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As I write this, I am (still) in the middle of implementing the MacOS X Server blogging tools. I have used everything from TextEdit (formerly to blosxom and even LiveJournal and my own custom content management systems to manage content, so I am understandably nervous about using a system that, judicious reading of the blojsom and Apple’s Collaborative Services mailing lists will reveal, is confusingly crippled. However, I have reasonable confidence that a system based on blosxom could be expanded to meet my general needs, and that blosxom has atrophied enough that it no longer reasonably can do so.

So, what are the problems? You need to edit config files (all stored in /Library/Tomcat/blojsom_root/webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF) to delete blogs, and to enable the admin ‘flavor’, which lets you modify a few things that Apple doesn’t. The biggest problem is that you get four default themes, and they are all very Appleish. They also silently “lose” any posts beyond the page limit – they are still there, but you can’t follow the category summary back by page.

It doesn’t seem possible to install the standard blojsom ‘themes’ as alternatives; this may be because my knowledge is limited; Apple’s version appears to be limited to changing the css stylesheet. The Apple version doesn’t include the file, which effectively makes it impossible to configure plugins.

Some people recommend installing the latest release of blojsom alongside the Apple version, and using that – upgrading is not a feasible option, apparently.

To enable the admin flavor – for each user folder in the main config folder, edit to uncomment the line beginning ‘admin=’. The standard blojsom admin console is extremely hideous, with an ungainly UI.

Deleting a blog: edit, the line starting ‘blojsom-users=’.

Apple seem to have made the file vanish; which makes it impossible to enable extra plugins. Now, they may have moved it into some part of the Open Directory authentication – which I am investigating, but can’t see any traces so far.

Using the standard blojsom themes may not be so easy. So far, I have a couple of test blogs set up; these will disappear as I work out how to make new styles/themes work.

Here’s a little trick: there are several ways that you can make a blog the main page for a site. The best overall solution is to use Apache rewrite, but the second best is this. Create an index.html that uses your blog as a single embedded frame, like this:

<frameset cols="100%,*" border="0">
<frame src="" name="Meca">
<a href="" name="Meca">Meca Web Site</a>

You will only see the master URL in the browser window.

Another trick: uploading files. First, enable the admin console. Access it by appending ?flavor=admin to your blog’s URL. Look for Weblog Settings -> Files, and upload your file. You can access it with something like:

<img src="/blojsom_resources/meta/blogname/image.jpg">

The File Upload admin plugin is supposed to show you a link that you can copy to see the file, but I don’t see it.

To customise a ‘theme’, as Apple calls it. You can install the standard blojsom themes by flattening out the /Library/Tomcat/webapps/blojsom/WEB-INF/themes/themename/ folder from the current blojsom distribution, and putting the vm files into the /Library/Tomcat/blojsom_root/webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/templates/ directory, and the resources into /Library/Tomcat/blojsom_root/webapps/ROOT/blojsom_resources/meta/blogname/. You must edit the file in the blogs folder to set the html= line to your installed theme. I had to do some editing, as the BLOJSOM-SITE-URL was messed up in the default Apple install (or in the vm files, take your pick). On the whole, it is probably simpler to stick to revising the css stylesheet, which can be handled by editing the properties files.

One trick: I wanted to use see-me-more, which concept I am used to from blosxom. But if I added it onto the end of the html chain in, it ignores my preferred tag. This shows up in the post text, because it comes after the escape-tags filter. Just more the filter to before escape-tags, and all is happy again.

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