[Semi-offtopic] Best blogging platform for Rubyists?

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I
used Typo.
I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.
9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
over the urge. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Hal Fulton

FWIW, ever since I purposely stopped thinking about hacking my blog system
years ago, my blog output has been much higher. The problem used to be that
thinking about writing a blog post would inevitably send me on a mental
yak-shaving expedition as I thought about how to improve my blogging
technology. I have little desire to hack on PHP, so using Wordpress saves
me from this temptation.

YMMV.

···

On Sun, Oct 5, 2014 at 5:21 PM, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I
used Typo.
I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.
9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
over the urge. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Hal Fulton

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

Heh, I find it far easier to reply to people than start my own
topics. So I don't blog, but rather spend my time on mailing lists :slight_smile:

For some Ruby projects (e.g. unicorn)[1], I've worked on making the
mailing list web archives more blog-like. However, my initial focus was
never a web UI, but a neutral git-based repository format (mechanism)
which allows export to mbox/Maildir/IMAP:

    http://ssoma.public-inbox.org/ssoma_repository.txt

The rest of public-inbox is a highly-opinionated policy on top of
ssoma (anti-spam, HTML removal, web UI): http://public-inbox.org/README

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.

ssoma and public-inbox are Perl[2], so close enough, I hope :slight_smile:
In any case, the repository format (not the code) is the crux and
could be re-implemented in anything. A Ruby implementation would
be great!

2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.

Right, as implemented today, blog comments seem to be an afterthought.
On a mailing list, there's no distinction :slight_smile:
Furthermore, email has many great anti-spam solutions.

6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.

I prefer pre-formatted plain-text all the way as it's the lowest common
denominator. Reading mail in a good mail client allows me to configure
highlighting, spawn any editor/pager, or even shell out to things like
"git am" to apply patches

Allowing formatting/hrefs would make it too easy a target for phishers
and spammers (because posters have no special privileges over each other).

8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.

Right, which is why I focus on the data format, first.

I've kept everything in ssoma + public-inbox installable and usable
without requiring dependencies outside of Debian stable (currently
wheezy). However, I am a reasonably experienced mail server admin.

9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

All posts are sent via email to a public-inbox address.
No registration, no mailing list subscription required, anybody can post.
I also just enabled the submission port (587) to help folks behind
firewalls.

Training spam is integrated via inotify on my server[3]: Saving any
spam messages from my inbox to my spam folder automatically deletes it
from the git tree (it remains in git history), so it will no longer
appear in the web UI.

I also targeted the public-inbox web UI for lynx and w3m users :slight_smile:

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
over the urge. :slight_smile:

I'd be absolutely thrilled to have alternative Ruby UIs available based
on the ssoma repository format. I'll be glad to help out if it doesn't
require user login/registration or a GUI to contribute, just email :slight_smile:

[1] http://bogomips.org/unicorn-public/ - the primary unicorn WWW URL
    for mail archives, subject to much bikeshedding :slight_smile:
    unicorn-public@bogomips.org

    I also started http://80x24.org/misc/ for miscellaneous topics.
    which anybody can send plain-text posts to: misc@80x24.org
    I decided the patch spew in misc probably deserved a better
    home, so I moved it to http://80x24.org/spew/ (spew@80x24.org)

[2] Why I chose Perl for public-inbox + ssoma in 2013:
    I've been using Perl for all my mail needs since before I knew about
    Ruby, so I have much experience with those libs. I've also been
    contributing Perl code to git using email since 2005, so git, email,
    Perl were all natural fits for me. ...And I consider code secondary
    to data.

[3] http://public-inbox.org/dc-dlvr-spam-flow.txt

[4] http://bogomips.org/unicorn-public/?r=9858b3756eba2534

···

Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello,

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I used Typo.
I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.
9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
over the urge. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Hal Fulton

I use octopress[1] which seems to be maturing. It is ruby based so you’ll be able to hack it. It’s a platform based on Jekyll but with many interesting additions.

regards

[1] http://octopress.org/

Panagiotis (atmosx) Atmatzidis

email: atma@convalesco.org
URL: http://www.convalesco.org
GnuPG ID: 0x1A7BFEC5
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 1A7BFEC5

"As you set out for Ithaca, hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery [...]" - C. P. Cavafy

···

On 6 Oct 2014, at 00:21, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

Shameless plug ... I really like what codinghorror did. Blog is in
Ghost, which is pretty cutting edge and probably one of the best
actively developed platforms around. Comments are powered by Discourse
which eviscerates the spam problem and makes it way easier to engage.

You can read about it http://blog.codinghorror.com/please-read-the-comments/

For my blog I went with a more ghetto solution and its all on
Discourse http://samsaffron.com/archive/2013/10/10/discourse-as-my-blogging-platform

Only thing that is not an exact fit is Markdown. Both Discourse and
Ghost are big Markdown proponents.

Having ran a blog through multiple text rendering engines (weird
wysiwig, textile, Markdown) I would strongly recommend you reconsider
Markdown. It allows you to easily carry your content in an editable
way forward through multiple engines.

···

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 8:21 AM, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I used
Typo.
I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.
9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
over the urge. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Hal Fulton

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I used
Typo.
I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.
9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

Wow! That's an impressive list. I would be too lazy and just resort to
blogger or some other hosted platform. :wink:

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Now that made me wonder whether you really want to blog (write text)
or are looking for an "excuse" to hack (write code). :slight_smile:

Kind regards

robert

···

On Sun, Oct 5, 2014 at 11:21 PM, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

--
[guy, jim].each {|him| remember.him do |as, often| as.you_can - without end}
http://blog.rubybestpractices.com/

Hi Hal,

nice hearing from you again :).

Nesta is an interesting in-between: it uses flat files for blogging (not just markdown, but also others), but is intended to be used in Rails for everything "around" the text.

http://nestacms.com/

See https://github.com/pengwynn/blog as an example (without comments, though ;)).

Best,
Florian

···

On 05 Oct 2014, at 23:21, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.

In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I used Typo.
I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
3. I want comments, so no static solution.
4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.
9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.

As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
over the urge. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Hal Fulton

Hi Hal,

Always good to hear from you...!

I would have thought that Radiant CMS meets most of your needs but I'm a bit out of touch with the current state. There's no reason why it's not still working great but I expect that you'll not be on the latest greatest version of Rails.

Radiant is more a CMS rather than a blog, and you have to add in the extensions needed to get it going - that itself makes a great first blog post. The rest of the answers are inline...

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.

Yes, it is. Based on Rails.

2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.

Absolutely - that is what drew me to it in the first place.

3. I want comments, so no static solution.

You need a plugin for that - there is one.

4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.

Rails - so, yes.

5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.

Your choice. I think there is a plugin to go to Disqus but it's not mandated on you.

6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.

Crazy! (I love using Textile) but there are options - you can use HTML, Textile, Markdown or add a plugin that makes you happier.

7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.

Syntax highlighting is easy to add with a couple of CSS and JS bits. The rest is up to you.

8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.

You can program Radiant both ways. From the front-end, you can use variables and if-then Radius tags to configure pages and fragments to show up as you like. You can also write plugins to do things that you need. So, yes, it is quite programmable and flexible.

9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

I have written programs that have parsed a Word document and created pages in Radiant using simple Ruby scripts. You could do the same if you want.

Negatives...
* Well, the main negative is that it's not a blogging platform per se, and you'll have to setup and configure all the bits you need - tags, comments, etc.
* I have seen less activity in recent months.. but that's also because I haven't been following it very closely recently myself.

Best wishes,
Mohit.

···

On 6/10/2014 5:21 AM, Hal Fulton wrote:

Heh, that feels like my hacking on C Ruby nowadays.
I hardly ever write anything in Ruby anymore :x

···

Avdi Grimm <groups@inbox.avdi.org> wrote:

FWIW, ever since I purposely stopped thinking about hacking my blog system
years ago, my blog output has been much higher. The problem used to be that
thinking about writing a blog post would inevitably send me on a mental
yak-shaving expedition as I thought about how to improve my blogging
technology. I have little desire to hack on PHP, so using Wordpress saves
me from this temptation.

LOL... I do have some things I want to say, but at the same time, blogging
is rather a chore.

And yes, in a way, I would rather write the code. :wink:

As for the list -- every one of these items is realistic and has multiple
options
in the real world... it's just a question of "Which tools provide the best
covering
of these features?"

Hal

···

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 3:42 AM, Robert Klemme <shortcutter@googlemail.com> wrote:

On Sun, Oct 5, 2014 at 11:21 PM, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:
> I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.
>
> In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I
used
> Typo.
> I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.
>
> Here are some of my contraints:
>
> 1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
> 2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
> 3. I want comments, so no static solution.
> 4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
> 5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
> 6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
> 7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
> insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
> 8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more
important.
> 9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
> (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

Wow! That's an impressive list. I would be too lazy and just resort to
blogger or some other hosted platform. :wink:

> So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.
>
> As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
> blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.

Now that made me wonder whether you really want to blog (write text)
or are looking for an "excuse" to hack (write code). :slight_smile:

Kind regards

robert

--
[guy, jim].each {|him| remember.him do |as, often| as.you_can - without
end}
http://blog.rubybestpractices.com/

Thanks, I will look at that soon!

It is amazing how many Florians I have met on this list over the years...
I think you are at least the sixth? I never knew it was a common name
in Germany or elsewhere, because I have never seen it at all on this
side of the Atlantic.

Cheers,
Hal

···

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 4:05 AM, Florian Gilcher <flo@andersground.net> wrote:

Hi Hal,

nice hearing from you again :).

Nesta is an interesting in-between: it uses flat files for blogging (not
just markdown, but also others), but is intended to be used in Rails for
everything "around" the text.

http://nestacms.com/

See https://github.com/pengwynn/blog as an example (without comments,
though ;)).

Best,
Florian

On 05 Oct 2014, at 23:21, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

> I admit it: I have a hard time blogging. I've been trying to start again.
>
> In the old days, I started with a "custom" solution of my own. Later, I
used Typo.
> I played with Wordpress awhile, and maybe one or two others.
>
> Here are some of my contraints:
>
> 1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.
> 2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.
> 3. I want comments, so no static solution.
> 4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.
> 5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.
> 6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.
> 7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment
> insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.
> 8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more
important.
> 9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus
> (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).
>
> So -- recommendations welcome! :slight_smile: Reply here and/or email me.
>
> As I write this, I am considering in the back of my mind creating my own
> blogging platform for the Nth time, for some large value of N.
>
> Feel free either to volunteer to help me write it, or slap me until I get
> over the urge. :slight_smile:
>
> Cheers,
> Hal Fulton
>

I had forgot about Radiant. I never really looked at it much,
but I will now.

Thanks!
Hal

···

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 1:26 PM, Mohit Sindhwani <mo_mail@onghu.com> wrote:

Hi Hal,

Always good to hear from you...!

I would have thought that Radiant CMS meets most of your needs but I'm a
bit out of touch with the current state. There's no reason why it's not
still working great but I expect that you'll not be on the latest greatest
version of Rails.

Radiant is more a CMS rather than a blog, and you have to add in the
extensions needed to get it going - that itself makes a great first blog
post. The rest of the answers are inline...

On 6/10/2014 5:21 AM, Hal Fulton wrote:

Here are some of my contraints:

1. Obviously if it's in Ruby, that's a plus. I get to hack the code.

Yes, it is. Based on Rails.

2. If it at least can handle plugins in Ruby, that's nice, too.

Absolutely - that is what drew me to it in the first place.

3. I want comments, so no static solution.

You need a plugin for that - there is one.

4. I want to host it all myself, so no 3rd-party hosting.

Rails - so, yes.

5. Likewise no 3rd-party tools such as Disqus.

Your choice. I think there is a plugin to go to Disqus but it's not
mandated on you.

6. Call me crazy, but markdown doesn't thrill me. I'd like options.

Crazy! (I love using Textile) but there are options - you can use HTML,
Textile, Markdown or add a plugin that makes you happier.

7. Obviously geek-friendly features are a plus -- easy code fragment

    insertion, syntax highlighting, maybe integration with git/gist, etc.

Syntax highlighting is easy to add with a couple of CSS and JS bits. The
rest is up to you.

8. Ease of use is very nice, but power and flexibility are more important.

You can program Radiant both ways. From the front-end, you can use
variables and if-then Radius tags to configure pages and fragments to show
up as you like. You can also write plugins to do things that you need.
So, yes, it is quite programmable and flexible.

9. If I can work at the command line and publish easily, that's a plus

    (though I don't like Octopress because of Disqus).

I have written programs that have parsed a Word document and created pages
in Radiant using simple Ruby scripts. You could do the same if you want.

Negatives...
* Well, the main negative is that it's not a blogging platform per se, and
you'll have to setup and configure all the bits you need - tags, comments,
etc.
* I have seen less activity in recent months.. but that's also because I
haven't been following it very closely recently myself.

Best wishes,
Mohit.

To balance that we Germans know Hal only from an old movie - and from
you, of course. :wink:

Cheers

robert

···

On Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM, Hal Fulton <rubyhacker@gmail.com> wrote:

It is amazing how many Florians I have met on this list over the years...
I think you are at least the sixth? I never knew it was a common name
in Germany or elsewhere, because I have never seen it at all on this
side of the Atlantic.

--
[guy, jim].each {|him| remember.him do |as, often| as.you_can - without end}
http://blog.rubybestpractices.com/

I'd have to side with Avdi that it's way too tempting to hack the platform,
and your output goes out the window with it. It's doubly as bad if you're
design minded and try and make the whole thing custom. Never underestimate
the value of 'it just works.' I use Octopress myself, though I've heard
good things on Ghost.

On a side note, it's nice to see you back around Hal. Your book got me
started on Ruby several years ago back in High School.

···

On Sun, Oct 5, 2014 at 5:11 PM, Eric Wong <normalperson@yhbt.net> wrote:

Avdi Grimm <groups@inbox.avdi.org> wrote:
> FWIW, ever since I purposely stopped thinking about hacking my blog
system
> years ago, my blog output has been much higher. The problem used to be
that
> thinking about writing a blog post would inevitably send me on a mental
> yak-shaving expedition as I thought about how to improve my blogging
> technology. I have little desire to hack on PHP, so using Wordpress saves
> me from this temptation.

Heh, that feels like my hacking on C Ruby nowadays.
I hardly ever write anything in Ruby anymore :x