What I've used to make it developer friendly?

This article also exists in: Polish


Maybe it’s a little of overengineering if we are talking about blog which I’ve started but I wanted to make it more Developer Friendly than just simply markdown. There is additional benefit for myself doing that - I can help my team build our own wiki site based on the knowledge I would gather on this exercise.


  1. Nice code highlighting
  2. Add architecture diagrams easily
  3. Embeding more sophisticated components on the pages

Nice code highlighting

This is easy peasy lemon squizee as Gatsby have plugins and modules to have nice code highlighting with a nice documentation gatsby-remark-prismjs

Add architecture diagrams easily

Regarding architecture diagrams there were two possibilites:

  1. Just draw diagrams and embeded it as picture
  2. Generate diagrams via some tools that would allow to use text based code and try to embeded it on the page

When I’ve started my software development career I came across wonderful tool that would satisfy second idea. I had a task as an intern to make visualization of ours jira tickets in form of graph devided by actors. I’ve learnt the tool plantUML which I absolutely love as it allows you to create diagrams that could be easily used with version control systems. You can simple use the code example of UML sequence diagram:

/' skinparam monochrome reverse <- that would be needed
when presenting classic plantUML diagrams on black backgorund
/' C4 is a nice format for documenting architecure.
In future I will probably develop my own color scheme for it'/
!includeurl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RicardoNiepel/C4-PlantUML/release/1-0/C4_Container.puml

Person(personAlias, "Blog Reader", "People who are interested in reading about agile and software development")
Container(containerAlias, "Label", "zwinny.dev", "My blog which present the various topics")
System(systemAlias, "Github", "to publish this page")

Rel(personAlias, containerAlias, "Read", "via webpage")
Rel(systemAlias, containerAlias, "Deploy")

While having configured gatsby-remark-plantuml it could be transformed into and embeded on your gatsby generated page:

«person»Blog ReaderPeople who are interested inreading about agile andsoftware development«container»zwinny.dev[blog]My blog which present thevarious topics«system»Githubto publish this pageRead[via webpage]Deploy

Lesson learnt Read carefully documentation:

NOTE: As this plugin replaces the platnuml code blocks with an svg its order in the gatsby-transformer-remark plugins list is important.

  • before gatsby-remark-prismjs so the code block has been transformed and gatsby-remark-prismjs will never see it as a code block
  • after gatsby-remark-code-titles so the title block will be generated

Embeding more sophisticated components on the pages

As Gatsby it’s build with React you could of course write whole page using react. But when bloging it would be inconvient to switch back and forth between files and link them from your post. There is a rescue although you could use MDX format and gatsby-plugin-mdx

You can start writing the React code inside your MDX files:

<div style={{ padding: '20px', backgroundColor: '#0097A7' }}>
  <h3>Greetings reader of zwinny.dev</h3>
  {console.log('Greeetings from Maciej Trojniarz - zwinny.dev')}


Greetings reader of zwinny.dev

Or you can import components from js files:

import MyComponent from '../../src/Components/MyComponent'

# Here you can give the title with markdorn notation

Some text that would describe your intent
<MyComponent />

Some more text using Markdown

About the author

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice aka Software Craftsmanship Journeyman with experience in various industries and roles. Enthusiast and evangelist of good engineering practices and Agile management. Board member of Fundacja Gra o Sens and expert at projects Szkoła Agile and Poradnia Lidera.