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NewsBruiser Feature Tour

NewsBruiser is a lot of features in a usable package. Some features are fairly standard and found in most weblog packages; others were invented for NewsBruiser. This tour tells you about most of NewsBruiser's major features.

Some of the screenshots are from older version of NewsBruiser. This doesn't matter a whole lot because the look of the program is fairly stable across versions.

Getting started

  • You don't have to install anything special to use NewsBruiser. If you've got Python and a web server, you can run it.
  • Installation is almost entirely web-based. Just unzip the archive, visit the CGI, and follow the directions.
  • Use the web-interface to create any number of password-protected notebooks: one for your weblog, one for quick notes to yourself. Host weblogs for your friends and family.
  • Make a notebook private if it contains personal notes.
  • Create a group notebook that you and your friends can all post to.
  • Easily import entries from your old weblog system: NewsBruiser can import from several other systems and from RSS feeds. If you know Python, you can write a custom importer for an unsupported weblog system.

Ease of use

  • Configuration is completely web-based.
  • The main screen gives easy access to the most common actions.
  • Simple interface to adding and editing entries.
  • Entry filters can be set up to automatically link bare Web addresses, change plain-text markup to HTML, or clean up HTML.


  • Simple address format makes it easy to link to any entry, or to a day, month, or year of entries.
  • Use the calendar to view entry history at a glance.
  • Use drafts to keep track of partially completed entries.
  • Use categories to organize entries. Categories can be nested and readers can navigate the category tree.
  • Search entries from within NewsBruiser. Search results are displayed the same way as any other list of entries.

Look and feel

  • Entry presentation is customizable via CSS files and simple HTML templates, packaged as themes.
  • Several sample themes are provided.
  • Use the custom header and footer to change the appearance of every page.
  • Use a sidebar to keep your favorite links or a blogroll.
  • Each notebook can have its own time zone. All times are displayed and calculated according to the notebook time zone.
  • If you go on vacation, you can set the time zone while you're there to get local time. When you come back, NewsBruiser will remember where you posted those entries from.

Interaction with your audience

  • Comment system that can remember personal information of posters.
  • Enable comments on all entries, or only the entries you specify.
  • Adaptive comment management system learns to reject comment spam.
  • Draft submissions let you solicit entries from your readers.
  • Select a Creative Commons license to let others build on your work, use your own custom license, or just have a copyright notice automatically put on every page.


  • NewsBruiser supports many syndication formats out of the box: Atom, ESF, and RSS 0.92, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.
  • Hi-fi (entire entry) or low-fi (first part of entry) syndication options.
  • Syndicate an entire weblog or one particular category.

Interaction with other sites and tools

  • Use predefined SSIs to integrate NewsBruiser content like recent entries and "today in history" with your existing web pages.
  • Supports incoming and outgoing trackback.
  • Adaptive trackback. management system learns to reject trackback spam.
  • Pings aggregator sites like weblogs.com.
  • Category system can integrate with the Internet Topic Exchange.
  • Implements the Blogger, MetaWeblog, and Advogato XML-RPC weblog APIs.
  • Access any entry or span of entries in any syndication format--ideal for export to another tool.

The future

  • NewsBruiser is well-supported. The author answers email questions.
  • NewsBruiser is and will remain free software. No restrictions, no fees to use it, no limits on how you can change it.
  • NewsBruiser is very backwards-compatible. Obsolete file formats are supported or converted automatically.

Advanced features

These features aren't as user-friendly as the others, because they don't fit into the online configuration framework, but if you can do a little Python hacking you can use them. See the cfg.py.sample file for details.

  • Render entries or syndication feeds to static HTML files to reduce server load.
  • Send the text of new entries to interested parties via email.
  • Automatically rewrite generated links to make them more attractive.
  • Plugin-based system makes it easy to add new features.