I’ve made 3 very small features for my open source R package wrapping the dev.to API.

create_new_article

Now that the main requirements for the file to post are stabilising, I’ve written a quick and dirty function to make a boilerplate article:

create_new_article <-
  function(title,
           series = 'series',
           tags = '["tag1", "tag2"]',
           file = "") {
    boilerplate_frontmatter <-
      glue::glue(
        '---\ntitle: "{title}"\noutput: github_document\nseries: "{series}"\ntags: {tags}\n---'
      )

    cat(boilerplate_frontmatter, file = file)
  }

This will use the glue package to put the strings in the function argument into the right place in the boilerplate YAML front matter. If then uses cat to either print that to screen, or to create a new file with it, if a file path is supplied.

main_image

If there is a main_image parameter in the YAML front matter that is a url of an image, that image will be set as the cover image of the post. I got this one from a photo by Julian Dufort on Unsplash. I believe that if you put an unsplash URL into this field that goes directly to the image it is within their license, though if anyone knows something to the contrary please let me know. It’s the first time I have used this service, despite hearing about it for years.

Collapse spaces tags

I recently fooled myself for a good ten minutes into thinking that there was a problem with my API code yesterday when I kept getting a 422 response to putting a new article up, when in fact it was that I had a space character in one of my tags. Now the post_new_article function collapses any spaces it encounters in tags. Achieving this was a breeze with purrr and stringr :

purrr::map(file_frontmatter$tags, stringr::str_remove_all, " ")

This little nugget takes the list of tags, and then maps the function

str_remove_all across all the spaces. This isn’t at all exposed to the user, as it’s non-negotiable from the API side anyway :)

This post is also available on DEV.