Yongfu's Blog

Using Travis-CI to Create R-bloggers for Taiwan

Jan 30, 2019

R-bloggers.com is a great platform for R users, but I sometimes feel awkward to publish posts on R-bloggers when I have things to share that are only relevant to users in Taiwan1. Inspired by R-bloggers, I thought maybe I could use Travis-CI and GitHub to create a blog that automatically updates its posts by retrieving them from submitted RSS feeds, just like R-bloggers.

R-bloggers for Taiwan

The name of the blog I created is “R部落客”, which is R-bloggers literally in traditional Chinese.

The blog is served using GitHub Pages and is hosted under the organization, Rbloggers, on GitHub. To make the platform work, there are three repositories created – RSSparser, Rbloggers.github.io, and facebook-publish, all integrated with Travis-CI. I set up a daily cron job to run on RSSparser repo, which generates JSON files to be used for creating new posts. After finishing the build, Travis-CI pushes the JSON files to gh-pages branch of RSSparser and triggers a build (using Travis-CI API) to run on Rbloggers.github.io repo. The build on Rbloggers.github.io then writes new posts by retrieving the JSON files saved on branch gh-pages of RSSparser. Another build is also triggered to run on facebook-publish by the build on Rbloggers.github.io, which shares the new posts created in Rbloggers.github.io on Facebook (using Facebook API).

I learned about the capabilities of Travis-CI in the bookdown book and the blogdown book. Although not directly related to R, I think most R users will benefit a lot by if they know how to use Travis-CI.

Looking for R Bloggers & Users from Taiwan

Currently, R部落客 is in its infancy and needs support. We are looking for R users and bloggers who read and write in traditional Chinese.

  • If you are an R user, you can follow R部落客 via Facebook fan page.

  • If you write blog posts about R in traditional Chinese, I believe R部落客 will be a great platform to advertise your work. You can read more about joining R部落客 here.

  1. Such as a new R package about 批踢踢, how to painlessly knit Chinese R Markdown documents to PDF, and how to perform Chinese word segmentation in R etc.