blosxom :: the zen of blogging


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    Of course blogging wouldn't be any fun if you couldn't browse your blog on the Web. Blosxom has various ways of browsing: by date, by path/category, and a combination of the two.

    Starting simply, let's take a gander at your webblog's home page, featuring the latest blog postings.

    Now each blog's base URL is slightly different, depending on whether it lives at a domain, is hosted on a service provider's Web server, sits on your local laptop, and so forth. Here are a few good guesses:

    • If you installed Blosxom on your Mac OS X or Windows laptop, desktop, or closet server, chances are you'll find your weblog at http://localhost/cgi-bin/blosxom.cgi .
    • If you installed Blosxom in a special cgi-bin directory on your service provider's Web server, you'll most probably find your weblog at where is your service provider's domain and username is your username on their system.
    • If you installed Blosxom on your service provider's Web server, but have your own domain name, try or where is your domain name.

    If all goes to plan, you'll see the default Blosxom view--not a feast for the eyes, I grant you, but you'll soon fix that--along with any blog entries you may already have created.

    Go back in time...

    Weblog entries are shown in reverse-chronological order--the cream (read: latest) floats to the top, while older entries move down and eventually drop off the bottom. Where, oh where, did those old entries go? Oh where, oh where can they be?

    You can revisit those weblog entries of old by year, month, or day, by simply append the numerical values of your preferred date to your URL. It goes like this:

    • For a year's worth of posts, append the 4 digit year. For all of 2003, your URL would look something like:
    • For a single month's worth posts, append the 4 digit year and 2 digit month (01-12, January through December). For May of 2003, your URL would be:
    • For a particular day in history, append the 4 digit year, 2 digit month, and 2 digit day (01-31, the 1st through the 31st). The 22nd of May, 2003, would look like:

    Walk the path...

    Blosxom's raison d'etre is to apply to blogging all you already know about files and folders/directories. Your computer's hard drive is a database of thoughts, projects, silliness, good works, fact, and fiction. You're used to filing things away by project, subject, or according to the subjective rationale of some obscure personal filing system; Blosxom builds on this experience, allowing you to expose some piece of that hierarchy in the form of a weblog.

    Meander with me for a moment through my personal hierarchy. I tend to save things to folders and folders within folders and folders within folders within folders representing a hierarchy of subjects that fit my personal ontology. I can usually find anything I've stuffed away; still others are lost in the recesses of some folder marked "etc", itself hidden inside "temporary". Here's a more organized branch:

    I place snippets of text, Internet shortcuts, documentation, and other wodges of data on Mac OS X in the folder /computers/operating_systems/apple/mac_os_x . The folder itself is called "mac_os_x", all the rest being the path leading thereto.

    And not only do I keep things organized in this manner on my local hard drive, but the same category hierarchy is reflected in my weblog. /computers/operating_systems/apple/mac_os_x holds all my Mac OS X related weblog entries. And I blog everything about Blosxom to /computers/internet/weblogs/blosxom.

    Reflecting your own personal category hierarchy in your Blosxom weblog is just a matter of saving your posts (their .txt files, that is) to the appropriate directory. Have something to say about language? Go ahead and make a set of nested folders for /society/language or /communication/spoken/language or whatever else you might prefer and save your post there.

    Walking your Blosxom directory tree in your browser is as simple as appending the path on to the end of the base Blosxom URL.

    And, assuming you've left your Blosxom's depth setting well enough alone (i.e. at 0, for infinite), each step down the hierarchy provides not only postings in that directory/folder, but everything else in the directories/folders beneath. At the top-most level, I see everything. At /travel, I see everything in /travel, /travel/india, /travel/packing, and so forth.

    Here are all my posts on literature:

    And anything on the Mac OS X operating system:
    Add to that the ability to go back in time and you've quite a few avenues available for exploration. Here are July 2003's posts on home repair:
    And personal resolutions made on January 1st, 2003:
    And, of course, combining a walk down the directory tree and going back in time shows everything beneath the current directory/folder. So, at /travel/india/2000/11/ I see all postings in /travel/india, /travel/india/mumbai, and so forth, restricted to postings made in November 2000.

    Co-author your Blosxom blog

    And it goes without saying that you can share or co-author a Blosxom installation, whether each of you takes on a particular piece of a group hierarchy (you take /computers, I'll take /society) or each of you has your own personal blog (I'm /sam, you're /mira). Or a combination thereof: /sam writes about /sam/society and /sam/cooking, while /mira writes about /mira/computers and /mira/travel, and both write about the /internet.

    Sharing a single Blosxom install amongst multiple webloggers is as simple as creating a folder for each person.

    Reference individual blog posts

    You can also reference a particular blog post using its full path and file name. Replace the .txt file extension with your preferred flavour and your entry will appear in the appropriate flavour template. Here's that bruschetta recipe (bruscetta.txt) I mentioned a while back in /cooking/italian:
    And, of course, my bathroom remodeling experiences:

    click here to fiddle with flavour templates...