Reading blogs is a good way to keep track of what is happening on the Web. But I haven't got round to start writing one for myself. So deciding that this must change, I had to look how to run a blog.
Already having a web site and doing the design and programming, I didn't want to use a hosted blogging service. So I started to look around for software I could use.
Some of the requirements for me were:
- Easy to use
- Is and uses open source software
- Built with PHP, because I know a little bit about it
- Use MySQL, because that is what my webhost supports
- Support web standards
- Easy to extend and modify
After some (shallow) research I came up with the following shortlist:
Wordpress is an obvious candidate and it seems like everybody is using it. But it uses old style PHP programming techniques, so it won't brake plugins and you are still is abled to run it on outdated PHP versions. More specifically it relies on "register globals". This is disabled by default in current versions of PHP for good reasons. Being backward compatible is of course a sensible thing to do for the Wordpress developers. But in this case I rather like to use new technology.
Serendipity and PivotX looked promising, but both use the Smarty template engine. I don't like Smarty and I am not the only one. The most important reason for me is that it always feels like you are using a template engine that tries to recreate PHP inside PHP.
Habari is a new kid on the block, to me at least. The interface is very clean. Actually to clean for me at first. It made me wonder if it was really that powerful. Luckily there were some screencasts for Habari to explain how it works. Watching the screencasts actually made me decide to start using Habari. So here I am.
Next step will be customising the design and maybe even start writing some plugins.