I’m not lazy, I’m efficient! To speed publishing, I added these tasks to my Jekyll Rakefile. I can do almost everything required to add content to this site by issuing a rake [task] command. Hope you find some of them useful!


The default task prints a usage message - helpful if I ever forget about some of the shortcuts I’ve created.

# default task - added by yuri
# Usage: rake"
desc "Default task - post usage messages"
task :default do
  puts "Usage: rake"
  puts "  print this message\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake post title=\"A Title\" [tags=[tag1,tag2]] [category=\"category\"]"
  puts "  create a new post\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake page name=\"about.html\""
  puts "  create a new page\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake update file=\"filename\""
  puts "  update file's YAML date: front matter to current system time\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake edit [path=\"_drafts\"]"
  puts "  edit the most recently modified file in [path] - default is _posts/*\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake build"
  puts "  build site using jekyll\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake preview"
  puts "  start jekyll site server at localhost:4000\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake theme:switch name=\"the-program\""
  puts "  switch between jekyll-bootstrap themes\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake theme:install git=\"https://github.com/jekyllbootstrap/theme-twitter.git\""
  puts "Usage: rake theme:install name=\"cool-theme\""
  puts "  install new jekyll-bootstrap theme\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake commit"
  puts "  stage files for git upload\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake push"
  puts "  push (uploads) staged files to GitHub\n\n"
  puts "Usage: rake deploy"
  puts "  execute commit and push tasks to deploy (upload) site changes"
end # default task

rake update file=”filename”

Changes the file’s date: FrontMatter to the specified file’s last modified date/time (rfc822 format). This is useful if you’ve been drafting a page/post over the course of several days and want it to reflect the actual date of publishing, rather than the file creation date.

# update page/post YAML frontmatter (publish) date to the file's last modified date/time
# added by yuri
# will not add "date: " frontmatter - only updates the existing one
# Usage: rake update file="filename"
desc "Update YAML date"
task :update do
  filename = ENV["file"]
  if filename.nil?
    abort("Usage: rake update file=\"filename\"")
  if not File.exist?(filename)
    abort("File not found.")
  if open(filename).grep(/^date: ".*"/).length > 0
    mdatetime = File.mtime(filename).rfc822
    text = File.read(filename).gsub(/^date: ".*"/, "date: \"#{mdatetime}\"")
    File.open(filename, "w").write(text)
    puts "Updated publish date to #{mdatetime}"
    puts "File not updated -- no [date: ] FrontMatter found."
end # task update

rake edit [path=”_drafts”]

Opens the most recently modified file in the specified path for editing with gvim. The default path is _posts. I find this particularly useful when creating new posts, since the post filenames are typically very similar, not fun to type, and bash autocompletion with the tab key only goes so far.

# edit (in gvim) the most recently modified file - added by yuri
# useful after creating a new post or page
# Usage: rake edit [path="_drafts"]
desc "Edit the most recently modified file with gvim"
task :edit do
  path = ENV["path"] || "_posts"
  file = Dir.glob("#{path}/*").max_by {|f| File.mtime(f)}
  status = system("gvim #{file}")
  puts status ? "Opening #{file} with gvim" : "Failed to open #{file}"
end # task edit

rake build and preview

Two very simple tasks to build and preview your site using the Jekyll server. They’re almost too simple, but I admit to using the preview task a lot.

# jekyll build - added by yuri
# Usage: rake build"
desc "Build local site"
task :build do
  system "jekyll build"
end # task build

# jekyll site preview - added by yuri
desc "Launch preview environment"
task :preview do
  system "jekyll serve -w"
end # task :preview

rake commit, push, and deploy

Automating common git tasks. Again, these are rather oversimplified. In fact, you can see where I commented out some of the more elegant borrowed code and opted for really bare bones functionality. The push/deploy tasks will publish all files to the master branch. So far, I haven’t used forks when managing the site, so these tasks do everything I need of them.

# rake commit/deploy - added by yuri
# from http://davidensinger.com/2013/07/automating-jekyll-deployment-to-github-pages-with-rake/

desc "Commit _site/"
task :commit do
  puts "\n## Staging modified files"
  status = system("git add -A")
  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"
  puts "\n## Committing a site build at #{Time.now.utc}"
  message = "Build site at #{Time.now.utc}"
  status = system("git commit -m \"#{message}\"")
  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"
 # puts "\n## Pushing commits to remote"
 # status = system("git push origin source")
 # puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"

desc "Push _site/ to master branch"
task :push do
#  puts "\n## Deleting master branch"
#  status = system("git branch -D master")
#  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"
#  puts "\n## Creating new master branch and switching to it"
#  status = system("git checkout -b master")
#  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"
#  puts "\n## Forcing the _site subdirectory to be project root"
#  status = system("git filter-branch --subdirectory-filter _site/ -f")
#  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"
#  puts "\n## Switching back to source branch"
#  status = system("git checkout source")
#  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"
  puts "\n## Pushing all branches to origin"
  status = system("git push --all origin")
  puts status ? "Success" : "Failed"

desc "Commit and deploy _site/"
task :deploy=> [:commit, :push] do

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18 February 2014