Please help me have comments on my Blosxom blog
April 26, 2011 11:18 PM   Subscribe

You: Someone who knows how to set up a blog _with comments_ using Blosxom. Me: Apparently, a blithering idiot. Help! I wanted to set up a very simple blog for updates for my web page. The blog software my webhost offers is "Blosxom". The blog is fine, but I want comments, and I'm totally failing to manage this with the Blosxom plug-ins.

I have the blog up and running, but I am totally, utterly, failing to understand how to set up the plug-in. I'm trying to use "writeback", but I can't figure out how to set things up so things like the comment entry form are properly accessible from the blog entry posts. if anyone, anywhere, could just give me some sample files to use to have comments on a Blosxom blog, I'd be eternally grateful.

Or, if there's a better solution that you could describe to someone who _is not a Perl person_ and apparently _is an idiot_, that whould be great.
posted by LadyOscar to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm assuming you have, but I just wanted to check that you've had a look at the Bloxsom plugin page

Apologies if the following is patronising, and I know it's not really answering the question.

I literally have no idea how to help, unfortunately. I'm not a perl person, and I've never used Bloxsom before. From briefly browsing their site, it does sound like it's not the most user-friendly configuration process.

Is there a particular reason you want to stick with Bloxsom? There seem to be plenty of competent blogging systems in every language.

Your comment history (creepy, I know) mentioned Python as a language of preference. There at least seems to be a Python port of Bloxsom, though setting up comments doesn't sound that straightforward either.

Good luck, and I hope you receive a more useful answer soon!

If you have no preference, and your webhost supports PHP (highly likely), I'd at least try Wordpress as an alternative. That has a very friendly plugin installation process. If it's configured correctly, it can be one-click plugin installation, and comments come pre-enabled.
posted by Magnakai at 3:36 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Apologies, I had this in a tab, but forgot to actually include it in the answer.

This person goes through a list of plugins, and says a little about how he sets up his Bloxsom blog.
posted by Magnakai at 3:38 AM on April 27, 2011

Agree with Magnakai on trying another open source software option such as WordPress, Blosxom doesn't seem to have been updated in a long time.
posted by humph at 3:39 AM on April 27, 2011

Failing an ancient Blosxom plugin, you could add Disqus to your theme.
posted by mkb at 4:02 AM on April 27, 2011

I run several Blosxom blogs. I could never get the commenting plugins out there to work right. I've figured for a while that if I ever wanted to add comments to my site(s), I'd go with Disqus. So ditto that.
posted by limeonaire at 5:30 AM on April 27, 2011

Also, there's a Blosxom users' list you can subscribe to that you might try posting your query to. People do still interact on the list and answer questions pretty regularly.
posted by limeonaire at 5:33 AM on April 27, 2011

Also, while the Unofficial Blosxom User Group seems to be pretty much down right now, you can reach the archives here. I would check out some of the commenting plugins it has/had listed in its multiple plugin registries—some of that stuff, you definitely couldn't find anywhere else. The commenting thing has definitely been addressed a few times on that site's blog, so you might click back through that, too. I never could get the commenting systems mentioned in the blog to work, but who knows, maybe you'll be able to!

Alternately, if you decide not to go with Blosxom, but don't want to deal with databases, etc., the search term you might want to use to find something similar is "flat-files CMS." I searched for "flat-files Wordpress" just now to see if there were such a thing, and apparently there is something called FlatPress; here are some more resources along those lines.
posted by limeonaire at 5:41 AM on April 27, 2011

OK, one more thing: If it helps for troubleshooting, a lot of the trick with getting plugins to work is first having the correct settings within the file (correct file path if it needs it, etc.), then having the correct permissions set on the file on the server (you can usually do this through the FTP program you're using to upload it), then making sure the code that calls the plugin is placed in the right portion of your template.

One of the problems I had with writeback and similar plugins is that my Web host is pretty locked down, so while I could set what should've been the correct permissions for various commenting plugins, they often weren't able to operate under the right username on my server to have write access. And then other commenting plugins required me to set permissions to 777 in order to have write access, which I wasn't about to do. If your server doesn't have these issues, Pollxn is probably the best Blosxom commenting system out there. I'd be using it if I could!
posted by limeonaire at 7:32 AM on April 27, 2011

Oh yeah—the other good stand-alone commenting system I tried, albeit one that requires PHP and MySQL, was TalkBack. It's not a Blosxom plugin, but it's good, if you're willing to go through all the setup.
posted by limeonaire at 7:39 AM on April 27, 2011

The reason I'm using Blosxom is that I don't have access to MySQL through my web hosting service unless I want to upgrade my account and pay twice as much.
posted by LadyOscar at 1:17 PM on April 27, 2011

Oh, and no PHP, either.
posted by LadyOscar at 1:18 PM on April 27, 2011

I would suggest trying Pollxn, then; it's CGI/Perl-based, just like Blosxom, and is designed to work with Blosxom.
posted by limeonaire at 5:18 PM on April 27, 2011

You can't use Disqus? Then you don't have to worry about managing any of this junk yourself.
posted by chunking express at 6:53 AM on April 28, 2011

If I'm understanding Disqus correctly, it's more a service than just a piece of software? I'm reluctant to do anything that makes the past history of my site dependent on some company that may change or go away. It also seems like serious overkill--I'm not trying to "build a community", I just want a way for people to comment about my updates if they're too lazy to send me email.
posted by LadyOscar at 3:11 PM on April 28, 2011

I know what you mean about Disqus; that's why I haven't used it yet, either. I would again suggest seeing if you can get Pollxn to work on your server.
posted by limeonaire at 4:28 PM on May 14, 2011

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