new beginnings

By anders pearson 24 May 2004

here it is. the new version of the thraxil code. sorry it took so long. i was plagued with cable modem and hardware problems.

it’s not much right now. i have lots of ideas for new stuff, but first i just wanted to duplicate most of the already existing functionality. so this initial release is just with a basic feature set.

there are some major architectural changes here:

  • the backend is now written in python instead of perl. that’s the biggest one.
  • when you post, it publishes everything to static HTML files which apache can serve real quickly. the old version served everything up dynamically (with some caching, but every request would still incur a relatively large amount of processing). so when you post now, expect it to take a minute or two (while it writes out new index files, etc. and i have plans on making this even faster.) but requesting other pages should be very fast.
  • no more reliance on postgresql. i couldn’t get away from databases entirely, so i’m now using SQLite, which is small, light, fast, simple, and doesn’t require a complex installation.
  • comments are now open. ie, you don’t have to create an account before you can post comments.
  • there is no more distinction between diaries and front-page. my intention is really to decrease the emphasis on the front-page; it’s just a listing of what’s going on with a bunch of different users’ individual weblogs. i may even change it so only post titles show up on the front page.
  • you can’t edit your templates anymore. instead, you can edit the CSS files for your weblog. i’ve gone out of my way to make the markup exceptionally semantically rich so it’s easy to style. if you don’t think you can do a lot with just the CSS files, go check out the CSS Zen Garden for inspiration. you might not want to get too crazy with the custom CSS in the next week though since i haven’t really finalized the templates.
  • the new data model for the backend will allow me to add features like versioning and other cool stuff.

other misc. features:

  • formatting is now done with textile
  • you can publish a ‘Draft’ of a post which won’t actually be displayed on the site, but it will let you preview it and edit it later.

i haven’t put any real work into the visual design yet, so it’s ugly for now. deal.

this is still beta code, and i haven’t tested it too much, so expect bugs. report them as comments on this post please.

my short TODO list in roughly the order of importance:

  • –clean up UI / design–
  • -Atom feed-
  • -ensure XHTML compliance on all pages-
  • -search-
  • -metadata fields (you’ll see a box for this in the posting interface. doesn’t really do much yet.)-
  • -performance improvements on publishing-
  • trackbacks
  • versioning / diffs
  • comment preview
  • -comment management (ie, allowing you to delete comments from posts)-
  • user info
  • related entries
  • Atom API
  • monthly indices formatted as calendar
  • multi-image zip upload
  • image gallery / slideshow
  • search results as RSS / Atom
  • PGP signed posts / comments
  • post in future
  • automatic extraction of EXIF data from images
  • email integration (eg, comment notification via email)

basically, lots of stuff planned. we’ll see how slowly i actually get around to doing it.

Tags: meta