My first Grunt plugin

Published by at 28th December 2014 5:04 pm

A while back, I mentioned that I'd written a Yeoman generator for creating a flat HTML blog, called generator-simple-static-blog. For this, I'd used the first Grunt plugin I could find for the purpose, which was grunt-markdown-blog. This worked, but I wasn't really very happy with it.

The ideal Grunt plugin I had in mind was as follows:

  • Used Handlebars for templating
  • Generated posts from Markdown files
  • Saved files in named folders with a single index.html file in each one (like Octopress does) so that no file extension is visible on a page
  • Generated index pages, rather than just showing the latest post as the first page

Unfortunately, grunt-markdown-blog only fulfilled the second criteria, so it was never going to be something I stuck with long-term. However, I couldn't find anything else that would do the trick, so it looked like my only option was to write a suitable plugin myself.

I started a new Git repository a while back, but didn't make much progress. Then, on Christmas Eve, I suddenly got the urge to start working on this again, and in a matter of a few hours I'd gotten a working Grunt plugin that ticked all of these boxes. I had to delay getting it integrated into the generator due to Christmas day, and then an unfortunate bout of flu, but I've now published it as grunt-blogbuilder and amended the Yeoman generator to use it instead.

I'm really pleased with the outcome, and while I'm still not yet ready to migrate over to it from Octopress, it's a massive step forward, and building a Grunt plugin has been an interesting experience.