Author: PyBlosxom Development Team
Version: plugins.txt 1029 2007-06-07 02:33:12Z willhelm
Copyright: This document is distributed under the MIT license.



PyBlosxom allows you to extend and augment its base functionality using PyBlosxom plugins. Plugins allow you to create additional variables; provide additional entry parsers, renderers, post-formatters, and pre-formatters; create new output data types; pull information from other non-blog sources; create images; and a variety of other things.

Setting PyBlosxom up to Use Plugins

There are two properties in your file that affect the behavior for loading plugins.

The first one is the plugin_dirs property which is a list of strings specifying all the directories you might have plugins. For example:

py["plugin_dirs"] = ["/home/will/pybloxsom/plugins"]

This will cause PyBlosxom to look in this specific directory for plugins.

The other property is the load_plugins property. If you don't have this set at all (i.e. it's either not in the file or the line is commented out), PyBlosxom will load all plugins it finds in the plugin directories you've specified. It will look in each directory in order as you've specified. It will load the plugins in each directory in alphabetical order by filename.

The other way to load plugins is by specifying the plugins explicitly by setting the load_plugins property. PyBlosxom will load only the plugins you've specified and will load them in the order you've specified. The load_plugins property takes a list of strings. For example:

py["load_plugins"] = ["calendar", "category", "booklist"]

This will load the plugins whose filenames are,, and It will only load those plugins even if other plugins are in the directory and it will load them in that order.

Finding Plugins

You can find plugins in the PyBlosxom plugin registry.

Additionally, some people write plugins, but never register with the plugin registry. Sometimes this is because the author doesn't feel the plugin is finished for public consumption. Even so, it might meet your needs. The best way to find these plugins is to ask on the pyblosxom-users mailing list for a plugin that has the functionality you desire.

Installing Plugins

When you're installing a plugin, refer to its documentation. The documentation could be in a README file, but more commonly it's in the plugin code itself at the top of the file. This documentation should tell you how to install the plugin, what template variables the plugin exposes, how to invoke the plugin, how to get in touch with the author should you find bugs or need help, and any additional things you should know about.

Most plugins should have a pretty easy installation method. You should be able to copy the plugin into the directory defined in your file in the plugin_dirs property. Then there might be some additional properties you'll have to set in your file to define the plugin's behavior. That should be about it. On some occasions, you may have to change the code in the plugin itself to meet your specific needs.


A note about Apache, no suexec, .pyc files, and permission problems:

If you're not running suexec, then Apache may not be able to generate the .pyc files for your plugins. This may result in your plugins failing to load.

If that happens, you should run ./pyblosxom.cgi in your shell to generate the .pyc files.

Every time you install a new plugin or change an existing plugin, you'll need to remove the existing .pyc files and regenerate them.

Writing Your Own Plugins

You may find that you desire functionality and there is no plugin that anyone knows about that performs that functionality. It's probably best at this point for you to ask someone to write the plugin you need or write it yourself.

PyBlosxom plugins are fairly easy to write and can cover a lot of really different functionality. The best way to learn how to write PyBlosxom plugins is to read through the plugins in the plugin registry. Many of them are well written and may provide insight as to how to solve your specific problem.

If you plan on writing your own plugin, refer to the manual file on writing PyBlosxom plugins.

Additionally, feel free to ask for help on the pyblosxom-users and pyblosxom-devel mailing lists.