• More Advanced Jekyll/Liquid Template Techniques

    Working on a recent project, I’ve come across several items that were either not well documented or slightly complex - though perhaps calling them “advanced” overstates the case. In this case, we’ll cover using multiple filters on a single value, using Liquid in Markdown, custom sorting posts and displaying posts by category. I’m sure there may be different (even better) solutions to what I describe here, but I share because these worked for me (and might for you too).

    In case you missed it, I published my original Advanced Jekyll/Liquid Template Techniques about a year ago that covers determining if a category has posts (and how many), assigning variables, using variables in an include and, finally, dynamically loading data based on a variable.

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  • On The Mobile Web in Mobile Web Weekly

    There has been quite a bit of debate stirred lately about the content in the Mobile Web Weekly newsletter (which I co-edit with Holly Schinsky and is run by Cooper Press). In part, the debate was stirred by a fair question from Paul Irish:

    You can see some of my responses to his tweet, but I wanted to discuss it more here as there’s more to say than can fit into a tweet or two.

    First, some background on Mobile Web Weekly.

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  • What is Linkbait?

    I’ve see the term linkbait thrown around quite a bit (I’ve been accused of it myself). However, I think it’s worth taking a look at the term to decide what it really means.

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  • Which Static Site Generator Should You Choose?

    As part of the process of writing my Static Site Generators ebook for O’Reilly and maintaining my Static Site Samples project on GitHub, I’ve used a good number of static site generators including: Jekyll, Middleman, Hugo, Wintersmith, Metalsmith, Harp, Hexo, DocPad and Roots.

    You’d think 9 static site generators is a lot, but that’s out of a list of 423 (as of this writing anyway). Still, it includes many of the leading projects and more than any normal person would want to try before choosing one. Because of this I am often asked (and often present on) which static site generator I recommend (based upon the ones I’ve used).

    Let me give you the simple answer first, then the more nuanced answer second.

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  • Hostile to Documentation?

    I think every developer has had that feeling when they discover a project on GitHub that seems like the answer to the problem they are trying to solve. Unfortunately, many times this project turns out to be either undocumented or minimally documented and the experience ends in frustration.

    Yesterday I released an article titled “Your Open Source Project is Considered Harmful” (fwiw, the title is meant to be cheeky though not everyone took it that way) that discusses the huge abundance of undocumented and poorly documented code on GitHub. The goal of the article is to ask developers to think before they make their code public - and if you are just posting a project that you don’t intend to maintain, support or document, make that clear to the end user.

    I knew that the topic would be somewhat controversial but I didn’t realize the level of hostility and sometimes anger (towards me specifically) it would engender. I want to take a moment to discuss some of the responses.

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