Announcing Jekyll-Faker and Jekyll-Reload

, a 4-minute piece by Dev Mukherjee Dev Mukherjee

Jekyll and therefore Jekyll-Assets is part of the furniture at Anomaly. They power our web site and user interface prototypes. Late last month Jekyll-Assets released their third major rewrite of the asset pipeline processor. The release dropped the digest feature, which user interface build processes rely on, heavily. I started a conversation with it's maintainer Jordon Bedwell and Anomaly ended up sponsoring the development work to restore it back into Jekyll-Assets.

At Anomaly we use Jekyll to prototype Web user interfaces. I've been toying with the idea of building a couple of plugins that would super charge our prototyping rig. Chatting all thing Jekyll with Jordon, he mentioned that he was available to do more development work on Jekyll related projects. We decided to take him up on his offer and we are proud to share what we built together.

Realworld data in prototypes

In the past I've written about the importance of using production or randomised real world data in prototypes. It reveals all the oddities that your design mightn't cater for. Benjamin Curtis maintains Faker, which a port of Perl's Data::Faker. I kept thinking wouldn't it be nice if we could leverage Faker in our Liquid templates?

Jekyll-Faker does just that. It's the glue between Liquid and Faker, available as a Ruby Gem it makes available the "{% faker %} tag which can used as follows for any function that Faker exposes:

{% faker number between=1 between=10 %}
  <small>
    {{ faker.val }}
  </small>
{% endfaker %}

Browser autoreload

I have always wanted live reloading of our Jekyll based prototypes, it would save the endless clicks of the refresh button, specially when testing across browsers.

Meet Jekyll-Reload modern, simple, and to the point take on LiveReload for Jekyll. Simply install the Ruby Gem, add a tag the {% livereload %} tag in your template header and let your Jekyll project auto reload on change.

Enjoy

Jekyll-Reload and Jekyll-Faker are going to greatly enhance our prototyping rig. They're available to the world under an open source license. We thank Jordon for building these plugins for us and recommend you checkout and support his work.

Anomaly is committed to maintaining these projects into the future. If you have any feedback please use the the appropriate issue tracker on Github.

We hope you enjoy them.

Previously: a 7-minute piece by Dev Mukherjee Dev Mukherjee

Designing for reality

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