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    Add Next and Previous Links to a Gatsby Blog

    Taylor BellTaylor Bell
    gatsbyGatsby
    ^2.0.0

    Gatsby’s createPage action allows for additional data to be passed in via context. In this lesson, we will add a processing step to include links between posts, and update our templates to conditionally display them as appropriate.

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    Transcript

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    Instructor: We have the list of blog posts on our front page, and when we click to each one of them, they're showing up. In order to keep people from having to navigate, let's go ahead and add forward and backward links to each post.

    To do this, we're going to pass additional data into the context when we call createPage in Gatsby Node.js. Inside of Gatsby Node.js where we're calling createPage, we're going to include some additional data.

    Let's include a new variable for posts, because we're going to need to know where we're at in the list in order to link back and forth. We'll do const posts equals result.data.allMarkdownRemark.edges, and then we can just update this line to be posts for each.

    Inside of the for each, we destructure the node to get each post, but we also need to add the index, so we know where we are in the total list. Underneath path slug, we're going to add a key for prev, short for previous.

    If our index is equal to zero, we won't have anything for previous, because if it's zero, it's the first one. We can't go backwards. Otherwise, we're going to do posts, and we'll get the one at index minus one, dot-node, which will be the post that comes before it.

    Next will be almost the same thing. This time, we'll look at index being posts.length minus one. If it's the last one, there is no next. Otherwise, it'll be posts at index plus one, dot-node. Since we've updated Gatsby Node.js, we need to restart Gatsby develop.

    I've got my blog post template open, and let's open up my first post. When we add keys to the context part of the createPage call, it ends up in our template under a key called pageContext. Let's go ahead and console.log pageContext.

    When our page reloads, we can see our path slug, which is what was used to build this page. We can see that our previous link has a link to the second post, and our next link has a link to the third post. We're getting links to next and previous, but they're in the wrong order.

    Our first post shouldn't have a previous. This means that we need to add a sort parameter to the allMarkdownRemark query in Gatsby Node.js. Inside of Gatsby Node.js, we're going to add a sort to the allMarkdownRemark query.

    We'll add a couple parentheses here, and we'll use the sort keyword. sort takes an object. We will sort in ascending order, based on front matter, ___date. In order to see that this in fact what we want to do, we can open our GraphQL browser, and see that inside of query allMarkdownRemark, we have the sort here.

    We can click that. The order is ascending or descending, and the fields, of course, are the front matter things that we've added in our posts. We save this file, we restart Gatsby develop, and then when we reload our page, we can now see that there is no previous, because we're on the first post. Next comes our second one.

    Since we now that we're getting next and previous passed through the page context, let's add some links. We'll delete the console.log, and then we will destructure next and previous from pageContext. We'll import link from Gatsby.

    We'll add a couple curly braces, because we're going to do a conditional. We'll do next && link to equals, next.frontMatter.path. We'll just make this the word next, and reformat this a little bit. What the double ampersand does here is checks for the truthiness value of next. If it is true, it will render this link.

    We can see that in our first post, that we have a link to next. We can now copy and paste this just for the sake of saving time, and replace next with prev. Now, we don't see a previous link here, like we expect, because it's our first one.

    We have next. We have the next and previous on the second post, and a previous only on post C. Now that we know that this works, let's add a little bit of styling. Thanks to the magic of editing, we now have some style.