Mon, 09 Jan 2006

Installing Blosxom

For an awfully long time I have wanted to have a nice way to make notes and store little bits of information, mostly about things that I have done so that I know how to do it again. This repository of tips and tricks has mostly resided in my .zshhistory file, but whilst that has some advantages, it also has many disadvantages.

Then people started blogging. And I didn't. Mostly for the reasons discussed in why you should blog, which Mark Dominus mentioned was influential in his decision to start a blog. So having read that piece I decided not that I would blog, but that I could use a blogging tool to organise some of the notes and little bits of information I want to store. Do you see the difference?

So anyway, I installed blosxom on this system. It is fairly bland, out of the box. I'm no graphic designer, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did get it to use my standard CSS file, which brightened things up a little. I suspect I'll do some more customisation at some point in the future.

I also installed a couple of plugins. The first is kwiki, which saves me having to write HTML, and the second (because the first requires it) is meta, which allows me to specify that an entry is written in kwiki markup. I had to hack the kwiki plugin a bit to get the thing to work. It seems that the start sub is called to determine whether to use the plugin, and the the start in kwiki was using information that was only available after running the story sub in meta, which happens some time later. So I changed kwiki to look like:

14 sub start { 1 }
16 sub story {
17   my($pkg, $path, $filename, $story_ref, $title_ref, $body_ref) = @_;
19   $$body_ref = CGI::Kwiki::Formatter->process($$body_ref)
20       if $meta::markup eq 'kwiki';
22   return 1;
23 }

which works a lot better. I'm not sure how much I like kwiki syntax yet. One thing I have noticed is that kwiki links need to be all on the same line, which makes some lines a bit long (I generally stick to 80 chars) and sometimes stops me formatting paragraphs with gqap in vim. But at least the URL is the first part of the link, so being generally fairly long it will often be placed on a new line anyway.

I recently installed MediaWiki at work and like it a lot. (Being solely for internal use, I don't have to worry about security problems with PHP.) I think I'd like to use MediaWiki syntax coupled with Template Toolkit, but we'll see how we go for now.

So how's that for a first entry?

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