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Astro is hard....

28th May 2024 • 5 min read • Writing blogs is even harder

Hello! Welcome to my new website, or at least as of writing this blog. It’s been written from scratch with Astro, Typescript and a lot of suffering, mostly due to bugs and random annoyances…

So where do I start, maybe why I have chosen Astro over other existing options.

Why Astro

TLDR: I don’t know :3

I’ve been trying to learn Typescript for about a month now, mainly to broaden my skill set, but to also help me with job searching. Firstly through Svelte for a college project (which I may write about), but now Astro.

I’ve chosen Astro for two main reasons

  1. It’s statically compiled, meaning that I don’t ship any smelly Javascript to the browser, which I detest doing when not needed
  2. It looked simple enough compared to other options

So, what was the experience like so far you may be asking, ehh…

The problems

Image and Picture

The first and biggest hurdle I faced was the Image and Picture elements from Astro. I could not for the life of me, figure out a good solution for using both a file path, and a URL for the frontmatter data. I tried:


I spent a good few hours trying to get that working, until I came across the image() schema helper. I followed the documentation, I followed videos, I copied code from existing repositories, nothing worked, it refused to load images by file path, instead returning a string every time…

So I simply gave up, and I think that’s for the best considering I want to keep my hair, and I had better things todo. You win Astro, you win.


When working on the Refsheet part of this website, I wanted to use a library to be able to view images fullscreen. Maybe I’m stupid, maybe I’m dumb, but I could not get PhotoSwipe to work, at least when using multiple sets of images on a page.

I tried stupid things such as creating unique IDs for each gallery element, but when passing them into a <script> tag, it would break imports, as passing Astro variables into these for use on the user side, it would put them above the imports.

I know I’ll figure this out, as I’ve already created a plugins section for my Layout, that looks as such.

// Layout.astro

interface Props {
    title: string;
    plugins?: {
        katex?: boolean,
    seo?: {
        description?: string,
        tags?: string[],

const { title, plugins, seo } = Astro.props;

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
        {plugins?.katex && (
            <!-- Import Katex here -->
// Markdown.astro

import Layout from "./Layout.astro";

// Get post data here

        katex: true,

So I know it’s possible…

Broken getEntries()

My last gripe I had with Astro was the broken getEntries() function, while it made it annoying to not get tag data for posts, it wasn’t hard to implement myself for the use of this blog. It’s not that well optimised in my option, but it does what it needs todo and doesn’t run in the users browser anyway, thanks Astro.

// utils.ts

export async function getTagsBySlug(
    postTags: string[],
): Promise<CollectionEntry<"tags">[]> {
    const allTags: CollectionEntry<"tags">[] = await getCollection("tags");

    // Loop through all the tags in a post and the tags in the collections
    // To see if they match, if they do we'll return them
    const tags: CollectionEntry<"tags">[] = [];
    postTags.forEach((postTag) => {
        allTags.forEach((allTag) => {
            if (allTag.slug === postTag) tags.push(allTag);

    // Yeet
    return tags;

What I’ve learned

While Astro was a meh experience, I doubt all the problems I encountered where an Astro issue, most where probably a skill issue tbh.

That said, trial by error (or fire when doing JavaScript/TypeScript) is a good way to learn, so I did learn much indeed, both on Astro and TypeScript.

Other things I wasn’t expecting to learn on the way was digging through Documentation more thoroughly and trying MDX. So that’s a win!

Final words

I’m hoping to write more blogs in the future, mainly to practice my writing skills, and sharing my options publicly, regardless if it’s something political or programming related. But life’s in a tangle right now

Maned Wolf art by Pulex Art by Pulex