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Articles by Dj Walker

DJ Walker
DJ Walker Developer Relations

Musician who writes code to avoid disappointing his parents

Is it Time to Move on From WordPress?

WordPress 5.0 has been released, and with it comes their much-hyped new editing experience, Gutenberg. The inclusion of Gutenberg in this release has caused no shortage of acrimony in the WordPress community. The new editor is opt-out as opposed to opt-in (and opting out requires installing yet another plugin), and is such a significant departure from their original content editor that it is guaranteed to cause major issues with third-party plugins and themes (Gutenberg, for example, does not support WordPress’ meta box API, an essential component of customizing the current editing interface used by countless plugins.

Data Files, Directories, and Duplicating Pages

The lumberjacks have been busy lately! Here’s what we’ve been up to: Agnostic Data File Handling We have removed support for our old way of handling data files. Previously, we used some heuristics to automatically discover data files in your Jekyll and Hugo projects. Data files must now be manually configured by creating sections for them. VuePress Now Out of Beta Abstracting data file discovery in our content manager has paved the way for more easily supporting other static site generators.

An Introduction to Theming in VuePress

When I first looked at VuePress, I marveled at how quickly you could install it alongside your project’s existing markdown docs to create a polished documentation website. This is without a doubt one of VuePress’ biggest strengths, but documentation is not the only thing it can do. VuePress is a highly flexible static site generator, and provides the ability to completely customize the way your pages are built via its Layout component.

Demystifying Hugo Conditionals

When we published our comparison of Jekyll and Hugo, we got a lot of flak from Hugo die-hards for suggesting that Jekyll had a more intuitive templating syntax. While the intuitiveness of a particular language is somewhat subjective, criticism of Hugo’s template syntax frequently comes up in discussion with other developers. Hugo is a great choice for a static site generator: it’s compiled into a static binary, so it’s easy to install on any system, and it’s fast.

Using JSON Configuration With VuePress

Here at Forestry, we think VuePress is pretty cool. When it came time to set our sights on supporting SSGs beyond Hugo and Jekyll, we selected VuePress as our guinea pig. Our adoption of VuePress has helped to highlight the differences among the variety of Static Site Generators, and move us in a direction that will enable users of SSGs beyond Hugo and Jekyll to take advantage of Forestry’s content manager.

Introducing Custom Build Commands

We’re excited to announce Custom Build Commands! You can now decide what build command should be run for your project. Until now Forestry chose the build command that needed to be run for you, which worked fine for most cases. However, this meant that projects that needed a custom build process were unable to use Forestry’s deployment tools and (in some cases) previews. Picking your own commands enables you to really choose your own workflow and give you the flexibility you need.

Creating Lambda@Edge and Route 53 Resources with CloudFormation

Previously, I showed you how to automatically provision AWS resources with CloudFormation. CloudFormation provides a concise, declarative syntax for configuring a “stack” of AWS resources. Given the sizable catalog of services provided by AWS, and the need to connect services together for most use cases, being able to declare a stack of connected services all together in a single configuration file will help you keep track of your project’s infrastructure and reduce the likelihood of misconfiguration.

Automate Your Static Hosting Environment With AWS CloudFormation

I love automation. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I’ve written a few times about using continuous integration to automate the deployment of your software. Why stop at deployment? Can we use automation to improve our infrastructure? The answer, unsurprisingly, is yes (this would be a pretty short article otherwise.) There are many different tools out there that can be used to automate the provisioning of hosting infrastructure.

Create In-App Documentation For Content Editors

Say you’re writing some code and you hit a road block: what was the name of that method again? Which parameters do I need to send in this API request? What does this error message mean? At times like this, developers reach for the documentation. Ideally, this documentation is close at hand in order to minimize the interruption to your coding flow. Forestry’s content editor plays an interesting role in the creation of static sites.

Migrating to Key-based Authentication

Head’s up! We’re making some changes to how Forestry authenticates with your Git repos. Today, we rolled out an update that uses persistent SSH keys to interact with your repo. Previously, we were relying on OAuth tokens to gain access as needed, but some users were encountering problems with this method as tokens would intermittently expire before they could be refreshed. Using long-lived SSH credentials is intended to solve this problem.