Sadly, DasBlog has proven to be the most difficult piece of
blogging tool/web CMS I've ever tried to customize.
Typically, I install a CMS (or blogging tool) and I expect it to Just Work™
. But unfortunately I've spent more time trying to undo some weird layout than actually blog. There could be two reasons for this:
- I suck at web design. I already admitted this so nothing new here.
- DasBlog isn't the most user friendly blogging platform on the planet.
I've worked with some pretty hard-to-grok CMSes in the past including the excellent Plone and Drupal. Both of them are much more sophisticated, much more powerful and actually do real Content Management (Plone much more so than Drupal). However, I had far more luck customizing Plone's theme and templates or getting Drupal to contain the content items I want than I did with DasBlog.
Which brings me to the real point of this post: Simplicity is not simplism.
I actually want the the ability to customize my page without touching CSS and HTML, to change what content blocks appear on different pages, to write drafts and save different versions, to add links to my blog roll without having to edit an XML file on the server, to link to my older posts without having to figure out what the Url to those posts was so I can manually paste it.
It's possible that I am spoiled by Concrete 5, which just makes doing all these things *amazingly* simple. And the installation, configuration and customization experience is way better too. Not to mention the HTML it generates - I looked at the HTML of this post and found lots of <br> tags separating my "paragraphs". Sigh.
Fundamentally, design is hard because it forces you to make a decision about what simplicity looks like for you and everyone else that you expect to use your software. This is the reason we have several hundred blog tools and CMSes out there. No one tool is going to work for everyone, so you have to choose the one that will work for you.
DasBlog hasn't worked for me.