When editing Pattern Lab you must put your files and edit them in the ./source/ directory. This includes your static assets like JavaScript, CSS, and images. Each time your site is generated your patterns will be compiled and your static assets will be moved to the ./public/ directory. Because of this you should not edit the files in the ./public/ directory.

Pattern Lab Directories

For the most part you can organize ./source/ anyway you see fit. There are a few Pattern Lab-specific directories though. They are:

  • _annotations/ - where your annotations reside. learn more.
  • _data/ - where the global data used to render your patterns resides. learn more.
  • _meta/ - where the header and footer that get applied to all of your patterns resides. learn more.
  • _patterns/ - where your patterns, pattern documentation, and pattern-specific data reside. learn more.

Configuring Pattern Lab Directories

All Pattern Lab directories can be configured to suit your needs.

In the PHP version of Pattern Lab you can modify or add the following configuration options in ./config/config.yml:

// base directories
exportDir:        "value" // default is exports. where clean mark-up sans PL code is exported to.
publicDir:        "value" // default is public
sourceDir:        "value" // default is source

// exportDir is the base directory for the following directories  (e.g. ./exports/patterns)
patternExportDir: "value" // default is patterns

// publicDir is the base directory for the following directories  (e.g. ./public/patterns)
componentDir:     "value" // default is patternlab-components. where plugin components are installed.
patternPublicDir: "value" // default is patterns

// sourceDir is the base directory for the following directories (e.g. ./source/_patterns)
annotationsDir:   "value" // default is _annotations
dataDir:          "value" // default is _data
metaDir:          "value" // default is _meta
patternSourceDir: "value" // default is _patterns

In the Node version of Pattern Lab you can modify the following configuration options in patternlab-config.json:

"paths" : {
  "source" : {
    "root": "./source/",
    "patterns" : "./source/_patterns/",
    "data" : "./source/_data/",
    "meta": "./source/_meta/",
    "annotations" : "./source/_annotations/",
    "styleguide" : "./node_modules/styleguidekit-assets-default/dist/",
    "patternlabFiles" : "./node_modules/styleguidekit-mustache-default/views/",
    "js" : "./source/js",
    "images" : "./source/images",
    "fonts" : "./source/fonts",
    "css" : "./source/css/"
  },
  "public" : {
    "root" : "./public/",
    "patterns" : "./public/patterns/",
    "data" : "./public/styleguide/data/",
    "annotations" : "./public/annotations/",
    "styleguide" : "./public/styleguide/",
    "js" : "./public/js",
    "images" : "./public/images",
    "fonts" : "./public/fonts",
    "css" : "./public/css"
  }
}

Watching for Source File Changes

Manually generating the Pattern Lab website after each change can be cumbersome. The PHP and Node versions of Pattern Lab come with the ability to watch files in the ./source/ directory for changes and re-generate the site automatically. The Pattern Lab website can also be automatically reloaded.