Random Geekery

Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

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sometimes the tools break

Building my Eleventy site

something something "right tool for the right job"

Not a huge post. I’m using this Eleventy incarnation of the site as a way to learn a few Node.js topics, and many of those concepts are still sinking in.

So how am I building this thing?

We know it’s Eleventy. But what did I find to get a decent web nerd workflow?

Let’s go down the list. You may know better choices. I won’t complain if you share them nicely.

You may not know better choices. If you come wandering in from some search engine, this page is not expert opinion. It’s just what I was able to find that could glue everything together long enough to publish a site.

So let’s go down the list.

yarn to run everything

I opted to drive this with Yarn. For my beginner brain it looks equivalent to npm but I find Yarn’s usage and invocation more pleasant.

package.json to tell Yarn what I want it to do

Everybody seems to treat the scripts block of a package.json pretty much the same as the targets of a Makefile so I embraced that.

Here are my core scripts / tasks:

"scripts": {
"dev": "npm-run-all --parallel serve watch:style",
"build:dev": "npm-run-all --serial site:img site:style site:content",
"build:prod": "npm-run-all --serial site:img site:style site:content:prod",
"clean": "rimraf dist",
"push": "rsync -av dist/ vps:randomgeekery.org",
"serve": "eleventy --serve --quiet",
"site:img": "ts-node build_tasks/process_images.ts",
"site:content": "eleventy --quiet",
"site:content:prod": "INCLUDE_ANALYTICS=1 eleventy --quiet",
"site:style": "sass ./src/assets/scss/main.scss ./dist/assets/css/main.css",
"watch:style": "sass --watch ./src/assets/scss/main.scss ./dist/assets/css/main.css"

Build, develop, clean, upload. All the basics are there. I don’t think package.json really has namespaces, but I use : to pretend.

ts-node to execute TypeScript code

In the process of learning TypeScript, and I’m very much a “learn by doing” sort of person. “Doing” here means “typing the code and making it run.” I’ll learn the compilation framework of tsc soon enough, but ts-node lets me execute my TypeScript code immediately.

I like that.

sass to make things pretty — eventually

I’m sure I’ll get deeper into Tailwind or Windi eventually, but for now it’s still easier to write my styles in Sass.

And yes I know my styles are rough right now. Decided if I let myself linger and wait for the perfect layout I’d never push the update. But I’ll get to it.

npm-run-all so I can do two things with one command

The only thing I couldn’t figure out how to do with package.json was run two tasks with a single command. That’s apparently because it doesn’t do that on its own. package.json is not a Makefile.

Have no fear. npm-run-all is here. It’s a CLI application focused on letting you run multiple package.json script commands, sequentially or in parallel.

rsync to share it when I’m ready

This is a static site served by Apache. It doesn’t need some continuous integration / deployment pipeline. I have files. rsync uploads them with a quickness.

rsync has been part of my toolkit for years. I’ll replace it when I don’t need it anymore.

rimraf to clean up after myself

Everyone else is using rimraf to clean build and intermediate files. I don’t know enough to choose any different.

That’s all the important stuff anyways

I wanted to go over everything, but there’s just too much. A lot of the ideas are still cooking. Expect more on every blogger’s favorite topic: “how I built my blog.”

I’m having fun though!