Review of PythonBlogs.com

Someone has started a bloghost called "PythonBlogs", despite the fact that the front page had at least 16 grammatical errors, I decided to carry on; after all, people in glass houses should not throw stones. 

My first "blog" was started in 2000 and used blogger. My next blog then started using blogger then moved to Wordpress then to Pyblosxom and then to Django. 

So I am all for free, no frills hosts. Being able to set up a site without having to worry about hosting or spending any money is great. You can give writing a go and if you do not like it then you have not lost anything.

However, I am not sure about the implementation here. The target audience (Python users) are going to be pretty exacting, while this blog platform seems a bit too no-frills, or at least the frills are in the wrong places.

Would it have been that much work to knock up an equivalent blog host in Django? This blog platform is powered by PHP, which could be fine but seems a bit odd for a blog host called "PythonBlogs".  

It does not seem to have source code highlighting, which would seem pretty essential for a Python blog. this person's post would have really benefited from source code highlighting like my post here. Running a blob of text through Pygments is not rocket science.

It also would have been good to have the option of RestructuredText markup rather than only a Javascript edit panel that inserts HTML. The edit panel has 34 buttons, but is missing the one thing that a Javascript panel is good for, a spell checker.

While I dislike the admin site, the outputted site is clean and valid XHTML. When setting up the blog, it allows you to pick a theme, but then that is it. You cannot appear to edit the theme or upload your own. As they say where I come from, "it is a good thing you like potatoes".

More potatoes in that while the underlying blog patform appears to support internationalisation, the only loaded option was "English/American". 

I use a the Epiphany/Webkit browser, which uses the same backend as Safari and Konqueror but on GNOME Linux, the Javascript buttons and editing panel did not work on this browser, even though other Javascript sites work (e.g. Google Mail).

It took me two or three long minutes to find the publish button. It turned out it was called "Blog This", a bad choice of name as in other blog platforms this phrase has another meaning (start a post about whatever webpage is in your browser).

So while it is early days for PythonBlogs.com, I personally would not have opened to the public in such a state.

Once someone has started blogging here on this software, I seriously doubt you will be able to migrate them to a new platform without at least screwing up their markup, if not requiring them to completely start again.



Test Blog

Warning, I am just testing this blog at the moment. So don't take it too seriously at this point.


Hello

Hello my name is Zeth, I am a Python enthusiast from Birmingham, Great Britain. I first wielded Python in anger about two or so years ago, over recent months I have been heavily into Django as well.



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