Over on GarrettDimon.com there is a great post up about SimpleLog a Ruby on Rails based blogging application. With version 2.0 already out the door, it might be one to use if you are looking for an alternative to WordPress or Movable Type.
My first impression of the screenshots is that it is very minimalistic and shiney. You might like that, you might not.
SimpleLog is great, but it is intentionally missing some of the features common to blogging tools. So, before we get in too deep, I figured it’s only fair to address those ahead of time. SimpleLog is doesn’t allow for multiple blogs, formalized publishing workflow, or different privileges for different users. It simply focuses on writing and managing content.
A screenshot of the theme drop down in the SimpleLog preferences.Figure 2 Changing themes in SimpleLog is done by simply changing a value in a drop down.
One major aspect worth addressing is that SimpleLog doesn’t have a built-in templating system. To some, this is great because SimpleLog doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, assuming that you’re comfortable with Ruby and Rails, you can create a theme by simply editing a small set of rhtml files. If you’re not comfortable with Rails, the files are still very editable and extremely readable and well-documented. However, having a good understanding of Ruby and Rails enables you to go much farther in customizing the code.
If you’re not interested in getting into the code, SimpleLog employs a fantastically simple system for themes. (Figure 2) Given it’s relative youth, you won’t find a plethora of themes out there, but once they exist, it’s a matter of copying a theme directory into the themes folder, and changing a drop down in the preferences setting.