Build a UI Project for Local Preview

Build Preview Site

Once you’ve modified the site UI, the first thing you’ll want to do is check out how it looks. That’s what the files in the preview-src/ folder are for. This folder contains HTML file fragments that provide a representative sample of content from the site. The preview saves you from having to generate the whole site just to test the UI. These files should give you an idea of how the UI will look when applied to the actual site.

The pages in the preview site are assembled using the Handlebars templates and link to the pre-compiled asset files (emulating the behavior of the site generator). Thus, to look at then, you need to run them through the UI build.

There are two preview modes available. You can run the build once and examine the result or you can run the build continuously so you can see changes as you make them. The next two sections explain how to use these modes.

Build Once

To build the UI once for preview, then stop, execute the following command:

$ gulp preview:build

This task pre-compiles the UI files into the public directory. To view the preview pages, navigate to the HTML pages in the public directory using your browser (e.g., public/index.html).

Build Continuously

To avoid the need to run the preview:build task over and over while developing, you can use the preview command instead to have it run continuously. This task also launches a local HTTP server so updates get synchronized with the browser (i.e., “live reload”).

To launch the preview server, execute the following command:

$ gulp preview

You’ll see a URL listed in the output of this command:

[12:59:28] Starting 'preview:serve'...
[12:59:28] Starting server...
[12:59:28] Server started http://localhost:5252
[12:59:28] Running server

Navigate to the URL to view the preview site. While this command is running, any changes you make to the source files will be instantly reflected in the browser. This works by monitoring the project for changes, running the preview:build task if a change is detected, and sending the updates to the browser.

Press Ctrl+C to stop the preview server and end the continuous build.

Package for Previewing

If you need to bundle the UI in order to preview the UI on the real site in local development, run the following command:

$ gulp bundle

The bundle command also invokes the lint command to check that the CSS and JavaScript follow the coding standards.

The UI bundle will be available at build/ui-bundle.zip. You can then point Antora at this bundle using the --ui-bundle-url command-line option.

If you have the preview running, and you want to bundle without causing the preview to be clobbered, use:

$ gulp bundle:pack

The UI bundle will again be available at build/ui-bundle.zip.