Posts from September 2020

Polite Bash Commands

Published 1 month, 1 day past

For years, I’ve had a bash alias that re-runs the previous command via sudo.  This is useful in situations where I try to do a thing that requires root access, and I’m not root (because I am never root).  Rather than have to retype the whole thing with a sudo on the front, I just type please and it does that for me.  It looked like this in my .bashrc file:

alias please='sudo "$BASH" -c "$(history -p !!)"'

But then, the other day, I saw Kat Maddox’s tweet about how she aliases please straight to sudo, so to do things as root, she types please apt update, which is equivalent to sudo apt update.  Which is pretty great, and I want to do that!  Only, I already have that word aliased.

What to do?  A bash function!  After commenting out my old alias, here’s what I added to .bash_profile:

please() {
	if [ "$1" ]; then
		sudo $@
	else
		sudo "$BASH" -c "$(history -p !!)"
	fi
}

That way, if I remember to type please apachectl restart, as in Kat’s setup, it will ask for the root password and then execute the command as root; if I forget my manners and simply type apachectl restart, then when I’m told I don’t have privileges to do that, I just type please and the old behavior happens.  Best of both worlds!


Reply links in RSS items

Published 1 month, 3 weeks past

Inspired by Jonnie Hallman, I’ve added a couple of links to the bottom of RSS items here on meyerweb: a link to the commenting form on the post, and a mailto: link to send me an email reply.  I prefer that people comment, so that other readers can gain from the reply’s perspective, but not all comments are meant to be public.  Thus, the direct-mail option.

As Jonnie says, it would be ideal if all RSS readers just used the value of the author element (assuming it’s an email address) to provide an email action; if they did, I’d almost certainly add mine to my posts.  Absent that, adding a couple of links to the bottom of RSS items is a decent alternative.

Since the blog portion of meyerweb (and therefore its RSS) are powered by WordPress, I added these links programmatically via the functions.php file in the site’s theme.  It took me a bit to work out how to do that, so here it is in slightly simplified form (update: there’s an even more simplified and efficient version later in the post):

function add_contact_links ( $text ) {
   if (is_feed()) {
      $text .= '
      <hr><p><a href="' . get_permalink($post) . '#commentform">Add a comment to the post, or <a href="mailto:admin@example.com?subject=In%20reply%20to%20%22' . str_replace(' ', '%20', get_the_title()) . '%22">email a reply</a>.</p>';
   }
   return $text;
}
add_filter('the_content', 'add_contact_links');

If there’s a more efficient way to do that in WordPress, please leave a comment to tell the world, or email me if you just want me to know.  Though I’ll warn you, a truly better solution will likely get blogged here, so if you want credit, say so in the email.  Or just leave a comment!  You can even use Markdown to format your code snippets.


Update 2020-09-10: David Lynch shared a more efficient way to do this, using the WordPress hook the_feed_content instead of plain old the_content.  That removes the need for the is_feed() check, so the above becomes the more compact:

function add_contact_links ( $text ) {
   $text .= '
   <hr><p><a href="' . get_permalink($post) . '#commentform">Add a comment to the post, or <a href="mailto:admin@example.com?subject=In%20reply%20to%20%22' . str_replace(' ', '%20', get_the_title()) . '%22">email a reply</a>.</p>';
   return $text;
}
add_filter('the_feed_content', 'add_contact_links');

Thanks, David!


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