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Weblog System Features Compared 269

Posted by simoniker
from the immovable-weblog-object dept.
prostoalex writes "The question of the best weblogging system out there arises quite often, especially after the new licensing scheme introduced by MovableType. Here's a rather detailed breakdown of currently popular blogging and content management systems. Out of 11 software packages, 10 run on any server with variations of Perl/PHP and MySQL/PostgresSQL, and one requires Windows and .NET Framework. 4 are licensed under GPL, 3 are under BSD. Mark Pilgrim explains why licensing is suddenly important."
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Weblog System Features Compared

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  • Great site & Favs (Score:5, Informative)

    by netfool (623800) * on Monday May 24, 2004 @04:49PM (#9241524) Homepage
    Though it's aimed more at CMS's rather than blogs, it's definatley a great place to try out multiple CMS's before installing them.

    Check it out - OpenSourceCMS [opensourcecms.com]

    My current favorites:
    Mambo [mamboserver.com]
    Wordpress [wordpress.org]
    E107 [e107.org]
    and last but not least Geeklog [geeklog.net]
  • by ScurvyDawg (98220) * on Monday May 24, 2004 @04:50PM (#9241530) Homepage

    GeekLog [geeklog.net] is the best and most secure PHP CMS out there.
    On top of this it is easy to use and setup.

    How you missed GeekLog I will never know.
  • Site Mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by karmatic (776420) on Monday May 24, 2004 @04:56PM (#9241609)
    Although there aren't any big images, here is a mirror in case something should happen to the site:

    Mirror [t28.net].

    Persionally, I like Serendipity - the BSD License is about as permissive as you can get.
  • by Anthony Boyd (242971) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:00PM (#9241651) Homepage

    If you run a phpBB forum, you can grab my add-on phpBB Blog [outshine.com] to turn a forum into a blog. Also, I have a beta [outshine.com] available of the next release. I'd love input.

    Also, since this is the Open Source world where cooperation is welcomed, I thought I'd mention that phpBB Fetch All [sourceforge.net] is a blog system that I didn't know about when I made phpBB Blog. phpBB Fetch All is superior to my system, although it is also bigger and more complicated. But it sure looks good.

  • Where's e107? (Score:3, Informative)

    by bofkentucky (555107) <{bofkentucky} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:02PM (#9241674) Homepage Journal
    Easy to use/set-up, GPL license, and good (not perfect) XHTML strict compliance. Check it out [e107.org] if you have access to php/mysql
  • LiveJournal (Score:5, Informative)

    by lostchicken (226656) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:02PM (#9241680)
    The code that runs LiveJournal [livejournal.org] is open source. It's not that much of a pain to deploy, and when it's working, it's the most powerful I've seen. Many stand alone clients for posting, all kinds of things. Set one up, use it as your own weblog, host your friends' weblogs.
  • Re:Great site & Favs (Score:4, Informative)

    by millette (56354) <robin@miBALDWINllette.info minus author> on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:04PM (#9241698) Homepage Journal
    Also check out CMS Québec [cms-quebec.com], the Oscom matrix [oscom.org] and the CMS matrix [cmsmatrix.org] - mostly for CMSes, but blogs often fit that category too.
  • Re:LiveJournal (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:06PM (#9241714)
    LiveJournal is probably the easiest of all because it only takes 2 lines of code to get it embedded into your website.

    Everything else is taken care of by the LJ servers.

    And the interface is so much easier to use.
  • by Brent Nordquist (11533) <bjnord@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:07PM (#9241720) Homepage
    at The CMS Matrix [cmsmatrix.org]; you can pick up to 10 you want to compare.
  • WordPress.org (Score:2, Informative)

    by saxmatt (320581) <m&mullenweg,com> on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:09PM (#9241736) Homepage
    Sorry about the WordPress.org site guys, I'm doing my best to bring it up ASAP.
  • by DrJonesAC2 (652108) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:10PM (#9241744)
    .. so I wrote my own ;)
  • Good timing (Score:4, Informative)

    by image (13487) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:10PM (#9241745) Homepage
    Just this weekend I decided to move my own personal site [unto.net] over to a CMS/Blog system to make updating it even easier. I spent a while doing similar research, and ultimately ended up chosing Bloxsom [blosxom.com] as the right tool for my needs [unto.net]. It took me only 15 minutes to set everything up, and only a few more hours to write my first plug-in [unto.net]. Blosxom probably isn't the right tool for most applications, but for a personal site it met my needs precisely. In fact, I even migrated another site off of Moveable Type that same weekend.

    Again, I documented the (rather brief) decision making process here [unto.net].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:16PM (#9241800)
    It looks like Wordpress is the way to go except that it is quite tied to MySQL. I know that MySQL is popular, but for those of us who have already built our sites on Postgres, it is a bit of a pain to switch. Fortunately there are 10 others to choose from in that article; hopefully some of them will suport PG.

    ----------
    WAP porn [steamymobile.com]

  • by Doctor Crumb (737936) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:18PM (#9241818) Homepage
    Geeklog is great, but it is seriously lacking protection against comment spam. I've made a patch to require a delay [jess2.net] before submitting a comment. I would love to have some other protections as well, but haven't needed to code up blacklists or anything yet. One neat suggestion was to disallow anonymous comments that had more than 2 links in them.
  • slashdot's journal (Score:3, Informative)

    by cheese_wallet (88279) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:18PM (#9241820) Journal
    I don't use it myself, but it seems that slashot's journal is essentially a free blog.
  • Re:Great site & Favs (Score:3, Informative)

    by an_mo (175299) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:22PM (#9241855) Journal
    shameless plug of my favorite one:
    xaraya [xaraya.com]
  • by cheese_wallet (88279) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:23PM (#9241867) Journal
    Actually I thought I would give the journal a try. have a look [slashdot.org] if you are bored.
  • by Gumber (17306) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:24PM (#9241877) Homepage
    With a decent blogging tool I can post a link to a page with a text excerpt and some brief commentary with minimal effort:

    1. Select text
    2. Click blogging bookmarklet.
    3. Add any comments
    4. Click the post button

    I can't do that with notepad. Of course, I can do it with free software.

    Other things that take more work with notepad.
    1. Cycling stuff off my front page.
    2. Creating archive pages.
    3. Creating navigation by topic
    4. Keeping a consistent template for all my blog pages
    5. Syndicating blog content in RSS and/or other formats.
  • by ScurvyDawg (98220) * on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:29PM (#9241917) Homepage
    There are a number of ways you can deal with the comment spam. The simplest is change the word comment to something else in your language file. This makes it tough for robots to find you. Another is to install the IP Ban hack by the fellow from Pigstye.

    I don't see a few comments as a serious issue when they are easily dealt with.

    Within your config.php there is already the ability to have a speedlimit for comments, so I don't know why you would make a hack for it.
  • Pivot (Score:4, Informative)

    by verloren (523497) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:30PM (#9241926)
    Switched from Blogger to Pivot last week, and so far it's working well. The key attractions for me were greater control and the minimal server requirements (PHP is about it). It works great, there are some really nice touches in there, and it's being actively developed.

    Cheers, Paul
  • Perfect Timing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Salamander (33735) <jeffNO@SPAMpl.atyp.us> on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:32PM (#9241946) Homepage Journal

    Wouldn't you know it? I just spent much of the weekend converting my site from my own homegrown weblog codebase to pMachine. Here's the new version [pl.atyp.us] (with an entry about the change), and the old version [pl.atyp.us] for comparison. According to the table, b2evolution and WordPress would be equally good fits, perhaps even slightly better because they support assigning an entry to multiple categories like my old code but unlike pMachine Free, but when I tried them all out at opensourceCMS [opensourcecms.com] that really wasn't the case. I strongly recommend that you check out candidates there, because a lot of the small things make a difference. Here are some examples:

    • What kinds of markup is allowed in posts? In comments? Is it plain HTML, or a stripped-down square-bracketed subset like bbCode, or both, or neither? Which are you comfortable with? How about your users who leave comments? If it's real HTML, how are various cross-site scripting and other exploits prevented?
    • Are commenters allowed to register so they can have persistent profiles? Are they forced to register? Either/or?
    • Does the post entry format allow things like saving drafts, posting to the future, setting expiration dates?
    • Does the system have things like time offsets (between where you are and where your site is hosted)? Are the paths that it uses configurable, so you can make it work with different directory structures? How "tunable" are things in general? This can be a huge headache if you get halfway into your transition and you find something that just won't work properly in your environment without hacking the code.
    • Do you really like the way the templating system works? You really won't know until you try some customization, so fiddle a bit with the layout. Move stuff around, add links to other parts of your site, etc.
    • If you're converting from another system, are there automatic conversion tools? How well do they really work? Again, you have to try to see, and not just on opensourcecms either. If there are no converters, how hard would it be to write one? Does the database schema (and/or file layout) make sense to you? Is it similar conceptually to what you have now? Does it require complex relationships between tables/fields that would be hard to maintain as you suck in your old content? Is there any information in your old content that there's no place for?

    These sorts of things, none of which are covered in a mere checklist, really matter when you actually take the plunge. Trying stuff out on opensourcecms is a great first step, but then you should actually download the real thing and really try to run a test version of your own site on it for at least an hour or so, to see if you can truly tweak it to your liking. Only then will you be able to make a decision that will really satisfy you.

  • Re:LiveJournal (Score:3, Informative)

    by lostchicken (226656) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:36PM (#9241983)
    Yes, you can use the LJ servers, but what I did was actually be the LJ servers. My weblog runs the same software as they do, but I'm not tied to them in any way. Yes, it's total overkill, but I'm crazy like that.
  • by chrysalis (50680) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:37PM (#9241996) Homepage
    The most popular weblog site in french is Skyblog [skyblog.com] .

    It has almost no feature listed in this article. People can just write text, and add an optional picture to every text. The comment system is also extremely basic, with even no threading support.

    So why is it so popular, moreover there are plenty of featureful competitors?

    Probably because it's minimal, so it's trivial to understand. Weblogs are for people who don't want to learn anything, just publish.

    And even Blogger is way too complicated for the average user IMHO.

    Also, with a weblog, you just write the text and some script will automagically create the code. So why not make the weblogs produce correct, accessible documents ?

    The usual complain of web site designers when you talk them about accessibility is "oh, well... too complicated to implement, I prefer Dreamweaver-made HTML".

    With a weblog engine, once templates are properly designed, making the documents accessibles to blind users could be trivial. This is, IMHO, the main point of weblogs, CMS, etc.

    But out of every weblog software compared in this document, I can see only once that produces accessible, XHTML-conformant pages : bBlog.

    Why? Useless features are fun, but it would be nice to also focus on what a weblog could really bring over traditional sites.
  • by kbahey (102895) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:40PM (#9242028) Homepage
    Drupal is great of course, but it is not only a weblog.

    It is a full fledged CMS application. It is also an extensible framework for web applications as well (someone wrote an e-commerce package for it).

    Labelling it as a weblog system is too restrictive, though it handles that part pretty well too.
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:50PM (#9242127) Homepage Journal


    Not that it's expressly a weblog system... it's frequently used as such, though.


    I just wanted to drop in a slam on phpNuke because of all the security problems I've had with it. The modules created by third-parties frequently haven't had rigorous security testing and are prone to exploits. If you want to increase your chances of your server being hacked, publish using phpNuke and a few modules. The brazillian script kiddies rabidly chase servers running phpNuke everytime a new exploit is found.
  • Re:Scoop? Slashcode? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@@@jasonlefkowitz...net> on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:53PM (#9242161) Homepage

    They're not considered because for personal blogs they are probably more trouble than they're worth. I manage The Oceana Network [oceana.org], a group blog on global efforts to defend the oceans, for my employer, Oceana [oceana.org]. (Disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are mine alone and not those of Oceana, yadda yadda.) The Network is based on Scoop [kuro5hin.org].

    For a blog like ours, that handles posts from a large group of authors and that needs to be able to support very long discussions, Scoop is fantastic. Give it an inexpensive Linux/BSD box all to itself and it is a very, very nice and flexible online community platform.

    However, if you fit the profile of the typical single-author blog author, installing Scoop probably isn't for you. It's a tricky process, requiring "now edit your httpd.conf"-type steps that are just not realistic to expect from someone on a virtual hosting setup. (Not to say that it can't be done -- just that it's not realistic to expect many people to do it.)

    And Scoop's primary benefit -- its very nice moderated comment system -- is wasted on a personal blog, where no post will ever get more than a few comments. (I know that ours doesn't have that many yet either, but we've only been up and running for a couple of weeks... give us time :-) )

    For those users, MT, WordPress, etc. are much better solutions -- easier installs, and just enough features to be useful without overcomplicating things.

    If your blogging ambitions are grander than a simple personal site, though, Scoop is great -- definitely check it out if you haven't already.

  • Re:my own? (Score:2, Informative)

    by gravygraphics (548287) on Monday May 24, 2004 @05:57PM (#9242193)
    See blosxom... Same thing. Edit a text file and it is "published."
  • by gludington (101178) on Monday May 24, 2004 @06:07PM (#9242262)

    I've been looking for a piece of blogging software that doesn't require a SQL server. I've been using MovableType, storing its data in a BerkleyDB file. However, I'd like to move away from MovableType (for licensing issues, as well as usability issues)

    Bloxsom [blosxom.com] and Blojsom [sourceforge.net] both use the filesystem to store blog entries, and require no database.

  • Re:my own? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TwinkieStix (571736) on Monday May 24, 2004 @06:15PM (#9242329) Homepage
    Simply put, it's more organized. It's got categories, user permissions, a web editing interface, RSS feeds, and a search engine. The search engine alone is enough when you have hundreds of entries or more and you don't want a GIANT bandwidth sucking page or you don't know the order of the words or phrases you are searching for.
  • snipsnap (Score:3, Informative)

    by bblfish (683646) on Monday May 24, 2004 @06:19PM (#9242352) Homepage
    They are missing SnipSnap, an fantastically easy to install java GPLd blog/wiki server. Try it out at snipsnap.org [snipsnap.org].
  • Re:GPL misconception (Score:4, Informative)

    by exhilaration (587191) on Monday May 24, 2004 @06:26PM (#9242412)
    What the guy above is trying to say is that you can't RETROACTIVELY change the license to GPL'ed software. If version 1.0 was GPL, you can make version 2.0 non-GPL. But anybody can take version 1.0 and continue working on it, forking it into a new product, and there's nothing you can do about it. That's because the license to 1.0 can never be changed - that "permanence" is in the GPL.
  • Re:Perfect Timing (Score:2, Informative)

    by darrylo (97569) on Monday May 24, 2004 @06:34PM (#9242496)

    Also note that a new version of WordPress was just released over the weekend [wordpress.org]. This version is much nicer than the old version, which is probably what was previewable on opensourcecms.

    Check it out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 24, 2004 @06:39PM (#9242535)
    There's some value-add that is closed source (LiveJournal.com has to make some money) but the majority of stuff is there. I can't really think of anything major that isn't part of the GPL-licenced distribution.

    There are a few missing S2 layouts and some of the more obscure community features (LiveJournal Singles, for example) aren't included. All the webloggy-stuff is in there.

    It won't run under mod_perl 2.0 right now because they changed some of the interfaces, but that will probably be addressed at some point.
  • by MCRocker (461060) on Monday May 24, 2004 @07:07PM (#9242724) Homepage
    They are missing SnipSnap, an fantastically easy to install java GPLd blog/wiki server. Try it out at snipsnap.org.


    While you're plugging Java based blogging software, don't forget the Roller Weblogger [rollerweblogger.org], which runs JRoller [jroller.com] and, since the article includes blosxom [blosxom.com], people should also be aware of blojsom [blojsom.com], which is a Java based clone of blosxom. Naturally, there are others out there too.

    P.S. Since the original post didn't provide a direct link, here's one for the home page of SnipSnap [snipsnap.org].
  • Re:Great site & Favs (Score:3, Informative)

    by smack_attack (171144) on Monday May 24, 2004 @07:13PM (#9242775) Homepage
    I've survived massive Fark traffic on my wordpress site. Then again, we also tweak MySQL where I work because the defaults are pretty retarded.
  • Re:my own? (Score:4, Informative)

    by AJWM (19027) on Monday May 24, 2004 @10:22PM (#9243943) Homepage
    Seriously, have any other /.'ers created their own system?

    Yeah, twenty years ago, in C [sf.net]. Some of the original [conferencing.co.uk] sites [mix.ne.jp] have updated the software a bit, but the "classic" software is still in use. [nlzero.com] (I have done some work [webcosy.com] on modernizing the technology, but that got put on the back burner -- I may start it up again.)

    (Some might argue that CoSy wasn't really blogging software. Well, aside from the obvious agreement that the web didn't exist then, so by definition it couldn't have been, there were several Big Names who used Byte Magazine's site (BIX) as just such -- Jerry Pournelle, for example.)
  • Re:Where's e107? (Score:3, Informative)

    by eyeye (653962) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @12:39AM (#9244587) Homepage Journal
    You either are compliant with XHTML strict or you aren't, you cant be a bit compliant with it.

    It doesnt validate, and it's not just comments that fail validation (which I could half understand) but the actual page structure in places.

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