I released some of my site templates; hopefully this will be helpful to others.
This server is now running Publ v0.1.21, which I believe will be the final beta version; all of the release blockers have been taken care of. And as a bonus I also implemented the ability to include template fragments, which allows templates' content to change formatting based on the category of the formatted entries. This is particularly useful on Atom feeds, where you might want to have different entry formats for each category. I’m already using it on busybee, to provide full-content feeds in ways that make sense for the different site sections.
I will play with this for a few days and if I’m happy with it I’ll be releasing v0.2.0, which will be the first beta release. In the meantime I’ll also look into packaging up busybee’s templates for other people to use as a starting point, because I know that setting up a new site right now can be incredibly overwhelming!
The amount of stuff I’m having to fix in Publ to support beesbuzz.biz is diminishing rapidly! Here’s what’s happened since 0.1.18:
- Improved the Path-Alias redirection logic; now it will do a
301 Permanently Movedfor inbound
Path-Aliased requests, and if a
Path-Aliaspoints to an entry with a
Redirect-Toit will redirect directly to that URL instead (and it will be a 302, same as the old
- Pagination can now be weekly; you can use
entry.archive(paging='week'), and a
?date=view parameter ending in
_wwill provide a weekly view instead.
- Better default formatting for
view.range, and an addition of a
weekformat parameter there
So aside from the Dreamhost issues, I would like to share what’s new in the latest version as part of my big “get my website online” push:
- PERFORMANCE: Improved the threading mechanisms around image renditions for better stability and performance
- BUGFIX: Made markup tagging work consistently between image types
view.link()now allows overriding
- FEATURE: You can now mark an entry with an
GONE, which results in a 410 error instead of a 404 (be the envy of your web-developer nerd friends!)
- FEATURE: Error templates will automatically use the x00 error code as a potential fallback (e.g. error code 503 will also fall back to a template for 500)
- FEATURE: Entry titles can now have Markdown in them, and it usually works most of the time!
- BUGFIX: Now when running in debug mode you don’t end up with two watchdog threads
- FEATURE/QUALITY: Refactored the way error pages are handled, and now if you get a 404-type error on a page while the index is being asynchronously scanned, it’ll turn into a 503 with a
Retry-Afterdisposition in case it’s just something that hasn’t been indexed yet
- UX: View pagination URLs now all use
idas the query parameter rather than a miasma of contextually-dependent
firstwhich made no sense anyway
One of the overarching reasons I decided to build Publ the way I did was in order to take advantage of Dreamhost’s support for Passenger WSGI. I was expecting that to be the primary means of hosting my main site (which is way too big for a Heroku instance) and given how smoothly things were working with this site on Dreamhost I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal.
However, there was a huge monkey wrench thrown into things when I switched my site’s configuration over to Passenger; despite all of my configuration being exactly the same between publ.beesbuzz.biz and beesbuzz.biz, the rendition cache on beesbuzz.biz was getting its permissions set wrong, and there was some rather weird behavior with how it was making the temporary files to begin with.
In investigating this I attempted to upgrade my packages on publ.beesbuzz.biz, and all h*ck broke loose.
Oh, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted an update, hasn’t it? That’s
because I’ve been very busy building the templates for my personal site! In
doing so I’ve greatly improved the way that view refinements worked, fixed a few
silly bugs with image search paths on templates, and also added an easier way to
specify background images in CSS, via the
I’m really excited to be able to bring my first fully-realized Publ site to the public; I hope it gets other people interested in what a flexible publishing system allows them to do!
Today I added two new useful features:
These things are already making my new personal site look way better and easier to use! I feel like I’m almost ready to flip the switch.
Oh, and I also improved the getting started guide, including adding basic setup instructions for Linux and Windows. Not that I’ve gotten Publ to run on Windows, yet, but documenting how to get the environment set up is the first step, right?
There’s an old joke in programming, that the two hardest things to do are naming things, cache invalidation, and off-by-one errors. But this doesn’t pay sufficient respect to one of the other hardest things, namely handling date and time.
Today I got two major bits of functionality in: Publ will now asynchronously scan the content index (which speeds up startup and fixes some annoying race conditions with entry creation), and it also asynchronously generates image renditions (which makes pages not take forever to load on first render, and will also use multiple CPU cores if available). Seems to work well so far.
I was running into scaling problems with beesbuzz.biz (what with there being a couple thousand entries and some pages with hundreds of images on it) and this keeps it feeling pretty good.
So, this brings us up to version 0.1.14.
Two major updates for v0.1.13:
- Rewrote the pagination logic to actually work across category-recursive views, and to support pagination where the sort order isn’t necessarily the same between renders
- Refactored images so that the template
image()function has access to the tag writer
These changes were made as part of migrating beesbuzz.biz over to Publ, which I’ve made a lot of progress on now. It’s pretty nice getting my overall design proven out, and to shake out all the little bugs and misfeatures.
Hopefully soon I’ll have Publ in a state where I feel comfortable releasing it as beta.
I just released v0.1.12 which adds a couple of quick, minor-ish fixes to Unicode handling; in particular:
- UTF-8-containing headers no longer get MIME-mangled on first import
- I finally made the automatic slug text way better by switching to awesome-slugify
So, now it’s no longer US-English-centric, at least. Right now it just uses the defaults; at some point I’ll want to make it so that you can configure a site’s or entry’s language locale so that things work better on that end too.
I have now implemented the basic OpenGraph API to Publ, so now a template can generate an OpenGraph card with
So in theory when this entry gets autoposted to Twitter, this first paragraph should appear, as should the below image:
Anyway that’s what’s new in v0.1.11 (as well as a bunch of internal refactoring to support this addition).
If you are reading this, it means that Publ v0.1.10 is out. This release is mostly about a few cleanups, such as:
- No longer nests a
<div>for an image gallery inside of a containing
<p>(which both fixes an HTML validation error and makes styling more controllable)
- Cleans up error handling somewhat
- Also cleans up a bunch of code for property caching
But there’s also a new feature, namely
view.range, which you can read about over in the API docs.
I am also making significant progress in porting my main website over to Publ and hopefully I’ll have something to show for it soon. (And I promise it looks way nicer than this site!)
I’ve had people ask me why I’m not building Publ using PHP. While much has been written on this subject from a standpoint of what’s wrong with the language (and with which I agree quite a lot!), that isn’t, to me, the core of the problem with PHP on the web.
So, I want to talk a bit about some of the more fundamental issues with PHP, which actually goes back well before PHP even existed and is intractibly linked with the way PHP applications themselves are installed and run.
(I will be glossing over a lot of details here.)
So, note to self: library version pinning is a good idea. I should also learn how to properly manage my library version dependencies.
Not a lot to say, just that
all my intended image rendition functions work now (historical note: this entry was back when the Publ site included the test suite, which is no longer the case).
I really need to stop dragging my feet on migrating beesbuzz.biz over, because there is absolutely no excuse now.
Anyway, this ups the Publ version to 0.1.5. Have fun.
I’ve released version 0.1.4 of Publ, which makes the following major changes:
limithas been changed to
countin the API (for more consistency and clarity)
- Similarly, on image sets,
- More template functions now support positional (rather than keyword) parameters; this has yet to be documented however
And on this site I’ve split out the manual to put the various template object APIs into their own category, although the organization of the documentation is still h*ckin' messy.
Converting Publ into a pip-installable library ended up making the Heroku deployment really easy. While the main site is running on Dreamhost, there is an instance on Heroku as well, which seems to be running reliably (although if it gets hammered with activity I assume Heroku will shut it down until I start actually paying them money).
There’s a few pluses and minuses to Heroku compared to traditional hosting on a persistent server (such as Dreamhost).
I finally separated out Publ-the-library from the main Publ website files, and released v0.1.0 on PyPI, making this the first time I’ve released anything there. Woo!