Octopress Sidebar Categories

June 26, 2012

After reading Dan Watson’s posting about listing categories in the Octopress sidebar I implemented it on my site.

Where Dan puts the aside in source/_includes/asides I put it in source/_includes/custom/asides, otherwise I followed his setup to the letter.

As a result of seeing my categories listed with a count of their postings I realized that I needed to do some clean up. When assigning multiple categories I tend to separate them with a comma. Octopress parses on spaces between categories so the trailing comma is treated as part of the category name. So posting something in “apple, nerdliness” results in an “apple,” category.

A simple grep command can search through all the postings and return a list of the files that contain one of these comma-added categories:

grep -H -r "categories: apple," _posts/

Some of my mislabeled categories only had one or two postings, one had 49. Not wanting to edit that many postings I used a find command to do the work for me.

find _posts/ -type f | xargs perl -pi -e 's/: apple,/: apple/g'

Since this command alters files you should probably do the work on a branch in case you need to revert following unintended changes.

With my categories cleaned up I now have a set of links in my sidebar allowing readers to investigate my site by topics. Now I just need to plow through the catch-all category (life) and properly tag those entries.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.