Standard Workflow for Publishing With LifeFlow

January 24, 2008.

Recently I have been talking a lot about LifeFlow and its functionality, and how it can provide good stuff for making your site flexible and convenience for your visitors (customizable skins, threaded comments, etc), but I haven't written a clear article describing how an author using LifeFlow sits down and transforms their vision into a published blog entry available for the world to see.

As such, this article should address all standard usage cases in simple how-to segments. Please let me know if anything is missing! It begins with an overview of my simple publishing flow, and then it continues with a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Overview

Using LifeFlow is pretty simple, at least for me. There is a custom editting app that is slowly moving towards usability, but for the time being here is my system:

  1. Fire up Emacs. I save all my blog entries in my ~/blog folder, which has subfolders for each Flow.
  2. Open up a new file ending with .md, which triggers the Markdown major mode for Emacs.
  3. Write the article. As necessarily I open up iPhoto to create a new folder of images to arrange the order and select the images I will use.
  4. Export the folder of images from iPhoto, scaling them to about 800 width (the lethain.com LifeFlow skin scales images in the blog entries to be 100% of the width of the main column, so it doesn't have to be very percise. The default behavior is to simply insert the image and let text wrap around it, so you would need to be more attentive to sizes in that case).
  5. Log into the Admin section of LifeFlow.
  6. Create a new entry, fill in the title, summary, text (pasted in from Emacs).
  7. Create new Resource instances for any files or images I use in the entry (described in greater detail below).
  8. Save the entry.
  9. Look at the entry on the site, proof read it and look for any large mistakes I have had.
  10. Correct and mistakes and resave the entry.
  11. If the mind is willing read over the entire entry and scan for errors, typo's, and incorrect links.
  12. Correct the mistakes and resave the entry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Creating An Entry

  1. Login to the Admin section for your LifeFlow installation1.
  2. Click on Add to the right of Entries
  3. Name your entry. This can be anything, as long as its less than 200 characters.
  4. Give your entry a time and a date, usually you just want to click the "today" and "now" buttons to get the current time.
  5. Give your entry a summary. This is a short paragraph written in HTML, which describes your entry in list views, and also is displayed when a user is writing a comment about the entry.
  6. Give your entry some body text. By default this should be written in Markdown, but if you click on the Options pane and unclick the use markdown option, then you should write the text in raw html.
  7. Click save.

Adding Images to An Entry

  1. Create an entry, but don't save.

  2. Click on the Resources tab.

  3. Click on the Plus Sign (+) near the top of the existing resources.

  4. Select the file you want to display using the filechoose, and give it a description (the first field), and an id (the second field) that you will use to refer to it.

    Lets say that you gave it the id "my_pic" (without the quotes).

  5. Click save on the little popup you used to create the resource.

  6. Somewhere in your body text include something to the effect of ![this is my picture][file my_pic].

  7. Save your entry.

Adding Files to An Entry

  1. Create an entry, but don't save.

  2. Click on the Resources tab.

  3. Click on the Plus Sign (+) near the top of the existing resources.

  4. Select the file you want to display using the filechoose, and give it a description (the first field), and an id (the second field) that you will use to refer to it.

    Lets say that you gave it the id "my_file" (without the quotes).

  5. Click save on the little popup you used to create the resource.

  6. Somewhere in your body text include something to the effect of [this is my file][file my_file].

  7. Save your entry.

Keeping An Entry As A Draft

If you don't want an Entry to be published, then set its date to the future. You can use this mechanism to time publication as well. If you want to be certain that something remains as a draft for a long time, then set its publishing date a few millenia from now.

Adding Entries to Flows

Click on the flows you want to add the Entry to, and they'll move from the left box to the right box. An Entry can be in any number (0+) of Flows.

Adding Tags to An Entry

Click on the tags you want to add the Entry to, and they'll move from the left to the right box. An Entry can have any number (0+) of Tags. Please note that the list of tags is ordered first by upper and lower case, and second by alphabetically (its a bit weird, I agree).

Creating Entry Series

  1. Click on the Series button.
  2. Click the Plus Sign (+) near the top of the left box containing existing Series.
  3. Give the Series a name.
  4. Save the new Series.
  5. Save the new Entry.

Adding An Entry To An Existance Series

  1. Click on Series.
  2. Click on the series you want the entry to be in to move it from the left box to the right box.

Adding Translations to An Entry

  1. Create a new entry that contains the translated text.
  2. Go to the primary Admin screen and click on the Add button to the right of Translations.
  3. Select the language the translation is in, the original entry, and the newly created entry with the translated text.
  4. Save the translation.

  1. This will be at http://www.yourwebsite.com/admin/