pft edit - Edit an entry


    B<pft edit -P> [options] title of your page
    B<pft edit -B> [options] title of your blog page
    B<pft edit -M> [options] title of your month page
    B<pft edit -T> [options] title of your tag page


The pft-edit(1) command allows to conveniently edit a text entry in a PFT site. It takes care of creating a header for the new entries, to position files correctly within your PFT filesystem tree, and to maintain the filesystem location consistent depending on the type of content.

All entries are stored under the ROOT/content directory, where ROOT is the base path of your PFT site. Each entry has the same format: a text file encoded as by locale, composed by a YAML header concatenated with Markdown text (more details later in this document).

There can be different kind of entries:

Regular Pages

Regular pages do not declare a date in their header. They get positioned in ROOT/content/pages. Their file name depends on the page title.

For example, a page entitled Hello World is stored as:

Blog pages

Blog pages declare a full date (year, month and day) in their header. They are positioned in the ROOT/content/blog/YYYY-MM directory (where YYYY and MM correspond to the declared year and month, respectively). The file name of a blog page starts with a DD- prefix, where DD corresponds to the declared day. The remaining part of the file name depends on the entry title.

For example, an entry entitled Hello World edited the 12th of September 2015 is stored as:

Month pages

Month pages are meant as entries summarizing a whole month. They are like blog pages, but the date defined in their headers lack of the day part (it is replaced by * character). They are stored as ROOT/content/blog/YYYY-MM.month (where YYYY and MM represent the declared year and month).

For example, the month page for September 2015 is stored as:

Tag pages

All pages can optionally declare one or more tags. A tag in turn can be optionally associated to a tag page.

For example, if your site has have a number of entries about cuisine, some of them might be tagged with the chicken tag. You may want to have a tag page entitled chicken, where you give a description of what chicken is (just in case someone does not know).

Tag pages are stored in ROOT/content/tags, and their file name depends on the tag title.

For example, a page containing a description of the tag chicken is stored as:




Edit a page

A title is mandatory.


Edit a blog page

If no title is specified, it defaults to today.


Edit a month page

The title is optional.


Edit a tag page

A title is mandatory.

--year=y | -y y

Defines a year for the edited entry. Implies -B unless -M is set.

This flag cannot be used if -P or -T are specified. It gets honored only when generating a header for the entry, that is if the file does not exist yet.

--month=m | -m m

Defines a month for the edited entry. Implies -B unless -M is set.

This flag cannot be used if -P or -T are specified. It gets honored only when generating a header for the entry, that is if the file does not exist yet.

--day=d | -d d

Defines a day for the edited entry. Implies -B unless -M is set.

This flag cannot be used if -P or -T are specified. It gets honored only when generating a header for the entry, that is if the file does not exist yet.

--author=name | -a name

Defines the author for the entry.

This flag gets honored only when generating a header for the entry, that is if the file does not exist yet.

--tag=tag | -t tag

This flag gets honored only when generating a header for the entry, that is if the file does not exist yet.

--resume | -r

Resume editing of a blog entry.

This option implies -B. The blog entry resumed for editing corresponds by default to the latest in chronological order.

A date can be specified via the -y, -m and -d options. If the date is only partially specified, that is not all of -y, -m and -d are provided, the missing bits get completed with the current date. If no date is specified, -r is equivalent to --back 0.

If more then one entry exists for the specified date, the command fails and the user is explicitly required to specify a selection via the --select option.

--back=count | -b count

Resume editing an old entry. The supplied parameter defines how many days we should go back in history since the last day we have an entry for (0 means the most recent day, 1 means the second to last).

--editor command

Specify an editor to use.

The editor can be specified by name (e.g. vim) or as a shell command, where %s is replaced with the file name (e.g. vim [options] %s).

This flag overrides the $EDITOR environment variable and the system.editor setting in the main configuration file.

This option is ignored if --stdin is used.


Retrieve content from stdin.

The content file is selected according to the given options, and the content is retrieved from standard input. If the file does exist it gets created with a reasonable header. If the file exists but the header is corrupted, the whole file gets replaced. If the file exists and the header is well formed, the header is maintained and the remaining part of the file is replaced with content retrieved from standard input.

If this option is in use the --editor is ignored.

This editing mode handles input and output encoding according to the current locale, under the assumption that your content is text data.


As for --stdin, but append content instead of replacing it.

If the content file does not exist or is empty, and header will be automatically defined depending on the given command options.

If the header exists but is corrupted, the command will issue a warning. No corrective action will be taken.


Select a certain entry by index, in case of ambiguity.

This option applies when multiple files are matching the parameters for file selection, and a choice is required. In these situations, if --select is not provided the pft-edit(1) command will fail, and the use of --select will be explicitly requested by an error message.


This option is useful only if --stdin or --append are specified.

If the --raw option is used the header is not maintained: pft edit --stdin --raw command will behave like cat > $content_file, while pft edit --append --raw will behave like cat >> $content_file. The path of $content_file is determined by the previously described file naming rules.

--help | -h

Shows this help.


Content entries are in encoded text format.

The expected encoding for the file corresponds to the locale. On modern systems UTF-8 is the more popular encoding, but you can use the locale(1) command to figure out.

Each file starts with a header in YAML format. The header is followed by a line with three dashes (---) which marks the beginning of the actual content. The content will be parsed as Markdown when the site is compiled.

The header of a content entry is created automatically by pft-edit(1) when the accessed entry does not exist. The file gets then opened with a text editor. The $EDITOR environment variable will be honored unless an editor is defined in the pft.yaml configuration file (see pft-init(1)). You may also specify a different editor using the --editor command line option.

When the editor is terminated the file content is evaluated. A warning will be issued if the header is invalid. If the file completely empty (zero bytes) it will be removed from the filesystem. If the header is valid but not consistent with the position in the filesystem (e.g. the date was manually changed) the file position is updated according to the header.

The content header

Each entry starts with a header in YAML format. The header defines the properties of the entries. Valid properties with their descriptions follow in this section.


The author of the entry. Any string can be entered as value. The default value of it is taken from the pft.yaml configuration file.


The date associated with the entry. This field is required only for blog entries. Changing the value while editing with pft-edit(1) will result to the position in the filesystem to be adapted consistently.


Some optional properties of the entry:


This feature is currently broken.

If set to 1 the entry is not going to be built by pft-make(1).

The intention is to temporarily hide an entry (e.g. if it is incomplete).


Each page can specify a different template to use by means of this field. It is by default defined as ~ (in YAML that is null) meaning that the page will use the global template as defined in the pft.yaml configuration file.


The slug determines how the published file will be named.

The default slug value is derived by removing non-word characters from the Title field. The purpose is to have a mnemonic file name, which is both readable and convenient to handle.

The field can be manually changed in the header, and this will result in the file name to be modified when the editor is terminated.


A list of tags for the entry.

Tags can be specified one per line with a leading -:

    - chicken
    - tomato

The title of the entry, in human readable form.

Besides regular URLs, internal resources such as pages, blog entries and imported images can be referenced by means of a special link syntax.

Upon compilation by pft-make(1) the content is translated from Markdown to HTML. After this phase HTML elements such as <a> and <img> are scanned, and those links matching the special syntax are resolved according to the rules described in this manual.

Links in the special syntax are in the form


There is a number of accepted kind keywords. The number and meaning of each parameter param depends on the specified kind. The slash (/) symbol separates syntactically the various parameters.

Pictures with :pic:path/to/picture.jpg

Picture references accept special links in the Markdown form


or in the HTML form

    <img alt="alttext" src=":pic:filename"/>

A link like this will be resolved to a file named named filename under the ROOT/content/pics directory. The name provided is used directly for lookup, so it must be complete of file extension, if any.

The img keyword allows for an arbitrary number of parameter, each of which concurs to define the path of the picture. In other words, the / symbol will work as path separator regardless of the operating system.

HTML Example:

    <!-- ROOT/content/pics/test.png -->
    <img src=":pic:test.png"/>

Markdown Example:

    <!-- ROOT/content/pics/cars/golf.png -->


Regular URLs in <a> tags accept the following special prefixes:


Resolve the link as the page having identified by pagename.


Resolve the link as the blog entry published at date yy/mm/dd and having the slug slug.

The slug parameter is optional if only one entry was published in the given date. The keyword date can be shortened as d.


Only valid within a blog entry. The generated link refers to N + 1 blog entries before the current one. The N parameter is optional, and defaults to zero (i.e. previous entry).


    <a href=":blog:back/0">     (previous entry)

    <a href=":blog:back">       (equivalently, previous entry)

    <a href=":blog:back/1">     (before previous, two entries ago)

    <a href=":blog:back/5">     (six entries ago)

Generate an URL which points to a web site or service (e.g. search In all other cases the --select flag is silently ignored.

engines, or specialized website) and passes data on the query. A number of valid values are supported for the service argument. The list of param arguments depend on the specific service.

Supported services:

Duck Duck Go


Search query on the Duck Duck Go search engine. The first parameter is used for Duck Duck Go's Bang syntax, and can be empty in order not to use any Bang.

Example: search linux howto on Duck Duck Go:


Example: search linux howto with the !yt bang (redirects search on YouTube):


Example: search linux howto with the !so bang (redirects search on StackOverflow):




Point to an online Unix manual page. Manual section can be optionally supplied.





Blog about today:

    pft edit -B

Blog about today specifying a title

    pft edit -B A lucky day

Remove the page garbage

    pft edit --editor ':> %s' -P garbage

Resume the blog entry of the 27th of August 2014

    pft edit -B -r -y2014 -d27 -m Aug


pft-init(1), pft-make(1)