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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Production stage for the blog interface at Gmane

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/28 06:50

My suggestions for a blog interface for Gmane have been put in production. Check this:

Even the four default designs... Well, they were just the first ones I got at hand for my alternate-CSS-design demo . The Lars design is particularly awful

See the running demos:

I think that Gmane needs just one default style. The rightmenu one has its origin in a creative-commons protected style (Rusty) that was listed at ... Now the license mention has disappeared fron there.

I think they should find a free-content default style, acknowledging the origin, or create a custom Gmane-style from a friend designer or...

As I see, now it's the user who chooses the style to apply to all lists he/she is watchin'... I thought it would be the other way round. Each list admin could touch the CSS style of his/her list... So each list would have its own design.

This blog thing appeared at Gmane.discuss after Lars mentioned an admin interface and CSS changes. So, I thought it would be on admin's hands to apply a design. Logos or colours associated to projects could make the appeal of blog interaces more logical, that way.

Another option for an admin: The side menu has space for more things. If there was an admin interface, perhaps he/she could edit a section about so some lines with related links or a general explanation could appear at the side menu with the about caption.

The blog option is open to all lists and groups stored at Gmane. Just type the blog domain prefix and there it is:

Coreblog 1.0, localised and adapted to CSS

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/27 06:55

We have localised the current version of Coreblog, 1.0, in Spanish and Basque. And also let it localisable in other languages.

Zexp files downloadable and installation instructions here

See the running demos:

- Basque

Well, the demos are properly Coreblog 0.7, but at the interface level few differences from one to the other.

To run these localised versions of Coreblog, and to localize your own version in another language, you need:

  • Localizer (tested with version 1.1.0a4). This product needs also iHotfix and iTools to be installed.

This localisation work only comprises the public web interfaces of Coreblog. Management interfaces based in the ZMI have not been touched.

These Coreblog skins not only are localised, but their layout is adapted to pure CSS, following the CSS-compatible template of Movable Type 2.x. That work was programmed by Jeffrey Hicks. Jeff announced that with a link in May, but that link has disappeared from his blog. However, it's that work which we used as a basis, and it's proper to mention it.

Bugs: problems have been reported by users of non-latin character sets.

But, the product is in full use around us... A full community of Basque blogs has blossomed around Coreblog. The very first Basque community of blogs, was developed using the localised CSS version of ours. Check the variety of blogs:

So, we are really happy with Coreblog and its capabilities


Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/27 06:50

Besides the usual Mailman archives for Coreblog-en, the resurrected list for international Coreblog users has resumed feeding the previous web archive it had at

Now, posts from the new era are also stored there

Searches are possible at Gmane, so old and new messages will be there at hand. Except for a handful of messages of the new era, that can be read here

Gmane also offers Usenet-like newsgroup output for lists stored there:

and RSS feed as well.

Internationalising date formats

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/23 11:40

We are asked at Gmane if we users prefer the Iso8601 date format instead of the rfc2822. The Gmane-master isn't very convinced:

  iso8601: 2004-10-02 15:45:05  rfc2822: Sat, 02 Oct 2004 15:45:05 +0200 

ISO is much more friendly with languages other than English. rfc shows English words... However, for email storing purposes, to comply with the .mbox format and so, rfc looks better. ISO for showing at the web interface, RFC for storing in the backend.

Ideally, one should have the option to manage variables in the strings provided in the translation/l10n. That is, true i18n and l10n. That way, one could produce particular date formats...

Look at this welsh blog entry. It's in welsh, but you may understand the concept.

It's a method to display dates in Welsh at powered blogs. They do it through Javascript, parsing this variable that Blogger provides: $BlogDateHeaderDate$

That's a complicated way to do it. A simpler approach, with no weekday-names and so could be to use just numeral date variables. A Python solution used in Zope web applications:

  strftime(%Y-%m-%d) produces 2004-10-20  strftime(%d/%m/%Y) produces 20/10/2004  

The second one, more apt, for instance, for Spanish-looking dates.

This issue appeared at last month's thread List admin interface when discussion came into providing a localised/translated form to date formats.

Resurrection of Coreblog-en

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/21 16:59

The original Coreblog-en list was created in April 2004 by Klaus Seistrup in Denmark, using a Mailman server based at That server stopped working on Sep 2004, and Klaus was hopeful that the repair would came soon... In the meantime, Coreblog has reached stable status, version 1.0, and there was no non-Japanese list to comment events. After some chat with Klaus, we offered to host a substitute Mailman list, and here it is, now based in the service, courtesy of CodeSyntax

There was also another offer but Klaus was at the still confident with the recovery of

So, finnally, the new address for the list is this:

Feel free to make it public around your coreblog and fellow corebloggers that you may know.

Let's continue working around Coreblog.

Blog Interface for Gmane

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/03 17:40

Seems Lars the Gmane-master has sone interest in this crazy idea of mine. There it goes:

The Blog Interface for Gmane would show lists and msgs as if they were blogs, entries and comments. How?

Like this:

CAUTION: that is a fake plane html dummy page. All links are false... However, the messages shown are true, a selection of some days at July at gmane.discuss

At a first glance, we see 3 messages there. They are thread initials, only. The ones that in Classic Gmane appear indented with black little strokes are classified as comments and hidden below each main entry... That would be what we would see at

Well, this is just fake, but instead of whole messages in each entry I suppose that some 500 or 800 chars. could be automatically classed as summary and the rest is reachable after clicking in a Continue reading link. More or less, a selection similar to the one that the RSS method provides.

A plus would be, of course, some kind of javascript trick a-la-Gmail to let quoted parts expand or hide according to a click.

Now, look at the right column. The Current view caption tells us that it is a threaded view... Well, besides there could be an additional interface with all-messages, plainly arranged chronologically, some url like and with no comments in the entries.

Another click would change the the view from only 800 chars to whole msg and viceversa.

And now, the other view, that of a given message or thread:

this could be the equivalent to which would be URL'ed like

In this default view, each reply would be chronlogically displayed, with no thread-indication. But a click would display a threaded view of the replies, like collective massive blogs like Kuro5hin or Slashdot do. We could call that*

That could be trickier to adapt to a clean CSS html, but well...

The reply option, in this blog interfaces, would be a open dialog box below the entries. That would answer to the initial main msg. For other messages in the thread, another window would be opened after clicking on Reply to this comment

Each comment-permalink, if it leads to a sub-thread, would display its own replies as comments, with the sub-thread initial as the main msg. In those partial threads or sub-thread there would be that button, now below at Classic Gmane to find the original thread.

And well, the column at the right shows the options of Gmane, as well as the typical blog options: the calendar, the msgs archived by month (a much more usable feature than the pull-down numeral menu of old messages of Classic Gmane). Google ads should go there also.

This example of dummy html pages follows a Movable-Type-like Html layout and just altering the CSS the view of the interface would change completely. A community of blogs hosted there offers variants as Espaloia , Iturri or Prospektiba all sharing the same html layout. Some samples to share at Movablestyle


What's the purpose of all this crazy idea, the Blog Interface for Gmane?

  • Advance in the buzzword-compliant feature policy of Gmane. After RSS, now it's time to add blog features to the system
  • Nicer web appeal: truly CSS modifiable designs, if admin interfaces are placed...
  • A blog way of posting, replying, will increase interaction in the lists (I believe)
  • More fame for Gmane, more visits, more GoogleAd clicks.
  • The Blog/mailing list intersection... There is talk about that over there in Internet, but I doubt if that grial has ever been found. Now, this is an opportunity for Gmane. It pionereed usenet/list intersection. Now, one step further. After that, it will time for wold domination.

Of course, I am afraid that a terrible amount of coding would be needed if such a thing should be made... But well, there's the idea. Free idea, of course.

How to mark locales when doing i18n and l10n on a web service?

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/02 12:00

The 2-letter codes are more usual (iso 639-1), in Internet, I would say, than the 3-letter iso code (iso 639-2)

Another way is to mark a country code for more specific locales, as en_us, en_uk etc...

I've seen in translation memory systems, that when no country needs to be represented the following form is used sometimes: en_00

On a personal note, we Basques would prefer the 3-letter code eus instead of baq (both are valid). It's closer to the native name of our language, Euskara, and also closer to the 2-letter unique code: eu.

Iso codes for languages

i18n under way at Gmane: Basque interfaces now visible!

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/10/02 11:57

Lars the Gmane-master has initiated a thread at gmane.discuss about a possible Gmane admin interface for list-admins to manage things. He asked how could admins use that, and I answered that i18n-l10n could be a good idea.

So, I told Lars:

One thing, first of all: translate interface message strings. That is, l10n in my language.

Obviously Gmane should go through i18n first... and it would be nice if it did so following the GNU standard, Gettext, as many other pieces of software have done (Mailman, for instance). If all interface messages were in a .po file, then translating the interface of a given list would be easy.

I personally admin 3 Basque lists hosted at Gmane. The proper way to translate the interfaces would not be taking strings one by one in each list, and then in the next one... I should be able to upload the .po file with all strings to every list I admin.

That way, it would be enough that just one non-English group admin translates a given message set, so that others can re-use it. For instance, Lars produces the Danish file. Then other group admins can follow (some repository could be created for submissions). I don't know how many non-English lists are there, but for those, this would be an interesting feature. For English language lists, well, perhaps someone might be tempted to change some messages for whatever reason, and there might be some usage of this feature, but obviously this is a feature for the other languages mainly.

Lars answered that gettext approach didn't match well with his PHP software... But he managed quickly to set up a system that works. Now, just 24 hours after the thread begun, Basque lists look Basque now, at least at a first glance.

Now, we want just more, you see... you feed us with a little bit of i18n, and we want MORE of it... The msg strings... From, Subject... Then the posting interface, date formats...


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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