I have spent a lot of hours in the past week working with Mephisto. Mephisto is a blogging platform with aims of eventually being a full-fledged CMS. Overall I like it, but I am uncertain if it is a platform I ought to continue working with at this point.

Here are the highlights of the pros:

  • It is written in Rails, which is a platform I know well and therefore can extend rather easily.
  • The site can be split into multiple sections, each of which can be its own blog and have its own RSS feed, or which can be a single page.
  • Themes! Mephisto can be themed, and it is easy to write new ones using one or more of several template languages.
  • It allows multiple layouts to allow for different looks for each section of the site.
  • Articles can be formatted in with Textile, Markdown, or just plain HTML. I was able to integrate TinyMCE without much trouble as well.

But there are also the cons:

  • The current version is 0.8. That is not quite 1.0, and I wager that the reason it is not at 1.0 is related to the various little bugs that I have found.
  • Sometimes Mephisto will select the wrong layout for a page and it is difficult to figure out why. Fortunately, these situations are limited to “Preview this Post” and the “permanent links” to articles that represent pages that normally do not get linked to.
  • Mephisto has plugins and themes, but it is difficult to find useful plugins and more than a small number of publicly available themes.

I think Mephisto is a better platform than Radiant at this point, and in my opinion it gives Rails a reasonably usable blogging platform. Before committing more time to it, however, I think I will take a look at the much touted Drupal. I have been meaning to take a look at it anyway. :)

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One Response to “Mephisto”

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