Reese McLean

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Code Blocks

This will be the first of many posts about the setup behind this blog. Today’s post is on code blocks; since I want to talk about code quite a bit this seems like a good place to start.

Again, I’m coming to HTML/CSS/JS as pretty much a complete beginner. As I went into researching this I had just a couple of goals (ordered by importance):

  • Fast/Small download
  • Easy to use
  • Good looking
  • Syntax highlighting

After doing some research it looks like syntax highlighting requires either Javascript (e.g. Prism) or the ability to process files through a HTML generator (e.g. Pygments or Rouge).


I want to stay with vanilla HTML and CSS/SASS as long as possible. Plus some of the Javascript includes would increase the current page size by four times. At some point this might be revisited but for now this is out.

HTML Generator

Currently I am using Ghost as my blogging engine. At some point I would like to look into creating a static blogging engine using Swift, but for now using HTML generation seems to be out.


For now I will sacrifice syntax highlighting and go with a simple styled code block. Here’s the SASS it’s styled with shown using a code block (how meta!):

pre {
	border: thin solid $code-block-border-color;

code {
	background-color: $code-block-background-color;
	border-left: thick solid $code-block-left-line-color;
	display: block;
	overflow: auto;
	padding: 8px 16px 8px 16px;

At some point I’ll look to revisit this, but for now I think this works.