could use some other domains to host classes and other categories, then just link to them from the dhammabooks site? The other option would be to make the main domain a bit broader, and just make sub-sections for that site.

I think your solution would have worked if bhante didn’t step in to demolish and renovate the whole thing haha.

Bhante @sujato , woah thank you! This is a lot better.

Yea, better images would help.

Any recommendations on other Buddhist authors who release books under CC? What do you think about the site structure? Specifically for linking, these look kinda ugly (but they contain the full uri for the source file):

As opposed to:

or I could even do a very basic php include to make the url:

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My pleasure, any time.

Here is a set of full sized images for the front covers of the Santipada books. If these are suitable, let me know and I will see if I can locate the others, too.

FYI, these covers, with the exception of Dreams of Bhadda, were originally sized at my preferred ratio of 2:3, which I would like to keep if possible.

These images are at 300dpi, but heavily jpg compressed. If you need them to be smaller, i would suggest rescaling them rather than additional compression, as artefacts are already starting to appear. (2.2 MB)

My long term plan had been to create a new site for these books, which would include online HTML files. I see you’ve already done that with the Satipatthana Mula. I wonder whether you’d be interested to expand the project to include this as well? What I am looking for is a long-term, stable static site. Originally I put everything on Wordpress, which in retrospect was a bad mistake. For something like this, just plain HTML/CSS is much better, with JS for plugins if needed.

Anyway, let me know if you would be interested to work on something like this. I should warn you, I have strong opinions about websites, which, if you don’t mind seriously NSFW language, agree with those expressed here.


I know, I’m used to that! The things I have to deal with around here …

I know that too … : Made via
Wish we could do SC that way. Forget about python, ninja2, javascript, css … just plain and simple html. </sarcasm>

For your info, there is still some odd bits of the old Santipada site left (last one looks like a previous version):

Some more suggestions:

You can also add ebooks for download.

Other sources for online books: (look under books - some are for free download)
Free Resources
BPS On-line Library
And no doubt there are others. That is why I asked what your scope is. The old Santipada site was only about Bhante Sujato’s books.

Another reason I wanted to know your scope is regarding the discussion about Authenticity. I would like to make a page which also includes the classes on video, slides, etc. but at the moment am struggling with time (somebody here keeping me very busy with python, jinja2, javascript and css) and also that Samita only has 5GB memory due to some (political) issues that I need to solve first.


Thanks Matt!

The diacritical marks on this page showed up funny on my screen. At least for me this was fixed by substituting:

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">


<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8">

But having not yet even made it to being a baby-geek, I wouldn’t know if there is a better alternative.

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No, you’re right, all pages should define charset as utf8. This bug appears because Chrome will display utf8 by default, while FF (and maybe others) don’t, so it can look fine to one person and messed up to another.

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I think it would be literally impossible to find better versions of these images.

Ok, yea, I usually rescale and then just run them through imageoptim which automates compression. I guess that would be overkill?

Certainly, just let me know what you envision.

Haha, I dig it, for the most part I agree with minimalist ideals.

Thanks! I might put this content up so that the search engines start to get an idea of what the site’s about.

And thanks again. The Anālayo books don’t have covers as far as I can see so I might just make a plain kind of directory listing for those.

Just send 'em my way, I’ll see what I can do.

Should be fixed now, thanks for the heads up!

The video’s are on @stuindhamma’s YouTube channel: see post here.

I tried uploading the slides but they are too big. I will email them to you.

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Update with some Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda books.

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Matt, the pictures of the following books don’t show for me:

A History of Mindfulness
A Swift Pair of Messengers
Dreams of Bhadda
Bhikkhunī Vinaya Studies
Sects & Sectarianism

A rather complete list of books you’ll find here:

Note however that there are Mahayana books on the list, too.

I guess, you’ll also need to make some directories/categories/sub-categories to navigate the books more easily.

Thanks. I’m gonna keep the focus on Early Buddhism, that’s what’s important to me and really narrows down what would otherwise be overwhelming.

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Same for me, Matt, but more than half of the books on that list are Theravada books and are among the most read ones.
And I checked, pics are back.

Bhikkhu Anālayo’s writings are now available at this url:
It’s just a directory index right now, I find the format easier than hunting something down on the Universitat Hamburg site.


Nice website and a great resource @SCMatt. Thank you for this!