Jeremy Harris

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Mar 2015

Released jeremyharris/build

I pushed an early release for my static site generator today. It's a fairly simple generator that I used to create this site, but it has a few cool features that make publishing content a bit more fun than it used to be for me.

Check it out on Github: jeremyharris/build

When I set out to switch my site from an unnecessarily heavy CMS to a simple static site, I wanted a generator that was written in PHP that would give me the flexibility of writing markdown or PHP. I couldn't find anything out there at the time, so I wrote my own (because why not).

I'm fairly happy with the result, as it does what I want and is a fairly small codebase.

I've wrapped up deployment as well (that is, uploading files to AWS S3), which you can check out here: jeremyharris/someguyjeremy. I used CLImate for the CLI tool, as it recently released no-nosense argument parsing. Since Build::build() is smart enough to only build new files, the whole site isn't deployed each time I deploy to S3 (saving me only some pennies because my site's not really very big...).


There are still some improvements I'd like to make. A notable one, for example, is that while it doesn't rebuild unmodified files, it's not smart enough to detect a layout change and rebuild the views. Also, if you create a PHP page (such as a Blog archive) page, that page will not be rebuilt if you add a post. For now, I just force build when I make these sorts of changes, but making them automatically rebuild those sorts of pages will be an addition I'll be working on.

$build = new \JeremyHarris\Build\Build('/path/to/site_target', '/path/to/build_target');
// force rebuild

Or, in the case of my little CLI tool: $ php build.php -s site/ -b build/ -f

I'd also like to add support for multiple layouts, althought I don't personally have a need for it at the moment.

I'll probably discover more changes and improvements to make down the road as I use it more.

Straight PHP

It's been a long while since I coded straight PHP, and with the standards set today and the advancements in the PHP language itself, it's really a pleasant experience.

League Packages

I've used a couple of The PHP League's packages for this project. I have to say, CLImate was a fun one to use. CommonMark not as much. I struggled with the lack of documentation in trying to add a custom parser. I suppose I'll jump back in and try again at some point. It'll be nice to add some more parsers so I can shortcut things like icons, and point all external links to a new tab.

I've used other League packages in other projects, and they are definitely worth checking out if you haven't yet.

Jeremy Harris is a web developer with over 10 years of experience. He's coded in many languages and currently focuses on PHP, both agnostic and framework-based. When he isn't at the keyboard, you can find him walking @riverthepuppy or brewing beer. He only talks in the third person when peer pressure dictates he should, such as on his blog.