Another entry in the patience-testing series talking about my personal productivity tools.

Slash is the engine that runs this blog. It’s just a Python app running Django, but calling it an engine is too satisfying for me to stop anytime soon. The name comes from the ubiquitous forward slash in URLs.

Overview

Slash has an internal frontend with some post management pages (see below) along with a small API which is used by Blackbullet (my current website engine, separate from the blog) to pull posts into my site template. The API also publishes the RSS and JSON feeds, which Blackbullet passes right through.

The dashboard lists current drafts and, lower on the page where you can’t see it in this screenshot, recently published posts:

slash-1.png

Disclaimer: there’s no guarantee that these particular post drafts will ever see the light of day. I often put ideas in and then decide later that they’re not worth blogging about.

Here’s the post edit page, which is very much a work in progress (last week I added the visual tag controls, since adding tags via the metadata textbox made it impossible to tell whether I’d used a tag before or not):

slash-2.png

It’s spartan but works for me.

Payload syntax

Other than the notebook specifier, the syntax is pretty much the same as Vinci’s. Posts are written in Markdown. Metadata is specified with the initial-colon syntax.

One thing I realize I forgot to mention in the Vinci post is that in both apps I have a shortcut syntax for including images that looks like this:

(( readers-edition.png | class=border | url=/book-of-mormon-readers-edition/ ))

I have a page for uploading images to a date-named folder — year and month — and this syntax relies on the image being in the matching folder for the post. A small bit of convention to make things simpler.

How I use Slash

On my laptop, I open Slash when needed. On my phone, I have it saved to my homescreen as a PWA.

Other than that, I use it the way you’d expect — I write blog posts (usually directly in Slash, but occasionally in Gate or Quill), I edit them, I publish them. Months later I finally notice the typos. It’s not too exciting.

The future

As of now, the plan is to replace both Blackbullet and Slash with a new, simpler, consolidated Slash, using plain text for the backend and probably moving to FastAPI. Since I’m in the middle of planning the rewrite right now (and since I’m now working in public), you’ll see posts about it soon.


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