It’s early in our bootcamp and we’ve been learning HTML & CSS, the bones of web development. HTML & CSS are simple languages that the developer uses to layout a website’s design and information. Hopefully the developer designs the site in a way that is:

  • clear to understand
  • easy to navigate
  • a pleasure to behold

Even working on a very simple website it becomes obvious that with every little change, you frequently end up performing repetitive, reduntant actions. If you mispell a word in the menu then you have to go to every page that has a menu (all of them) and fix the spelling. This happens a LOT. (No jks abut my speling, pleese.) If you have 5 pages, this is a minor annoyance. If you have 20 then life just isn’t worth living.

This is where Jekyll comes to the rescue.

A Better Way Of Life

Jekyll is built on the principle of DRY, or Don’t Repeat Yourself.

It separates each portion of a website page into its own partition. These segments are then called on when wanted. This puts the information in one place instead of on every page.

For example, if you have hyperlinks in your footer (contact, copyright, etc.) and they appear on 1000 pages, then you can separate the footer from the rest of the page. The code for your footer will only be in one place but Jekyll will make it appear on all 1000 pages.

As someone who loves efficiency, I find this a beautiful thing.

It feels very modular. I also love Legos.

Is There No Downside?

I loved every aspect of Jekyll until it came time to actually write this blogpost.

Blogs in Jekyll are written using Markdown, a basic text formatting language. Simplicity is good, but after days of immersion in CSS the lack of any styling for the text nearly drove me bonkers.

I spent an unfortunate hour or two trying various ways to add CSS styles to my Markdown. To no avail.

I’ve been assured that tomorrow we will be learning Bootstrap and all my problems will be solved.

Till then, I’ll simply carry on. And hopefully sleep.