Feature idea: I'd like to be able to tag pages in an ikiwiki blog with a publication date, and have the option of building a blog that excludes publication dates in the future. (meta pubdate= ?)

I'm using ikiwiki on git for a "tip of the day" RSS feed, and I'd like to be able to queue up a bunch of items instead of literally putting in one tip per day. In the future I think this will come in handy for other Mainstream Media-oriented requirements such as "embargo dates" and "editor on vacation".

The problem with implementing a feature like this is that, since ikwiiki is a wiki compiler, if something causes content to change based on the date, then the wiki needs to be rebuilt periodically. So you'd need a cron job or something.

Thinking about this some more, if you're going to have a cron job, you could just set up a branch containing the future post. The branch could have a name like 20080911. Then have the cron job git merge the day's branch, if any, into master each day. And voila, post is completly hidden until published. You'd want to avoid merge conflicts in your cron job .. but they'd be unlikely if you limited yourself to just adding new pages. Alternatively, for larger organisations wishing to deploy more sweeping changes on a given date, replace cron job with intern.. ;-) --Joey

Good approach if you have one day on which a big change goes through, but often the reason for tagging with a publication date is so that you can dribble out articles one per day when you're gone for a week. Branches are easy in git, but it would still be an extra step to switch branches every time you edit a different day's article.

And just to make it a little harder, some sites might want an internal copy of the wiki that does build the future pages, just tags them with the publication date, for previewing.

One more reason to have publication date: if you move a page from your old CMS to ikiwiki and want to have it show up in the right order in RSS feeds.

I no longer have the original wiki for which I wanted this feature, but I can see using it on future ones. -- DonMarti

FWIW, for the case where one wants to update a site offline, using an ikiwiki instance on a laptop, and include some deffered posts in the push, the ad-hoc cron job type approach will be annoying.

In modern ikiwiki, I guess the way to accomplish this would be to add a pagespec that matches only pages posted in the present or past. Then a page can have its post date set to the future, using meta date, and only show up when its post date rolls around.

Ikiwiki will need to somehow notice that a pagespec began matching a page it did not match previously, despite said page not actually changing. I'm not sure what the best way is.

  • One way could be to use a needsbuild hook and some stored data about which pagespecs exclude pages in the future. (But I'm not sure how evaluating the pagespec could lead to that metadata and hook being set up.)
  • Another way would be to use an explicit directive to delay a page being posted. Then the directive stores the metadata and sets up the needsbuild hook.
  • Another way would be for ikiwiki to remember the last time it ran. It could then easily find pages that have a post date after that time, and treat them the same as it treats actually modified files. Or a plugin could do this via a needsbuild hook, probably. (Only downside to this is it would probably need to do a O(n) walk of the list of pages -- but only running an integer compare per page.)

You'd still need a cron job to run ikiwiki -refresh every hour, or whatever, so it can update. --Joey

Some times ago, I wrote a Pagespec function that matches pages that have creation date in the future: created in future. It can be used to solve the original problem.

-- Louis