Sunnyside-Times Content Editing Commands

In order to control the content on the website, editors need a vehicle to express that control. That mechanism is a file, commands.txt, that is created in each content folder (exclusive of galleries, which have their own mechanism).

The best way to learn to use these commands is to copy and modify an existing set (or example).

[This capability is a work in progress. Please help with suggestions, issues, ideas, ...]

WARNING: Avoid the use of tabs in .txt files (commands.txt, meta.txt, xxx-template-story.txt, galleries' metadata.yml).

WARNING: Avoid the use of spaces in file names. Both "-" and "_" may be used.


All commands.txt files share the same basic format. They are .txt files in a simplified yaml format (this need not be meaningful). The file is structured as a series of individual commands, each separated by a line consisting of --- (three dashes).

Each non-separator line consists of a key terminated with a colon and space. Everything after that to either the end of line or a # character is a value associated with the key. Anything following the # to the end of line is a comment.

The first command in any file is a single line with the key command_set and a value indicating the primary purpose (and thus what kind of processing is to be performed) of the commands in the file.

Command Sets

The key command_set tells the system what kind of processing is appropriate for the file. Possible values for this key are "top", "content", "story".

"top" is a key value in a command.txt file occurring directly in the SSTmanagement folder. It's primary purpose is to set the identity of the person responsible for this group of commands (see identity below) and to specify the folder to be processed and the purpose of the folder.

"content" is a key value in a folder immediately within SSTmanagement and is used to identify the specific folder within SSTmanagement to be processed and the general purpose of that folder.

"story" is a key value in a second level folder (identified in the content folder above) and identifies the folder as containing the content for a specific story for the website. [At this time, story ] is the only such key value but more are expected as more processing support is added.

Command: identity, Command set: (top, content, story)

All folders may contain an identity command. If no identity command is set, the system administrator is assumed. The identity command has the optional keys person and send_log.

The value of the person key is a name, known to the system of someone who is an editor or system administrator. Currently known names are "don", "sam", "linda", "colleen".

The value of the send_log key is either "True" or "False". If send_log is True, then a log of the processing will be emailed to each requesting person occurring in an identity command.

Command: all, Command set: (content)

The command all indicates that all sub-folders within a content level folder are to be processed. If there are multiple stories in the folder and some are not to be processed, then the command would be process_folder with a value giving the name of the folder to process.

Command: process_single_folder, Command set: (top, content)

The command process_single_folder is used to select which folder at its level is to be processed. It may occur more than once in a command_set.

Command: story, Command set: (story)

The command story is the working command that handles a story destined for the site. There are a number of variants including the ability to process docx files and template created files. The specific work performed is determined by the content of the folder and specifications in the meta.txt file.

There are three types of content, each optional:

  1. Story. There may be a single document resulting in a markdown file and ultimately a single web page. A story may be either a Word document or it may be a YAML file that provides the content needed by a pre-existing template.

  2. Photos. There may be an arbitrary number of photos which are generally referenced by an included story, but, in fact, are independent and can be referenced from any other content. If there are photos, there must be a photos.txt file specifying the pathnames where the photos are to be stored in the site's images directory. The photo.txt file is a list of pathnames for the photos. Each photo in the folder must match the last segment of a pathname in photos.txt. Note that care needs to be taken on ensuring filenames have no spaces and that capitalization matches.

  3. Galleries. There may be an arbitrary number of galleries of photos. A gallery is in its own folder. Each folder within the parent folder is assumed to contain a gallery. The structure of a gallery folder is described under the SYS_ADMIN/Shortcodes page.

Command: process_pages, Command set: (update_pages)

The command process_pages supports modifications to the /pages/ directory of the website and is intended to allow the deletion or movement (not implemented) of pages on the site. The processing is controlled by a YAML formatted .txt file in the command folder.

The commands.txt file has the command update_pages. The meta.txt has the date. The path should specify the top level folder to work in (not currently used. '/pages/' assumed.

Any other .txt files are processed presuming they contain instructions for the system.

The supported functions are:

  1. delete. This commands takes a list of urls and removes the corresponding pages (both the .md and the .meta files) from the appropriate location in the pages directory.

  2. urls. This is a list of urls (see an existing file for an example of how to construct the file) to be removed. Each url may be a complete url (e.g., https://....) or a partial url containing all path elements at or higher than the folder immediately contained in the pages directory (.e.g., /pages/foo/bar/ or /foo/bar/).