March 25, 2004
I installed the Debian package of pyblosxom last night. Which is nice. I was away and running writing posts, placing them in directories - which serve as categories - and feeling like a micro publishing genius.
But then I looked at the documentation, which is patchy to say the least. I'm aware that I am running a couple of versions behind the bleeding edge but people - it would be nice to at least be able to figure out how to affect the look and feel of my home page. It's the small things you know; like being able to specify a style sheet, removing the double <br /> after each post, making the post titles proper headings. You know, proper web standards type stuff.
Has anyone got any pointers? Or am I just being a little obtuse.
<Update>Thanks to the comment from Roberto and the new users wiki page I managed to work it out. Kind of. I'm still experimenting but I am making progress.</Update>
Posted by Andy Todd at March 25, 2004 07:06 AM
(Py)Blosxom is based on "flavours". Search for some files called head.html, story.html, etc. These are the templates for the flavour "html".
When I want to create a new layout for my PyBlosxom blog I copy these files to *.beta, and work on them. You'll see it very simple.
To test the layout, visit your blog and append "?flav=beta" to see the new layout. When you're satisfied with it, just copy your *.beta files over the *.html files.
If you're going to switch to pybloxsom, please include dates in your RSS feed. The default bloxsom RSS doesn't :(
Oh, and a friend who recently looked into pybloxsom has decided to write is own instead. It's filsystem-based, uses rfc822 headers for meta-data, can handle multipart MIME in posts (and accepts email as post source), uses symlinks to generate category / archive directories, ... uh and a buncha other stuff.
Notably, the post date is a header, not the filesystem timestamp - one of the most annoying things I found about using pybloxsom.
Are Python blogging tools like web frameworks, eventually there will be one per Python programmer (copyright AMK).
I'm just looking at pyblosxom for ideas. It appeals at the superficial level but the doesn't offer the features of MT and the documentation (so far) doesn't inspire me to convert this blog to it at any time soon.
I would definitely use it for a project or team blog, as soon as I need one. Which would require getting a job so probably won't be any time soon.
Having said that duplicating this look and feel in a nice lightweight blogging tool has made me look at my html and style sheets and they definitely need a clean up. More about this in a post next week (probably).
We're working on ironing out the documentation issues, but once you have pyblosxom up and running it's not that difficult to get the hang of. Anyone who thinks otherwise should mention their issues on the pyblosxom users list so that we can address them.
In terms of post dates, we pull it from the file system by default, but you can easily change that by writing a plugin. In fact, pyblosxom comes with a plugin (contrib/plugins/pyfilenametime.py) that pulls the post date from the filename.
In response to "eventually there will be one per Python programmer", I'm not sure what to say. PyBlosxom has been around for some time and we have a pretty large user-base. The development took a break, but we're pretty active again. Most frameworks don't do what we do, so I think we meet needs that wouldn't otherwise be met.
Anyhow, if you have any problems, ask on the pyblosxom users list. We're very cordial and we'll help you towards answers. We also use those conversations to fix the documentation, fix the codebase, and create new plugins to meet the needs expressed.