New Blog

So I got myself a new weblog, hosted on Netfirms. I'm not particularly enjoying the Netfirms experience, but it was only $10 for a year and I get SSH access. They're quite skimpy with the perl modules, forcing me to install a bunch of stuff in my home directory.

I'm using a homemade blogging program because I got tired of blosxom's ugliness and I didn't really like what I saw of Bryar. I'm calling it YAWT in my head - short for Yet Another Weblog Tool. I'm hoping to extend it at some point to handle photo galleries in a seamless and efficient manner - my last attempt to write an online photo manager was quite slow. We'll see.

YAWT is what you might call "blosxom-inspired", like Bryar. The entries are regular text files and categorization is done via directories on disk. The main program is fairly light on features. More features can be added via plugins, in a style similar to blosxom. The URL interpretation is almost identical to blosxom as well.

One big difference between YAWT and blosxom is that YAWT uses the Template Toolkit for its templating functionality. I frankly thought blosxom's idea of templating was a joke. Another fairly big difference is that YAWT does not read all the blog entries into memory once at the start of the program. That seemed wasteful to me. We'll see if this turns out to be such a good idea - reading all the entries into memory allows for more flexibilty as to the processing that happens later.

For the moment, either in core functionality or via plugins, YAWT supports:

  • Flavours, as in blosxom. Non-blosxom users might know this idea better as "themes".
  • RSS 1.0 and 2.0 at the category level, including, of course, the root category (i.e. the entire blog).
  • Non-threaded comments.
  • Trackbacks.
  • Displayable category and archive counts.
  • Date based permalinks.
  • Markdown syntax for the entries

Several features are planned for phase 2:

  • Tagging
  • Full text search, probably via Plucene though I'm not 100% decided yet.
  • Threading and RSS support for the comments.

I will probably write more about YAWT in detail at a later date, assuming I haven't made too many horrible design decisions and throw the whole thing out in disgust.