Tag: explore

Creating a new view on Blot

I recently wanted to create a new view (a page) for all my social posts. Apparently, even if you create the page there are still few additional configurations to be done for the template to make it available at a particular link.

Configuration to be done is to define a route which will serve that particular page. This can be done on the web editor at Blot dashboard in the template section.

As of now, this is only possible when local editing is disabled. So if you have the local editing enabled, you can disable it to access the below mentioned sections.

You can create a new view’ on the web editor in the view section of the templates (available at https://blot.im/template/<theme-name>/view).

Once you create a new view, go to settings page for the newly created view and specify its route. For example, the route (or URL) for archives.html is set to /archives. This enables the Blot engine to render the given template view at the configured URL. You can explore the archives view for more options.

Changing Date Format in Blot

So, in one of the recent posts on indiewebifying the blot.im site, I was faced with a roadblock.

I could not find any way to format the published date that gets displayed on the posts. The post properties exposes just , which gets the default format of MMM DD, YYYY. And I do not think it’s a valid ISO-8601 as expected by the microformats2.

Well, I had reached out to David and apparently there is a yet-to-be-documented way.

As per the official document for developers, the standard way to get the post’s publish date is with property { { date } }1. However, if so inserted, it inserts the date in a default format – MMMM DD, YYYY. Even though it is a format that displays well, it does not provide the complete information on date, up to time level. For the microformats2 dt-published time tag, it is important that the post publish date is inserted as valid ISO-8601. So to do that, just use the below code snippet instead of { { date } }.

{ { # entry } } { { # formatDate } } MM YYYY DD { { /formatDate } } ... { { / entry } }

Make sure you remove spaces in between the curly brackets (refer footnote 1). Wherever the snippet { { # | / formatDate } } is added, it would be replaced by post’s publish date in the format defined in between the tags.

In David’s own words, any of Moment.js’ date formatting tokens work (formatDate is basically Moment.js behind the scenes)”. So you should be able to customise it completely as per your need.

  1. As clarified by David in an earlier open queries post, there is at this point no way to escape the parsing of the code references for properties that Blot uses. It ends up replacing them with the value. So adding spaces is my way to work around that limitation at this point.

Update – IndieWebifying the Blot site

Given the recent focus on the working on Micro.threads, I hardly had any spare time for working on exploring Blot. Micropub remains a distant dream. In line with the first update, I thought the best way to get going would be to IndieWebify the site first.

So I took some time out today and started with incorporating the basic principles. Some were addressed without much hiccup. Some have left me with some questions.

  1. Web Sign In is enabled. However, it did throw a curveball. Given that I already have my primary site active, how can I include rel=me links point to any of the Twitter/Github services? Concern is primary as I cannot link my Twitter/Github profiles to multiple homepage. May have to identify a different unused profile?
  2. h-card microformat is incorporated; so the site provides information on me now.
  3. h-entry microformat is added to all the post entries. There is one issue though. I could not find any way to format the published date that gets displayed on the posts. The post properties exposes just , which gets the default format of MMM DD, YYYY. And I do not think it’s a valid ISO-8601 as expected by the microformats2.

Update: I did sort out the way to format the published date.

Stuff to sort out next

  • Webmentions, both send and receive. I think I may keep this for later. I do not think I want to bring in the interactions at this point
  • Support for different posts types – replies, likes and reposts. I need to be able to add these posts type. However, more I think about it, I come to realise biggest benefit is going to be once Micropub is setup and site is able to send the Webmentions at the least. So even this might take some time.

Update on Blot Open Questions

Update: I had sent these questions to David, the developer behind Blot, on the support email address. And of course, given how gem of a person he is, he did address all of them quickly. I am updating the original post with his responses. This dedication of David makes me love this service even more!

I have some questions I need to explore and find answers for some issues in using Blot. Just jotting them down for reference. The list may continuously grow and shrink as I find the answers.

  1. What’s going on with \{\{Summary\}\}? I do not think it generates what it says it does – first line”. It ignores lines with links, it ignores codes in the line. So what’s outputted is something inaccurate.

[David]: You can override summary in the metadata at the start of a file. If you know a little javascript, you can read the rules for how the summary property is generated automatically.

  1. Can we override the behaviour of \{\{title\}\}? It is especially important for title-less posts as currently, the file name gets used by default. You need to explicitly set Title: to blank.

[David]: You can also override title in the metadata. However, based on what you are trying to do, I’d make use of the property. This refers to a markdown or HTML title tag in the file itself. For example:

  1. Point 2 is also important for posts via just the image files. As of now, it adds the image name as the title. I would prefer not the post to have any title at all.

[David]: I think I have solved this point in #2, please let me know if not.

  1. Can we override the behaviour of \{\{\{body\}\}\}? Just want to explore possibility to modify behaviour of URLs of image sources. Currently, relative URLs to blotcdn without scheme are added.

[David]: No, it is not possible to modify body. Please can you explain what you are trying to do? Would you like Blot to stop uploading your images to blotcdn? You can disable this behaviour on the settings page under Images > Cache and optimize images

  1. How can we make reference to any Post parameter in a post? If we include the parameter (for example , it gets converted to the title on build? Can we escape the { and }?

[David]: This is not possible right now, it is a bug, I will fix it. Sorry!

I think I may have hit the right ingredients to what I want to achieve with my blot blog. Look wise I am surprised the default theme suited me the best. Minor modifications with styling and I was good to go.

Content wise, I will use this space to record my experiments, thoughts I want implemented.

This is a test post to check for on-this-day feature.