Dr Fragen in the operating room

VoodooPad Pro Blogging


Please note that VoodooPad Pro has been renamed to VoodooPad.
It’s time to package up all my VoodooPad blogging scripts and assorted web export plugins so that I can

  1. Remember what the heck I was thinking.
  2. Remember what all these pieces were supposed to accomplish as a whole.
  3. Provide some sort of reference to others interested in this stuff.

Concept: To use VoodooPad as a CMS for a web site, allowing for static sites and inclusion of blog-style concatenated page. The blog-style page was originally intended as a News page of a static business site. SEO optimization necessitating the addition of a page with re-newing content. Google likes it more.
Disclaimer: I like Markdown and built these scripts around the fact that the VP document is essentially always formatted in plain text. Images need to be added using links.
I will include a sample package that contains a VP document, a web export plugin and several script plugins. The site the sample is based upon is at.
VoodooPad is a requirement as the meta data and triggers are necessary in the creation of the files. My workflow is as follows.

  1. Create new page/post.
  2. Run script plugin Blog > Meta Markup - HomepageMeta on new page.
  3. Run script plugin Blog > Make Homepage and Feed
  4. Run web export.
  5. FTP files up to site. I use Transmit. It’s also a great app.

The script will move all the created files into a folder structure so that the file structure on the computer will match the web site structure.
VoodooPad document
Item meta data is contained in the HomepageMeta page of the document. This is where most of the personalized info on the site is contained.
In the VP document, tags are used to create a pseudo-folder structure. This means that a page may only have one tag. Some pages are not exported but are used as reference, ie. links in the sidebar or the HomepageMeta page. Pages that are to be rendered at the root level of the site are tagged main.
Triggers can be used to include certain information into specific pages or info on every page. I use this for things like Google Analytics which needs to be on every page or the analytics confirmation that is only on the index.html page.
The Web Export Plugin
Some customization of these files will be necessary for your specific site.

Images are kept in the web export plugin. Files like robots.txt that need to be at the root level are kept in a root folder inside the web export plugin.

  • preflight.sh – creates the actual folder hierarchy, the folders are created in the preflight.sh script. The preflight.sh script also copies files like images to the export folder.

  • postflight.sh – can be used to rename pages that may be PHP based from .html to .php

  • deleteVPExtra.sh – deletes the extra pages that VoodooPad creates during a web export. No changes to this file are needed.

  • fixRelativePaths.sh – fixes the relative URLs that occur inside of nested pages. No changes to this file are needed.

  • parseMetaXml.rb – Parses the meta.xml file that VoodooPad creates and uses that infomation to move files into their correct folder structure on the disk and to create a valid sitemap.xml file for use with Google Sitemaps. It also creates and parses the vpDocMeta.xml file for variables.

  • Info.plist – This file was edited to call these scripts during the web export process.

  • vpDocMeta.xml – This file resides inside the root folder of the Web Export Plugin. It is created by the parseMetaXml.rb script. It contains the following data points.

  • root – default value is main. This is the name of the tag of rendered pages that belong at the root level of the folder structure.
  • baseUrl – This is the base URL for the site for creation of the sitemap.xml file.
  • isHomeIndex – default value is false. This is only used if the the page name in VP for the index page of the site is home. This is true if the main page is a blog-style homepage.
  • noIndex – default value is private. This is the name of a directory whose files you don’t want included in sitemap.xml.

Script Plugins
These are placed in the ~/Library/Application Support/VoodooPad/Script PlugIns/ folder. No changes should be required in these scripts. They will be viewable from the Plugin > Blog menu in VoodooPad.

  • meta_markup_HomepageMeta.lua – Takes the data from the page HomepageMeta in the VP doc and adds specific item meta data to the frontmost page.
  • meta_markup_update.lua – Propagates changes made to the HomepageMeta page to all the item meta data of all pages that require them. This is only just the pages used for the blog-style page.
  • blog_home_atom.lua – Creates the blog-style page now called home in the VP document and also creates a valid atom.xml feed in the output directory.

Comments and questions are welcome. If some enterprising person wants to wrap this all up in the new plugin architecture that would be cool. I’m happy to help if I can.


2 responses to “VoodooPad Pro Blogging”

  1. Andy Avatar

    I just finished updating the parseMetaXml.rb script to create a sitemap that alters the priority and frequency tags based upon who old the the page is. I’m now using the Google Sitemaps Stylesheet from http://gsitecrawler.com/gss.xsl.
    I put it in my css folder.

    The sample does not have the most current scripts. Email me for them.

  2. Andy Fragen Avatar
    Andy Fragen

    I actually just updated the parseMetaXml.rb script so that there are no site specific references in it. All site specific data is pulled from the new vpDocMeta.xml file that resides in the root folder inside the WebExport plugin. Details of vpDocMeta.xml are above.

    Now all is seems is that I’ll need to convert the Lua scripts over to Python (note to self: learn Python) as Gus is deprecating the baked in Lua support in the future.