Textile for Habari

I’m quite happy to see a new Habari user, Dylan, over at Trifold Design, has created a Textile plugin for Habari. I too use many of the same tools Dylan does, and find myself using that markup more and more, even in email and on IRC (though, embarrassingly I didn’t realize it was actually Textile).

I haven’t actually tested the plugin yet, though it did install fine, and it’s a .5 release, so I assume the author has vetted it himself.

Also, welcome to the community Dylan, it’s always great to see new people join in.

For those that are looking for other markup plugins, you might look at Matt Read’s Markdown plugin as well.

mzingi .2

A bit later than I thought it would be, but I’ve updated Mzingi to reflect quite a few changes in Habari’s code. Among the changes and additions for .2 are:

  • added header and footer hooks for plugins
  • added post status class, to allow for styling drafts differently than published posts
  • added a 404 template, including a search box on that page
  • updated the pagination code and styling on home.php and other multiple entry pages
  • added the pingback filtering on comments. Though a plugin, I’m assuming most people will use this feature
  • added recent posts to sidebar. This code will reflect which page you are on, and show the next five. Meaning, if you are on page/2, it will show you the posts of page/3.
  • added comment moderation code. Visitors who’s comments go into moderation will see their comment marked in moderation

Now to make these changes on this design (though I plan on a complete overhaul before the end of the year, so it might wait). That said, I’m looking forward to feedback, and possibly seeing this go into the default download as another optional theme as has been suggested to me. I’ll leave that to others to decide, but I’m certainly not against the idea one bit.

Please visit the Mzingi home page for the download link.

Harvest Field – A New Habari Theme

Update: New versions now available. See bottom of post for details.

Wanting to work on mzingi, I found myself a little unmotivated, so instead, I thought, maybe I can find an open source design to port to Habari, and that would get me motivated to look at the underlying code. So off I went, googling, and browsing the many repositories of open source designs, looking for something I might want to use on a personal site, and would be a nice (albeit one of few currently) available themes for Habari. I stumbled upon styleshout, and their numerous, well done themes. Ideally, I’d liked to have found one that hadn’t been ported to other platforms, but Harvest Field so caught my eye, I couldn’t help but choose it.
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Habari 0.3 released

After roughly 3 months, the new developer release of Habari is now available for download. I just saw the 0.2 release was downloaded nearly 11,000 times, which I personally think is great, I’d hope to see double that for the .3 release.

This release has many bug fixes and features added, for both the coder and user. Personally, I contributed a fair amount of work on documentation, including my continued work on the manual, as well as getting my coding hands dirty a bit working on the first steps to overhaul the admin interface.

Participating in this community has been one of the few bright spots in my otherwise gloomy year, and I’d like to personally thank all of those who participate. I’ve also expanded my “tech” knowledge, specifically in relation to using more of the CLI and subversion. I actually managed to move a repository the other night from my local machine to a new repository on my Media Temple server that they provide. I’ve now even ventured into using macports to set up my old laptop to be a better mobile development environment, as MAMP for Panther doesn’t support PHP 5.2 (but that’s for a future post).

Suffice to say, I’m looking forward to the Habari community growing, and great things to come. Even if you aren’t ready to switch blog platforms, I’d highly suggest downloading and checking it out, and by all means, keep abreast of development. It’s a fun and inviting community, with a lot of excitement for what it’s future holds.

Also stay tuned for a soon to be updated version of Mzingimy Habari theme framework, to leverage some of the new features available to themes.


updated: New versions available. See bottom of post for details.

Mzingi development will no longer done on Bloggingmeta, as it’s now included in Habari’s core theme directory. Any bugs, comments, or suggestions should be pointed to Trac

I have had the idea for a foundation type theme for Habari since I first started working with the platform earlier in the year. After spending time converting k2 to the design for this site, as well as for my cooking site, I knew that if I wanted to continue working on Habari theme design, I would need something else to work off of. No offense at all intended for the developers and users of k2, I have extreme respect for what it has achieved, I simply feel that it’s conversion to Habari was a difficult task, considering the advanced features in k2, vs being adapted to Habari at such an early stage. Andrew (aka freakrz), has done great work in advancing k2 to catch up to where the rest of Habari development is, however, I still felt I wanted my own framework to work off of.

screenshotThat said, I took the initial work I had done here on Blogging Meta, and started working on a purely CSS based theme, that could be used out of the box, as well as be flexible enough to be used as a framework. I still have a long way to go in the design world, but trying to use all of the reading I’ve done, I think the markup is fairly semantic, HTML strict, and though the CSS validator chokes on the YUI font CSS, it should be valid CSS as well. I quite like the simple percentage based font sizing of the YUI CSS, as well as the built in font family cascading. Again, still plenty to learn in this direction, and perhaps at some point I’ll drop it, but it’s a good building block (perhaps after getting some time to mature, as well allow me to spend some time with it, I’ll convert to the Blue Print CSS framework).
Continue reading “Mzingi”


I just added a link in the sidebar to an upcoming blogger “unconference”, BlogOrlando. I’ve not been to any type of meetup/conference/gathering of other bloggers, and am really looking forward to it. Not only to just get out of town for a day or two, but to actually meet and talk face to face with other bloggers and web geeks. I’ll probably concentrate on the technology aspects of the gathering, though I suppose I can sit in on other sessions as they are added and interest me. I’m also looking forward to being able to pimp Habari.

If anyone else in the Central Florida area is going, I’d love to connect in advance, and possibly have someone to “know” in advance. There are two dinners, one the night before, and one the night of, so having even a somewhat familiar person to break bread with would be nice, though I’m fairly good at making new acquaintances and meeting people. (Probably from years of sitting in bars and chatting up the person next to me.)

Also, if anyone has advice for attending an event of this nature, I’m all ears.

Habari DR2

I’ve already mentioned, this blog is powered by a new blogging engine, Habari. A second developer release is out the door, and can be downloaded now.

As a developer release, it’s still not guaranteed for everyday, production level blogging, however it’s stable enough that you can certainly install it and get a feel for how far it’s come, and where it’s going. For the less faint of heart, you certainly can follow along using SVN.

This release among opening up many new features that have been in core for some time, also realizes a goal of having docs shipped with the release. It was a primary goal of the project from the start, and recent discussion about using the aforementioned TiddlyWiki as a means of distributing the documentation brought me into the fold on that aspect. Thanks to the initial work by Khaled, including customizing the CSS to match Habari’s proposed new admin interface, I was able to incorporate the basics from Habari’s wiki, and do some initial leg work on getting license agreements to use some TW community released plugins for future releases.

I must say it is quite satisfying to have contributed in some meaningful way to such a project, and certainly fueled the fires to more actively involve myself in documentation writing for the project, as well as any other positive contributions I can make. I’d really like to thank all of the project members, and additional community members who’ve brought Habari this far, as well as in general thank them for creating such a welcoming community. At this juncture in the development, it’s quite refreshing for there not to be a divide between users and coders, unlike an unnamed project I volunteered with in the past. This certainly is a goal for Habari, and I sincerely believe them when they say it will continue in that fashion. Alienation is the quickest, surefire way of loosing morale support and non code contributions to a community, and as I said, I whole heartedly believe the core of Habari understand that, and will avoid the culture of elitism that I’m sure permeates many other open source projects.

If you are looking for something new to get your thoughts onto the web, I’d seriously suggest considering Habari and getting involved in the community.

Experiences with TiddlyWiki

Recently it was suggested that the Habari project think about using Tiddlywiki as a means to ship documentation with new releases. At first, I wasn’t sure about the idea, but after about 15 minutes of working with it, I was hooked. For those not familiar with Tiddlywiki, it’s a very light weight (single file) mini wiki. I’ve seen it described as “guerrilla” wiki, or the “ipod nano” of wikis. It highly leverages javascript to hide and show “tiddlers”, or the individual entries. With lots of available plugins and custom themes, not to mention a very active community, TW is certainly a great contribution to the web community, and something worth checking out. Those that are into the Getting Things Done, there’s a couple of GTD inspired adaptation, GTDTiddlyWiki, and MonkeyGTD. There’s also a FireFox extension, TiddlySnip that allows you to save snippets to your TW as a scrapbook of sorts, though I haven’t tested this extension yet.

The formatting in TW is different than MediaWiki, though it’s fairly easy to get used to. There’s also a MediaWiki formatter, which allows you to use that formatting in your TW (which is handy if you are copying info from a MW page. The same plugin author is working on an importer, which I am investigating, which actually allows you to scrape MW entries right into your TW.

All in all, I find TW a great tool, and something I will continue to work with for a variety of uses, and hopefully will open my eyes to learning more javascripting along the way.

Technorati Update

It seems that Technorati finally was able to index the site, as well as fix the issue with the site regarding new claims for sites not supported with the their quick claim. Not sure why I was actually waiting for the claim before blogging more here, but it worked out, as I was out with a medical issue the past few weeks, so timing is everything. I really look forward to blogging, and now I have no excuses.

Special thanks to Christian(aka h0bbel) for expressing a similar concern about Technorati’s handling of this situation.

Technorati Update

It seems that Technorati finally was able to index the site, as well as fix the issue with the site regarding new claims for sites not supported with the their quick claim. Not sure why I was actually waiting for the claim before blogging more here, but it worked out, as I was out with a medical issue the past few weeks, so timing is everything. I really look forward to blogging, and now I have no excuses.

Special thanks to Christian(aka h0bbel) for expressing a similar concern about Technorati’s handling of this situation.

Technorati and Habari


Seems Habari can’t use Technorati’s quick claim process, so I was asked to paste a little code in a post, so the claim process could proceed. Hopefully this will be quick. I will say that Lev with Technorati was very nice and apologetic regarding the issue, and offered any more assistance necessary.

For Real This Time

OK. I’m officially going to start blogging here at bloggingmeta, to what ever degree that means. It may just be a few things web related, and setting up a lifestream, but I will relegate my personal domain for just that, personal blogging, be it political or what not, but all things internet/blogging/web related will go here. I’m really excited about using Habari, and have wanted to start using this domain for some time. Now that the DB is somewhat stable, and not as many chances of having to dump the db, I think I’ll be fine. Here’s to the rest of my life while I’m at it.

This One is for Dr Bacchus

zippyLately I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Habari’s IRC channel, mostly because some really smart people are there, and because Dr Bacchus has a bot on the channel that if you type “yow”, will randomly quote Zippy the Pinhead. I first discovered Zippy while living in Denver in the early 90’s. it was a daily comic in the (I think)Rocky Mountain News. Not long after, being a casual fan of alt-comics, I discovered Fantagraphics, and then soon after they published several collections of Zippy comics. I still own the first 3 issues of the collection somehow (the time soon after moving back from Colorado can be a bit hazy, to say the least).

zippyI don’t even begin to consider myself a Zippy fanatic, and have barely kept up with the comic since those days, but I can’t help but laugh out loud when ever I type those three letters on IRC. No matter how bored, frustrated, or confused I might be with my situation at hand, good ol’ mzuri and his Zippy quotes pick me up, and break the ice just enough to keep going. So the next time you are having a rough time just think of your Zippy, and quotes like:

“Wouldn’t it be great, Zip, if th’ spirit of Halloween could last all year long?”

“Yow! A never ending orgy of apple-bobbing and miniature mars bars!”

Running with Habari

Nothing like a new blog engine to get the blood pumping. Not that I’m jumping ship, just looking to broaden horizons, and see what new and exciting might be around the corner. I’m a big fan of a couple of people involved, not such a fan of a few others. But that’s part of community. But really I’m just testing out the trackback feature on the most recent build. So really, just ignore this post…