As always, you can read more about blog engine I am using at: s9y.org. It is written in PHP, uses SMARTY, and works with MySQL and PostgreSQL, provides OOP-plugin API and is translated into 26 languages, with native encoding and utf8 support. s9y is written by Garvin Hicking and is licenced under BSD licence. I am very satisfied with it, even if there are times, when I say: Hm, I should develop my own blog. Yeah, right 😉
What I like so much about it, is that it has really good coding conventions, nice file and logic structure. It also has SPARTACUS (Serendipity Plugin And Repository Tool Access Customization/Unification System). It is one plugin the rules them all 😀 SPARTACUS is something with which you can check which plugins are available, what they do, install them, uninstall the ones that you don’t like. And all this from your administration panel, and without opening other sites or starting FTP client. IMHO this is the way all plugin systems should work. s9y has themes (different templates which you can use to change the look of your blog), about 120 plugins available and much more. There are templates which are table based and ones that hold on DIVs, plugins that use ajax, and ones that utilize only the proven concepts. It is up to you to choose what to use. It is very secure project – and its high security threads are very little and usually related to flaws in PHP, PEAR or other 3rd party software.
Of course, if you want to dig into its code and change something the way you want it to be – there are tutorials and documentations available. Even without them, it should be easy to do simple tasks. And, you can always take a look at some plugin and tweak it, so that it suits your need.
One of things that is really important when we talk about open source projects is community. s9y has big and growing community of users and contributors. So, if you have some question or problem, go to s9y forums and check if the answer is already there (it usually is, just use search).
Few days ago, I decided to add one nice feature to my blog. I wanted my comment to stand out from comments of others. I googled a little, just to find out that the competition has plugin (actually, it is more a hack, than plugin) for the purpose. So, I checked with SPARTACUS if there is something similar in s9y. Hm, no. My next move are the forums. I asked there and in about 10 minutes I received an answer. s9y actually already has this builtin, no need for plugins. (hm, I should have first checked my s9y installation). So, what s9y does is this: names of the user with which I comment are: Robert Ivanov. So, when I create a comment, s9y adds class serendipity_comment_author_Robert-Ivanov to the comment div. All I had to do is to add such class in site CSS and I was ready to go. You can see the results in comments to this entry.
s9y installation is very easy, but if you don’t want to bother with it, you can check the supersized free s9y hosting. What else can you ask for?
Happy blogging 🙂