9/18/03

Selecting a weblogging program

Twice now, I have started to look into starting a web log. My friend, Dave Piscitello, of Core Competence started one. Like me, Dave likes to write. Like me, he doesn’t get as many opportunities as he would like.

Both times, I wrote down my requirements: 1, Dirt easy to set-up and update. 2. Runs on Linux. CHEAP (free). I asked some friends on a mailing list of which I am a member, the “hackers” list. (And that is the old use of the work in computer circles that has nothing to do with breaking into computer systems.) I wondered, “What is the hacker's weblogger?”

I got two answers: Geeklog and blosxom. I chose blosxom because … well, it is elegant. It is a 444 line (with comments) Perl program. But, then life and work got in the way, and I laid it aside for a month. When I got back to it, I thought, “No this is too simple. Surely it won’t do everything I’d want.” So, I decided to install Geeklog. Oh, it needs MySql. Okay. Sure. Oh. Mysql needed something else. Oh, that thing needed another library installed.

I’m sure Geeklog is wonderful. It is a great big system that creates a whole web portal. But being a firm beliver in the security axiom, “Security and complexity are inversely proportional,” I gave up on it again, deinstalled MySql, etc. and went back and really, really looked at Blosxom. And, it is wonderful.

With that one Perl program and nothing else you have a fully functioning weblog. Add a few html files and you determine how fancy or plain your page will look. Add some small Perl “plug-ins” and you get a Google-aided search facility, “write-back” forms (not here… just e-mail me), and a host of other tools. With the help of Eric Davis and a lot of playing around one afternoon awaiting Hurricane Isabel, I had it up and running, requiring no extra software.

Anyway, it is wonderful, marvelous, terrific, and small and elegant. I;m still new to this. I don’t know how this RSS thing works or how one is supposed to use it. My friend, Dave, asked to be added to my digest list, but I have no clue how “Blosxomers” do that. But, I’m off and blogging.

Note, in September 2008 I started moving everything to blogger.

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