Not quite ready for primetime (but I’m getting close!)

Today I’m working a lot on this website, so I thought I’d write a little blog post detailing what I’m trying to do and how it sort of works. I build this site using pandoc with a lot of lua filters and an to stitch it all together. You can check out the actual code at the mirror I’ve set up at Gitlab.


This site is organized simply: everything I write is dumped in /text, and the extension determines what folder it goes in at the root. For example, I’m doing this thing where I’m writing a poem everyday, so those go under poem. This blog post and others will go under blog. When I build the site, I just make and it uses pandoc to build everything (doing stuff for me like slugifying headers, converting LineBlocks to verse blocks, or automatically generating links across categories to stuff written on the same day). Then, is called to make little indexes and finally make the index for the site. It’s not 100% perfect (especially the site thing), but it’s good enough for now—and I can always fix it later.

You can read more about this stuff (eventually, when I get around to writing it) at the Colophon.


The biggest thing I’m doing today is working on my little shuffle-script to take texts and shuffle them around. I’ve already done that once, with The Snubs, though that was with a thrown-together version of the script I’m including below. Today, I used an article I read yesterday in the Oxford American about the phenomenon of blues music in Tokyo and shuffled it around to generate something resembling a poem, which I then massaged into something that honestly, isn’t great. But it’s something!

Here’s the script (I’m copying it here since it’s not currently under source control), shuflr:

import argparse
import os.path
import random
import re

class Shuflr():
    def __init__(self, textfile, dedup=False):
        self.words = None
        self.dedup = dedup
        with open(textfile) as f:
            self.all =

    def remove_punc(self):
        # Convert dashes to spaces
        nopunc = re.sub(r'--+|\s+-+\s+|[–—]', ' ', self.all)
        # Convert curly apostrophes to normal
        nopunc = re.sub(r'[‘’]', "'", nopunc)
        # Remove everything else
        nopunc = re.sub(r'[^ \t\n\r\f\v\w\'-]', '', nopunc)
        self.all = nopunc

    def splitwords(self):
        self.words = self.all.split()
        if self.dedup:
            self.words = list(set(self.words))

    def shuffle(self, cleanup=True, normalize_case=False):
        shuf = []

        if cleanup:

        if normalize_case:
            self.all = self.all.lower()

        if not self.words:

        while len(self.words) > 0:
            i = random.randint(0, len(self.words) - 1)
            w = self.words.pop(i)

        self.words = shuf

    def versify(self, minLength, maxLength, chance):
        lines = []
        count = 0
        if maxLength <= minLength:
            ml = maxLength
            maxLength = minLength
            minLength = ml

        if not self.words:

        for w in self.words:
            if count < minLength:
                count += 1
            elif count > maxLength:
                count = 0
            elif random.randint(0, 100) >= chance:
                count = 0
                count += 1

        self.words = lines

def write_to_template(words, outfile):
    fi = 1
    fixname = outfile
    while os.path.isfile(fixname):
        fi += 1
        fixname = outfile + str(fi)
    with open(fixname, 'w') as f:
        f.write(' '.join(words) + '\n')

if __name__ == '__main__':
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
    parser.add_argument("infile", type=str,
                        help="File to shuffle")
    parser.add_argument("-p", "--keeppunc", action="store_true",
                        help="Keep punctuation?")
    parser.add_argument("-l", "--lowercase", action="store_true",
                        help="Lowercase everything?")
    parser.add_argument("-d", "--dedup", action="store_true",
                        help="Remove duplicate words")
    parser.add_argument("-o", "--output", type=str, default="",
                        help="""Filename to write to.
                        If < file > exists, append a number to the name
                        til it doesn't.""")
    args = parser.parse_args()

    s = Shuflr(args.infile, args.dedup)
    s.shuffle(not args.keeppunc, args.lowercase)
    s.versify(4, 16, 50)
    if args.output:
        write_to_template(s.words, args.output)
        print(' '.join(s.words))