Automating Reefpoints

By: Dan McClain
conveyor belt

We have a healthy mix of developers and designers, plus a project manager and office manager. This results in a group of people with varying degress of command line expertise. To make it easier to write blog posts, I added instructions to create a blog post using only GitHub.

This made it super easy for anyone to create a new blog post, have people review it, but one piece was missing: making it easy for people to publish their article once it was reviewed. Well, I solved that problem today with Travis-CI and a little bit of bash script.

The first step required was to script the publishing of our blog. We already use middleman-gh-pages, which makes publishing as easy as rake publish. I created the following script:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

set -e

git config --global ""
git config --global "sockothesock"

# This specifies the user who is associated to the GH_TOKEN

# sending output to /dev/null to prevent GH_TOKEN leak on error
git remote rm origin
git remote add origin https://${USER}:${GHTOKEN} &> /dev/null

bundle exec rake publish

echo -e "Done\n"

middleman-gh-pages is smart in that it figures out your GitHub remote based on the origin, so what we did is update the origin to use a GitHUb OAuth token that allows writing to public repos. We store the OAuth token in the environment variable GHTOKEN, which we encrypt in our travis.yml:

language: ruby
sudo: false
cache: bundler
- 2.0.0
  - master
script: "./ &> /dev/null"
  secure: eAyjmkDKLbXnGvC75KRNVLoAr6WE7ldT6JGOzOKOfQ9WxhEFgzAXoKZVO4mX4DfDfJbZbCyFmxKqALXGXjaBKwU2eQKeq1g4svBnxGPHmOKFMfVjkSCFag0bppE2JK9VXn70lVYFh8kJHavHgQ2pRYlSb78WfmUKbbB9PSH/rSE=
    secure: o2ksyDNq6Ea2oHUbUpgICYHAUdZ0QgHSQNqgn/gginNyPYAd2MtS2h7iXVrzSgeXDSNi6WpAvAeOcUnzpA6h6oBkl0YvUTaXJs50IepWfAE4UZPwX9ZFfV8YiwnOCU9ByUTU2L9qeq83W3LuDYY7j6xZJjP5KMLC78TqTKy5pd8=

I also added a Slack notification so that people can see when new blog posts get published. The last thing I did was go into the Travis-CI setting and turned off the option to build Pull Requests, as that would publish articles before they were merged. I accidentally leaked the OAuth Token in the Travis logs (that’s why the script step is redirecting output to /dev/null).

In the end, it was really simple to automate the publication of our blog. It has the added bonus of publishing corrections to the blog when anyone’s pull request is merged.