Monday, May 02, 2005

Finally, the real Zen of Blogging

I've been searching for a simple web tool to format HTML pages into a nice consistent web site. Available tools are (a) complicated, (b) require GUI, (c) require database, (d) must be dynamic, (e) written in language that I am not familiar with. All I want to do is create files and a directory and generate static pages. I don't want to tax my server with all those dynamic pages.

Then, by following links to links to links (more like a breadth-first browsing), I stumbled this excellent tool: Blosxom. The slogan said, "the zen of blogging." That's exactly what it is. It's a simple (one) perl script. (Okay, it is not simple, but what can you say to a 16715 bytes-sized script?) You have to check the web site for more information. Blosxom can generate a web site / blogs based on files located in a directory (and sub-directories beneath it).

Blosxom (a) is simple, (b) does not require GUI, (c) uses regular files (no need to setup a database), (d) can generate static pages, (e) written in perl. What can I say? I am touched!

Okay, now, all I have to do is creating a "flavour" (look and feel) for Blosxom-powered Blog. Bah! I am too lazy. I'll use a flavour that comes with the script :)

Thank you, thank you, Blosxom.


Anonymous said...

Could you please what you meant by "can generate static pages"?

Oskar said...

What he means with that is that the blog doesn't generate every new page when asked such as Mambo or other CMS including WP or MT (the last two are actually a blogging platform).

Anyway, what's so good with no GUI implementation? I mean, even a hardcore coder needs a time break off the code and instead of typing [br] (change "[" to "<" and "]" to ">"), they can just simply hit return :-)

Anonymous said...

search, install, try, search again, install,
try satisfied for a while...
search again..install try again...
hmm...seems like a familiar cirle :)

then i go back to,
got a lot of 'command line' client

all the good guy at LJ maintain the system well...
we just write write write...,
with just a command GUI/browser needed :)

Jim said...

It really nice if you have an out of the box operating system which included Perl (aka MacOSX). I have trouble installing other popular blogging platform since most of them require a database server (e.g. MySQL) which I didn't have and too lazy to download (I'm still a dial-up man).

Flavouring Blosxom is a little bit confusing at first. But when you find a good HTML+CSS page, just cropped it onto 4 parts:
a. head (anything on the first section),
b. date (displays on the typical blog's date section--but you can choose to display another stuff)
c. story (the blog story)
d. foot (anything for the last section)

You can check out their mailing list ( and found yourself hacking a Blosxom plugin if you're lucky enough with Perl :P

Last minute story said that SixApart was acquiring 'opensource' Blosxom by giving its author--Rael Donfest--two suitcases of $$$.

budi said...

Jim said:

Last minute story said that SixApart was acquiring 'opensource' Blosxom by giving its author--Rael Donfest--two suitcases of $$$.

Oohhh noooo... I don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing? The author deserves the $$$, but I just hope that SixApart takes good care of it (ie. not commercialize it too much).

Jim said...

Here is the URL:

Still unofficial. Rael didn't update the official Blosxom site or mention it on his'

Dennis T said...

That news story about Moveable Type buying Blosxom is satire.

I like Blosxom for the same reasons stated. The reason I don't want a GUI is because I sometimes write stories longer than a browser-based editor can accomodate. I use an FTP-based text editor and find it comfortable and easy. (Fetch FTP and BBEdit on Macintosh.) I write with minimal markup (bold and italic) and just drop the text file into a directory for Blosxom to find. Done.

The plaintext file is rendered into HTML when Blosxom picks it up. For very elegant viewing the SmartyPants plugin makes pretty quotes and apostrophies, and the Markdown plugin takes care of paragraphs. Both are at

budi said...

Thanks Dennis T for the plugin tip