If you need a good blogdown exercise, consider helping me revamp the bookdown.org homepage



About three months ago, I said in this post Highlighting bookdown.org book updates? 📚 that I was hoping to revamp the bookdown.org homepage, since it was too laborious for me to maintain. There are new books published to bookdown.org almost every week, but I cannot afford the time to rebuild the homepage to list these new books. I think it will be much easier if I can build the site with blogdown instead.

Currently the source documents to generate the homepage are at:

The key idea is relatively simple: scrape links to all books from the sitemap (an XML file at https://bookdown.org/sitemap.xml) using the xml2 package, and then scrape each link to get information about each book (title, author, date, cover image, and description). This is done in the R script sitemap.R.

What I want to do is to create a Markdown post for each book, e.g., content/post/r-for-data-science.md, that looks like this:

title: "R for Data Science"
author: "Garrett Grolemund, Hadley Wickham"
date: "2018-01-31"
cover: "http://r4ds.had.co.nz/cover.png"
pinned: true
This book will teach you how to do data science with R: 
You’ll learn how to get your data into R, get it into the most
useful structure, transform it, visualise it and model it.
In this book, you will find a practicum of skills for data science.
Just as a chemist learns how to clean test tubes and stock a
lab, you’ll learn how to clean data and draw plots—and many 
other things besides. These are the skills that allow data science 
to happen, and here you will find the best practices for doing each
of these things with R. You’ll learn how to use the grammar of 
graphics, literate programming, and reproducible research to 
save time. You’ll also learn how to manage cognitive resources to ...

At the moment, I only need these Markdown files (well, of course, also the R script to generate these files automatically). The tricky thing is that some “books” are not books (but Shiny apps, which are not allowed on bookdown.org in theory and subject to removal in future), and some books are too far from being complete. I hope not to list these books on the homepage.

You don’t need to worry about the Hugo theme. I can take care of it by myself, but if you want to further volunteer, you are more than welcome.

I’ll be happy to video chat if it helps explain the details. Or even better, if you happen to be at rstudio::conf 2018 this week, I’ll also be happy to chat in person.

Bringing together multiple Bookdown projects through Blogdown

I am currently at rstudio:conf and would be open to discuss it to see if I can help you with this.


Excellent. I’m not there yet. I’ll arrive tomorrow evening, so let’s catch up sometime after my talk on Friday. Thanks!