Martin Chaov chasing bits...

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Hello World!

Hi there! Welcome to my blog and very first post!

As you may have noticed in the abstract I mention that I wrote a static site generator because of it.

It definitelly didn't start this way. I was planning to use one of already popular ones... However, I was wasting more and more time in their documentations, all I really wanted was simple web site that is quick to build and release. I didn't want complex setups and lenghty installs and etc. It seems that I also didn't need a system with a lot of features...

And so ... my own static site generator from markdown started to look more and more appealing.

The entire logic doing that is quite simple - I am using:

And that's it ... the code below generates this entire website. As I am writing this post at 3AM after just completing my frankenstatic generator - it looks quite ugly. Maybe I will improve it and publish - yet another open source static site generator... Nah, I am too lazy to make this a product. After I am done playing with it, I will probably migrate to something that supports generating posts from markdown.

I have created couple of HTML files to use as templates and added string notation to make my toknes easy to match and replace with reges -> {{TOKEN}}. Then I've read them into variables:

const pageTemplate = readFileSync(
    path.resolve(__dirname, "template.html")
).toString();

const articleAbstractTemplate = readFileSync(
    path.resolve(__dirname, "article-abstract.html")
).toString();

const html = {
    HEADER: readFileAsString(path.resolve(__dirname, "header.html")),
    MENU: readFileAsString(path.resolve(__dirname, "menu.html")),
    FOOTER: readFileAsString(path.resolve(__dirname, "footer.html"))
}

All my markdown files need some meta data that I've added in the following format:

!{{
    "dateCreated": number,
    "dateUpdated": number,
    "pageTitle": string,
    "tags": string[],
    "abstract": string
}}

And the regex that matches it inside this simple function:

const metaRegex = /!{{(.*?)}}/s;

function extractMeta(content) { // content is the string contents of the markdown file
    const meta = content.match(metaRegex)[1];
    return JSON.parse(`{${meta}}`)
}

Then the "marked" and "highlight.js" packages need some setup:

marked.setOptions({
    gfm: true,
    breaks: true,
    smartLists: true,
    highlight: (code, lang, _) => {
        return hljs.highlight(lang, code).value
    }
});

Some helper functions to simplify my writing:

function readFileAsString(pth) {
    return readFileSync(pth).toString();
}

function generatePageTitle(title) {
    if (title) {
        return ` | ${title}`;
    }
    return "";
}

This is the main function that generates the articles HTML and writes the static files in to the FS:

function parseArticle(fullPath) {
    const content = readFileAsString(fullPath);
    const meta = extractMeta(content);

    const parcedContent = `<article class="markdown-body"><p></p>
        ${marked(content.replace(metaRegex, ""))}
    </article>`;

    let output = pageTemplate;
    output = output.replace("{PAGETITLE}", generatePageTitle(meta.pageTitle));
    output = output.replace("{HEADER}", html.HEADER);
    output = output.replace("{CONTENT}", parcedContent);
    output = output.replace("{MENU}", html.MENU);
    output = output.replace("{FOOTER}", html.FOOTER);

    return { meta, output };
}

function parseArticles(paths) {
    console.log("\n### Parsing articles\n")
    const articles = paths
        .map(fullPath => {
            console.log(`#### PARSING: ${fullPath}`)
            return {
                pth: path.parse(fullPath),
                article: parseArticle(fullPath),
            }
        });

    // write all articles to FS
    articles.forEach(x => {
        writeFileSync(
            path.join(outFolder, `${x.pth.name}.html`),
            x.article.output
        )
    });

    // generate content for home page
    console.log(`#### PARSING: homepage`)
    const homePageContent = articles
        .map(x => {
            return {
                ...x.article.meta,
                url: x.pth.name.toLowerCase()
            }
        })
        .sort((b, a) => a.dateCreated - b.dateCreated)
        .map(x => {
            let article = articleAbstractTemplate;
            article = article.replace("{TITLE}", x.pageTitle);
            article = article.replace("{DATE}", new Date(x.dateCreated).toLocaleString());
            article = article.replace("{ABSTRACT}", x.abstract);
            article = article.replace("{LINK}", `/${x.url}.html`);
            return article;
        })
        .join("<hr></hr>");

    let homeOutput = pageTemplate;
    homeOutput = homeOutput.replace("{PAGETITLE}", "");
    homeOutput = homeOutput.replace("{HEADER}", html.HEADER);
    homeOutput = homeOutput.replace("{CONTENT}", `<div class="markdown-body">${homePageContent}</div>`);
    homeOutput = homeOutput.replace("{MENU}", html.MENU);
    homeOutput = homeOutput.replace("{FOOTER}", html.FOOTER);

    writeFileSync(
        path.join(outFolder, `index.html`),
        homeOutput
    );

    console.log("\n### ALL ARTICLES PARSED");
}

I do use some CSS and it needs to be concatenated and "deflated":

function parseCSS(paths) {
    const css = paths
        .map(readFileAsString)
        .join(" ")
        .replace(/\s+/gim, " ");

    writeFileSync(
        path.join(outFolderCSS, "main.css"),
        css
    );

    console.log("### CSS Parsed");
}

Everytime I decide to rebuild the pages I should clean the FS from the existing files:

async function manageFS() {
    await ensureDir(outFolder);
    emptyDirSync(outFolder);
    await ensureDir(outFolderCSS);

    writeFileSync(path.join(outFolder, "favicon.ico"), readFileSync(favIcoPath));

    copySync(imagesPath, outFolderImages);
    console.log("### Directory clean up complete");
}

And the IIFE that makes all of this happen when I type npm run build:

const rr = require("recursive-readdir");

(async function () {
    await manageFS();

    rr(articlesPath)
        .then(parseArticles)
        .catch(console.error)

    rr(cssPath)
        .then(parseCSS)
        .catch(console.error)
}())

That took me couple of hours to stitch together. Quite the enjoyable experience...

Feel free to check the source on github.