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Snippet with variable

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to Alfred, purchased few weeks ago and now I'm fiddling with it, using very few features. I guess I'll discover more and more from now on.

One question:

every day, for a newsletter, I have to paste a string like /content/xxx/eveningnews/2016/603/web/popover/ban_whatever

At the moment, I'm using a snippet with a generic string, but the thing is that every day the number after the year increases by one (instead of /603/ should be /604/).

Is this something the can be automated in Alfred?

Where should I start? Maybe scripting?

Thank you, sorry for my english, I'm from Rome, Italy…

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Yes, it is possible, and yes it requires some scripting, but should be fairly simple. But what about the /2016/ part? Will that change when we enter 2017? And if so, does the other number keep increasing at the same rate as usual?


Today, Friday, October 14, 2016, what is the number?

Edited by vitor
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I don't really care about the year, after all, you should change it once in a year time…

Today's string is the one I've posted: /content/xxx/eveningnews/2016/603/web/popover/ban_whatever

So, you're suggesting to do it via a workflow, implying a little script. Can't GREP come in handy?

Thank you for the quick reply,


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Including the year takes no more effort than doing the rest, so no reason not to include it as well. grep has no relation to the task, all you need is simple date calculation. First I checked when 603 ago was (2015/02/19). Then, having that as the baseline, we need only check how many days have passed since then at the time we run the script. Using ruby:


require 'Date'

initial_date = Date.new(2015, 02, 19)
today = Date.today
current_year = today.year
day_difference = (today - initial_date).to_i

print "/content/xxx/eveningnews/#{current_year}/#{day_difference}/web/popover/ban_whatever"

Here is a workflow you can download that does this for you. You can either use the Keyword (by default dd) or set a Hotkey. After you run it, the result will both be copied to your clipboard and pasted to your frontmost app. If you need to change the exact text that is output, go into the Run Script node (right at the middle of the workflow), and change the text in quotes on the last line. Just make sure #{current_year} and #{day_difference} stay intact as the places where substitutions will occur.

Edited by vitor
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13 minutes ago, frillo said:

If I can… There is something left to adjust. The number should increment ONLY on working days, NOT on Saturdays and Sundays…

maybe I'd need an if…then cycle before the actual day_difference routine?


When you say "working days", does that also exclude public holidays?


In that case, you'd probably want to store the counter in a workflow variable.


Perhaps add a second variable that stores the current date. That way you can test if the script has already been run today, and not increment the counter again if it has.

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