Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More progress of brain

Got a fair bit of work done on the publishing side of my vim-brain-environment-thing (I need a name, really) at the weekend.

Here you can see a published page. Looks largely the same, at least in terms of content, which is good, but I can now edit using vim. The old editing process is:


  1. Log into my website as an admin.

  2. Go to the page I want to edit, click "edit" and edit it using a Javascript-based HTML editor. This was ok, but was getting to me as it was clunky, pretty cpu-intensive, did funny things with frames (and hence the browser's back button) and was often difficult to get to look right.

  3. Hit "save". Done.


Fairly short, but still, it annoyed me. I much prefer to edit text properly. So here's the new process (which some may find worse, admittedly ;)...


  1. On my home machine (or whichever machine I have my notes checked out of CVS on), edit the page using vim (including VimNotes and Markdown for navigation and readability).

  2. Check page into CVS, run a quick command to flag things as "to be published".

  3. On the server, run a quick command that checks the "publish" flag from CVS, and checks everything out from CVS if found. Does some other bits and bobs too (or will do ;)

  4. Page-serving Perl script now does translation from Markdown-format text to HTML the first time a page is requested after it's updated. The results are saved as a cache.



Still got a fair way to go, but that's a good start. Things still to do:


  • Go through all the pages and check they look ok as a webpage. I've lost all my tables, which affects only a handful, but useful things such as the homepage layout and the Markup Matrix.

  • Regularly check if something needs to be published.

  • Add the ability to mark files as "private", and don't access them via the web if marked so.

  • Handle "recently updated" better.

  • Work out what internal links there and generate a list on the side for website navigation.

  • Various other things and tweaks.



Hopefully, eventually, I'll be able to package this all up a bit, and make it easy to install for anyone else wanting to organise and publish their brains via Vim. (Don't all rush at once ;)

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