Software - Imapblogger.

What is imapblogger?

Imapblogger is a minimalist blog engine, which takes data from an IMAP folder containing PGP signed emails and outputs their content as HTML and RSS for presentation by a normal external webserver. Imapblogger is no resident process; instead it is called when needed, e.g. by procmail or cron.

The basic idea behind ImapBlogger is to keep things as simple as possible while still having a scalable solution. A blog consists of messages and comments, which are basically messages as well. So basically most things needed for a blog system are already there, in the form of an IMAP server for storing, a MUA for managing and a webserver for presenting the messages. The only missing thing was nice HTML and RSS output, and that's what ImapBlogger does: converting an IMAP folder into an RSS file and a bunch of template based HTML pages and that's it. No daemons, no databases, no dynamic script languages (although by nature it can be combined with any of those), not even multithreading. Just a simple generator.

Distributed installations

Imapblogger uses imap protocol for accessing the mailserver and local file access for writing the html/rss files. So while having the mailserver on a different machine is supported natively, this is not the case for the webserver. If a configuration like that is needed, solutions like sshfs, ftpfs, rsync etc. will do the job.

Current State

The basic features work, as can be seen on the blog and photoblog on this page and on (my wife's blog). Messages and comments can be posted and displayed (also threaded), RSS and HTML output are supported. Pictures and audio/video media can be included as well for podcast support. Spam prevention is implemented by checking PGP signatures and by checking a manually set flag on the IMAP server for unsigned messages.

Currently not supported is an archive function and changing an existing message. Regarding the latter, it is of course possible to delete the old message and re-send it, but if comments were already associated to it, that link currently gets lost so that these comments are not shown at all anymore.


- soon to come -