Hey there, Gridsome!

January 1, 2020 · 2 min read

It's been over a year since my last post and while unfinished drafts don't count, I thought my blog was due for a change. The move from Octopress to Hexo was relatively uneventful but I found keeping up a little difficult. It wasn't completely on Hexo, I had tweaked things to a point that merging in changes over time became cumbersome and slow. In a previous post, I roughly mentioned the transition and a lot has happened to the web in over 3 years.

Static site generators like Hugo and Gatsby have picked up steam and the feature set of Gatsby, particularly the GraphQL component stood out. I wanted to stick to Vue for as many of my personal projects as possible, so I searched for any static site generator using Vue I could find. Fortunately Gridsome has come along as a nice clone of Gatsby using Vue rather than React and even though it's at v0.7.12 at the time of this post, I've run into very few hurdles.

I don't have the best understanding of JAMstack after working with a sample size of one, but learning GraphQL by only dealing with queries has made this one of the best ways to get my feet wet. I'm by no means an expert but this light interaction compels me to use it more often, as it's mostly been a pleasure to work with. Frameworks like Gridsome and I suspect Gatsby let you focus on almost entirely the frontend. Even though the A in JAMstack stands for APIs, as a backend developer I haven't had to write a single REST, GraphQL or what I'd typically associate with an API like I would with Laravel, Phoenix Framework, or Express.

One thing I miss about Hexo is that it had scaffolding to generate new files. Gridsome is a framework for generic sites, not just blogs, so scaffolding doesn't seem to be included. Coming from Hexo I wanted to keep as much of the existing markdown as possible and I think some of the approaches I've taken may be useful to others. A small example I had a problem understanding is that you can use a @gridsome/source-filesystem plugin multiple times, one for each directory or type. It makes sense in hindsight but none of the starters used the technique nor did the docs seem to suggest it was possible. I'm tempted to create a starter based on my usage patterns but worst case, I plan on writing a post outlining some of these approaches in the near future.

One last thing is a small humblebrag. While the theme for this site draws a few cues from the older version, I wanted to flex my design abilities by focusing on techniques I've learned reading Refactoring UI. By the time this post is published it likely won't be perfect but I think it's a decent first pass that should only get better over time.