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Last active Aug 29, 2015
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Epistle Linker
I've been using [Epistle]( for writing
on my Android devices and while I adore the software there are a
couple of significant limitations. Notably that all files need to be
in one directory with no hierarchy and that all files need to have
`.txt` extensions. I have pretty good file organization in a number of
git repositories, and I don't use the `.txt` extension at all. hile
Epistle is *great*, I needed a way to integrate it with my current
system without causing a nightmare.
Luckily the command line Linux dropbox program recognizes symbolic
links, so you can link to a file (that exists outside of the dropbox,
in a git repository) and the sync will work. So that this can all make
sense, I've made sure that the symbolic links will begin with a "tag"
that identifies their context in the Epistle interface, which makes
everything easier to track.
# usage: dbl [source-directory] [file-tag]
files=`find $1 -maxdepth 1 -type f \( ! -iname ".*" \)`
for i in $files; do
filename=`echo $i | awk -F/ '{print $NF} '`
linkfilename=`echo $filename | sed "s/mdwn/txt/
ln -s $i ~/Dropbox/epistle/$2-$linkfilename
echo "# Link List for Epistle Notes" >> $EPISTLEDIR$LISTFILE
for link in `ls --color=never -lha $EPISTLEDIR | cut -d " " -f 11-13`; do
echo "- $link" >> $EPISTLEDIR$LISTFILE
sed -i "/- 00-link-list.txt/d" $EPISTLEDIR$LISTFILE
## Notes
- There's no error checking on the command arguments so it's possible
to break things. Luckily, the worst that can happen is you'll create
weird links that you can just delete, and move on from there.
- This is a `zsh` script, but my brain wrote it in `bash` I just
tested it with `zsh` so you should be able to use other shells, but
I just wanted to be safe.
- The sed script to change the file extension is simple and probably
not adaptive if you're using a kind of file that I haven't
foreseen. It would be better to chop off everything after the final
`.` character and append .txt to the link names, but my `awk` skills
are minimal.
- When the file is updated on the Dropbox side, dropbox will often
(always?) replace the link with a copy of the file. Apparently this
isn't the case with whole directories, but this doesn't fix the
extension issue.
The solution to this problem is to improve the way Dropbox handles
plain text files (i.e. opening the file handle and writing the
changes,) but this would probably represent a substantial change in
approach for the Dropbox application.
As an alternative, this script could be augmented (or rewritten) to
do the sync in the reverse so that: it would track where files
originated from (in a machine parse-able format) and a checksum of
the original file, if it detected a file where a symlink ought to be
it would check to see if the original file changes. If the original
file didn't change, it would copy the new file over the original
file (with the original name,) and recreate the symlink. If the file
had changed in the original, it would email you a notification.
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