<3 LaTeX <3

A fair portion of my supposedly study-oriented weekend was spent in the recovery of ebooks deleted in an iOS update gone wrong, and the ongoing hunt for a worthy ePub reader for my iPad.

Besides my iPad, I have spent most of today (Sunday) in the company of an old friend, that most excellent of typesetting solutions, LaTeX. Microsoft Word is a fantastic tool for quick documents, but its very nature as a WYSIWYG editor makes it leaves much to be desired as a tool for quality typeset documents. There is no separation of style and content (like HTML and CSS for instance).

Because of this unholy marriage of elements, I can spend as much time in the play of dials and sliders as I do writing. LaTeX strictly separates content and style-I define spaces, typefaces, indentations, fonts, and other styles at the start of the document, and then as I write I simply insert the tags as ncesessary. Example “hello world” .tex file:

\documentclass{article}
\title{Cartesian closed categories and the price of eggs}
\author{Jane Doe}
\date{September 1994}
\begin{document}
   \maketitle
   Hello world!
\end{document}

prep

For reasons-reasons other than convenience-that I would not be able to fully articulate should you choose to put a gun to my head, I store my website’s files (WordPress), database and content images separately. I guess if one’s data centre is bombed then the other two will be okay?

Well, back to the convenience. I post a great many images to this blog; for the aforementioned convenience, I store my images in Dropbox. I can quickly and easily move, rename or alter images on my blog without having to piss about with FTP. Now, beyond handling the core image processing I don’t want to get bogged down in resizing, foldering, renaming and uploading all of those files. Because of this I script the action, but my current script only creates preview and thumbnail sizes:


#!/bin/sh

MED=m
SML=s

mkdir -p $MED $SML

for file in $(find . -iname "*.jpg")
do
cp $file $MED
cp $file $SML
done

mogrify -quality 90 -resize 540x540+0+0 $MED/*.jpg
mogrify -quality 90 -gravity center -crop 256x256+0+0 $SML/*.jpg

exit 0

Today I want to add three two new features to it:

  1. Move the given folder into my ~/Dropbox/public/content folder.
  2. Construct the URL code I use and ready it for pasting. Typical code is below:
<a title="Click to view larger size" href="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4144919/content/1466601748/1.jpg"><img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4144919/content/1466601748/1.jpg" alt="" /></a>

For both steps, I need the ability to output only the name of the current directory I am working in, since this directory will be named according the number to the post. In the case of this blog post the folder name will be 1466601748. I spent about three hours fucking about with awk, sed, Google and pipes before I discovered a very simple one-liner that delivers the folder name unto me:


basename $(pwd)

[mark][1466601748] # pwd
/home/mark/1466601748
[mark][1466601748] # basename $(pwd)
1466601748

Call me stupid. So, #1 is the easiest to achieve:


[mark][1466601748] # mv $(pwd) ~/Dropbox/Public/content

#2, generating the URL code, will be interesting, although trivial too. It seems like the easiest way is to echo the URL while I insert the post number and then stick the hot, steaming result into my clipboard. This works fine…but my sense of neatness is screaming at me that there is probably a more elegant way to achieve my goal:


#!/bin/sh

USERID=4144919
POSTID=$(basename $(pwd))

echo \<a title=\"Click to view larger size\" href=\"http\:\/\/dl.dropbox.com\/u\/$USERID\/content\/$POSTID\/1.jpg\"\>\<img src=\"http\:\/\/dl.dropbox.com\/u\/$USERID\/content\/$POSTID\/m\/1.jpg\" alt=\"\" \/\>\<\/a\> | xclip -sel clip

exit 0

Short version: Escape the shit out of everything and let God judge the survivors. Using $USERID instead of a hard-set user number gives me a little bit of portability for you, the consumer.

#!/bin/sh

PUB=/home/mark/Dropbox/Public/content/
MED=m
SML=s
USERID=4144919
POSTID=$(basename $(pwd))

mkdir -p $MED $SML

for file in $(find . -iname "*.jpg")
do
	cp $file $MED
	cp $file $SML
done

mogrify -quality 90 -resize 540x540+0+0 $MED/*.jpg
mogrify -quality 90 -gravity center -crop 256x256+0+0 $SML/*.jpg

echo <a title=\"Click to view larger size\" href=\"http://dl.dropbox.com/u/$USERID/content/$POSTID/1.jpg\"><img src=\"http://dl.dropbox.com/u/$USERID/content/$POSTID/m/1.jpg\" alt=\"\" /></a> | xclip -sel clip

mv $(pwd) $PUB

exit 0

Enjoy.

/smrt