Long time no heard from us? Come on, we're still moving!

It’s been a while since we last posted here. Obviously, we all have been pretty busy since th last time we released a Typo version. Spring came, then winter, and as Europe seems to be freezing as hell, some of us started to move again, one commit after another. I’m not sure how it started, but there’s something wonderful with open source projects: take a dormant project, and have just one commiter starting to push code regularly, and you’ll see other maintainers leaving their hibernation state.

Typo 6.1.0 is not out yet, as there is still some work to do, mostly bugs to squash and documentation to write, but we believed it was a good time to make a sign, and maybe put ourselves under pressure to be sure we release something good.

If you have some spare time and want to help us, here’s what you can do: pull Typo master from our git repository, install it locally or on your server (sorry, we’re still not Heroku compliant but we’re working on it), play with it, and report every bug you find. And if you really have time to help, you can even fix some of them and send us a pull request.

Oh, and if you ever happen to come here, you’ll see Typo next default theme running.

Published on 08/02/2012 at 21h37 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags

6 years and 2973 commits later

It may sound like a coincidence, but while we were releasing Typo 6.0 Irving Penn for Ruby On Rails 3.0, the blogging engine was officially celebrating his sixth birthday. Tobias did his first commit January the 20th 2005 at 2:08 AM. 6 years and 2973 commits later, Typo has seen 5 major releases (Typo 3 never existed), 8 official maintainers, and was said dead countless times. At that time, Typo had no UI, and articles were written using MarsEdit and the MetaWeblog API.

Relaunch of too-biased

Yesterday I had some time so i decided to tackle a little project I was contemplating for a while.

Welcome typo. Typo is the smallest possible weblog. It doesn’t have an admin interface at all and its based on sqlite. It took about 6 hours to write and most of the work was put into the XMLRPC backend.

So Marsedit is the only way to get any content onto this site now and thats plenty.

As always my code is free under MIT licence and you can fetch it from my svn server at svn://leetsoft.com/typo/trunk

Typo had its 15 minutes of fame, eventually powering blog.rubyonrails.org and becoming one of the sample application for people starting Ruby On Rails. Typo theme contest was a great success, giving it a huge amount of nice templates. Then, for some reason, it turned into a giant bloatware. Its main contributors started another project called Mephisto, and most users switched to Wordpress. Typo was left for dead.

I started using Typo mid 2006 after spending 2 years being a happy and proud contributor of the growing Wordpress community. My first patch was integrated December the 29th 2006, after something like 3 weeks waiting in the limbo. It was the second patch I was submitting, the first one being a complete admin revamping that was too big to be reviewed. After a few times on #typo IRC channel, I understood that the remaining maintainers had something else to do. I had the possibility to migrate my blog to Mephisto, but I had became quite familiar with Typo code, and I wanted a blogware I could hack.

I asked for the project keys, and was eventually given them, Piers Cawley keeping the project lead. My first commit was February the 8th 2007. 4 years later, Typo is still alive, running with 4 cool maintainers, 3 of them being French. The idea of a widely used Rails blogware is no more while Rails became less and less visible, and was more widely used in enterprise projects. I still do think there’s a place on the Web for a Ruby On Rails blogging engine that would be supported by a small community of users and contributors. Typo 6.0.1 now looks mature enough to start building that community. After trying to make Typo more user friendly, I hope we’ll make it actually used, and that’s what I plan to do in the next months.

Published on 23/01/2011 at 14h42 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags

Poll : shall we remove Typo enclosure and iTunes related feature

Once again, we’re back on our favorite code editor, working on a better, lighter Typo. Which means removing useless, or at least unused parts first.

Maybe you didn’t know about it, but Typo has native podcast publishing feature. Just fill in some settings, attach your article a MP3 and you’re done. We’ve been wondering for a while if you, Typo users, were actually using those feature, or if they were just a useless burden on our favorite weblog engine. If we realize no one actually use them, we’ll eventually drop them from the next release. The only question will be wether or not we should leave backward compatibility, and that’s the reason why we’ve setup that quick poll.

In the meanwhile, we’ll be working on improving our attachments and media library, but that’s a another feature we’ll discuss later.

<a href="http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/2950502/">Typo enclosure and iTunes metadata</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="http://www.polldaddy.com">polls</a></span>

Published on 24/03/2010 at 21h44 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags , , ,

Typo theme creation quick guide

Typo offers a very slick and evolved theming engine. It allows theme developpers to override every view of the application, or just add their own layout, stylesheet, and let Typo do the job.
Many themes at Typogarden have been developped long before our current theming engine was introduced, letting people believe you can’t create complicated themes for Typo. That is, indeed, wrong.

A Typo template is made a minima with 3 main files:

  • The layout.
  • A CSS stylesheet.
  • An about file using markdown.
  • You can eventually add a screenshot, and some fancy pictures in your theme, but they are not mandatory.

Browsing a Typo theme looks like:

<typo:code lang=”bash”> themes

  \_ my theme
             \_ about.markdown
             \_ images
             \_ layouts
                       \_ default.html.erb
             \_ preview.png
             \_ stylesheets
                           \_ style.css


Your main file is in layouts/default.html.erb, which is your theme main template. This is a simple RHTML file in which you’ll call Typo main methods.

Your layout’s header

This is a standard HTML file header, along with some ruby calls. Nothing complicated at all here.

<typo:code lang=”rhtml”> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN”


<%= h(page_title) %>

<%= stylesheetlinktag “/stylesheets/theme/style”, :media => ‘all’ %> <%= page_header %> </typo:code>

There are some things you must pay attention to:

  • h(page_title) is the title of the current document. This is generated by Typo, and translation in supported languages is done when avaliable.
  • stylesheet_link_tag is where you call your CSS stylesheet. It will always be in /stylesheets/theme/. Some call it style.css, some application.css, but do whatever you want.
  • page_header withh display a page header generated by Typo. It will provide:
    • ICBM tag, for geo localization.
    • Your meta description.
    • Your meta keywods.
    • Your RSD.
    • URLs for both your RSS and Atom feeds, for automatic discovery.
    • Stylesheets used by Typo embedded plugins, so that you don’t have to care.
    • Google analytics tags, if provided.

Your layout’s body

Every div included here are not mandatory. You just need to care about the ruby calls.

<typo:code lang=”rhtml”>


The importants things are:

  • this_blog.base_url is your blog URL defined in your settings.
  • this_blog.name is your blog title, defined in your settings.
  • this_blog.blog_subtitle is your blog tagline, defined in your settings.
  • content_for_layout is the most important part of your layout. It renders the page main content according to what you’re browsing (articles, tags, categories…)
  • render_sidebars displays your sdebar made of Typo plugins.

Here you are. You can now build a standard Typo theme and profit form the great things Typo can provide.

The long road to 5.0.4

Guess what? We’re not dead, and we’re even working on Typo next minor release which should be 5.0.4.

Last week-end, we finally added tag administration, after integrating Cyril Mougel’s tag autocompletion. You can now edit tags, delete them, and you will soon be able to merge them.

We’ve also fixed some of the remaining bugs, leaving Typo with only 3 open bugs now. We now there’s still much to do, and we’ll run extensive tests to find remaining naughty bugs.

There is still lot to do and guess what ? You can even help us submitting patches (and tests, never forget tests).


We know how much our doc is outdated, and the next release will change this for 3 major docs:

  • Typo user guide.
  • Typo install guide.
  • Typo theming guide.


If we had to find a single common point between our doc and our doc, it would certainly be not being up to date at all. Wordpress and Movable Type have evolved as we were evolving too, and converters were left aside since 4.0.

We now need to update these converters to reflect last Wordpress and Movale Type version, and allow people to switch from them to Typo. A migration doc should also be written.

Multiple users

Multiple users has been on our TODO list for a long time now, and is still slowly going its way. It will be made in 2 times : multiple users with profiles and grants, then per users settings for the whole blog.

More admin tweaking

I’m still unsatisfied with the current admin and plan to improve it a bit. I’ve asked a designer frend of mine to help make the current one cleaner while keeping it the way it is, which mostly implies CSS tweaks.

I also want the admin to be the simplest possible, following the Habari project path I really felt in love with in terms of usability.

And last but not least, more dashboard information.

Published on 07/04/2008 at 16h47 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags , , , ,

The truth about Typo version numbers

Choosing a version number for Typo has always been something difficult that may have seem curious or anarchic to some of you. What is the difference between a major and a minor version, why have we skipped major version 3 and did we go directly to 4.0 ? All that sort of questions you may have and never dared to ask. Or maybe you just don’t care and you’ll keep reading just to make fun of my English.

Why did we went from Typo 2.6.0 to Typo 4.0?

Ever heard of Typo3 PHP CMS? No? Now you know.

Why did you go from Typo 4.1.1 to 5.0?

Typo 5.0 came up with Ruby on Rails 2.0 which is, for many reasons, a really big version upgrade of our beloved framework. It may have been the most important Rails version migration of Typo’s life, and this justified the version number upgrade as well.

What is the difference between Typo 5.0.1 and Typo 5.1?

Typo 5.0.1 is a bugfix release to Typo 5.0. We’re going to deliver these bugfixes at regular times, every 2 or 3 months, or for special reasons :

  • The release fixes some critical bugs that make the application crash.
  • We’ve fixed a security breach that may compromise your blog or your server.
  • We’ve fixed a huge amount of small but soooo ennoying bugs and want to release the new version before our due date.

The next stable version we plan to release is Typo 5.1, which will have some minor releases, 5.1.1, 5.1.2 and so on. It’s easy, isn’t it? Last but not least, minor versions (like 5.1.2) may add new cool small features here and there. It always comes as a surprise.

Published on 07/01/2008 at 22h50 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags

Typo plugins: what's next?

If you’re following the trunk, you may have noticed that many plugins have moved from the core to svn:externals. Source have been relocated into the new Typo official plugins repository. As I said a few weeks ago in The futur of Typo sidebar plugins, we’re only going to keep a few plugins in the core. The complete list is:

  • Archives.
  • Amazon.
  • Categories.
  • Static.
  • Tags.
  • XML Syndication.

And now, what’s next? As we now have our official plugins repository, I’ve been thinking about giving Typo a plugin manager. The manager will get a XML file with the official plugins list. Users will install plugins in 1 click.

How will it work? Very simply. The plugin manager will just run script/plugin install myplugin, and here you are.

Published on 17/05/2007 at 20h06 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags , , , ,

The future of Typo sidebar plugins

A French translation is avaliable on my personal blog

Between 4.0 and 4.1, there were lots of changes in Typo sidebar plugins architecture. Plugins have been rewriten to become basic rails plugins one can install with script/plugin install {#PLUGIN_SOURCE_URI}. This is aimed at removing some sidebr plugins from the trunk and create an official Typo plugin repository.

Why should we do this? After all, the more functionality you have in a program, the better it is, isn’t it ?

Well, this is not always true. Here are the 4 main reasons :

  • Typo is somewhat heavy for what it does, and too many plugins is part of the issue.
  • People need to wait for a Typo release every time a service changes its API. This won’t happen anymore. We just fix the plugin and users can update.
  • I don’t think users use both Delicious AND Magnolia. And I wonder how much people really use the xbox card stuff. If code is not used, it doesn’t need to be there.
  • We want to give plugin authors some visibility. The repository and plugin directory will help this.

Here is the plugin list we’re going to keep in the trunk :

  • Archives. This one will be activated in the default install.
  • Amazon. It may seem odd to keep it, but it’s the best example we have of interaction between a Typo text filter and a sidebar plugin.
  • Categories. Activated in the default install.
  • Recent comments
  • Static. A Typo developers blogroll will keep being activated by default.
  • Tags.
  • XML syndication. Activated in the default install.

We’re starting moving the less used plugins tonight, with Audioscrobbler and Xbox Live. The whole change will be done step by step before the next release.

We know that it may break blogs using the trunk, just like this one or my own blog, and some people will complain. Please, before doing so, remember that running off the trunk is always at your own risk.

Published on 15/04/2007 at 19h51 by Frédéric de Villamil, tags , , , , , ,

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