Maintaining this website

...couldn't be easier!

It used to be a single custom script that did everything -- or at least everything I thought I needed.

Then I saw blosxom and I got greedy :-)

Now this is mostly blosxom+plugins; I only added one plugin, (called siki), which allows me to write plain text and converts it to HTML on the fly -- quite like what wiki's do, but tailored to my tastes. None of the existing plugins appealed to me for one reason or other.

Actually, the only website maintainance software I really like is TWiki, but that would be somewhat overkill here!

And I really, really don't like HTML. I would much rather edit a simple text file, and not worry too much about bold, italics, etc. I also hate maintaining links, remembering exact locations, and -- heck -- even exact spellings!

Here are the main features:

  • translating plain text to HTML.

    • *bold* becomes bold
    • /italic/ becomes italic
    • _underline_ becomes underline
    • an empty line following a non-empty line causes a paragraph break
    • lists (UL and OL), as well blockquote sections, are derived from indentation[1]
    • it is possible to create tables also, as you will see on some pages (one example is the set of image links on Joey and Geetha's wedding page).

  • URLs are handled very nicely. You see, even though I felt TWiki would be overkill for a one-man site, I do like the "automatic" linking (a.k.a "accidental" linking) that all Wikis share.

    So I just borrowed that feature, and in fact went one teeny step further. The program that converts the plain text to HTML will also create links by actually looking for the URL in the parts of the webtree that it is allowed to look in.

    If the URL resolves to an image then there is a little extra smarts to it: if an anchor text was provided, that will be used; otherwise, a thumbnail version will be used for the anchor.

    The best part is that the URL can be a regexp, and if there is only one match found, that's what gets used!

  • Finally, I can just use HTML, anywhere in the file, if I need something more complex!

the software

Yes, once it has moderately stabilised I will put up the siki plugin here. The rest of it is plain blosxom, plus the following plugins:

  • bookmarklet
  • breadcrumbs
  • entries_index
  • find
  • siki
  • state
  • wikieditish

[1] My Python-ista friend Raj pulls my leg, saying, "Even perl people have to appreciate the beauty of indentation"

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