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Library calls

The publ library provides the following functions:

  • publ(name, cfg): Creates a Publ application object.

    name is the internal name for the application; this is more or less arbitrary although it’s useful if you’re setting up multiple Publ applications for some reason (Note: multiple Publ apps are not currently supported). Generally you just pass in __name__ for this.

    cfg is the configuration options for Publ; it is a dictionary which holds the following values:

    • database_config: The parameters sent to PonyORM’s db.bind() method. Defaults to an in-memory sqlite database.

    • content_folder: The directory which contains the root of your site’s content files. Defaults to content

    • template_folder: The directory which contains the root of your site’s template files. Defaults to templates

    • static_folder: The directory which contains the root of your site’s static files. Defaults to static

    • static_url_path: The root path that browsers will be directed to for static content files. Defaults to /static. If you want to use a separate CDN/image server/etc., you would configure this to be the URL that would correspond to your static asset directory for the public.

      Note that your image server will need a separate route into your static content files, be it through network file storage of some sort or through a separate webserver that maps this content directory or the like.

    • image_output_subdir: The subdirectory of static_folder that will be used to store the image rendition cache. Defaults to _img.

      Be careful not to set this to a directory you want to store static files in, as they risk being deleted.

    • index_rescan_interval: How frequently Publ should do a maintenance rescan of the content files. Defaults to 7200 (2 hours); set to 0 or None to disable.

    • timezone: The timezone to use for dates with no specified time zone. Defaults to the server’s local timezone.

    • cache: A dictionary with the caching configuration; see the Flask-Caching documentation for more information. Defaults to {} (i.e. no caching).

    Returns an application object.

Application object

A Publ application object is an extension of a Flask application object; you can do all the same things to it as you could to a Flask object, although it’s a good idea to not modify any of the configuration values that Publ expects to see.

This mostly exists to provide the @path_alias_regex decorator and its related add_path_regex function; here is an example from my site, used to remap legacy URLs (like /d/20060606.php) to newer URLs (like /comics/?date=20060606):

app = publ.publ(__name__, {})

def redirect_date(match):
    return flask.url_for('category', category='comics',, True

The path alias function takes a re.match object and returns a tuple of (url, is_permanent). This function can also make use of the various Flask request context things (e.g. request.args) and if it doesn’t want to redirect after all it can return (None,None).


This is the that configures It configures basic logging, sets the in-process cache to store up to 500 items for up to 300 seconds, and only does a maintenance rescan once per day. It also maps a bunch of legacy URLs as well as forwarding ActivityPub requests to’s handler.

""" Main Publ application """

import os
import logging
import logging.handlers

import publ
import flask

if os.path.isfile('logging.conf'):
    if not os.path.isdir('logs'):
                                'logs/publ.log', when='D'),
                        format="%(levelname)s:%(threadName)s:%(name)s:%(message)s")"Setting up")

APP_PATH = os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__))

config = {
    'database_config': {
        'provider': 'sqlite',
        'filename': os.path.join(APP_PATH, 'index.db')
    'timezone': 'US/Pacific',
    'cache': {
        'CACHE_TYPE': 'simple',
        'CACHE_THRESHOLD': 500
    } if not os.environ.get('FLASK_DEBUG') else {},
    'index_rescan_interval': 86400

app = publ.publ(__name__, config)

def favicon():
    return flask.redirect(flask.url_for('static', filename='favicon.ico'))

def redirect_date(match):
    ''' legacy comic url '''
    return flask.url_for('category', category='comics',, True

def redirect_blog_entry(match):
    ''' missing blog entry -- put up the apology page '''
    return flask.url_for('entry', entry_id=7821), False

def redirect_bridgy(match):
    ''' support ActivityPub via '''
    return '' + flask.request.full_path, False

if __name__ == "__main__":'PORT', 5000))