BlogLiterately 0.6

I’m very proud to announce the release of BlogLiterately version 0.6, a tool for formatting and uploading blog posts, including syntax highlighting, generation of ghci sessions, LaTeX support, automatic image uploading, and more.

tl;dr: Instead of cumbersomely specifying all options on the command-line, you can now specify options using a combination of “profiles” (e.g. for common sets of options such as blog URL and password) and options embedded within the .markdown or .lhs documents themselves (e.g. for post-specific options like title, tags, and categories).

There are a few other changes and improvements as well. For more information, see the documentation or keep reading below!

Specifying options

With previous releases, uploading a post usually went something like this:

BlogLiterately MyPost.md --blog "http://my.blog.url/xmlrpc.php \
  --user me --password 1234567 --postid 9999 --title "My awesome post" \
  --tag tag1 --tag tag2 --tag tag3 --category Stuff \
  --category OtherStuff --ghci --wplatex

which is incredibly tedious and error-prone. Now we do things the Right Way ™. First, you can create one or more profiles, specifying a common set of options that can be referred to by name. For example, you might have a profile for a particular blog, or a profile for a particular type of post which always needs the same options. Suppose we put this in $HOME/.BlogLiterately/foo.cfg (or in something like C:/Documents And Settings/user/Application Data/BlogLiterately/foo.cfg on Windows):

blog        = http://my.blog.url/xmlrpc.php
user        = me
password    = 1234567
wplatex     = true

Now the previous command line is reduced to

BlogLiterately MyPost.md -P foo --postid 9999 --title "My awesome post" \
  --tag tag1 --tag tag2 --tag tag3 --category Stuff \
  --category OtherStuff --ghci

which is already a big improvement! But it doesn’t stop there. The title, tags, categories, and other such things are really inherent to the post itself; there’s no reason they should go on the command line. So, we add this indented block somewhere in MyPost.md (probably near the top, though it doesn’t matter):

    [BLOpts]
    profile    = foo
    postid     = 9999
    title      = "My awesome post"
    tags       = tag1, tag2, tag3
    categories = Stuff, OtherStuff
    ghci       = true

And now we only have to write

BlogLiterately MyPost.md

with no options on the command line at all! Notice how we can even specify which profile to use in the [BLOpts] block. When we’re satisfied with the post we can publish it with

BlogLiterately MyPost.md --publish

Generating HTML only

In the past, to get a “preview” version of the HTML output written to stdout, all you had to do was omit a --blog option. However, if you specify a profile with a blog field as in the above example, this is more problematic. For this reason, a new option --html-only has been added. When this option is specified, nothing will be uploaded, and the HTML output written to stdout.

Changes to Transforms

In order to make the above features possible, the definition of Transform has changed. This only affects those users who have created their own custom transformations. The definition used to be

data Transform
  = Transform
    { getTransform :: BlogLiterately -> Kleisli IO Pandoc Pandoc
    , xfCond       :: BlogLiterately -> Bool
    }

that is, a Transform was a transformation on Pandoc documents, parameterized by an options record and able to have effects in the IO monad. The definition is now

data Transform
  = Transform
    { getTransform :: StateT (BlogLiterately, Pandoc) IO ()
    , xfCond       :: BlogLiterately -> Bool
    }

meaning that a Transform is able to transform both a Pandoc document and the options record. This is crucial for being able to do things like embedding options within the document itself, because we don’t know all the options until we start processing the document! Also, I switched from using Kleisli arrows to using StateT, since I find it simpler to work with, especially now that multiple pieces of state are involved. For more information and help upgrading, see the documentation for Text.BlogLiterately.Transform.

Move to github

The other change is that I have moved the BlogLiterately repository from darcshub to github. In general, for small personal projects and miscellaneous sorts of things I use darcs and hub.darcs.net; for larger projects where I want to raise the visibility and encourage contributions from other users, I use github. At some point BlogLiterately crossed the line.

Learning more, and contacting me

For more information, see the full documentation. I’m always happy to receive comments, questions, feature requests, bug reports, and so on, via the bug tracker on github, IRC (byorgey on freenode), or email (the same as my IRC nick, at gmail).

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