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Introduction to Lume (Part 2) - Using JSX and MDX as Template Engines

| 8 min read
Author: noboru-kudo noboru-kudoの画像
Caution

This article has been automatically translated.
The original article is here.

Last time, we looked at the basic usage of Lume.

Here, as template languages, we used built-in Markdown and Mozilla's Nunjucks.
However, unlike Markdown, Nunjucks is not very widespread (though it's not a big deal) and has a learning cost.
Recently, with the spread of the React ecosystem, JSX has been widely used. Additionally, many people might want to use MDX, which extends Markdown to allow JSX.

Lume supports multiple template engines, including JSX/MDX via plugins. These plugins are managed by Lume itself (they might become built-in plugins in the future).
This time, we will rewrite the blog site from the previous session using JSX/MDX.

Information

On 2023-12-08, Lume was majorly updated to v2. Accordingly, this article has been updated to work with v2.

Enabling the JSX Plugin

#

Set up the following plugin:

As with other plugins, introducing the JSX plugin is simple. Add the following to _config.ts (only the changes are shown).

import jsx from "lume/plugins/jsx.ts";

const site = lume();
site.use(jsx());

Next, add React to the TypeScript compilerOptions in deno.json.

{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "jsx": "react-jsx",
    "jsxImportSource": "npm:react",
    "types": [
      "lume/types.ts",
      "https://unpkg.com/@types/react@18.2.37/index.d.ts"
    ]
  }
  // (omitted)
}

Rewriting Layout Files with JSX

#

Convert the layout file of the blog page, which was previously using Nunjucks, to JSX (TSX).
Place the following JSX as blog.tsx.

interface BlogPageData extends Lume.Data {
  title: string
}
export default (
  { title, children }: BlogPageData
) => (
  <html lang="ja">
  <head>
    <meta charSet="UTF-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />
    <title>{title}</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/style.css" />
    <link href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/prismjs@1.29.0/themes/prism.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />
  </head>
  <body>
  <header>
    <h1>Sample Blog Site</h1>
  </header>

  <main>
    <article>
      <h2>{title}</h2>
      {children}
    </article>
  </main>

  <footer>
    <p>&copy; 2023 Mamezou Blog</p>
  </footer>
  </body>
  </html>
)

It receives the front matter information (title) and content (children) of the Markdown as props.
While the content was received as the content variable in Nunjucks, it is received as the children variable in JSX.

Of course, Lume is a static site generator and does not involve client-side JavaScript execution.
Even if you write reactive code such as useState or event handlers, it will not work here. You need to consider it as a server component.

To use this in a Markdown file (blog page), change the extension to specify JSX (TSX) in the layout variable of the front matter.

---
title: Running a Blog Site with Lume
url: /blogs/lume/
# Changed from blog.njk
layout: layouts/blog.tsx
---

That's all. No need for any JSX conversion processing.
Running the server (deno task serve) will yield the same result as before.

This time we used JSX as the layout file, but it can also be used for UI components and pages themselves.

Enabling the MDX Plugin

#

Next, let's try MDX. MDX is an extension that allows using JSX in Markdown.
Just like JSX, add it to _config.ts.

import jsx from "lume/plugins/jsx.ts";
import mdx from "lume/plugins/mdx.ts";

const site = lume();

site.use(jsx()); // Required for using MDX
site.use(mdx()); // MDX plugin

In addition to the JSX plugin it depends on, add the MDX plugin.

Creating a Page with MDX

#

Here, we will create a component with JSX and use it from an MDX page.
Create a _components directory and place the following Card component (Card.tsx) there.

const styles = {
  card: {
    border: '1px solid #ddd',
    padding: '20px',
    borderRadius: '8px',
    boxShadow: '0 2px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1)',
    marginBottom: '20px'
  },
  title: {
    fontSize: '1em',
    marginBottom: '10px'
  },
  description: {
    marginBottom: '10px'
  }
};
interface CardPageData extends Lume.Data {
  title: string;
  content: string;
}
export default ({ title, children }: CardPageData) => {
  return (
    <div style={styles.card}>
      {title && <div style={styles.title}>{title}</div>}
      {children}
    </div>
  );
};

This is a UI component that renders as a card component (Card).

The _components directory placed here is special to Lume. Components placed here can be used globally from anywhere.

Information

Not limited to JSX, components written in other template languages can also be placed in this directory to be used globally.
Details of Lume's component functionality are explained in Part 4 of this series.

Now, let's use this UI component in MDX.
Place the following MDX in the project root (index.mdx).

---
title: Using JSX/MDX with Lume
url: /blogs/lume-mdx/
layout: layouts/blog.tsx
---

Lume supports many template engines, including JSX/MDX.

JSX/MDX is provided as an official plugin and can be easily introduced.

<comp.Card title="What is MDX?">
  MDX is an extension of Markdown that allows using JSX.

  For more details, refer to the official documentation below.
  - [Markdown for the component era](https://mdxjs.com/)
</comp.Card>

In the Markdown, <comp.Card ...>...</comp.Card> is the JSX component we created earlier.
The prefix comp is the object that stores global components.
Global components can be used without import[1].

Here, the content passed as children is written inside the tags, rendering the Card component.
This kind of description should be familiar to those who have experience using React.

Executing this results in the following page.

MDX

Finally, the changes in this article are summarized below.

.
├── _components
│   └── Card.tsx <- Globally available Card component
├── _includes
│   └── layouts
│       ├── blog.njk <- Nunjucks template created last time
│       └── blog.tsx <- Newly created JSX template (same content as Nunjucks version)
├── css
│   └── style.scss
├── _config.ts <- JSX/MDX plugin introduction
├── deno.json
├── deno.lock
├── index.md <- Changed template to JSX
└── index.mdx <- MDX using Card component

Summary

#

This time, we used JSX/MDX as template languages in Lume.
Not limited to JSX/MDX, Lume provides support for many template languages as plugins.

Of course, if it's not available here, you can create your own. It might be interesting to try, though it's not for beginners.

Also, although not touched upon here, it is possible to execute multiple template engines in a single file.
For instance, like Eleventy, you can execute both Nunjucks and a Markdown parser on Markdown.

Next time, we will look into Lume's page management (Search plugin).


  1. If components are placed outside _components, they can be used by writing import statements in the Markdown. ↩︎

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