Nerdy Site Improvements

Published 2021-03-17 on Matthew's Blog

Let’s skip right over how long it’s been since I’ve written a blog post and dive right into some recent changes I’ve made on this site. A lot of it is behind the scenes in the scripts I use to manage creating new posts, publishing drafts, deploying the site to my server and just today I wrote a quick ruby script that adds the current commit hash to _config.yml.

In case you aren’t already aware, I use Jekyll as my static-site generator.

Creating New Posts

I was getting tired of having to manually write the YAML front-matter for each new post, so I wrote a bash script that asks for the title and creates it in _posts/ with the date prepended before a slugified title. I could pass -d which will create it as a draft instead, of course placing it in _drafts/ with no date.

Publishing Drafts

I’ve written another script to assist with publishing drafts. I’m rather proud of this script since it shows me a list of each draft, and adding “today’s” date to the title, then moving it to _posts/.

Today’s improvements to this script include adding the ability to automatically create a commit with the new post. If I pass -D, this would also run my deploy script.

Deployment

Another simple bash script to actually deploy to my server. It’s main job is to build the site, and update site.git_hash, and scp it to my server. It runs my ruby script to get the current hash of HEAD, then updates _config.yml. Finally it creates another commit to track we’ve updated site.git_hash.

update_version.rb

This script was written because it seems easiest to work with YAML files using a scripting langauge that isn’t bash, and since Jekyll is written in ruby I just decided to use it.

There’s probably some massive improvements that could be made since, if I run all three scripts, that’s at least two new commits for each deployment. However, I think I’ll be okay with this process since it doesn’t make sense to add the commit hash to the site footer and have it go to the “updating hash” commit.


You can find these scripts in the jrgnsn.net repo incase you’re bored and want to read some bad code.

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I'm a systems administrator & engineer, front-end and back-end developer, and an IT guru in Minneapolis, MN. It’s nice to meet you.