command line fan fiction program?

Jeffery Mewtamer mewtamer at
Thu Mar 23 14:35:36 UTC 2017

A few thoughts:

changing www to m in an URL gives you the mobile version of the
page. For story chapters, this greatly reduces the cruft at the top of
the page and somewhat reduces the cruft at the bottom.

The format for story page URLs is[storyID]/[Chapter#]/[storyTitle]

So, if you know the story Id, title, and number of chapters, you can
use any generic mass downloader to download all pages in the range
chapter#=1 to chapter#=total chapters.

If your mass downloader doesn't have built-in support for converting
to plain text, html2text can do this for you and you can then read in
your text editor of choice(this also allows you to correct typos the
author missed if you plan to reread at a future date).

Thanks to downloading the mobile versions, there is less cruft to
remove from the files if you just want the story text. Reduced enough
that manually removing the cruft isn't much trouble, though if you
plan to do this for entire bookshelves worth of content, you'll
probably want a tool to automate the process. The split command can
divide a file into files with x number of lines, which can be useful
for removing large headers and small footers from text files, but can
require remerging with cat if the split produces more than 2 files.
the head and tail commands can return the first/last n lines of a
file, which might also be useful.

If you really want all the chapters in a single file(personally, I
prefer the convenience of each chapter in it's own file), the cat
command can merge the files for you provided they're named so they are
in the correct order when you do ls -1. I believe the syntax you want
cat *.txt > book.txt
Again, it's important that the input files are named properly. For
example, probably the easiest mistake to make is that a lack of
leading zeros on chapters 1-9 will result in chapters 10-19 being
between chapters 1 and 2, chapters 20-29 between chapters 2 and 3, and
so on in the combined file, and lack of leading zeros can cause even
more chaos with 100+ chapters).

You could probably combine these tips to make a bash script that takes
story ID, title, and number of chapters as input and produces a
plain-text eBook as its final output, but that's a bit advanced for my
scripting skills and I just read online, so I have little incentive.


Jeffery Wright
President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.
Former Secretary, Student Government Association, College of the Albemarle.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list