Jeremy Harris

This post is very old. Technology, especially open source, moves very fast and it's likely that some of the information could be out of date. Please take that into consideration as you read this post.

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...).

Improvements

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
$build->build(true);

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.