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So, I have the following content in the .dir-locals.el file for my project:

;;; Directory Local Variables
;;; For more information see (info "(emacs) Directory Variables")

((org-mode
  (org-twbs-link-up . "https://psibi.in/prometheus/")
  (org-twbs-link-home . "https://psibi.in/")
  (org-publish-project-alist . '("prometheus" 
                                  :base-directory "~/github/prometheus/"
                                  :recursive t
                                  :base-extension "org"
                                  :auto-sitemap t
                                  :publishing-function org-twbs-publish-to-html
                                  :publishing-directory "~/github/prometheus/docs/"))))

Now when I invoke org-publish from a file, it gives me two entries:

  • quote
  • prometheus

Now I don't understand what quote is and why it's populated ? What am I doing wrong ? Reproducible repository is here: https://github.com/psibi/prometheus

1

You are quoting the value of org-publish-project-alist, i.e. you are telling it that the value is

(quote ("prometheus" ...))

which causes the confusion you are seeing. You don't want to quote it but you need to fix the structure, since org-publish-project-alist is an alist, i.e. a list of dotted pairs:

((org-mode . (
              (org-twbs-link-up . "https://psibi.in/prometheus/")
              (org-twbs-link-home . "https://psibi.in/")
              (org-publish-project-alist . (("prometheus" 
                                             :base-directory "~/github/prometheus/"
                                             :recursive t
                                             :base-extension "org"
                                             :auto-sitemap t
                                             :publishing-function org-twbs-publish-to-html
                                             :publishing-directory "~/github/prometheus/docs/"))))))

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