Tumblr is a simple Ruby script that aggregates RSS feeds into a "tumblelog"-style format, in static files.
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== Tumblr

Tumblr is a simple Ruby script that aggregates RSS feeds into a "tumblelog"-style
format, in static files.

=== Feeds

Feeds are specified in <tt>config/feeds.yml</tt> like so:

    url: http://feeds.feedburner.com/kevinmarsh
    title: Blog
    generate_permalink: true
    url: http://del.icio.us/rss/kevinmarsh
    title: del.icio.us

Because it is a YAML file, spaces are important (not tabs!). The url and title
keys are pretty straightforward, but the <tt>generate_permalink</tt> may be a little
confusing. <tt>generate_permalink</tt> should be set to true if you want tumblr to
create its own permalink page for the content and link to that. This is
especially useful if you have a RSS-only feed that you'd like to generate a
static page for. The default is to not specify it, therefore preserving the
feed's permalink for the post.

=== Templates

Templates specify how you want tumblr to render the content of your feeds.
They are specified on a per-feed basis, so you can have different templates
for each type of content (only showing a <tt>media_thumbnail_link</tt> in Flickr, or tags for
del.icio.us, for example.)

Templates are straight-up ERB, so they will look very familiar if you've used
Rails, and there a few key ones everyone should have:

==== index.html.erb

This is the template for the main index page and archive pages. It is a listing
of posts, and may look something like:

  <% last_time = nil %>
  <% @posts.each do |post| %>
    <h2><% time = post.time.strftime("%A, %B %d, %Y") %></h2>
    <%= render post %>
  <% end %>

==== layout.html.erb

This is the template for the layout of your site. All the other templates will
be wrapped around this one, inserted wherever <%= @content %> is. You'll include
your stylesheets, meta tags, doctype, and whatnot here.

You also have access to a few variables that can give you some flexibility in
laying out your tumblr: <tt>@feeds</tt> and <tt>@archives</tt>. They are used thusly:

  <ul id="feeds">
    <%- @feeds.each do |key, feed| -%>
    <li class="feed <%= key %>"><a href="<%= feed['url'] %>"><%= feed['title'] %></a></li>
    <%- end -%>

    <%- @archives.each do |date, posts| -%>
    <li><a href="/<%= date.year %>/<%= date.month %>/"><%= date.strftime("%B %Y") %></a> (<%= posts %>)</li>
    <%- end -%>
==== post/_[feed_type].html.erb

This is the template rendered for each post. You will have one of these for each
feed you are displaying in your tumblr so you can customize and tailor the output for each.

For example, a Flickr feed may show a thumbnail:

  <div class="post flickr">
    <h1><a href="<%= @post.link %>"><%= @post.title %></a></h1>
    <img src="<%= @post.media_thumbnail_link %>" alt="<%= @post.title %>" />

While a del.icio.us feed will show tags:

  <div class="post delicious">
    <p><a href="<%= @post.link %>"><%= @post.title %></a></p>
    <p><%= @post.content %></p>
    <p class="tags">
      <%- @post.tags.each do |tag| -%>
      <a href="http://del.icio.us/kevinmarsh/<%= tag %>"><%= tag %></a>
      <%- end -%>

Note: templates are ERB, which means you can run any string through Ruby and
manipulate the output. This is especially useful for feeds like Twitter, to
strip out your username from each post:

  <div class="post twitter">
    <p><%= @post.content.gsub(/^willcodeforfoo\:/, "") %></p>
This also means you must be careful!

====  post.[feed_type].html.erb

This template is very similar to those "partials" in the post/ directory,
but they are rendered if and when tumblr creates permalink pages for you.

=== Generating

It is important to note that tumblr generates static files for you, which means
tumblr is not serving pages for you. You read that right, pages are not dynamic,
and this is still Web 2.0. You'll have to point your web server to tumblr's
public directory.

Each time you invoke <tt>tumblr</tt>, tumblr will fetch new feed items and regenerate
all your pages (index, monthly archives, and invidual permalink pages if you 
have feeds with <tt>generate_permalink</tt>). This may seem like overkill, but for
high traffic sites, generating static files once every hour vs. every hit is the
less expensive route.

To just re-generate without fetching your feeds, throw tumblr the <tt>--generate</tt>
flag. You may find yourself wanting this after you tweak a template.