Toxic Elephant

Don't bury it in your back yard!

From Bryar to Typo

Posted by matijs 24/07/2005 at 18h26

As of yesterday, my blog runs on Typo. All in all, I have been quite satisfied with Bryar, but it was time for a change.

I like Bryar because it is simple (no frills, entries are stored as files), and yet easy to customize (to change the layout there's basically one template to update). In addition, it is written in Perl, a language that I like, and that I'm fluent in, so getting it to work the way I wanted was easy. So, I'm happy that I chose it a year ago.

A combination of events lead me to change over to Typo.

First, I became interested in the language Ruby, which is like Perl in many ways, but with some exciting features, nicely summed up in Wikipedia's article on the language.

Second, I was missing some advanced blogging features in Bryar, in particular trackbacks. Combined with my interest in Ruby, this caused me to start looking for blogging software written in Ruby. Eventually, this search lead me to Typo. Since I'm a hard core procrastinator, nothing much happened after I installed a test version.

Finally, last week, I discovered a problem with my Bryar setup that I wasn't prepared to fix: When selecting posts from a certain period (like 2004), Bryar will use the modification date of the file, not the posting date that is inside the file.

This discovery prompted a week of moulding Typo into how I wanted it to be: Its output had to look basically the same as my old blog, and all the old URLs had to still work, as I promised. All this after getting Rails to play nice with the rest of my site.

Yesterday I finally switched over. The change should hardly be visible (which is as it should be), except where it said Powered by Bryar! there is now typo powered. The difference is in the details: Among other things, Search is now Live Search (thanks to the wonders of AJAX), and of course there is trackback.

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