Recently, on one of the mailing lists i’m on, someone asked about what blog software i’d recommend. A year ago, i would have instantly recommended b2. Now, i’m not so sure.
i started out using b2 mostly because it’s simple. b2, was the vi of blog software. It’s simple, has a limited set of functions and lets you worry about the customizations. It’s written entirely in PHP and uses MySQL as the backend. Installation requires editing one file, running an installer script and logging in.
i had looked at movabletype, but found it was more like emacs for bloggers than i wanted. It had all sorts of moving pieces, including perl interfaces to write static files to a directory, build update files and hosts of other things.
These are fine and all, if you didn’t have a database. Plus the templates were these weird combinations of functions, prototypes and other bits that were a bear to try to customize. In fact, i fully believe the reason that all the moveable type blogs look the same is because no one has figured out how to edit them.
Unfortunately, i’m starting to think that i need to move to
emacs moveable type soon anyway.
The problem is that b2, for all it’s niftiness is not really upgradable. That and i’ve made some extensive hacks into the code that i have no intention of backing out and reimplementing. Granted, it’s also been orphaned.
i took a look at wordpress and b2++ and didn’t like either of them. In WordPress’ case, it’s still mostly the same code, but with a few manditory hacks that were duct-taped onto the original. i didn’t like b2++ because it uses Smarty as it’s templating language, and frankly i always felt that PHP was a sufficient templating language to begin with.
(i just found out about b2evolution and will probably go play with it shortly. Likewise, i may go play with DruPal, but the content portability issue may again raise it’s ugly head.)
Likewise even with my newly introduced advertising policy, there are some folks who insist on abusing the blog anyway, and i’m just waiting for someone to do something truly evil. i know of several rather nasty attacks that could be possible using the existing system. i’ve plugged a fair number of them, but i’m just one guy and there are a lot of hackers. (Thus the reason that using something that a team of folks is already pounding on is appealing.)
Unfortunately, i’m pretty certain that moving my dataset to movableType won’t be pretty if even possible.
Heh, maybe what i should do is simply rebuild the b2 system into a more robust, portable system and release it into the wild. You know, add things like pre and post filter hooks for various methods, Beef up the configuration screens, improve the docs, etc. That would be the proper Open Source thing to do.
Actually, the open source thing to do would be to create my own version, release it on SourceForge, complain that nobody understands it, then abandon it when it gets an audience.
Ah, well, i’ll let folks know what i switch to and how painful it was.