Smiffy's Web Log – The Next Generation


Comment spam, security upgrades, poor accessibility, having to write one too many code hacks – these all make 'blogging too much of a chore for me. WordPress is OK, a lot of good work has gone into it, even though I am less than enamoured with their development process. However, for me, it is still the lesser of the evils of 'blogging software.

So, what is it that I dislike about current offerings? Mainly the “all things to everyone” approach. Flexibility is all very well, but the more flexible and customisable a software, the more complex it becomes. I absolutely hate working with the WordPress code; the Codex only begins to scrape the surface – documentation of the code is just too far behind the code development itself and too scanty at that. This is not an attack on WordPress – feel free to substitute the name of any other 'blogging software, as this is a general issue for me.

I have now begun to do that which I should have done from the outset, rather than spending so much time modifying code with which I was not happy – I have started writing my own 'blogging software. To date, I have a database schema (MySQL), and most of the database interface code. Unlike most popular 'blogging software (with the notable exception of Movable Type), my software is written in Perl.

Functionality (Or Lack Of)

  • Single user
  • No support for themes (except for styles) or plugins.
  • What appears on a page is determined by turning components on and off – components themselves cannot be modified, except by editing the Perl source.
  • All layout, styling, etc., will be determined by CSS
  • Multiple CSS stylesheets, which may be selected by reader.
  • No file uploads – images, etc., can live elsewhere and be linked in.
  • No use of cookies; I suffer from insulin resistance and have no time for cookies.
  • No client-side scripting.
  • Just two programmes – one for administration and one for readers.
  • Administration sits behind HTTP Basic Authentication – HTTPS recommended.
  • No WYSIWYG editing – entries in pure XHTML. (Remember – I'm writing this for myself, and that's how I do it anyway.)
  • RSS feed – 1.0 only; viva RDF!


This will not be 'blogging software for the faint of heart, but I believe that a small number of people (Lynx users, for a start), may want to use this software. It will be released under
a Creative Commons attribution/share and share alike/non-commercial license.

Release predicted by October 2006.