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Review in January 2004 issue of Linux Format magazine.

Blog Server: NewsBruiser

As the whole Web-logging (or 'Blogging' as it has popularly become known in the last couple of years) phenomenon continues unabated, stacks of tools and applications are in development to help users create fanciful diaries on the Internet. For those unfamiliar with blogs, they're essentially online journals in which a person posts opinions on topical subjects or feelings, and others can pop in and add comments. It's gigantically popular right now, and NewsBruiser is one of the best blogging utilities doing the rounds.

[Screenshot: "Blogging's never been more pleasant - NewsBruiser's config panel on top."]

Mommy dearest

Striving to be easy to manage (the programmer's mother uses it!), NewsBruiser requires Python (1.5 or 2.x) and a working Apache server with SSI enabled. Installation is brilliantly simple - a CGI script copies the neccessary files into place and performs some tweaking, and then it's all set to go for the first entry. The only manual intervention needed is some permission chmod and it's all detailed in the well-written docs.

In its default setup, NewsBruiser assembles a simple table based layout for the front page with a calendar on the right and entries on the left. A search box is available, and an assortment of CSS 'themes' have been included for good measure; these range from merry pastel shades to dark and moody schemes.

When editing an entry, images can be uploaded onto the server and then included in the text with %filename%. Being able to mix in HTML is a bonus, although having a few buttons to insert tags (or indeed a quick tag reference) would improve things. Impressively, user comments can be monitored for spam (a growing problem) and the whole system runs like clockwork.

NewsBruiser offers hugely impressive functionality in its configuration panels; templates, RSS feeds and trackbacks can be set up, while all manner of cosmetic and under-the-hood aspects can be fine tuned too. The generated HTML isn't too ambitious and works fine in all major browsers, and the default themes give an attractive and uncluttered appearance. Friendly, organised, versatile and great to use, NewsBruiser is well worth a look if you're running (or plan to run) a blog.

Version: 2.1.0
Web: http://newsbruiser.tigris.org