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About Douglas

What is this?

Douglas is a file-based blog system written in Python with the following features:

  • compiler
  • WSGI application
  • runs as a CGI script (woo-hoo!)
  • plugin system for easy adjustment of transforms
  • Jinja renderer
  • basic set of built-in plugins

Douglas is a rewrite of Pyblosxom.


There are other file-based blog systems out there that have a more complete feature set. I continued this one because at the time, it was easier to continue working on this than to switch.

However, I've now switched to nikola. It's pretty swell. It was easy to switch my Pyblosxom/Douglas blog over.

Ergo, this project is dead for now.


Status:Extreme Alpha


  • Python 2.7
  • possibly other requirements depending on what plugins you install

Quickstart for compiling a new blog

  1. Create a virtual environment

  2. Activate the virtual environment

  3. Install Douglas into your virtual environment:

    pip install
  4. Create a new blog structure:

    douglas-cmd create <blog-dir>

    For example: douglas-cmd create blog

  5. Edit the blog/ file. There should be instructions on what should get changed and how to change it.

  6. Change directories to blog and then render the site:

    douglas-cmd compile
  7. Collect the static assets:

    douglas-cmd collectstatic
  8. Copy the compiled_site/ directory tree to where they're available for serving by your web server.

Where to go from here

Each file in blog/entries/ is a blog entry. They are text files. You can edit them with any text editor.

The blog is rendered using Jinja2. The templates are in the blog/themes/ directory. A theme consists of:

  • a content_type file which has the mimetype of the output being rendered (e.g. text/html)
  • an entry.<themename> file which is used when rendering a page with a single entry
  • an entry_list.<themename> file which is used when rendering a page with a bunch of entries (e.g. category list, date archive list, front page, ...)
  • additional template files required by plugins as specified by those plugins
  • static assets like CSS files, JS files and images in the static/<themename>/ subdirectory

The following plugins which come with Douglas are enabled by default in your load_plugins config property:


Creates a draft folder that you can view on the web-site, but doesn't show up in the archive links. This makes it easier for other people to review entries before they're live.

The draft dir is blog/drafts/.

When you want to make an entry live, you move it from blog/drafts/ to blog/entries/.


Add #published YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM to the metadata in your blog entries. That's the published date for the blog entry rather than the mtime of the file.

Douglas comes with other useful plugins. Refer to the documentation for a list.

You can write your own plugins and put the plugin files in blog/plugins/ and add the plugin Python module to the load_plugins list in your file.


DEAD PROJECT: File based static rendering blog system







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