Pelican on Android

Tue 13 September 2016
Category: blog

What use is a blog if it’s hard to blog from a phone, because who can wait to blog?

A big advantage of medium, wordpress, etc. over Pelican or most static blogs are the various mobile apps that can be used to create and edit posts.

With Pelican and most static blogs, there seem to be no mobile apps, there is, instead,

  • command line git
  • phone browser based interface to the remote git repository

This pelican blog is hosted at gitlab, and their browser interface is well, just not mobile friendly. As an example, any dropdown box will appear as a long column about three pixels wide. They also have an api, and my goal is someday to write a mobile app for posting/editing/deleting posts using their api.

Until then, it’s git.

Spent the day porting and testing pelican to Python 3.5 on Android 6.0.1 running under TERMUX.

TERMUX turns an Android phone, but better, an Android tablet with bluetooth mouse and keyboard into a pretty nice mobile linux development environment. Things can get a bit funky around the edges, but for the most part, it works pretty well. (It would work better if my Nexus 10’s battery lasted longer!)

I didn’t actually need to port pelican to Android, all I needed was to get an editor (okay, emacs working) and git.

But I did get pelican working after finding a bug in python’s shutil.copystat on Android that crashed pelican out pull request, and then finding a minor bug in the pelican-gist module

Yes, the funky edges on Android that hit me today were:

  • python assuming a file system that had both last access time and last modification time.
  • developers assuming pelican would run on a system with /tmp

In the end it works. I can use emacs on the tablet to create a post, run pelican locally to republish the blog and to serve it so I can see it with Chrome, and then push it to gitlab to the actual web.

All in all, that’s kind of nice.

In the future, phone blogging might also be accomplished through

  • the gitlab file interface, creating one new file at gitlab directly for each new post. The problem with this at the moment is several, but mainly: gitlab’s mobile website is non-existent and using gitlab’s editor from a phone is a poor experience.

  • create an android application to create and edit posts and add them to gitlab

Category: blog Tagged: Android Pelican Python