grumbling about jekyll

Jul 14, 2014  

Yeah, not happy about how these dependencies keep breaking. It’s a reminder about how fragile these scripting ecosystems are.

Seeing Gem::LoadError: You have already activated rake 10.2.2, but your Gemfile requires rake 0.9.6.` once is enough.

I tried a bunch of stuff and none of it worked. Eventually I gave up, deleted Gemfile.lock, ran bundle install, and just switched my workflow over to using bundle exec rake ... instead of just rake .... Which grates on me now, but whatever.

Oh wait, no that changed nothing. Bundle is still using rake 0.9.6. Do I need to muck around in the Gemfile now? Why can’t it just, you know use this “activated version” instead?

Nooo … I have an old version of ruby. I know, I’ll use rvm, which I used when I got started with all this. Except …

RVM is not a function, selecting rubies with 'rvm use ...' will not work.

You need to change your terminal emulator preferences to allow login shell.
Sometimes it is required to use `/bin/bash --login` as the command.
Please visit for a example.

There must be a way out. Doesn’t Ubuntu update ruby? Let’s try sudo apt-get upgrade ruby. No, it’s already the “latest version”.

What? Ah yes, the breakdown in sensible versioning: different versions are just different names here, let’s try sudo apt-get install ruby1.9 instead.

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 libodbc-ruby1.9.1 : Depends: ruby-odbc but it is not going to be installed
 libodbc-ruby1.9.1-dbg : Depends: ruby-odbc-dbg but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

I have “held broken packages”! Indeed! Regardless, something seems to have happened, so sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/ruby1.9.1 /usr/bin/ruby might do something ?

Alriiite! Let’s try to use rake again:

$ bundle exec rake generate
Could not find rake-0.9.6 in any of the sources

Hmm, perhaps I need to rerun bundle update ?

Installing RedCloth (4.2.9) with native extensions /usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/installer.rb:552:in `rescue in block in build_extensions': ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension. (Gem::Installer::ExtensionBuildError)

        /usr/bin/ruby1.9.1 extconf.rb 
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require': cannot load such file -- mkmf (LoadError)
						     from /usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'
						     from extconf.rb:1:in `<main>'

Clearly, I am the stupid n00b here. I’ve managed to end up worse off than where I started. Help!

Time to try something different. Overwrite the Gemfile with the octopress master copy and run bundle install again.

BTW, did I mention how long this step takes? No? Too bad. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Nooo! I still be getting error!

What does the great and benevolent Stackoverflow suggest? sudo apt-get install ruby1.9.1-dev

At this point the magnitude of my true dependencies was revealed to me:

Fetching source index for
Using rake (10.3.2) 
Installing RedCloth (4.2.9) with native extensions 
Installing blankslate ( 
Installing timers (1.1.0) 
Installing celluloid (0.15.2) 
Installing chunky_png (1.3.1) 
Installing fast-stemmer (1.0.2) with native extensions 
Installing classifier (1.3.4) 
Installing coffee-script-source (1.7.1) 
Installing execjs (2.2.1) 
Installing coffee-script (2.3.0) 
Installing colorator (0.1) 
Installing fssm (0.2.10) 
Installing sass (3.2.19) 
Installing compass (0.12.6) 
Installing ffi (1.9.3) with native extensions 
Installing tilt (1.4.1) 
Installing haml (4.0.5) 
Installing jekyll-coffeescript (1.0.0) 
Installing jekyll-gist (1.1.0) 
Installing jekyll-paginate (1.0.0) 
Installing jekyll-sass-converter (1.0.0) 
Installing rb-fsevent (0.9.4) 
Installing rb-inotify (0.9.5) 
Installing listen (2.7.9) 
Installing jekyll-watch (1.0.0) 
Installing kramdown (1.4.0) 
Installing liquid (2.6.1) 
Installing mercenary (0.3.4) 
Installing posix-spawn (0.3.8) with native extensions 
Installing yajl-ruby (1.1.0) with native extensions 
Installing pygments.rb (0.6.0) 
Installing redcarpet (3.1.2) with native extensions 
Installing safe_yaml (1.0.3) 
Installing parslet (1.5.0) 
Installing toml (0.1.1) 
Installing jekyll (2.1.1) 
Installing jekyll-date-format (1.0.0) 
Installing jekyll-page-hooks (1.3.0) 
Installing jekyll-sitemap (0.5.0) 
Installing rack (1.5.2) 
Installing rack-protection (1.5.3) 
Installing rdiscount ( with native extensions 
Installing rubypants (0.2.0) 
Installing sass-globbing (1.0.0) 
Installing sinatra (1.4.5) 
Installing stringex (1.4.0) 
Using bundler (1.0.15) 
Your bundle is complete! It was installed into ./liquid

After that cheeful status update, I thought I’d start by trying out the old workflow again:

$ rake generate
Could not find rake-10.3.2 in any of the sources
Run `bundle install` to install missing gems.

Too optimistic too soon, eh?

$ bundle exec rake generate
## Generating Site with Jekyll
overwrite source/stylesheets/screen.css 
/usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `autodetect': Could not find a JavaScript runtime. See for a list of available runtimes. (ExecJS::RuntimeUnavailable)
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<module:ExecJS>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<top (required)>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `require'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<top (required)>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `require'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<top (required)>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `require'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<top (required)>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `require'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<top (required)>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `require'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<top (required)>'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `load'
														      from /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/ `<main>'

Obviously, there’s one dependency missing from the list above. What, you say, you didn’t know you need to install Node.js too?

sudo apt-get install nodejs

Are we there yet? The suspense is killing me. Nope, running bundle exec rake generate just (very helpfully!) shows me

$ bundle exec rake generate
## Generating Site with Jekyll
unchanged sass/screen.scss
jekyll 2.1.1 -- Jekyll is a blog-aware, static site generator in Ruby


  jekyll <subcommand> [options]

        -s, --source [DIR]  Source directory (defaults to ./)
        -d, --destination [DIR]  Destination directory (defaults to ./_site)
            --safe         Safe mode (defaults to false)
        -p, --plugins PLUGINS_DIR1[,PLUGINS_DIR2[,...]]  Plugins directory (defaults to ./_plugins)
            --layouts DIR  Layouts directory (defaults to ./_layouts)
        -h, --help         Show this message
        -v, --version      Print the name and version
        -t, --trace        Show the full backtrace when an error occurs

  build                 Build your site
  docs                  Launch local server with docs for Jekyll v2.1.1
  new                   Creates a new Jekyll site scaffold in PATH
  serve, server         Serve your site locally
  doctor, hyde          Search site and print specific deprecation warnings

Yes, I knew Jekyll was under that somewhere. That’s sort of why I started using all this in the first place. Thanks for reminding me though. When I started writing this post I thought it would be a couple of lines, a quick edit-save-post, all done in five minutes. Cue evil laughter.

What, give up now? In our moment of triumph? I overwrote the Gemfile earlier; what about doing the same for the Rakefile?

$ bundle exec rake generate
## Generating Site with Jekyll
unchanged sass/screen.scss
Configuration file: /usr/local/google/home/agam/Documents/
       Deprecation: The 'pygments' configuration option has been renamed to 'highlighter'. Please update your config file accordingly. The allowed values are 'rouge', 'pygments' or null.
            Source: source
       Destination: public
jekyll 2.1.1 | Error:  undefined method `published' for <Post: /blog/2013/06/26/data-structures-haskell-vs-cpp>:Jekyll::Post

Now I’ve retroactively broken stuff.

Finally, a light dawns: I should have done the following right at the beginning: git pull origin master. And of course, doing this now gives merge conflicts galore.

… many tens of minutes pass …

I realized there is no alternative to delve into the source here. lib/jekyll/post.rb' has apublished?method, perhaps this is being called without the trailing?` somewhere? (BTW this is EXACTLY why I hate dynamically-typed, uncompiled languages!).

plugins/preview_unpublished.rb shows a match … so I deleted it.

Now we have a new problem …

jekyll 2.1.1 | Error:  undefined method `subclasses' for Jekyll::PostFilter:Class

… but at least the old one is gone! We’re getting closer!

Sure enough, it’s another plugin: plugins/post_filters.rb. At this point I realize there may be many more, so I see the list of plugins that should exist by default and get rid of any others. Turns out, it’s just one more: plugins/sitemap_generator.rb.

No luck yet.

Liquid Exception: undefined method `deep_merge' for #<Hash:0x0000000277cb38> in sitemap.xml

Now I’m getting impatient. I just want to post a “Goodbye” post. One last post. I’ll render it myself if I have to.

Ok, it’s the plugins again. I got rid of plugins/date.rb and updated plugins/octopress_filters.rb.

IT WORKS! Oh god it works!

Ok, my custom theme is gone and all, but that’s ok, I won’t complain. Update: Needless to say, I got it back (after all this, surely …)

All’s well that ends well, you say? WTF! Nothing new here … the whole point of relying on stuff like this is after all to engage in this periodic ritual sacrifice of time. Which is great when you’re 12, not so much now.

I could just leave things as they are, or … the other option is to switch away to Wordpress or Ghost or Tumblr or whatever else (thought I don’t want to migrate my posts again, so if I do something like that I’ll just leave all this stuff here, with a pointer to it …).

Update: I realized I had once started a Tumblr blog (or is that a tumblog ?), so might as well repurpose it for something other than just snippets. If you’re one of the two people who read this blog (aha! I had Google Analytics enabled!), you can “add” me, or “follow” me there. Or whatever the cool kids are calling it these days.