Publish Offline Overview
Publish Offline is a plugin for Movable Type and Melody that adds the ability to publish a blog to an alternate directory, in addition to the Blog Site Path where the blog is already published. It will automatically publish the entire blog to that directory (including assets and any static files you've specified), and before writing files to the target directory will rewrite all URLs as relative -- creating a site that can be browsed offline or locally, for example.
On a configured blog, Publish Offline is constantly monitoring for changes, to keep the offline version of the blog up-to-date. When an entry is edited and republished, for example, Publish Offline notices and also queues any necessary templates to be republished at the specified offline location.
In addition to creating an offline version, Publish Offline provides the ability to create a snapshot of the offline version by creating a zip archive. An archive management interface is also included.
- Movable Type 4.x
- PubOffline makes use of the Publish Queue. You'll therefore need a way to
run the Publish Queue, most likely with
- Melody Compatibility Pack
To install this plugin follow the instructions found here:
Publish Offline needs to be set up for each blog you want to use it with. From the navigation menu choose Tools > Plugins, find Publish Offline, and review the Settings.
Enable Publish Offline - enable or disable Publish Offline for this blog.
Offline Output File Path - this is the path to which Publish Offline will output the offline version of this blog. This should be an absolute file path; MT tags are allowed, though BlogSitePath is likely the only tag you would use.
Offline Output File URL - this is the URL that the offline version is available at. If the Output File Path specified above is outside of the web root and is therefore not available at a URL, this field should be empty. If filled in, this field should contain a fully-qualified domain name; MT tags are allowed, though BlogURL is likely the only tag you would use.
Offline Archives File Path - this is the path to which Publish Offline will the zip archives of the offline version of this blog. This should be an absolute file path; MT tags are allowed, though BlogSitePath is likely the only tag you would use.
Try to use Root Relative URLs - the Blog URL and Static Web Path are used to create relative links within the offline files. If you specify root relative URLs within entries (that is, URLs without the protocol or domain) then you probably want to enable this feature. Note that this feature is experimental in that if your URL is not unique enough to be identified as a root relative URL, you may see unexpected results in the links created for the offline files.
Example: your Blog URL is
http://example.com/my-awesome-blog/and you use root relative URLs in Entries (such as
/my-awesome-blog/photo-of-me.jpg). Enabling this feature will use the root relative URL
/my-awesome-blog/in addition to the Blog URL
http://example.com/my-awesome-blog/when creating the relative URLs used in the offline version.
/my-awesome-blog/is unique enough for this to work well.
Example: your Blog URL is
http://example.com/and you use root relative URLs in Entries (such as
/photo-of-me.jpg). Enabling this feature will use the root relative URL
/in addition to the Blog URL
http://example.com/when creating the relative URLs used in the offline version.
/is not unique and relative URLs will not be correctly created; this feature should not be used here.
Asset Handling - assets in this blog can be copied to the Offline Output File Path, or hard links to the assets can be created. Hard links have the benefit of saving disk space and always being up-to-date, though they won't work with a Windows-based server. Copying is safe and always works.
Static File Handling - Movable Type's static content is sometimes required for a theme or for assets handled by the system, for example. If the static files are needed, you'll want them in the offline version of this blog, too. Static files can be copied to the Offline Output File Path, or hard links to the files can be created.
Static File Manifest - if static files should be copied offline, a manifest can help ensure that only the pertinent files are copied or hard linked. Leave this textarea empty to copy/link all static content. Alternatively, specify an absolute path to a file or folder. Specify additional files or folders on separate lines. The template tag StaticFilePath can be helpful in specifying content you want in the offline version.
Exclude File Manifest - their may be some files you don't want copied to the offline version (such as some index Templates, Entries, or Pages). Leave this textarea empty to copy all content offline. Alternatively, specify files to exclude with a path relative to the Offline Output File Path, specified above. Each exclude file path should be on a new line.
URL Exception Manifest - their may be some URLs you don't want rewritten for the offline version. (That is, you want the URL to go to the same fully-qualified domain name whether part of the Offline version or not.) Leave this textarea empty to rewrite all URLs. Alternatively, specify fully-qualified domain name URLs to not be rewritten, one per line.
Jumpstart this Blog - an asset will be automatically copied or linked when the asset has been modified. However existing assets need a "jumpstart" to become part of the offline version. Similarly, static content will be copied during an upgrade but existing content needs a "jumpstart" to become part of the offline version. The jumpstart will also publish templates offline. Click the button to Jumpstart this blog.
The plugin also defines the following template tag:
This template tag can be used to output templates differently when publishing for offline distribution.
First you'll want to work the configuration options, of course. If you haven't started a Jumpstart, do it now to get the offline location populated.
As noted in the overview, Publish Offline will automatically work in the background to keep the offline version of a blog updated. Whenever a template is republished for the live blog, it's also queued to be published at the offline location. Similarly, when an asset is uploaded or edited, it's queued to be copied or linked to the offline location. After the initial configuration, Publish Offline will just do all of the work for you!
Note that there is a delay between when something is done on the live blog and when it appears in the offline location. Items are queued for the offline version when they are made live on the normal online version. The queue is managed by the frequency
run-periodic-tasksexecutes on, which also handles other publishing and maintenance duties. duties. If
run-periodic-tasksis running on a 15 minute schedule, it's safe to assume that the offline version will be about 15 minutes behind the live site's updates.
Visit Manage > Offline Archives to manage archives of the offline version, as well as for a little insight to the offline blog's status. What you'll find on Manage Offline Archives:
- Notification of a Jumpstart in process.
- Notification of any offline archive jobs in the queue.
- Notification of any offline publishing jobs in the queue.
- Ability to take a snapshot of the offline location, saving as a zip archive.
- Ability to manage the offline archives.
The management interface uses the familiar listing screen, so any administrator should be familiar with how to use it. Archives can be downloaded and deleted from this interface.
Offline archives are created by clicking the Create an Offline Archive button found on the Manage Offline Archives interface. A popup dialog will appear -- simply click Create Archive to get started. This will be added to the queue; specify email addresses for notification of when the archive is available.
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This plugin is licensed under the same terms as Perl itself.