Alexander Kucera

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Remote posting to Kirby via iOS now working

Next week is FMX, a great yearly convention about visual effects, games and virtual reality. I’m there every year reporting for Professional Production Magazine and I thought this year I could up my game and write little short blurbs on this blog about the sessions I attend. I asked around and there was some interest from people that could not make it this year or which are interested in the topic.

So far so good. There was only one problem. I switched to using Kirby as the back end system of all my websites including this blog. Kirby is a great lightweight system for web publishing. Only, because it is still so young, it doesn’t have a mobile client that allows you to create posts or pages easily. True, it comes with an admin panel, but that doesn’t work offline and it also doesn’t work on my iPhone. So I was looking for something that better suited my needs. And I had a first version working.—

Drafts, Dropbox, Hazel, Rsync. Easy, really.

Since I only had a few hours here and there, it is still really rough and not as elegant as I’d like, but it works. I am now able to use Drafts to compose my posts on either my iPad or my iPhone, or start on one and finish on the other, since notes are always kept in sync, send the post to Dropbox via Draft’s custom Dropbox actions where it is picked up by Hazel, renamed to fit my Kirby naming convention, put into the right folder and then uploaded via Rsync.

Pictures work, too

So much for plain text posts. But pictures work, too. Though they are still very much a pain. iOS’ default camera app records the orientation of the device as EXIF data, so portrait orientation pictures are not actually rotated, but the EXIF Orientation is set to 90° or -90°. Which is all nice and fine, except Safari, and a few other browsers, disregard the EXIF orientation, so images appear in landscape on my site after I upload them. That sucks. The only way around that is to either do anything to the image in Camera+ or another photo editor and save the result, which bakes the rotation into the image. Or to write a function in Hazel that bakes the orientation into the image after I upload it to Dropbox. I’m probably going to go with the latter, since I’m trying to save battery life and using Camera+ a lot sucks down battery life quite a bit.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. To get my images up to Dropbox I use a great little app called CameraSync, which has Geofencing support, meaning I don’t have to do anything to upload the picture to a folder of my choosing on Dropbox. Also, and this is the killer feature, it resizes them before the upload, saving me time and bandwidth.

The biggest pain from here is that I still need to manually move the images into my blog posts folder and rename them from somename–timestamp.jpg to the naming I use for images in my blog. I have not found a smarter way to do it yet then to do it manually. As I said, the whole process is still rough around the edges.