blogtool 1.1.2 documentation


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In order to post to a blog, blogtool needs some basic info about it: location of the XMLRPC file, a user name and a password to name a few. At this time, blogtool only supports Wordpress blogs since that’s what my blog software is and therefore what blogtool has been tested on.

The basic blog info is provided in a header section of a file via keywords and values separated by colons. Dont’ worry- there aren’t a lot and they’re intuitive with regards to blogging. Further, it’s possible to setup a configuration file that will default the crucial settings, reducing the amount of header keywords that are used during normal blogging to 2 or 3.

The keywords are used to form the header, which must precede the post text when composing a post file. Once the header is completed, a blank line follows. Everything thereafter is considered post content or comment content and will be written as appropriate to a post on the blog:

TITLE: My First Post with Blogtool
TAGS: blogtool, software
BLOG: The Most Interesting Blog in the World
PASSWORD: secret

Everything preceding this was the header for this post file.  The text you
are reading now is considered the content.  You can use [markdown][1] syntax
to add *emphasis* and other text markup features.


Header Keywords

Following is a list of blogtool header keywords:

Notice, these are listed in caps. That’s because the keywords should be capitalized in the header.

Each keyword should be followed by a ‘: ‘ and then an appropriate value, more on those below. Each line of the header is terminated with a carriage return, so don’t try to put all the header stuff on a single line. To terminate the header, simply create a blank line. Everything after that blank line is processed as post text and will be published on the blog.

Keywords may also be given a list of values by using a comma (‘,’) to separate each value. Because of this, the comma character cannot be used as part of a keyword value, for instance in the title of a post.

For the purposes of posting, the required keywords are:

Without these, blogtool can’t push anything up to a weblog.

Keyword Definitions

Following are the keywords that blogtool supports along with a description of what they are used for and what an appropriate value is for them.

Defines the post title that will appear on the blog.
The equivalent of a summary entry for the blog post. The text will be displayed if the blog theme is setup to do so.

Serves dual purposes. With a single value it defines the name of the blog for posting to. Again, basically any character can be used, excepting a comma.

A comma separated list of blog names can be supplied if it’s desired to publish to multiple blogs.

Alternatively, a group can be assigned. See “Groups” below.

Specifies the blog type being posted to. For now, this is only wp for Wordpress blogs.
Specifies the actual name of the blog. If posting to an individual blog, then it is synonymous with the ‘BLOG’ keyword. If posting to multiple blogs, then it should be used inside a group for the ‘BLOG’ keyword.
The location of the xmlrpc file for the blog.

The category the post should be filed under on the blog. If filing under a subcategory, then it should be listed as a dotted representation of the category. Example: parentcat.subcat1.subcat2

Can be a single value or a comma separated list.

The ID number of a post. The presence of this in the header means that the post will be updated.
The login name for posting to the blog. The is required to be able to post to a weblog.
The password for the USERNAME for gaining access to the weblog.
For defining the tags for a post. Can be a single value or a comma separated list.
Used to schedule a post. See section at the end on time strings to see how to spell this.

The following keywords are specific to editting and or writing comments:

Valid values are approve, hold and spam and are determined by the Wordpress blog software.
Every Wordpress comment has a unique ID, like the posts. The value for this can be obtained with the readcomments option or by hovering on the comment link in a browser.
The COMMENT_ID of the comment being replied to. Typically used when writing a comment using the comment option.
Specifies the name to be associated with a comment. When writing a comment via the comment option, this will default to the username for the blog specified, but can be overwritten to anything.
Specifies the URL for the comment’s author’s website. Can be left blank.
Specifies an email address for the author of the comment. Can be left blank.

Keyword Values

The values that correspond to keywords consist of strings. Almost all strings are terminated by the appropriate end-of-line marker. There are two exceptions: groups and quoted strings. Groups are explained in the next section. Quoted strings are supported as of version 1.1.1.

A quoted string is like the python docstring- a string that is delimited by a triple double-quote character pattern. Within the delimiters, all characters are allowed and the string may span multiple lines. Quoted strings may be used anywhere a string value is allowed and can be useful if its desired to use certain characters that the header parsing recognizes as special like colons or commas. For instance, if it’s desired to use a comma in a title, enclose the title string in triple quotes like so:

TITLE: """A Title, With a Comma in it"""

Without the quoting, this title would cause an error.


The header syntax also supports grouping for the BLOG keyword. Grouping provides a means to supply information for multiple blogs. Use the ‘NAME’ keyword within a group to specify a blog.

A group consists of a keywords enclosed within brackets. Groups can be listed using a comma:

        NAME: My Blog
        XMLRPC: http://my.server/xmlrpc.php
        USERNAME: user
        PASSWORD: secret
        NAME: My Other Blog
        XMLRPC: http://myotherblog.server/xmlrpc.php
        USERNAME: user
        PASSWORD: secret
        CATEGORIES: Tedium

Configuration Files

To reduce the amount of header typing, it is possible to create a configuration file for blogtool to obtain parameter settings that are used all the time. The file ~/.btrc is automatically looked for when blogtool is started. It is not an error if it does not exist unless an attempt it made to perform a blog operation that requires minimal blog configuration info, like deleting a post. If just trying to post a file, the file can be successfully processed by providing all the necessary configuration fields. An alternate configuration file can be specified on the command line using the -c option.

A configuration file basically consists of a header. The most useful purpose is to supply redundant configuration information like XMLRPC, BLOGTYPE, NAME, USERNAME and PASSWORD so that each post file does not require this information. Given a configuration file with these five settings, then it is possible to construct post files with only two lines in the header- namely the TITLE and CATEGORIES of the post.

Because of the way a configuration file’s settings are reconciled with settings specified in a post file, it is possible to use the configuration file to define default settings for a blog, such as the CATEGORIES or TAGS. Basically, if these settings are present in a configuration file, but NOT present in the post file, then the configuration file setting will be used. Otherwise, post file settings ALWAYS override configuration file settings.

The configuration file was implemented as a courtesy to the user so as to avoid the tedium of constantly entering the same values for every post.

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