Chris Kohler

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Introducing Papertown

Chris Kohler
November 9th, 2019 · 1 min read

Papertown syncs you personal markdown blog with blog platforms like dev.to. It’s a command line tool and works perfectly in combination with static blog frameworks like Gatsby.

The idea 💡

The core idea of Papertown is that it runs on every commit and creates and updates blogpost on dev.to and other platforms.

1// Current setup
2+-----------+ +-----------+ +-----------+
3| Commit md | ---> | Gatsby | ---> | Webhost |
4+-----------+ +-----------+ +-----------+
1// With Papertown
2
3 +-----------+ +-----------+
4 / |  Gatsby | ---> | Webhost |
5+-----------+ / +-----------+ +-----------+
6| Commit md |
7+-----------+ \ +-----------+ +-----------+
8 \ | Papertown | ---> | devto etc |
9 +-----------+ +-----------+

Why did I write it? 📝

I had two requirements for my personal blog:

✅ Blog content is owned and managed by me

✅ I want to syndicate my post on other platforms as easy as possible

How to use it 🚀

The easiest way to get started is to just run it locally with npx within you blog root folder:

1npx papertown sync --devtoApiKey apikey

Don’t worry, no blogpost are pushed to dev.to unless you add a masterid to a blogpost

Masterid?

Papertown needs an Id to identify blogpost and update them. Blogpost without a masterid are ignored.

1---
2title: "Minimal Blogpost example frontmatter"
3author: "Chris Kohler"
4masterid: 20191109
5published: false
6canonical_url: "https://christiankohler.net/url-to-this-blogpost"
7---

Draft or published?

Add published: false if you don’t want to publish the blogpost right now.

1published: false

Correct root folder

The default rootfolder is blog-articles. To change it just set the root folder:

1papertown sync --rootFolder posts

Alternatives to Papertown 🔭

There are two solutions I know of:

RSS feed support by dev.to

RSS feed support is not bad but is not as flexibel as I’d wish for updates and drafts.

Use dev.to as a source together with Gastby

Dev.to as a source is not an option for me since I want to be the master of the blog articles.

Source 👨‍💻

Source is MIT and on Github: https://github.com/ChristianKohler/papertown

What’s next? 👀

Over the next weeks I will focus on the dev.to integration and fixing bugs. The highest prioritiy currently is adding support for images. After that I will start to work on the medium integration. If you would like to help please open an issue or pr on Github. All contributions are appreciated.

Update

Version 1.2.0 comes with image support. That means that relative urls are now converted to github raw urls.

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© 2020 Chris Kohler
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