Steve Stone

Developer. Designer. Youth Worker. Nerd.

CLI for my website 2.0
October 6, 2022

I've been using my CLI for updating the books page on this site for a while now and it's been great... until I got a new computer. I tried reinstalling it and can't get it to work :(. I think that I was using a global dependency that isn't on my new machine, or that there is a missing path.

I need (need is a strong word), to fix it, but thought I'd take another stab and see if I could make it little more interactive. I started from scratch because I needed some pretty big changes. In version 2.0, here is what has changed.

1. It works!

I can install it, uninstall, reinstall and it works. I also seems to work from any working directory. Yay!

2. Inquirer instead of Prompt

It seems like Inquirer may be more popular lately than Prompts. They are almost identical, but I decided to make the switch. I'm not sure if it is actually any better and I may switch back if there is a feature I need that Inquirer doesn't have, but for now this is working. :shrug:

3. Adding books is easier

With 1.0 adding a book was a little tedious. I mean, it was easier than manually editing a JSON file and manipulating images, but it still required looking up and answering prompts for questions.

In 2.0, there is one question: What is the ISBN number. It will use the OpenLibrary API to look up the book. If it can find an image it will download it, resize it, compress it, and save it locally.

To make things even easier, I bought a cheap barcode scanner so I can answer the single ISBN question in less than a second. Is it lazy? Maybe. Is it awesome? you-betcha!

4. A menu structure

1.0 was driven by flags, which I kept forgetting the exact flag needed to run the different commands. In this new version I have an interactive menu that will walk me through necessary steps. I can still use flags to speed the process up, but only if I want to.

5. It can push to git

Probably the coolest feature is that once I make a change it will ask me if I want to deploy. Since this site is built on Eleventy and hosted on Netlify, in order to deploy, all I need to do it push to the main branch in Github.

Every change I make gets stored in a txt file until I deploy, so if I finish a book and start another I can bulk those changes in one git commit. When I decide to deploy (which I can do after any command or independently) it will add all, commit and push, then clear the list of changes for next time.

6. It has a confetti drop at the end

As an added bonus, when I finish deploying it it will give me 3 seconds of CLI confetti, congratulating my progress. It's the little things, amiright?

The source code can be found on Github.