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Blorgit is a blogging engine which uses Org-Mode for markup, runs on the Sinatra mini web framework, and is amenable to posting and maintenance through git. With the addition of a little Ruby blorgit creates interactive web pages with Org-Mode.



1) In Browser Editing Org-mode files can be edited through the browser. Upon submitting an edit the original org-mode file is overwritten and the web-page is re-exported. Edits can be turned on off or with the editable configuration option and can be password protected by setting the auth configuration option 2) Export to org-mode and LaTeX formats The raw Org-mode source, and LaTeX exports of all pages can be downloaded. 3) Search The search bar compares your search terms as a perl-style regular expression (in most cases working just like a simple term search) against the org-mode source of each page returning a ranked list. images/blorgit/blorgit_search.png 4) Sidebar with Recent changes and Directory Listing The top N= recently edited pages, and/or directory listings can optionally be presented in a sidebar. These are controlled through the =recent and dir_list configuration options. 5) Themes The blorgit_themes git repository holds prepackaged themes for blorgit. These can be applied to your installation using the supplied rake commands. For a list of available themes run rake themes from the root of your blorgit installation. Please share any new themes you might create. images/blorgit/themes.png 6) Comments in org-mode files Pages can optionally be opened for comments, all comments will be stored in a special * COMMENT Comments outline header appended to the end of the org file. 7) Git Synchronization By setting the git_commit configuration option to true blorgit can be made to automatically commit and push to a git repository after every comment or edit of an org-mode file.

Getting Started (installation and use)

0) Install Ruby

If you don't already have ruby installed on your system then you will need to install Ruby and Ruby Gems (Ruby's package managment system).* Be sure to install Ruby 1.8 (should be default option) not Ruby 1.9.

1) Install the Required Gems

#+begin_src sh sudo gem install rake sinatra haml sass activesupport #+end_src

2) Install blorgit

#+begin_src sh git clone git:// #+end_src

Update the submodules of blorgit to provide file based persistence (active_file), org-mode interaction (acts_as_org), and themes (blorgit_themes).

#+begin_src sh cd blorgit git submodule init git submodule update #+end_src

3) Create Blogs Directory

Create a blogs directory (in ~/blogs/) with the default configuration (To change the location of the blogs directory edit blorgit.yml in this directory). Apply the default minimal theme (for a list of available themes run rake themes). The Emacs Server must have been started at least once as described under point 5.

#+begin_src sh rake new rake themes:default #+end_src

    4) *Start Servers*
  • Emacs Server

Starting your emacs server allows Emacs to act as a server which can then export org-mode file to html. To do this we simply need to load the org-interaction.el file in acts_as_org. You can do this by executing the following in emacs

#+begin_src sh M-x load-file /path/to/blorgit/backend/acts_as_org/elisp/org-interaction.el #+end_src

or with the following shell command

#+begin_src sh emacs -l backend/acts_as_org/elisp/org-interaction.el #+end_src

  • Web Server

Start your sinatra web server with the following command

#+begin_src sh ruby blorgit.rb #+end_src

5) View in Browser


Additional Information

Common Tasks

Ruby has its own make tool called Rake. For a list of the blorgit rake commands run rake -T from the root of your blorgit installation. At the time of writing the available rake tasks are...

$ rake -T (in /Users/eschulte/src/blorgit) rake exported:delete # delete all temporary exported files rake exported:list # list all temporary exported files rake index # drop a minimal index page into /Users/eschulte/Site... rake info # return configuration information about the current ... rake new # create a new blorgit instance rake themes # list the available themes rake themes:default # a default theme, should serve as a good starting point rake themes:food # a food theme for my recipes rake themes:org # an org-mode theme featuring the folding unicorn

Changing Configuration Options

The configuration is controlled through a YAML file located at =blorgit.yml= in the base of your blorgit installation. Configuration variables can be used to control the title, index page, *stylesheet*, the number of recent entries and directory_listings* shown in the sidebar, automatic synchronization with a *git* repository, *commentability, editability and optional password protection for posting edits, . The default configuration is...

    --- title: Blorgit index: index style: stylesheet.css recent: 5 dir_list: false git_commit: false commentable: true editable: false auth:
  • admin
  • password

Directory Local Configuration

It is possible to specify configuration options for each individual directories of your blorgit site. To do so write the configuration options you wish to specify to a file named =.blorgit.yml=. These options will be used when displaying files in the same directory as the =.blorgit.yml= file. This file follows the same format shown above.


If you're wondering where git comes in, initialize your new blogs directory as a git repo, and post all future blogs, moderate comments and commentability of blogs, and manage configuration through git.

cd ./blogs git init echo ".exported_*" > .gitignore # ignore export files created automatically by blorgit git add . git commit -a -m "initial commit"

Change blogs directory

To change the location of the blogs directory see the =blorgit.yml= global configuration file in the base of your blorgit directory.

Deploying to a Remote Server

Thin web server

To run using the rackup file use a command like the following (requires the thin gem sudo gem install -v=1.0.0 thin)

./ -sthin -p4567

Deploying behind a url prefix

If you don't want blorgit to sit at the top level of your webserver, but would rather is exist behind a url prefix set the =url_prefix= variable in the file.

Remote Emacs Server

Blorgit requires a running Emacs to handle the actual export of org-mode pages to html (through the emacsclient command). This requires that an instance of Emacs be left running on the remote server, which I be problematic. I use gnu-screen to start and detach from this Emacs instance as follows...

1) ssh into your remote server 2) start your screen session with the screen command #+begin_src sh screen #+end_src 3) cd to your blorgit directory #+begin_src sh cd ~/src/blorgit #+end_src 4) start emacs loading the org-interaction.el file #+begin_src sh emacs -l backend/acts_as_org/elisp/org-interaction.el #+end_src 5) optionally run your webserver through screen as well by 1) switching to a new screen window with =\C-a c= 2) start your webserver #+begin_src sh ./ -sthin #+end_src 6) disconnect form screen leaving emacs and the webserver running with =\C-a d= 7) logoff from the server 8) at any later date you can log back into the server and reattach to the original screen session with #+begin_src sh screen -r #+end_src

Extending Blorgit

Deploying on a Mac with Apache/Passenger Pane

Simplicity and a small hackable code base were key goals in the construction of blorgit. The blorgit.rb file in the base of the application contains all of the logic and html. Any extensions should be possible through modification of this single file. For information on the structure of this file, or on the framework on which it is run see Sinatra. A handy tool for hosting local sites on Mac OSX is the Apache/Passenger Pane. This allows the setup and running of local ruby web applications through a System Preferences Pane, and can be used with blorgit.

1) First follow the installation instructions from putting-the-pane-back-into-deployment. 2) clone blorgit to your ~/Sites directory #+begin_src sh cd ~/Sites git clone git:// cd blorgit git submodule init git submodule update #+end_src 3) Create a public and tmp directory, and copy to to trick Passenger into thinking blorgit is a rails application. #+begin_src sh mkdir public mkdir tmp cp #+end_src 4) rename the blorgit directory to the name of your local site (in my case "foods") #+begin_src sh cd ~/Sites mv blorgit foods #+end_src 5) Configure blorgit as you would normally (see Getting Started (installation and use)) 6) Add your new blorgit site to Passenger Pane.

images/blorgit/Passenger.png 7) Restart Apache #+begin_src sh sudo apachectl restart #+end_src 8) Point your browser at the url displayed in the Passenger Pane.