Category: Not Dead

Good evening, world!

I have been wracked by horrible guilt this past week, knowing that my new, youthful blog was lying fallow.

Here I am, making amends!

I've added categories to my blog. I now have the ability to separate my developer nonsense from my "personal" nonsense. (Note: "Personal" here is used not to mean "private" but rather, "less interesting to others".) I've also added category-based news feeds. Just go to the category page and subscribe to the feed from there.

Adding categories required new code in a bunch of places. It's not all very interesting. I split my blog post list displaying template code out into a sub-template called "_blogpost_list.html", because I'm using it in a few different templates now, but the code's basically the same.

I did create two new template tags. One is the archive nav code I had earlier, refactored:

def archive_nav(month=None, category=None):
queryset = BlogPost.objects.all()
if category:
queryset = queryset.filter(category=category)
return {'category': category,
'active_month': month,
'month_list': queryset.dates('pub_date', 'month')[::-1]

With the new archive nav code, I'm giving up on using the date_list object that the date-based generic views provide. date_list only lists the years that contain content. I was using a little template filter that would take a date representing a year, and return a list of all months with content in that year. It worked great when I always wanted to examine all the content, but it became a nuisance when I sometimes wanted to restrict it to only those blog posts that were in a certain category. I could have fiddled some more with the filter but I decided it would be tidier to write a complete template tag instead and leave date_list behind.

Here's the template:

<ul class="nav-bar">
<li>Archive: </li>
{% for month_date in month_list %}
<li{% ifequal active_month %} class="active"{% endifequal %}>
{% with month_date|date:"F" as month_str %}
{% if category %}
<a href="{% url category_archive_month category_slug=category.slug,year=month_date.year,month=month_str.lower %}">
{{ month_str }} {{ month_date.year }}
{% else %}
<a href="{% url blog_archive_month year=month_date.year,month=month_str.lower %}">
{{ month_str }} {{ month_date.year }}
{% endif %}
{% endwith %}
{% endfor %}

I discovered something new when I was updating my other templates to use archive_nav properly: Django templates don't support the "None" keyword. When I'm loading the archive nav inside the category detail page I need to pass the category, but I don't have an active month to pass. Here's what I settled on:

{% archive_nav "" category %}

It seems like there ought to be a nicer way to do this, but keyword arguments don't work with simple or inclusion tags and I can't use None.

Anyway, at the end of the day, we're left with an exciting new feature that every other blog already had without even thinking about it. I've got some great ideas on rotating, circular vehicle conveyance tools, as well.