Tag Archives: automation

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2017-05-08 20:21:15⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I’ve been beta testing micro.blog. There is a new page here for status type posts, these get sent to micro.blog/johnjohnston and to twitter.

This has renewed my interest in finding different ways to post to the blog especially for short posts that would have previously gone straight to twitter.

On iOS there is the nice micro.blog app, editorial or drafts and workflow. On my mac I’ve used AppleScript to post to blogs before, but needed to figure out how to add a category for the micro blog. I also wanted to not have a title, use the format of status and the note kind. The categories and kinds were the tricky bit, they need to be in a strut within a strut in the datas sent to the xml-rpc end point (I am a wee bit wobbly on the vocabulary here).

The following script does the trick. It is fairly limited as I hard code various things into it:

  • user name
  • password – this is probably not the greatest idea.
  • the category micro
  • the post format and kind
  • an empty title

It should be obvious how to change most of these things and make the script fit other needs or to generalise it.

I also wanted to be able to post from any application, so this script is for Alfred. In a workflow this is triggered by a hotkey which sends the currently selected text to the script. The script passes on the returned info, the post id, to a notification.

So to post a quick stratus method I select some text  hit cmd-alt-control-m and that test gets posted here.

Of interest to micro.blogista is the comment_status:"open" bit. I am thinking of all sorts of ways to extend this, perhaps for use in FastScripts to grab the selecting and link from Safari. I’d have probably used FastScripts for this, but I can’t figure out how to get the selection from any text in plain AppleScript, I needed Alfred for that.

iOS Workflow⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

I quite enjoy scripts and things that make my computing life a we bit easier. I’ve blogged a few times about AppleScript which I find very handy on my mac. On my iPhone I’ve never really found a way of automating things that stuck with me. I’ve downloaded and played with a few apps, but mostly they have felt a bit too convoluted for me.

I do regularly combine application to get a result, the so called app smashing, although I prefer the less destructive sounding playflow (I think I am the only person who does).

Workflow Icon

I’ve now found an application which looks like making this sort of thing on iOS a bit simpler: Workflow.

Workflow is more like Automator than AppleScript as it uses the same sort of block steps. You can combine any of the actions to create workflows. These steps or rather actions can deal with images, text, maps in all sorts of ways.

The think that makes this application stand out is that it has arrived hot on the heels of the iOS 8 improvements to inter application communication. You can set the application to the a Action Extension, this means it can be run from the share sheet in other applications. As you can set the input for a workflow to accept different things you can control the sheets where it will show.

In the screenshot below I’ve selected 2 photos and then hit the share button. When I click the Run Workflow button I can choose a workflow from the next screen(shown on the right) . In this case one choice is a simple workflow I made to downsize image an save it to the camera roll.


These workflows are made by dragging and dropping action blocks onto a workflow. Workflows can be set to be run from a icon added to your home screen, the Launch Center app or from share sheets in other apps. The latter can be set to accept different types of data and will then show up in the appropriate apps.

So far I’ve only made a few very simple workflows with two or three block, but there is potential to loop and have if-then type decision making.

Some Workflows

There are over 150 actions you can use to build a workflow:


I’ve only scratched the surface of workflow over the last week or so, but it looks like it could make iOS more fun and effective.

A few links: