Simon Willison’s Weblog


Vellum looks nice

16th January 2003

Stuart has released the code for Vellum, his new Python blogging system. I haven’t tried it out yet (the installation process is pretty in depth and I don’t have a properly configured server to hand) but it looks damn sexy. Key features include:

  • Funky caching—an idea that originated with Rasmus Lerdorf that was expanded on by Phil Ringnalda a while ago (I blogged it here) where pages are intelligently created by a custom 404 script as and when they are first requested.
  • A template system based on Stuart’s Castalian engine, which allows Python to be embedded in HTML using a similar approach to ASP. The template system includes the interesting addition of an ’end’ statement for Python blocks, to get around the problem of Python’s indentation clashing with the indentation used in the HTML of the templates.
  • A truly smart looking Plugins system, with plugins that can either extend existing Vellum objects (adding new methods and attributes if required) or use ’hooks’ to add new functionality to the existing code structure. Best of all, plugin installation is as simple as dropping a plugin file in to a directory.

All in all it looks like a really smart system. It’s going to be fun watching it evolve (comments are promised as a soon-to-be-added feature).

This is Vellum looks nice by Simon Willison, posted on 16th January 2003.

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