Part 36: A Markdown It Plugin - Understand the Ruler

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Close up photo of keyboard keys.
| 'TYPE' by SarahDeer is licensed with CC BY 2.0 |

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?

  • Order projects listing by last posted blog in that project

  • Limit the output of home page post lists to a specific number of posts

  • Show the latest post below the site intro on the homepage.

  • Tags pages with Pagination

  • Posts should be able to support a preview header image that can also be shown on post lists.

  • Create a Markdown-It plugin that reads the project's repo URL off the folder data file and renders commit messages with links to the referenced commit. (Is this even possible?) (Is there a way to do it with eleventy instead?)

  • Create Next Day/Previous Day links on each post / Next/Previous post on post templates from projects

  • Tags should be in the sidebar of articles and link to tag pages

  • Create a skiplink for the todo section (or would this be better served with the ToC plugin?) - Yes it would be!

  • Add a Things I Learned section to the project pages that are the things I learned from that specific project.

  • Add a technical reading log to the homepage

  • Hide empty sections.

  • Add byline to post pages

  • Have table of contents attach to sidebar bottom on mobile

  • Support dark mode

  • Social Icons

  • SEO/Social/JSON-LD HEAD data

Day 36

I'm realizing that if I want to pull the repo in for the Markdown It shortcode. How do I get the page-level data?

Ok, so I'm checking in the callback passed into md.core.ruler.after and I'm not seeing anything. Not even any process.env. Not a good sign. I'm going to try to console.log in a few places to see if I can see if any of them give me the right rights.

Ok, it looks like ruler.after isn't the right place to be. I've gone into rerender.rules instead.

Cool to see all my rules by logging them!


Now I've got a small plugin

		.use((md) => {
console.log('rules', Object.keys(md.renderer.rules))
const defaultRender = md.renderer.rules.code_inline;
md.renderer.rules.code_inline = function (tokens, idx, options, env, self) {
console.log('env ', Object.keys(env), env.repo)
// pass token to default renderer.
return defaultRender(tokens, idx, options, env, self);

Perfect! I can see the global vars coming from the data cascade inside env as passed to the function.

'defaults', 'description',
'layout', 'projects',
'site', 'pkg',
'tags', 'date',
'project', 'repo',
'featuredImage', 'title',
'subtitle', 'page',

Ok, a little more experimentation and it looks like I can definitely use this approach to capture my commit messages in my posts! Function now looks like this and I am seeing the git commit messages I write to mark my commits in blog posts!

.use((md) => {
console.log('rules', Object.keys(md.renderer.rules))
const defaultRender = md.renderer.rules.code_inline,
testPattern = /git commit \-am \"/i

md.renderer.rules.code_inline = function (tokens, idx, options, env, self) {
console.log('env ', Object.keys(env), env.repo)
var token = tokens[idx],
content = token.content;
if (testPattern.test(content)) {
console.log('git content:', content)
// pass token to default renderer.
return defaultRender(tokens, idx, options, env, self);

Progress! Gotta end now and go to sleep, but even though I could fit in a little work today, it went a long way!

git commit -am "Day 36, quick but useful stuff"