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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Sat, 31 Aug 2013

Proposal: A Dropbox-based filesystem for Ode

Level of difficulty: Medium to hard


The latest (as of early 2013) thing for blogging systems is a site that draws its post files from Dropbox via the Dropbox API. The idea is to write posts in a designated folder/directory in your Dropbox and have those files automatically pushed to the web via an external blogging application.

This could seem counterintuitive at first, especially because the two other systems that I know are using Dropbox in this manner -- Calepin and Fargo -- are both hosted services, while Ode is self-hosted.

The potential benefits of creating and delivering posts via Dropbox for Ode are many:

  • Write posts in a subfolder of your Dropbox folder and have them appear in your blog on demand (or after a re-indexing by those using the Indexette addin). Creating content is as easy as writing a text file to your local drive. No FTP application is needed.

  • Posts are automatically synched across all of your systems using Dropbox and are automatically backed up (though additional backup measures are strongly recommended)

  • A single Dropbox subfolder could feed multiple Ode sites. Or multiple subfolders in a single Dropbox account could feed multiple sites. Users could collaborate via shared Dropbox folders. This could simplify document management in potentially complex situations.

  • Content is independent of the server hosting the Ode script. Whether this is an actual "benefit" or simply a consequence is open to debate.

Notes and questions

  • Would this be implemented as an addin, or a series of modifications to the main Ode script?

  • Development of this addin/added feature would depend on what is required by the Dropbox API.