Charles Engelke's Blog

June 21, 2003

Getting started with Blosxom

Filed under: blosxom — Charles Engelke @ 8:24 pm

I installed an early version of Blosxom over a year ago, played around with it,
and then forgot about it. Blosxom was really easy to get going, but not
really powerful enough to interest me.

Now I’m really interested in blogging for work, and I see that Blosxom
is much more powerful than it used to be. And it’s still pretty
simple.

Pretty simple, but I still get confused. Here are some notes on how I got
it to work and customized it. This is (as of this date) very much a work
in progress.

Make a place (actually, make places) for Blosxom.
At a minimum, you need to store the Blosxom script (version 2_0_rc5) somewhere, and
you need a directory for all your entries. I run several virtual web
servers under Apache, with all their files under /export/www, so
I created a folder called /export/www/blogs (because I might
create more than one blog, each with it’s own copy of the script), saved
the Blosxom script as /export/www/blogs/charles (so I can remember
it’s for me), and made the script executable. My own virtual web
server has all its files under /export/www/engelke, so I created
a folder called /export/www/engelke/blosxom to put all my
entries in. Note that none of these files or directories is in my
HTML or CGI-BIN directory trees.
Edit the script
This didn’t take much. I set $blog_title and
$blog_description each to Charles Engelke’s Blog,
and set $datadir to /export/www/engelke/blosxom.
Everything else was left alone.
Edit the Apache configuration
This was much easier than I expected. I just found the section for
my own virtual web server, and added the line
ScriptAlias /blog /export/www/blogs/charles to that section.
This makes http://engelke.com/blog point to my blog. The blog is provided
by the Blosxom script at /export/www/blogs/charles, with
contents in /export/www/engelke/blosxom. The restart Apache.
Check the blog
I opened my web browser, pointed it to http://engelke.com/blog, and
it worked. But there’s nothing there yet.
Create entries
Just edit files with names ending in .txt anywhere in the
/export/www/engelke/blosxom directory (or a subdirectory).
Check the blog again
Now I see the entries I wrote.
Fix the look
I wanted the blog to look different for me. I manually edited a file
to look the way I wanted, then put everything in the file prior to my
sample content in /export/www/engelke/blosxom/head.html and
everything after the sample content in
/export/www/engelke/blosxom/head.html. I replaced my sample
title in the template with $blog_title.

So that’s the start of it all. I’ll write notes about how I
created the template, then added the story part, and then added plug-ins. I
had a hard time with plug-ins, but I think I understand them now. I even
wrote a simple one.

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