Monday, April 02, 2012

Command Line Posting to Blogger

Oh man, I'm really becoming a geek. I spend so much time staring at VIM that writing a Blog post using the Web interface seems cumbersome to me. I know about Google command line interface and I even wrote my own little script to upload images to Picasa directly from Nautilus (good times are gone, I don't use GNOME anymore).


Basic setup

So, in this post I will explore how post to Blogspot from the command line in an elegant way. First we need to install Google's CLI tool, let's grab it:
Now, let's install it:
dpkg -i googlecl_0.9.13-1_all.deb
OK, basically, now you are good to go. The documentation is fairly easy to understand. Except maybe one note. The first time you will run the command you will need to configure your client. The config files are found in:
Well done by googleres who put the stuff where I expected it. Do note, when you run the config you will be asked for the name of your Blog. This is NOT the subdomain, e.g. in my case:
Rather to correct answer is the title of the Blog:
Linux Pixies and Stuff
Spaces are digested very well.


Making things Fancy

Until now you can post simple text files, or manually edit HTML (YUCK!). Here comes the fun part. Editing simple text files and automagically converting them to HTML. Enter markdown.



Markdown is a sweet little thing I discovered using The more I use it I want more. This thing is addicting, and even worse, it makes me hate all other Wiki syntax! Especially TkWiki, which we use in my workplace. Markdown has many many converters. I use python-markdown2, so let's install it:
pip install markdown2
Now, if you are a pedant, you could make a Debian package, which is actually better than just dumping Python packages. But pip can also remove Python packages, so it's now that bad, after all.
Anyway, at this point, you have python-markdown2 installed, and the command markdown is at your finger tips. You can start writing your post with your favorite editor, be it Nano, EMACS, Ed or VIM, when your done, save it with an appropriate title and md suffix so you know later it's Markdown. Now comes the fun part.


Converting to HTML

/usr/local/bin/markdown2 > Title\ of\ Your\ Cool\ Post.html
Now, you can view it with:
firefox Title\ of\ Your\ Cool\ Post.html
It will be bare naked HTML, without any styling, but you will get a good feeling how your post will look like. When your satisfied, go the next step, publishing.


 Publishing your Post

Easy as:
google blogger post Title\ of\ Your\ Cool\ Post.html


Final Remarks

I am writing these final remarks from Google's own web interface to Blogger. I wanted to see how my post looks like in real life. I was amazed to find a plague of break elements. elements in my post. Apparently, Blogger's engine parses the HTML once again when it's submitted. Everywhere I had a line break in VIM using enter, I had inside Blogger a break element. Quite upsetting, but just remember, don't use to many of them inside VIM, and your post should look good.