baseplate-core
A tool for building prototypes and pattern libraries.
Last updated 4 months ago by mademedia .
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baseplate-core

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A tool for building prototypes and pattern libraries.

Inspired heavily by component-styleguide. This is still very specific to our use-case so you probably want to look at component-styleguide first.

Details

Templating

Handlebars is used as the template engine.

Helpers

Handlebars is a logicless templating engine so you need helpers to do anything interesting in them. A set of helpers are provided in the templates to make prototyping as simple as possible.

Helper Description
{{capitalize 'example'}} Capitalize a given string
{{couldBeTrue threshold}} Returns true/false based on threshold, e.g. 0.9 will return true 90% of the time.
{{debug object}} Will log the provided value to the console
{{envIs 'production'}} Check the current environment
{{envIsNot 'production'}} Reverse of envIs check
{{getOrElse maybeValue "Default" }} Get a value if it exists otherwise return a default
{{htmlEscape '<h1>Hello</h1>'}} Escape HTML entities
{{inlineFile 'path/to/file.ext'}} Returns the contents of a file
{{isEqual value1 value2)}} Test if two values are equal
{{isUndefined value}} Test if a value is undefined
{{lorem count}} Lorem ipsum generator. Returns count sentences
{{loremWords min max}} Lorem ipsum generator. Returns random words between min and max
{{prefixClass array 'letter'}} Takes an array of values and adds a prefix
{{{{raw}}}}Raw {{block}} helper{{{{/raw}}}} Block helper which disables handlebars processing for contents
{{#queryString 'param' matches='value' }} Block helper to check if a query string parameter matches a certain value
{{#repeat count}}block{{/repeat}} Repeat a block count times
{{#repeatRange min max}}block{{/repeatRange}} Repeat a block between min and max times
{{stringify obj }} Passes input to JSON.stringify. Useful for debugging

Common Variables

A handful of root level common variables are exposed for use in templates. They are only available in listings as they are mostly used to get the current URL. If you need this data in a partial then pass it in as an argument.

Variable Description
{{@root.link}} Relative link to the current page
{{@root.absoluteLink}} Absolute link to the current page
{{@root.queryString}} Raw query string object

Partials

Everything under components/patterns is automatically registered as a partial. For example {{> patterns/objects/icon}} will render components/patterns/objects/icon.html). This is powerful for making components comprised of other components.

Usage Notes

You can add markdown files in the patterns/ directory and the contents will be displayed alongside the pattern. The file needs to be named the same as the pattern e.g., patterns/base/text.md alongside patterns/base/text.html.

Default Collection Mock Data

Any pattern in a collecion can have default JSON data to be rendered in a collections list view. The file needs to be named the same as the file e.g., patterns/base/text.json alongside patterns/base/text.html. The format is:

{
	"defaults": [{}]"
}

If more than one object is provided in the "defaults" array the app will randomly select an item from the array. Useful for providing a few variations of mock data.

Global Mock data

All JSON files under data/ are concatenated into one context for the templates. E.g. users.json containing [] and profile.json containing {} will result in the following data for the templates:

{
   "users": [],
   "profile": {}
}

Now, the {{#users}} collection can be iterated over in any template.

Static assets

By default anything under /static will be exposed by the server under /static (this is configurable). This is just a static directory so you are responsible for loading them in your layout, but this means you have full control over how you manage your assets.

Installation Steps

If you don't want to start with the example app, need to configure some custom options, or just want to start from scratch you should follow these steps:

1. Install baseplate-core

npm init
npm install MadeHQ/baseplate-core --save

2. Structure

Create a directory structure similar to this:

├── baseplate-config.json
├── components
│   ├── pages
│   │   └── example-page.html
│   └── patterns
│       ├── base
│       └── modules
├── data
├── server.js
├── static
│   ├── images
│   ├── javascripts
│   └── stylesheets
└── views
    └── layout.html

3. Components

There are two types of component directories: listings which are a simple list of items (used by default for pages) and collections which display items on a single page grouped by folder (used by default for patterns).

You can configure any custom sections you want in baseplate-config.json, by adding a sections config.

{
    "sections": [{
        "type": "list",
        "title": "Pages",
        "path": "/pages",
        "directory": "pages",
        "partials": false
    }, {
        "type": "collection",
        "title": "Patterns",
        "path": "/patterns",
        "directory": "patterns",
        "partials": true,
        "showUsage": true,
        "ordering": [
            "base",
            "objects",
            "modules",
            "collections"
        ]
    }, {
        "type": "collection",
        "title": "Widgets",
        "path": "/widgets",
        "directory": "widgets",
        "showUsage": true,
        "partials": true
    }]
}

Available options are as follows:

Option Description
type Type of view: either list or collection
title Navigation title, shown in toolbar
path URL path
directory Directory, relative to components/
partials Should these items be available as partials?. If so they will be namespaced under the directory name, e.g. {{> patterns/a/b }}
showUsage If enabled and there is a .md file with the same name as the file (e.g., example.html and example.md then usage notes will be shown alongside the item. Only available for collection type.
showSource If enabled a "Show source" button will be shown to show the raw Handlebars source for the template
ordering By default collections will be ordered by directory name, if you want to customise the order, or exclude a directory from listings (but still have it available as partials) then a custom ordering will let you do this. Only available for collection type.

4. Layout

In order to display anything you need to add a layout.html file under views/.

Three snippets are required: {{> baseplate/styles}} which returns a link to the pattern library styles and {{> baseplate/scripts}} which returns a link to the pattern library styles and {{{body}}} which renders the current view. Otherwise you are free to provide any html you like.

For example:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>My Project</title>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
    {{> baseplate/styles}}
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/static/stylesheets/my-styles.css"/>
</head>
<body>
    {{{body}}}
    {{> baseplate/scripts}}
    <script src="/static/javascripts/my-app.js" async></script>
</body>
</html>

Custom partials: You can provide custom partials under views/partials which are then available in your layout as {{> partials/nameOfPartial }}. This is mostly useful if you want to break your layout template into smaller parts.

5. Start

Add a server.js using the following template.

var baseplateConfig = require('./baseplate-config.json');
var baseplate = require('baseplate-core')(baseplateConfig);

baseplate(baseplateConfig).then(function (server) {
    server.start();
});

Run it with node server.js

API

baseplate(config<Object>) // returns <Promise>
baseplate(styleguide).then(function (server) {
	/**
	 * server.app contains the Express app used internally
	 * Helpful if you want to add your own routes or modify the server
	 */
	server.app.get('/my-custom-route', function(req, res){
	  res.send('hello world');
	});

	/**
	 * Start the server
	 */
	 server.start();
});

License

MIT

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