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Documentation Setup

Command Line Usage

The Bridgetown gem makes the bridgetown executable available to you in your terminal. In a site project, a binstub is provided in the bin folder so you can execute bin/bridgetown and ensure you’re using the correct version of Bridgetown as specified in your Gemfile. (The shorter bin/bt alias is also provided.)

You can run bin/bridgetown to see a list of available commands as well as Rake tasks which either come with Bridgetown or are located in your Rakefile. See below for information on how to define your own Rake tasks.

The help <command> command provides more information about the available options for any specific command.

Available commands are:

  • bridgetown new PATH - Creates a new Bridgetown site at the specified path with a default configuration and typical site folder structure.
    • Use the --apply= or -a option to apply an automation to the new site.
    • Use the --configure= or -c option to apply one or more bundled configurations to the new site.
    • Use the -t option to choose ERB or Serbea templates instead of Liquid (aka -t erb).
    • Use the -e option to choose Webpack instead of esbuild for your frontend bundler (aka -e webpack).
    • Use the --use-sass option to configure your project to support Sass.
  • bin/bridgetown start or s - Boots the Rack-based server (using Puma) at localhost:4000. In development, you’ll get live reload functionality as long as {% live_reload_dev_js %} or <%= live_reload_dev_js %> is in your HTML head.
  • bin/bridgetown deploy - Ensures that all frontend assets get built alongside the published Bridgetown output. This is the command you’ll want to use for deployment.
  • bin/bridgetown build or b - Performs a single build of your site to the output folder. Add the -w flag to also regenerate the site whenever a source file changes.
  • bin/bridgetown console or c - Opens up an IRB console and lets you inspect your site configuration and content “under the hood” using Bridgetown’s native Ruby API. See below for information on how to add your own console methods.
    • The console command loads up the console configuration context by default. Use the --server-config option (or -s) to load the server context instead (which also requires Puma and instantiates the Roda server application) for troubleshooting. In the future we hope to provide Rack Test get/post/etc. methods so you can try out responses right in the console.
  • bin/bridgetown plugins [list|cd] - Display information about installed plugins or allow you to copy content out of gem-based plugins into your site folders.
  • bin/bridgetown apply - Run an automation script for your existing site.
  • bin/bridgetown configure CONFIGURATION - Run a bundled configuration for your existing site. Invoke without arguments to see all available configurations.
  • bin/bridgetown date - Displays the current date and time so you can copy’n’paste it into your front matter.
  • bin/bridgetown help - Shows help, optionally for a given subcommand, e.g. bridgetown help build.
  • bin/bridgetown doctor - Outputs any deprecation or configuration issues.
  • bin/bridgetown clean - Removes all generated files: destination folder, metadata file, and Bridgetown caches.
  • bin/bridgetown esbuild ACTION - Allows you to perform actions such as update on your project’s esbuild configuration. Invoke without arguments to see all available actions.
  • bin/bridgetown webpack ACTION - Allows you to perform actions such as update on your project’s Webpack configuration. Invoke without arguments to see all available actions.

To change Bridgetown’s default build behavior have a look through the configuration options. You’ll also want to read up on how to set your Bridgetown environment for different use cases.

For deployment, if you need to add an extra step to copy output to a web server or run some script post-build, putting that in the deploy task in your Rakefile is a good way to go.

Also take a look at the scripts configuration in package.json which provides integration points with the frontend bundler.

Rakefile and Rake tasks #

Rake is a task runner for Ruby applications. Tasks can execute shell commands, run through Ruby logic, or perform automation actions. Some tasks can be written to depend on the execution of prerequisite tasks.

In the default Rakefile which comes with a new Bridgetown site project, you’ll see a few tasks defined which are used by various built-in commands. For example, when you run the bin/bridgetown start command in a typical development environment, one of the tasks it performs is frontend:dev. You can see that in your Rakefile here:

namespace :frontend do
  desc "Build the frontend with Webpack for deployment"
  task :build do
    sh "yarn run webpack-build"

  desc "Watch the frontend with Webpack during development"
  task :dev do
    sh "yarn run webpack-dev --color"
  rescue Interrupt

You’re welcome to modify the tasks in your Rakefile as needed. For example, for this website we run a linter which looks for unnecessary <div> and <span> tags in the output HTML. This check is run for each deployment, so the deploy task has been modified to include this step:

desc "Build the Bridgetown site for deployment"
task deploy: [
  :linthtml, # this has been added to the default deploy task
] do

task :linthtml do # this is custom for the website project
  sh "yarn lint:html"

As is shown in comments for the default Rakefile, you can add your own automations directly inside of Rake tasks. In the provided example, you can see that a site object is available, and within an automation block you can call Thor actions just like in standard automation scripts:

task :my_task => :environment do
  puts site.root_dir
  automation do
    say_status :rake, "I'm a Rake tast =) #{site.config.url}"

Running bin/bridgetown my_task would result in printing out the root path of the site as well as executing the say_status Thor action.

The site variable is lazy-loaded, aka the site doesn’t initialize before the site variable is accessed. You can add run_initializers to the top of your task block to ensure all site configurations, hooks, etc. have been executed. You can also pass a different initializer context (other than :rake) by providing the context as an argument. For example: run_initializers context: :server

Console Commands #

When you run bin/bridgetown console or c, you have access to an instantiated site object which you can use to investigate its content and configuration. You can also call collections directly as a shorthand for site.collections, and you can run reload! anytime you want to reset/reload site content and plugins.

Besides those built-in console methods, you can add your own! Just define your own ConsoleMethods module and include that in Bridgetown’s standard module.

module ConsoleMethods
  def ruby_rocks

Bridgetown::ConsoleMethods.include ConsoleMethods

Typing in ruby_rocks and pressing Enter in the console would result in the output: MINASWAN!. (In case you’re wondering, MINASWAN is a fun saying within the Ruby community which stands for Matz Is Nice And So We Are Nice. 😄)

To see a list of all console methods available, type Bridgetown::ConsoleMethods.instance_methods.

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