Setting Up a Dev Environment

Timo Abele rmi2hi Jody Winter Ralf D. Müller

4 minutes to read

Before You Begin

When you install docToolchain, all the code is hidden. The information on this page explains how to get access to the code, so you can customise the setup in your dev environment.

Do a Local Install for Docker and SDKMAN!

You need a local installation of docToolchain for development. Docker and SDKMAN! are derived from it. Docker simply contains a local install, and SDKMAN! installs docToolchain locally, but the location is controlled by SDKMAN! not docToolchain.

The docToolchain-Wrapper installs docToolchain locally to $HOME/.doctoolchain/docToolchain-$v2.6.7/. All task invocations through the docToolchain-Wrapper dtcw are redirected to $HOME/.doctoolchain/docToolchain-$v2.6.7/bin/doctoolchain. This shell script calls the Gradle-Wrapper for most tasks.

What you need to do is:

  1. Create a local install which is connected to your GitHub fork of docToolchain.

  2. Create a folder called $HOME/.doctoolchain/docToolchain-2.0.0-dev/.

  3. Check out the ng-branch of your fork to this folder.

  4. To use this version in your test project, edit the version at the start of your dtcw script to 2.0.0-dev.

You now have the full repo locally cloned. To save memory, some parts of the repo are zipped. If you have problems, check out the prepareDist-Task.

Create Gradle-Independent Tasks

All tasks currently use Gradle to run. You can bypass Gradle for tasks where it doesn’t add any value (and make docToolchain run faster as a result!). To do this, use the bin/doctoolchain scripts and create a switch.

Create or Change a Theme

It’s not just the docToolchain code that is hidden. The themes for the static site generator jBake are also hidden. Follow these procedures to customise themes.

How to Overwrite a Project Theme

When docToolchain builds a static website, it first copies an internal theme to a temp folder, then copies an external theme (if defined) over it. Finally, it copies the project theme over the top. This gives you the opportunity to overwrite some parts of the theme on a per-project basis. To do this:

  1. Run the copyThemes task to copy the internal and external themes to the microsite.siteFolder.

  2. Check the files (take a look at to get a better understanding).

  3. Modify the relevant files and delete all the other files.

How to Modify an Existing Theme or Create a Theme from Scratch

As we have already mentioned, an external theme is simply a zipped copy of the 'microsite.siteFolder'. All themes are downloaded when referenced from a dtcw configuration, and are stored in $HOME/.doctoolchain/themes/[hash of url].

To modify an existing theme, go to its folder and check out the theme’s project instead of the downloaded copy. This will create a connection back to the GitHub repo so that you can modify the theme directly in $HOME/.doctoolchain/themes/[hash of url].

To create a new theme from scratch, use a simple md5 hash. For example, if you configure your new theme as "myTheme" then "myTheme".md5() will be the hash.

Special Functionality for Themes (Config Fragments)

It’s likely that you will need a new config item for your self-generated theme. And you can also prompt users to set a value for this new config item when they install the theme for the first time. To do this, create a file called configFragment.groovy in the site folder of your theme. For example:

// the title of the microsite, displayed in the upper-left corner
// Example: my new site
title = '##site-title##'
  • The first line is the message that will be shown to the user (can be over several lines).

  • The second line (starting with Example:) is the default value for the prompt.

  • The third line is the config item itself. If the value is surrounded by ##, the user will be prompted for this value and it will be replaced with the user’s input. Otherwise, the config item will be added without a prompt to the user’s current docToochainConfig.groovy.