Hello World Devblog - Day 2

Getting this dev blog running

Part 2 of setting up 11ty dev blog.

Day 2

Ok, day 2. Let's restate the requirements and todos!

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.

[ ] Also the sitemap plugin looks cool. Should grab that later.

[ ] So does the reading time one.

[ ] Also this TOC plugin mby?

[ ] Use Data Deep Merge in this blog.

[ ] Decide if I want to render the CSS fancier than just a base file.

[ ] Can I use the template inside of dinky that already exists instead of copy/pasting it?

Setting up Layouts folder

Ok, so why isn't it picking up the layout from either _layouts/post.njk or _layouts/default.njk? Maybe I need to define a default at the data level? Or do I need to move it to src even if I define the location in the returned configuration?

Moving it into src doesn't seem to do anything. But it looks like all the files I configure into Eleventy in the returned object do need to be in there, so apparently I can't set a default layout in the data folder?

Adding a template to src/posts/posts.json

{ "layout": "layouts/post.njk" }

Ok, yay, an error!

Error You’re trying to use a layout that does not exist layouts/post.njk (undefined)

Because I defined a path to layouts in the config, I don't need to include it?

{ "layout": "post.njk" }

Yup, now I have an error in the template!

Ok, looks like I can't use this structure:
{% raw %}
{{ site.lang | default: "en-US" }}"
{% endraw %}

So, default values, how should I do them? It looks like the answer is to define it as a data global. Ok let's try it, place the default in src/_data/site.json.

"lang": "en-US"

Huh... render error on this file:

TemplateContentRenderError ... expected variable end

Going to remove {% raw %}{% seo %}{% endraw %} from the template. I assume it is a template fragment without looking it up but I'm not prepared to figure it out. Still no solve. Good time to commit!

git commit -am "Template still not working but getting closer"

Ok, let's start stripping out stuff from the template. The error indicates the problem is in my markdown, but that doesn't make sense, so simpler template. Ok, first, I want the dinky assets folder so it works properly in the template. There are more ways to configure the passthrough rules to make this work for me.

eleventyConfig.addPassthroughCopy({ "dinky/assets": "assets" });

Ok, passthrough works! But the template still won't render. The error is still in my markdown! At [Line 49, Column 67]. What is going on?! That line is empty, it doesn't have columns.

Wait... the line number is likely being calculated after the metadata is removed from the head of the md file. Ok... my metadata takes up 10 lines so it is really line 59. Oh! It's a code sample from the template. It's trying to render an njk variable from the markdown file?! That's very dumb.

To Google! "njk picking up code sample of njk code" > result.

Raw tag huh? How does that work exactly? Oh... like this.

Ok, works both for blocks and inline, good!

Ok, defaults for posts have to be in the posts folder's posts.json. I cannot seem to set any defaults for posts in the _data folder. Or at least I haven't figured out how. But ok, things are rendering now in the right template. Also the assets are being passed out of the dinky submodule! This is good. The process works, so now I can start to build in my weirdness.

I still really want to figure out the defaults thing first. How do I make this work?

Ok, here we go.

So to get a default description value in my template I can set it up with a file at src/_data/description.js and have the content of that file be module.exports = "Talking about code";. Ok, that works!

Yay, Eleventy defaults work now! Good place to commit.

git commit -am "Ok, renders and defaults are working now"

Sass - figuring out _renderSync

Hmmm... ok I guess that I picked a bad example plugin, because the one I used doesn't have a typical footprint. Well, I'm not going to have a typical footprint I guess. Let's start without that. It runs sync, so I can just call the function during setup mby? Just add sassBuild(); to the inside of my .eleventy.js function inside of module.exports = function (eleventyConfig) {?

Ok... renderSync from dart-sass threw an error:

Receiver: Closure '_renderSync'
Arguments: [Instance of 'PlainJavaScriptObject', Instance of 'JavaScriptFunction']

`` was thrown:
NoSuchMethodError: method not found: 'call'

Lol documentation error in dart-sass apparently. Don't pass two functions, because that's an async pattern, instead return the result.

Cool. New error!

Invalid argument(s): Either options.data or options.file must be set.

Can I not use multiple files? I guess I need a single file that calls the others using @use. Last time I used Sass it was @import, but according to docs, that method is out now. Good to know!

Oh, gotta remember paths are relative to execution, so I have to set up paths in both the Sass plugin AND the @use relative to the base of the project, where I'm executing the Eleventy build process.

Still no css file.

Oh, lol

Despite the name, Sass does not write the CSS output to this file. The caller must do that themselves.

Ok, gotta do that.

Writing out the Sass file

Ok, I want to use fs to write the resulting file into docs/styles/styles.css. Only, the styles directory does not predictably exist so fs fails because I have to make that folder. Of course, forgot. Easy enough.

Ok, it works! This is a good place to stop because it is almost midnight.

git commit -am "Compile that sass"

And this is pretty far along, huh? Time to push it to Github.