DEV Community

Cover image for Streamlining Blog Creation: My Experience Writing a Bash Script as a Web Developer
Levi Schouten
Levi Schouten

Posted on

Streamlining Blog Creation: My Experience Writing a Bash Script as a Web Developer

As a web developer, I must admit that I have never delved much into bash scripting. It just never seemed necessary for my work. However, recently, I launched my personal website, and all of the content is written in markdown files. Since I'm the one responsible for maintaining the content, I decided to make the process of creating new blogs easier by writing a script.

I could have written the script in TypeScript or JavaScript like the rest of the project. Still, I felt this was an excellent opportunity to learn bash scripting, as the script only had to execute a set of CLI commands with minimal logic in between. In this post, I want to share my experience of writing my first bash script as a web developer.

To start, I added the she-bang at the top of the script to ensure it was executed using the bash shell, followed by comments explaining what the script would do. Next, I set the '-e' option to instruct bash to exit the script immediately if any command has a non-zero exit status, and the '-u' option to ensure that every variable is defined before it is used. (Learn more about that here)


# Create a new blog post
# Usage: ./scripts/ "My New Blog Post"

# Exit if any subcommand fails
set -e

# Exit if any variable is uninitialized
set -u
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Then came the actual script. I defined a few variables that the blog required, such as the title (which we get from the CLI), the date (which we generated based on the current date), and the filename (which we got by turning the title into kebab case).

# Get the title from the command line

# Get the current date
date="$(date +%Y-%m-%d)"

# Create the file name
filename=$(echo $title | tr " " "-" | tr "[:upper:]" "[:lower:]")
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

With these variables defined, I was ready to create the blog. First, I made sure the file did not already exist. Then, I created the actual blog, making use of all the variables we defined earlier. Finally, I created a folder where we would store all the assets related to the blog.

if test -f "content/blogs/$"; then
  echo "File already exists"
  exit 1

echo "---
title: "\"$title\""
excerpt: \"Short description of the post\"
coverImage: \"/assets/blogs/$filename/cover.jpg\"
date: \"$date\"

Write your content here...

" >> "content/blogs/$"

echo "Created content/blogs/$"

if [ ! -d "public/assets/blogs/$filename" ]; then
  mkdir -p "public/assets/blogs/$filename";
  echo "Created public/assets/blogs/$filename for blog assets"
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

And voila! The script was complete. I learned a lot about bash scripting by building this simple script, and it has definitely opened up the doors for me to start automating many more tasks using bash. If you're interested in seeing that process, be sure to keep an eye out for this blog, or follow me on Twitter, where I'll be posting about my future findings.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience. I hope this post has been helpful to any developers out there who, like me, may be hesitant to dip their toes into bash scripting. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you see room for improvement, I am always eager to learn!

Source code: Github

Personal website:

Socials: Twitter

Top comments (1)

duendeintemporal profile image

Thanks for sharing your experience... I just start a introduction to Bash Scriting in a youtube chanel called Fatz, is a young guy that always bring new information about tecnology, and share his experience like developer and also has some many interesting courses and opinions to consider... the chanel is in spanish, but I not sure if in the description you have the oportunity to see his blog and them translate some of the content... I still doesn't write my first own Bash program to automatice some task, but I share your opinion that is a good knowledge to acquire...