Part 13: Building new Eleventy Taxonomies

Getting this dev blog running

Day 13 of setting up 11ty dev blog.

Project Scope and ToDos

  1. Static Site Generator that can build the blog and let me host it on Github Pages
  2. I want to write posts in Markdown because I'm lazy, it's easy, and it is how I take notes now.
  3. I don't want to spend a ton of time doing design work. I'm doing complicated designs for other projects, so I want to pull a theme I like that I can rely on someone else to keep up.
  4. Once it gets going, I want template changes to be easy.
  5. It should be as easy as Jekyll, so I need to be able to build it using GitHub Actions, where I can just commit a template change or Markdown file and away it goes. If I can't figure this out than fk it, just use Jekyll.
  6. I require it to be used by a significant percent of my professional peers so I can get easy answers when something goes wrong.
  7. I want source maps. This is a dev log site which means whatever I do with it should be easy for other developers to read.
  • Can I use the template inside of dinky that already exists instead of copy/pasting it?
  • Is there a way to have permalinks to posts contain metadata without organizing them into subfolders?

  • How do I cachebreak files on the basis of new build events? Datetime? site.github.build_revision is how Jekyll accomplishes this, but is there a way to push that into the build process for Eleventy?

  • Make link text look less shitty. It looks like it is a whole, lighter, font.

  • Code blocks do not have good syntax highlighting. I want good syntax highlighting.

  • Build a Markdown-it plugin to take my typing shortcuts [prob, b/c, ...?] and expand them on build.

  • See if we can start Markdown's interpretation of H tags to start at 2, since H1 is always pulled from the page title metadata. If it isn't easy, I just have to change my pattern of writing in the MD documents.

  • Should I explore some shortcodes?

Day 13

Ok, I'm trying to create a taxonomy that queries projects so I can list posts by their parent project. I tried to do it with addGlobalData but that's apparently a future feature of Eleventy. So I'm headed back from DC now on the Acela (it's been a long time since the last time that was true) so it's coooooooooooooooode time.

The main thing to note here is I want to be able to get:

  1. A list of "projects"
  2. A list of posts under each Project.

Global Data and new Taxonomies

So instead I'm going to use the global data folder _data and move my operation over there.

// In src/_data/projects.js
const { readdirSync } = require('fs');

const getDirectories = source =>
readdirSync(source, { withFileTypes: true })
.filter(dirent => dirent.isDirectory())
.map(dirent =>


module.exports = getDirectories('src/posts/projects/');

And now I have a global data object I can iterate over. Sweet!

{% raw %}

		{%- for project in projects %}
<li class="capitalize-first">{{project}}</li>
{%- endfor %}

{% endraw %}

Ok, now that I have the list of projects. I need to do something with them. Basically these should link to project pages that work like category pages in WordPress.

But before I get to that, every time I go through a tunnel my local environment dies because it is loading a remote URL for my Prism styles. Let's fix that. I'm going to copy it locally and set up a passthrough.

Ok, and while I'm here, let me add proper categories for the home page.

Oh wait, that didn't work. It doesn't have the capacity to handle empty collections. I thought I'd get an empty array, but apparently not. Ok, I'll write some checks in to my shortcode.

git commit -m "Setting up home page structure with local prism css"

Ok. That worked. Time to read about building Pages from Data with Eleventy.

Implementing Tag Data for New Templates

Ok so, let's build it out at project-pages.njk.

{% raw %}

data: projects
size: 1
alias: project
permalink: "projects/{{ project | slug }}/"
title: "Project: {{ project | slug }}"

{% block postcontent %}
<h3 class="capitalize-first">{{project}}</h3>

<!-- post list: -->
{% endblock %}

{% endraw %}

Alright, the page is getting built, but the title meta isn't populated. How to fix?

Ok, it doesn't appear to be clearly documented, but I need to use eleventyComputed

So I replace the title property as follows:

{% raw %}

data: projects
size: 1
alias: project
permalink: "projects/{{ project | slug }}/"
title: "Project: {{ project.title }}"

{% endraw %}

Ok, I'm getting the title now. But I want to filter the list of project posts by the project metadata.

This is more complicated.

But ok, here's what I ended up doing

Folder Based Tags

First, I needed to make the project global data object even more complicated. It now needs a Title, a slug and a projectName.

To fill out that projectName I need to stop putting the project data in the blog post and instead put it in the
directory's data file.

Then I need to pull the content of that data file into my new global object's projectName like so:

const { readdirSync } = require('fs');
const path = require('path')

const getDirectories = source =>
readdirSync(source, { withFileTypes: true })
.filter(dirent => dirent.isDirectory())
.map(dirent =>

const directorySet = getDirectories('src/posts/projects/').map(
(projectDir) => {
return {
title: projectDir.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + projectDir.slice(1),
slug: projectDir,
projectName: require(path.resolve(`./src/posts/projects/${projectDir}/${projectDir}.json`)).project

Now the pages that I'm generating for individual projects can filter by that value:

{% raw %}

{%- for post in collections.projects -%}
{% if == project.projectName %}
<a href="{{ post.url }}">{{ }}</a>
{% endif %}
{%- endfor -%}

{% endraw %}

Ok, it works!

git commit -am "Project pages"

Ok, I'm going to add a description for the overall project and make it available the same way. Looks good.

I want to show tags in the sidebar/footer but the current layout isn't great. I'll have to add CSS to handle it.

Ok, train ride is over!

git commit -am "Finishing project pages"