Time to read: 2 minutes.
I want to be able to move pages in my Jekyll-powered website without breaking links from the outside. The
jekyll-redirect-from Jekyll plugin generates little HTML files that contain
http-meta-refresh client-side redirects as desired. I wanted an easy way to inject the names of those redirect pages into the Jekyll front matter. Since I usually author my website using Visual Studio Code, a custom Visual Studio Code extension seems like a good way to create the redirects.
All the extension has to do is discover the URL path component of the page currently being edited, and write an entry into the front matter. For example, I have set up Jekyll such that given a page at
collections/_posts/2022/2022-02-21-jekyll-debugging.html, it would deploy to
/blog/2022/02/21/jekyll-debugging.html. The required front matter would be:
redirect_from: - /blog/2022/02/21/jekyll-debugging.html
With that in mind, if I want to move a published post to another location without breaking it, the extension should:
- Present a new menu option when a right-click on a file in the side bar, or a right-click on a file name tab in the editor.
- When the menu item is selected, obtain the relative path to the file within the project directory (for example:
- Convert the relative path to the deployed relative path (for example,
- Write the entry into the front matter of the file. For example:
BackgroundThe Microsoft documentation describes how to write an Visual Studio Code extension.
$ which node /home/mslinn/.nvm/versions/node/v17.3.1/bin/node
Ensure you have set up your global package manager for node.js, then type:
$ npm install -g yo generator-code npm WARN deprecated email@example.com: this library is no longer supported npm WARN deprecated firstname.lastname@example.org: Please upgrade to version 7 or higher. Older versions may use Math.random() in certain circumstances, which is known to be problematic. See https://v8.dev/blog/math-random for details. npm WARN deprecated email@example.com: request has been deprecated, see https://github.com/request/request/issues/3142 added 872 packages, and audited 873 packages in 57s 15 vulnerabilities (13 moderate, 2 high) To address issues that do not require attention, run: npm audit fix To address all issues (including breaking changes), run: npm audit fix --force Run `npm audit` for details.
yo module is the culprit; lets address its vulnerabilities:
$ npm install -g npm-check-updates added 270 packages, and audited 271 packages in 9s found 0 vulnerabilities
Generating the Skeleton
$ mkdir redirect_generator $ cd redirect_generator/ $ $ yo code ? ========================================================================== We’re constantly looking for ways to make yo better! May we anonymously report usage statistics to improve the tool over time? More info: https://github.com/yeoman/insight & http://yeoman.io ========================================================================== No _-----_ ╭──────────────────────────╮ | | │ Welcome to the Visual │ |--(o)--| │ Studio Code Extension │ `---------´ │ generator! │ ( _´U`_ ) ╰──────────────────────────╯ /___A___\ / | ~ | __'.___.'__ ´ ` |° ´ Y ` ? What type of extension do you want to create? New Extension (TypeScript) ? What's the name of your extension? redirect_generator ? What's the identifier of your extension? redirect-generator ? What's the description of your extension? Injects the URL of a redirect page into Jekyll front matter ? Initialize a git repository? Yes ? Bundle the source code with webpack? No ? Which package manager to use? npm Writing in /mnt/f/work/jekyll/redirect_generator/redirect-generator... create redirect-generator/.vscode/extensions.json create redirect-generator/.vscode/launch.json create redirect-generator/.vscode/settings.json create redirect-generator/.vscode/tasks.json create redirect-generator/package.json create redirect-generator/tsconfig.json create redirect-generator/.vscodeignore create redirect-generator/vsc-extension-quickstart.md create redirect-generator/README.md create redirect-generator/CHANGELOG.md create redirect-generator/src/extension.ts create redirect-generator/src/test/runTest.ts create redirect-generator/src/test/suite/extension.test.ts create redirect-generator/src/test/suite/index.ts create redirect-generator/.eslintrc.json Changes to package.json were detected. Running npm install for you to install the required dependencies. added 203 packages, and audited 204 packages in 29s found 0 vulnerabilities Your extension redirect-generator has been created! To start editing with Visual Studio Code, use the following commands: code redirect-generator Open vsc-extension-quickstart.md inside the new extension for further instructions on how to modify, test and publish your extension. For more information, also visit http://code.visualstudio.com and follow us @code. ? Do you want to open the new folder with Visual Studio Code? Open with `code` _-----_ ╭───────────────────────╮ | | │ Bye from us! │ |--(o)--| │ Chat soon. │ `---------´ │ Yeoman team │ ( _´U`_ ) │ http://yeoman.io │ /___A___\ /╰───────────────────────╯ | ~ | __'.___.'__ ´ ` |° ´ Y `
The instructions in the web page assume the happy path is the only possibility. Instead:
- Do not work on the extension in a workspace that has any other projects in it.
The instructions in
vsc-extension-quickstart.md do not make assumptions about TypeScript.
Debugging the Extension
I found the procedure awkward at first:
- Press F5 to activate the first defined launcher
- Once the new debug VSCode instance settles down, click in it and type Ctrl-Shift-P, then type
- Any breakpoints in the original VSCode instance will trigger.
- Once the breakpoint is cleared, a message saying Add redirecct from redirect_generator! will appear in the debugged instance of VSCode.
I moved on to the next part of the tutorial, Extension Anatomy.