Erik's Thoughts and Musings

Apple, Technology, and Reviews

New Python Blogger Tool

Earlier this week, I created a new Blogger tool to support this new Pelican-based blog. It is a simple Python3 tool that accepts a variable number of arguments and then creates a Pelican friendly Markdown file. It will then launch that new file in the Markdown editor of your choice. In my case it launches Visual Studio Code. Here is an example:

$ blogger.py New Python Blogger Tool
Creating: 2021-04-17-new-python-blogger-tool.md

And since I hate typing repetitive words, in my .zshrc I have the following line to simplify launching the blog editor to simply b:

alias b=blogger.py

Sample call to the tool:

$ b New Python Blogger Tool
Creating: 2021-04-17-new-python-blogger-tool.md

The code is not too advanced so I will just put it below. The script requires:

  • Python 3.6+ for f-strings
  • pyyaml from pip

You will probably notice a custom util and path module. Those are just simple helper modules. The main functions used.

  • path.canonize() - Converts paths like ~/folder/../folder2 into /Users/emartin/folder2. See os.path.normpath() and os.path.expanduser() in the built-in os module.
  • util.log() - My console logger with time stamps. Easily replaceable with a print() statement.

I would post the link to my Github repo, but it is a private and it would take me a while to extract secrets. Maybe one day soon. Here is the code:

#!/usr/bin/env python3
import argparse
import os

import path
import util
import run

# pip install pyyaml
import yaml

# Backup configuration needs to live in the same location as script
__location__ = os.path.realpath(os.path.join(os.getcwd(), os.path.dirname(__file__)))
config_yaml = "blogger_config.yaml"
config_yaml_path = os.path.join(__location__, config_yaml)

def blogger(config, title):
  source_folder = path.canonize(config['source_folder'])

  # Validate source folder exists
  if not os.path.exists(source_folder):
    util.log(f'ERROR: Source folder does not exist: {source_folder}')
    return -1

  content_folder =  os.path.join(source_folder, 'content')

  # Validate content folder exists
  if not os.path.exists(content_folder):
    util.log(f'ERROR: Content folder does not exist: {content_folder}')
    return -1

  # Generate the file name from the date and passed in title
  today = util.todaysDate()
  year = '{:%Y}'.format(today)
  month = '{:%m}'.format(today)
  day = '{:%d}'.format(today)
  name = title.lower().replace(" ","-")
  filename = f'{year}-{month}-{day}-{name}.md'

  new_blog_file = os.path.join(content_folder, filename)

  # Only create the file if the file doesn't exist otherwise just open it
  if not os.path.exists(new_blog_file):
    # Get the metadata defaults from the config file
    category = config['category']
    tag = config['tag']
    author = config['author']

    # Write metadata to top of the file in yaml format
    print(f'Creating: {filename}')
    with open(new_blog_file, 'a') as f:
      f.write(f'Title: {title}\n')
      f.write(f'Date: {today}\n')
      f.write(f'Category: {category}\n')
      f.write(f'Tags: {tag}\n')
      f.write(f'Authors: {author}\n')

  # Launch Markdown Tool
  markdown_tool = path.canonize(config['markdown_tool'])
  run.launch_app(markdown_tool, new_blog_file)

# Main function
if __name__ == '__main__':
  # Parse arguments
  parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description='Script to automate blogging.')
  parser.add_argument('title', help=f'The title of the blog.', nargs='*', default='')
  args = parser.parse_args()

  # Dump Help if no parameters were passed
  if (len(args.title) == 0):
    parser.print_help()
    exit(0)

  # Load configuration file
  config = {}
  with open(config_yaml_path) as file:
   config = yaml.full_load(file)

  # Run Blogger
  title = " ".join(args.title)
  return_code = blogger(config, title)
  exit(return_code)

And the blogger_config.yaml looks like this:

source_folder: ~/Source/blog.emrt.in
category: "Misc|Media|Technology"
tag: "Blog"
author: Erik Martin
markdown_tool: /Applications/Visual Studio Code.app/Contents/Resources/app/bin/code

Descriptions of the configuration:

  • source_folder - Where the Pelican blog source is located. Files are created in the content folder.
  • category - category of the post (blog entry metadata)
  • tag - comma separated tags of the post (blog entry metadata)
  • author - default author of the post (blog entry metadata)
  • markdown_tool - The path to the markdown tool that launches the created .md file