Saturday, August 1, 2009

Setting up a Blogger Client for GNU Emacs 23

Alrighty, well, I'm an emacs guy so I write everything in GNU emacs. That includes this blog (hopefully, if this really works). So, all you need to do is go to the google code site for e-blog and download the tar.gz file. Unpack it, it's 3 files: the emacs lisp code, a readme, and the license. Sweet.

Now, move the emacs lisp file to ~/.emacs.d and be sure to modify your ~/.emacs file to load the lisp code. You're done, congratulations!

Starting a New Blog Post

It can be kind of intimidating at first, writing from essentially the command line into a blog. But no worries, it's simple. To write a blog post, simply type M-x e-blog-new-post and it will ask you for your screen name and password. It does this just once.

Then it gives a list of your blogs, even if you have one blog it shows you the same list. Hit tab to get to the list. When the cursor is on the "+" symbol, it will expand a tree of blog posts. When the cursor is on the first character of the blog title, it will start a new blog post in that specified blog.

It asks for a title and some labels, then there is a line. It looks like this:

Title:
Labels:
-------- Post Follows This Line --------

Follow your nose on this one...

Actually Posting the Entry

I believe what one does is one uses the keystrokes M-x e-blog-extract-for-post but I am not completely certain...if this is posted up, then I'm correct.

Addendum

Yes I was correct about my guess, but it uploads one string containing the xhtml code for your post which can be hard to decode if you are editing it on the blogger site. I'm also not certain how it uploads pictures and things of the sort. I sometimes may have to upload a diagram, and I don't think that can be done via emacs...

Dependencies

The only dependency that I am aware of that it uses is a program called curl which is some url retrieving program. When on Ubuntu, it can be trivially installed using the command line thus: $ sudo apt-get install curl and you're done!

Addendum 2:

One drawback I've noted with this client is that if you use $\LaTeX{}$ in your blog entry, it will have trouble uploading your entry. It in fact won't do it, and returns with an error. How sad.

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