07/06/2005: "Multiple blogs in Greymatter"
One of the *missing* features of the excellent blogging tool Greymatter is the functionality that would allow you to run multiple blogs from one blogging tool. Tools such as MovableType do allow this. This is something I would dearly like to see added to Greymatter. I have done some searching on the Greymatter Forums and found a few posts where people ask about adding this feature to Greymatter. A few of these posts say that it would be hard to do and as far as I am aware no one has done it yet. The solution seems always to be use multiple installations of Greymatter to allow multiple blogs. This is what I have done with this blog and my Oracle Security blog.
All of that said why cannot Greymatter simply have one interface for multiple blogs? - At this stage I am not sure as I have only read the forums entries and not had a look in detail at the code myself. At the end of the day anything is possible, it just depends on how much time you are willing to invest in the endeavour. As I said I have not looked at the code yet but I know that the code uses no internal data structures to hold the state of the current blog you are working on. Actually administering a greymatter install for multiple blogs and users accessing existing entries from multiple blogs is two different issues. For multiple blogs we would need one code base in the cgi-bin. This would mean that the configuration, entries and archives would need to be separated for each blog and this would then mean that as the cgi is used it would need to know which blog it is working on. For administration, I would guess an initial screen is needed to select the blog, and one to change blogs (select a new blog) if necessary. Then the Greymatter code would need to change so that it acted on the correct blogs files. This is all thinking out loud but wouldn’t that just mean ensuring the correct path prefix is used for each admin / CGI access? and also for files generated (entries and indexes) and also individual files accessed? Provided you did not want to actually work on multiple blogs at the same time in the same admin session then there should not be an issue in manipulating paths to ensure one admin set-up can modify and create multiple blogs (as with now and multiple installs they would need to be in separate directories) but with core CGI files.
What would happen for users accessing these multiple blogs with centralised CGI? - Nothing for the static pages - obviously, they should work as now. It is when the user interacts with the CGI that issues could arise. The correct set of blog files would need to be accessed from one set of CGI. Again it is a case of adding the right prefix to the paths but in this case how? - this prefix needs to be sent to the CGI from the caller - Anyway I am thinking out loud here and I have also not studied the perl in detail yet. I am sure it’s possible to administer multiple blogs in Greymatter without installing multiple copies but it will need some analysis of the code - I will let you know when I have had a good look.