As you have seen, a website is created in just a few minutes with J1s built-in basic web. This section will deal with preparing a toolset to edit your site from your local workstation. On the one hand, the local editing corresponds to the basic idea of version management using Git. On the other hand, the local development system will make the work much easier.
Setting up the required software and tools takes a lot of time. Depending on how proficient you are in installing applications, you will need between one and two hours to complete all installations.
Enough of the long speech: Now comes your tool kit for your personal websites.
Required PC hardware
Modern hardware is expected for all desktop computers or Laptops For your reference a typical setup looks like so:
a multi-core CPU,> = Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5
8 GB of RAM, 3-4GB free memory
an internet connection, bandwidth> = 16k (simple DSL)
a current monitor, display size> = 21 inches
For developing a website, some performance of your computer hardware is essential to work smoothly. It’s no fun having to wait for ages to modify the project and process the changes. A modern monitor is necessary to run multiple programs in parallel on different windows on one screen in parallel. It is possible to use a laptop with a 15-inch display but be prepared for some inconveniences in its operation.
Work from command-line (Windows)
For controlling J1 projects, a shell is required to run commands at the command line (Windows: command prompt). The easiest way to run a shell on Windows operating system is to create a shortcut for the command prompt
cmd.exe on your desktop.
First, right-click the mouse on your desktop. This calls up a context menu from which a new link can be created.
In the first dialog box, type cmd.exe for the program to run.
Then name the shortcut in the second dialog box to Shell.
Take a detailed look at the steps in the following screenshots.
With the help of this link, a command shell is started easily at any time.
It is necessary to work with elevated system rights from time to time. Working as an administrator will only be necessary for rare operations with the template system. For example, for updates to software installed system-wide.
Right-click on the new desktop icon Shell you can reach the context menu. From the context, you can create a new shell as a administrator.
Everything necessary to prepare the installation is now done. The next steps are necessary to install the toolset for the development environment managing J1 projects.
Jekyll and J1 Template can be used on all current 64-bit operating systems:
Linux, Kernelversion >= 4.15 (z.B. Ubuntu >= 18.x LTS)
Apple OSX, Version >= 10.10.5 (Yosemite)
The 32-bit versions (x32) of the Windows and Linux operating systems cannot be used. In particular for the Windows operating system, 32-bit versions for simple home PCs are still widespread. It is easy to find out what architecture a Windows operating system is. To do this, copy the following command to the clipboard:
cmd /K wmic os get osarchitecture
Paste the copied command into the Windows search on the taskbar (magnifying glass symbol). After copying, the app will start, and it will open a (new) window with a display of the respective architecture.
|A connection to the Internet is required for the following software installations.|
To be able to run the development system for the J1 Template, the following programming languages are required:
Ruby, Version >= 2.6 < 3.x
NodeJS, Version >= 12.x
To install the required versions of the programming languages for the Windows platform system, the appropriate download links can be found in the following table.
| || |
| || |
First, download both installers. The installation programs are required for the following sections.
Administrative rights for the respective operating system are required to install the development tools. The software must be installed system-wide in privileged directories. For the Windows operating system, these are typically the directories
The program for installing NodeJS node-v12.22.0-x64.msi was downloaded in the default download location. Start the installer directly from your browser or use the folder Download to start the installer program executable from there.
In step Additional tools of the installation process, the DevKit for NodeJS can be installed. These tools are not required for the J1 development environment and should not be installed. The DevKit for NodeJS contains applications for generating platform-specific modules for NodeJS (JS libraries). Under Windows, this is quite a complex process. If necessary, a DevKit installation can be done later at any time in a separate step.
The procedure for installing Ruby is very similar to installing NodeJS. Since the installation steps are the same in some parts, the description is a little more compact and skips some parts that you already know.
The program for installing Ruby rubyinstaller-devkit-2.7.2-1-x64.exe was downloaded in the default download location. Start the installer directly from your browser or use the folder Download to start the installer program executable from there.
Installation of the DevKitFor the final step of the Ruby installation, use option 3 to install all applications for the DevKit. To complete this installation, press Enter.
The first part of setting up the development environment has been completed. Add additions and updates are required to use the latest versions of the tools for the development environment. Finally, the template system J1 can then be set up.
Additions and Updates
After completing the NodeJS and Ruby installations, some additional components, such as updates, are required to work with J1.
The necessary additions and updates can be applied directly at the command line. To process, use a shell with administrator rights to enter the necessary commands for the Windows operating system. Start an administrative shell as described in the section Administrative Shells.
Similar to Ruby, NodeJS uses a package manager to install and manage modules (libraries). The package manager for NodeJS is NPM (Node Packet Manager). In addition to NPM, there is another program for administering modules available for NodeJS: Yarn.
| The package manager Yarn is being developed by Facebook and can be used as an alternative to NPM. In general, both programs behave in the same way. However, |
For the installations of the current versions of NPM and Yarn, copy the following commands and paste the commands into the administrative shell:
npm install -g npm@latest && npm install -g yarn@latest (1)
|1||A global installation is carried out using the |
The installation software for Ruby can be many months older than the current versions of the built-in base components. Keeping the most important basic components of a Ruby installation and available tools for Ruby up to date is highly recommended.
Modules for Ruby (Gems) can be installed in different versions being. Depending on the project, however, a certain version is necessary. Otherwise, there will inevitably be conflicts in execution. To that very well-known problem of escaping the hell of dependencies, the module (Gem)
bundler is used.
| Which gem (modules) a project uses in what versions defines the configuration file |
Bundler provides the functions necessary for Ruby projects to obtain the modules in the required versions for the respective project. The Gem Bundler must be system-wide in Ruby’s privileged directories to be set up. Copy the following command and paste in the administrative shell:
gem install bundler --no-document
The basic software RubyGems for the Ruby package manager
gem is also a module:
rubygems. An update is also recommended here, as the installation software for Ruby can be many months older than the current version of RubyGems.
As usual, the module for RubyGems can be brought up to date with Ruby Package Manager. RubyGems must also be set up system-wide in Ruby’s privileged directories. Copy the following commands and paste them into the administrative shell:
gem install rubygems-update --no-document && ^ update_rubygems --no-document && ^ gem update --system
The difficult part of installing and updating NodeJS and Ruby development tools is completed. The good news: updates are rarely necessary. Nevertheless, an update can prevent many difficulties that can be traced back to older software versions with new installations. And this is often not easy to find out!
For all further work with J1, no administrative shell is required, and the (previous) command prompt as administrator can be closed. All further steps require a shell started as a regular user. Running commands in the user scope ensures that programs cannot make changes to the operating system without your knowledge can perform. Better safe than sorry.
Start a shell via the Command prompt icon on the desktop and copy the following commands to display the versions of NodeJS and Ruby:
cls && ^ echo|set /p dummyName="NodeJS " && node --version && ^ echo|set /p dummyName="NPM " && npm --version && ^ echo|set /p dummyName="Yarn " && yarn --version && ^ echo|set /p dummyName="Ruby (Core) " && ruby --version && ^ echo|set /p dummyName="RubyGems " && gem --version && ^ bundler --version
NodeJS v12.22.0 NPM 8.3.0 Yarn 1.22.17 Ruby (Core) ruby 2.7.4p191 (2021-07-07 revision a21a3b7d23) [x64-mingw32] RubyGems 3.3.4 Bundler version 2.3.4
If difficulties are working with J1, the version status of the development environment can be very helpful and serve as an orientation as to whether incorrect versions are the cause of problems.
The elementary tools for managing and editing the contents of a web includes:
Git, the version management
Github CLI, GitHub command line interface
A source code editor (e.g. Atom)
The version management Git is used to manage the sources of a J1 project. Versioning will do a lot for you. With the help of Git, you manage the central repo on Github, which is also a very secure backup of all project data. Even if there are errors in the local working copy, you can always fall back on working versions of your website.
Version control will protect you from serious data loss. With the help of Git, you will first create a development version. With the help of the development version, you can make and test changes without changing the main version. You will find out how helpful it is to make significant changes without the risk of your site on the Internet being affected.
Download the latest version (01/22) for Windows from here: Git v2.34.1.
A powerful source code editor like Atom is the backbone of the developer toolset. The code editor is like a second skin for developers. Many important functions are already built into the editor or can be easily installed later. If you are already using such an editor, continue to use the tool. I’m pretty sure, you won’t change the editor.
For those who have not yet worked on any source projects, such an editor is recommended. Sure, it’s another new tool to learn, but your efforts will be richly rewarded.
Installing programs is anything but exciting. Learn about some product features during the installation, the screenshots of the individual steps of the installation are commented.
The screenshots help you to choose the right options, and at the same time, you get to know several technical terms that can help with your work.
Install the version control system Git
The installation of the Git installer comes with a bunch of dialogs. Many Git settings are queried during installation. The individual steps are commented on to understand the various dialogs better.
To protect your Git installation bits for unwanted changes, the default (privileged) path
Default selections make sense. To create some handy icons on the desktop, tick
For users on Windows, it is recommended to create an additional folder for the (Windows) Start Menu. If your desktop icons get lost, you find all important applications from there.
To add changes to the repo for versioning, a so-called commit is needed. Every commit is accompanied by a message text describing the changes. The message text can be given at command-line (git command commit) or edited in a simple text editor.
The default editor for Git is
Understand a branch for Git repos as the name of the current track of changes. The main track is named master for historical reasons. This name is not longer used today. To sync with Github, use main for the name.
The Git versioning system is originally developed on Unix systems like Linux. Git on Windows uses native Unix/Linux commands under the hood supported by a compatibility system called MSYS. Like the command
The default option is highly recommended to avoid conflict running commands having the same name.
As already mentioned, Git has its roots in Unix. On Unix-like systems, the Secure Shell (SSH) subsystem is widely used to establish secure and encrypted connections. On Windows, no SSH subsystem is build-in.
In most cases using Git on Windows, the default option (use of the bundled OpenSSH subsystem) should be used.
Similar to SSH, SSL libraries are not available on Windows by default. The Secure Shell (SSH) subsystem depends on SSL libraries to establish secure and encrypted connections.
For compatibility reasons, use the default option (OpenSSL).
The best compromise for managing different line endings are to let Git decide what type should be used. All (text) files checked-in a Git repo uses the character
As already mentioned, Git uses MSYS for Unix world commands to be executed on Windows. In addition to native Windows shells, such as the cmd.exe command prompt, the Git shell may be used as an alternative. Git shells are based on the Unix shell bash, which is widely used on Linux systems. A Windows shell is completely sufficient for working with J1 projects. Nevertheless, a real Unix shell can be helpful and useful on a case-by-case basis.
Accept the default setting and leave the Git Shell unchanged.
You have already learned Git as a distributed versioning system. The essential character of this distribution is a remote repository and local working copies for editing the sources. Ultimately, the local working copies will have to be merged back into the remote repository.
It is certainly easy to imagine that bringing these together will not be very easy and that this operation can produce errors. The version management Git provides different strategies to merge sources. The simplest and most common strategy is fast-forward. The strategy of fast merging is based on the assumption that the changes in the sources do not differ greatly. If changes are transferred very regularly to the remote repo, it is also the case that the sources do not differ very much from one another.
This strategy is well suited for regular merging and can be adopted as a default setting.
You have already got to know Github as a service provider and have an account for managing your repositories. Unfortunately, the Internet is not a peaceful place. Unfortunately, you have to say it that way over and over again.
Nevertheless, ways have to be found to enable smooth work even if access to an account is necessary that belongs to a service provider on the Internet. The secure storage of account data on your PC is made possible by the Git Credential Helper.
Accept the default settings here to synchronize the repositories' data in a simple and very safe way.
The version management also integrates extended functions of the operating system to manage files and directories. Extended functions apply to all operating systems.
Accept both options for the best support for files and directories.
Experimental functions can be helpful but are reserved for experienced users. These options are not required for using Git for J1 projects and should not be selected.
Working with version control will be a theme in the following sections. At the moment, there is no repository. Starting a Git Shell doesn’t make much sense.
Reading the version information on software products is very important. The knowledge of relevant changes of a product applies particularly to upgrades when changing to a new version. In the case of a new installation, reading all the version details can be done later if the information matters.
Install Github CLI
To control J1 projects, mostly simple commands are used, which are entered on the command line. The Github CLI is useful for working with Git repositories managed at Github.
The installation is very simple and can be done quickly in just a few steps.
Install Code Editor Atom
The installation of the Atom editor is done very quickly. A large number of useful presettings are made automatically by the installer. After the installation is complete, very few settings are required and the editor is ready for use.
The individual steps are commented on to understand the various dialogs better.
The installation of the Atom editor is fully automatic. All the necessary settings are made during the installation and can then be adjusted later should this be necessary.
After completing the installation, the editor is started, and a few settings have to be made.
A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) identifies a logical or physical resource used by web technologies. URIs provide a means of locating and retrieving information resources on a network, either the Internet or resources on local systems such as a computer filesystem.
The editor Atom specifies the URI
Lastly, it is on you to send usage information back to the makers of Atom over an active Internet connection. I’m using Atom on Windows mainly for J1 projects, and the editor’s setup is very basic. I expect less relevant information to develop Atom as a product and reject on that.
But, it is on you!
As an option, a welcome guide tab can be shown if you start a new editor instance. For the first time using Atom, this might be helping somewhat. A lot of excellent articles about using Atom are available on the Internet.
It is on you to leave this enabled. You can disable the welcome guide at any time.
A lot you’ve learned, time to summarize what is behind. The last chapter should help with that. The section Summarize offers some handy sections to remember what has been presented in this chapter. And giving an outlook of what could be done next, an overview of all chapters of this tutorial, and useful links to learn more.
See all sections below:
Recap — What has been done, what’s explored in current section
What Next — Find to go further, what’s planned next
All Chapters — The full chain, all chapters
Further Reading — List of helpful links to get more
Installing the development system was not an easy job to do; unfortunately inevitable. One thing is promised, the following sections do not require any lengthy software installations. The installed programming languages are the basis for executing J1 Projects. However, no programming is required to edit a website as promised. The Ruby programming language is used as the runtime environment to run the Jekyll builder engine. Under no circumstances will you need to become a Ruby specialist. Some background information on dealing with Ruby programs is still helpful and is explained as small snippets in the subsequent sections.
The tools Git and the Source Code Editor (Atom Editor) are often used. The repository will protect you from data loss and will be the safety net for the new web in the best sense. The editor is the main tool for editing a website and its pages. With a little practice, you can quickly learn to use the editor. After working with the editor for a very short time, you will understand why this tool is so important and indispensable for developers.
A hard piece of work is done: the development system is in place. Now it will be a matter of copying the central repository, the so-called remote, to your local PC and connecting it to the repo on Github. This step is creating a working copy of your website, the so-called local. In the following section, you will know all the necessary work steps for managing J1 Projects.
There are different ways to create a J1 project or a new website. You already know one way: 1-click deployment via Netlify. This type of deployment has been automatically created a new repo in your workspace on Github. The opposite way is, of course, also possible. That means you first create a J1 project locally on your PC and then connect the local project as a Git Repo with Github. It is also very easy to provide the website via Netlify. Only a few steps are required to publish locally generated sites via Netlify.
Now you should bring your new website on your local PC or create new websites from scratch. Some important processes are to be learned to manage J1 projects, to prepare websites for the real world. Make your real website alive from J1 Projects by learning the priciples.
Explore the J1 Project management.
Find here an overview on all chapters this tutorial:
Reading this chapter is not essential for working on the project first time. Additional links will be helpful to learn more. The references point to important sources of manufacturer documentation. Here you can find out all the possibilities what the products can offer. Experiences from others are extremely important when dealing with software and more complex projects. Links to other sites may answer common questions from the experience of professionals. Here you can think far outside the box of a project currently worked on.
Further links in the current section.