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Flexible Lisp Blogware


coleslaw logo

Czeslaw Milosz was the writer-in-residence at UNC c. 1992. I used to see him all the time at the Hardback Cafe, always sitting at a two-top drinking coffee, reading, writing, eating chips and salsa. I remember a gentleness behind the enormous bushy eyebrows and that we called him Coleslaw. - anon

Coleslaw aims to be flexible blog software suitable for replacing a single-user static site compiler such as Jekyll.


  • Git for storage
  • RSS and Atom feeds!
  • Markdown Support with Code Highlighting provided by colorize.
    • Currently supports: Common Lisp, Emacs Lisp, Scheme, C, C++, Java, Python, Erlang, Haskell, Obj-C, Diff.
  • Multi-site publishing support.

  • A Plugin API and plugins for...

    • Comments via Disqus
    • Analytics via Google
    • Hosting via Github Pages
    • Deploying to Amazon S3
    • Using LaTeX (inside pairs of $$) via Mathjax
    • Using ReStructured Text
    • Sitemap generation
    • Importing posts from wordpress
  • There is also a Heroku buildpack maintained by Jose Pereira.

  • Example sites: redlinernotes, kenan-bolukbasi.log, and Nothing Really Matters.


A core goal of coleslaw is to be both pleasant to read and easy to hack on and extend. If you want to understand the internals and bend coleslaw to do new and interesting things, I strongly encourage you to read the Hacker's Guide to Coleslaw.


This software should be portable to any conforming Common Lisp implementation but this guide will assume SBCL is installed. Testing has also been done on CCL. Server side setup:

  1. Setup git and create a bare repo as shown here.
  2. Install Lisp and Quicklisp.
  3. wget -c -O ~/.coleslawrc # and edit as necessary
  4. wget -c -O your-blog.git/hooks/post-receive # and edit as necessary
  5. chmod +x your-blog/.git/hooks/post-receive
  6. Create or clone your blog repo locally. Add your server as a remote with git remote add prod
  7. Point the web server of your choice at the symlink /path/to/deploy-dir/.curr/

Now whenever you push a new commit to the server, coleslaw will update your blog automatically! You may need to git push -u prod master the first time.

The Post Format

Coleslaw expects post files to be formatted as follows:

title: foo
tags: bar, baz
date: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss
format: html (for raw html) or md (for markdown)
your post


Two themes are provided: hyde and readable (based on bootswatch readable). Hyde is the default. A guide to creating themes for coleslaw lives here.

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