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Extracts the markdown section from .cson files.

Project description

Cson To Markdown


Recursively scans given folder for .cson files, extracts the metadata and markdown, and writes a .md file and a meta/.yml file. Written specifically for use with Boostnote.


I write everything in Markdown format because I like the formatting, and my favourite markdown editor so far is Boostnote. Everything is stored in a dedicated git repository and pushed whenever changes occur. This works great!

The problem though, is that Boostnote stores the file in a cson format, without subfolders and without legible note-titles. I wrote something that extracts this information without disturbing the original files, and writes both the markdown and the metadata somewhere else. They're created in the subfolder to which they belong in the application, with the note title as filename.

Caution: A new version is in the works and will be announced which might completely break this tool.

How to install

pip install cson-to-markdown

How to use

1. CLI

I use Google's python-fire to create the CLI. You can run cson_to_markdown --help to get more information on the module.

There's 3 arguments that can be provided; cson_to_markdown $arg1 $arg2 $arg3

  1. The folder with the .cson files that need to be converted (looks recursive in this path for all compatible files).
  2. Optional target folder for markdown file output. If no value is provided, they will be stored in the same folder as the .cson files.
  3. Optional folder containing the boostnote.json file. This contains the key-name pairs of the folders defined in the Boostnote aplication itself.
# Call module directly
cson_to_markdown ~/folder/with/notes ~/output/folder ~/settings/dir

# Through python
python -m cson_to_markdown ~/folder/with/notes ~/output/folder ~/settings/dir

2. Python:

from cson_to_markdown import FileConverter

converter = FileConverter("folder/with/cson", "optional/target/folder", "optional/boostnote/settings/dir")

3. Git hooks

You can leverage the usefulness of git hooks, to make use of this module. Based off of this StackOverflow answer, I implemented the following: Note: This is not a clean way to do this, think before you copy paste this.

  1. Create pre-commit hook in notes repository: vim .git/hooks/pre-commit

touch .commit
  1. Create post-commit hook to create and add new files to the commit: vim .git/hooks/post-commit


if [ -a .commit ]
    rm .commit
    git add .
    git commit --amend -C HEAD --no-verify
  1. Make both executable: chmod u+x .git/hooks/pre-commit .git/hooks/post-commit

How to configure

There are a few settings that can be configured through environment variables, defined in cson_to_markdown/ We will by default first look at an appropriately named environemnt variable, and fall back to the defaults if none were found.

These are the current settings, which work for the Boostnote use-case specifically.

_config = {
    "MARKDOWN_START": "content: '''",
    "MARKDOWN_END": "'''",
    "TITLE_INDICATOR": 'title: "',
    "FOLDER_INDICATOR": 'folder: "',
    "CSON_EXTENSION": ".cson",
    "METADATA_FOLDER": "meta",
    "BNOTE_SETTINGS_FILE": "boostnote.json",

To overwrite, simply set a new environment variable in your terminal, or add it to your .bashrc file: export MARKDOWN_START="new start delimiter"

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