Streamlined Java blog server.
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Welcome to TightBlog! This project started off in May 2015 as a fork of the Apache Roller project, of which I contributed for about 2 1/2 years before deciding to go my own way due to differing ideas of what would make the best blogging product. As of 14 September 2018, Release 3.3.1 is available.

Screen shots for the TightBlog UI are here, the twelve-table database model is here, see also my blog for an example of a TightBlog-powered blog. TightBlog ships with three blog themes, for which bloggers may use directly, modify them per-blog, or create their own themes from scratch.

TightBlog strives to be the cleanest and simplest implementation of a Java based blog server, suitable either for direct use or incorporation, as an Apache-licensed open source project, into larger projects. Specifically, its goal is to satisfy all the needs of 80% of bloggers while avoiding seldom-requested functionality that creates maintenance burdens, distracting one from core functionality and hence doing more harm than good.

This more realistic goal--along with adopting Spring Boot, REST, AngularJS and other code modernizations--has allowed TightBlog to slim down considerably from its parent, as can be seen in the following chart:

Product Released Database Tables Java Source Files JSP Files Lines Of Code
Apache Roller 5.1.2 1 Mar 2015 33 493 96 95.7K
TightBlog 1.0 17 July 2016 17 187 55 48.5K
TightBlog 2.0 4 June 2017 14 151 37 43.7K
TightBlog 2.0.4 12 Febuary 2018 13 146 37 42.9K
TightBlog 3.0 23 June 2018 12 119 37 35.8K

(Lines of code--LOC--based on OpenHub stats. Java source file count does not include unit test classes, however LOC do.)

In addition to the removal of older seldom used functionality many new helpful and modern features have been added:

  • Bloggers may blog using CommonMark in addition to standard HTML and Rich Text Editors.
  • Blog entries have a "notes" field for the blogger to store anything helpful in maintaining the article.
  • There is a new tag management screen allowing for renaming, merging, and deleting tags attached to blog entries, as well as adding a new tag to all articles already having a given tag.
  • Both Category and Tag management tabs now list the number of blog entries associated with the category or tag, as well as publish dates of the first and last entries of each.
  • A new "search.enabled" setting has been added to static configuration allowing for shutting off the Lucene indexer used for blog searching, useful in saving processing/space for when you're relying on third party indexing tools like Google Custom Search instead.
  • Commenters who request "notify me" to receive emails of future comments for a particular blog entry now receive a link at the bottom of the email to shut off future notifications
  • There is a new BLOGCREATOR global role separated from the earlier BLOGGER role. While both roles allow a blogger full administration of his weblog (whether created by an admin for the blogger or the blogger himself) only users with the former role can create new weblogs.
  • Commenters who are logged-in bloggers now have their blogger ID stored with the comment, simplifying comment entry and allowing for different styling of comments (e.g., different background color for comments made by the blogger on his own blog).
  • The blog template engine (used for customized themes) now uses modern Thymeleaf 3.0 instead of Apache Velocity.
  • All emails sent are in HTML format and customizable by modifying the Thymeleaf templates in the webapp/thymeleaf/emails folder.
  • Login Multifactor Authentication (MFA) with Google Authenticator support added (Admin setting provided to either require it for all bloggers--the default--or have it disabled).

To obtain the source code:

To build the application (app/target/tightblog.war) with Gradle and Java 8: gradle clean build from the TightBlog root.

The Docker images defined in the docker subdirectory of this project can be used to test TightBlog locally before deploying. First build the project to generate the tightblog WAR. As TightBlog requires SSL, next provide a certificate & key for the Tomcat image as explained in the web Dockerfile. Then from the docker folder, running "docker-compose up" should result in a TightBlog available from your local machine at https://localhost/tightblog. Should you need to change the docker-compose.yml or the web Dockerfile, be sure to run "docker-compose build" for the images to be regenerated. Note for simplicity the default does not demo Google Authenticator MFA, if desired modify the docker/web/ to activate. Emailing is also not configured.

Caution: The Docker images have not seen production use and are currently meant just for quick demoing for evaluation purposes. In a production environment tightening of the Tomcat and PostgresQL images provided (changing passwords, removing sample applications provided by Tomcat, etc.) would be advisable, best to check online sources for details. For actual production installations on Tomcat or other servlet container, please read the Install pages on the TightBlog Wiki.