Moving Front Matter to the Rear

Moving Front Matter to the Rear

I've been using an iOS app called Publisher for Ghost to craft and post new microposts from my iPhone. Just one problem so far... I can't seem to successfully edit and save excerpt content so my current scheme of populating the excerpt with "front matter" isn't working well. So, it's time to move that front matter out of the excerpt and to the end of the content body.

Update: Publisher for Ghost just isn't cutting it so I did a little research and am on the cusp of making a switch... to Ulysses, because it has a great little piece of Ghost integration built-in.

Note that in the remainder of this article there are references to the delimiter I use to set my "rear matter" apart from other content. That delimiter is a series of three consecutive -/ pairs, for a total of 6 characters. These 6 characters actually form two 3-character delimiters, the first dash-slash-dash marks the end of the "content" while the second slash-dash-slash marks the beginning of the "rear matter" data.

So, my example format (from this very post) for "rear matter" data looks a little like this, but with NO spaces:

-/ -/ -/
location: Toledo, IA
explanation: There's a reason why I choose an odd delimiter.  Read on.


The code responsible for parsing this "rear matter" is from my custom.js and it reads like this:

     // Set defaults = ''; = 'post' = 'Toledo, IA';

    // Looking for -/ -/ -/ to define end of content and start of our front matter
    // Replace post.html with everything above the last -/ -/ -/ delimiter
    let parts = post.html.replace(/<!--.*-->/gi, '').split('-/ -');
    let len = parts.length;
    if (len > 1) {
      let frontmatter = parts[len-1].replace(/<.*>/gi, '\n');
      let parsed = matter(frontmatter, {delims: '/- /'}); =;
      post.html = parts.slice(0, -1).join('')
      post.excerpt = post.html.replace(/(<([^>]+)>)/gi, "")

Why the Odd Delimiter?

Well, because I said so. Since my code pulls from post.html I found it necessary to first split the post, then remove any/all HTML tags from the "rear matter" portion before passing that into the gray-matter package and the matter function for parsing.

So, the dash-slash-dash is used to split the post.html and the slash-dash-slash after it becomes the opening delimiter for the matter function. Using ------ or anything beginning with --- wasn't ideal because the Markdown editors I use frequently convert those into <hr> tags.

Another factor, I find the -/ combination is easy to type on my iPhone because both characters appear on the same "special characters" keyboard, so I don't have to switch keyboard in between, and they are positioned side-by-side.