Mephisto: Full Steam Ahead

April 28th, 2011 by admin

The story of Mephisto

Mephisto was born out of two projects. I (Justin Palmer) had been working on a CMS system myself dubbed “ArticleCast” at the same time Rick Olson was working on what used to be Mephisto. It turns out that I’m nowhere near as good at Ruby or Rails as Rick is, and in the same respect, Rick wasn’t all that fancy at UI design and Photoshop.

We started talking about our separate projects in the depths of IRC and decided our end goal was pretty much the same. We wanted a simple, beautiful, light-weight publishing system that was pluggable. We wanted to write a publishing system that we wanted to use and was perfect for us. After realizing we both could benefit by consolidating our efforts into one system, we stuck with the name Mephisto and started working on what you see today on February 10th 2006 (Basecamp, not just project management, it’s a keepsake for memories). We took a fairly big break not long after that because we were both so busy, so, we haven’t been actively developing Mephisto that long.

Now, here we are today with what we think will soon be the best blogging/publishing system you can get. In the short period of active development we’ve managed to do some amazing things. We’re not the only ones that think this either. Mephisto has proven it can hold it’s own and is powering high-traffic blogs such as The official Ruby on Rails weblog and mission-critical sites such as RailsMachine.

We’ve got big plans for Mephisto and we hope you’ll help us out along the way. In order to make Mephisto better, we’ll need the help of a community, and maybe the occasional Coca-cola (+beer, +coffee). If you want to help, we want you to know how you can help. We tried to hire some fairies and leprechauns, but their rates where pushing the limits of our non-existant budget.

Enough fairy talk, here’s the scoop on how you can help and also a little bit about the Mephisto project.

Getting involed

  • Subscribe to our feed and stay updated.
  • The Mephisto Mailing List: If you’ve got questions, we’ve (hopefully) got answers (maybe you’ve got answers too?).
  • We also have a community editable wiki that I’ve kick started with some initial documentation that should help you get things up and running. If there is any helpful information you can add, please do. The wiki can be found here for now: Mephisto Wiki

An official release

We want to cleanup any of the annoying bugs that are popping up as more people have started using Mephisto. Once we get rid of these bugs, then we’ll probably do a 0.5 release and announce it on the blog. (Perhaps a week from now).

Development Focus

Our goal is to keep the Mephisto core as slim as we can. We want to make it pluggable so we can do just this.

At the moment, Mephisto supports pluggable text filters and macros that can be distributed as Rails plugins. This area still needs some looking into, but for the most part things should be fairly workable on this front. Take a look here for an introduction: Introduction to Text Filters and Macros for Mephisto.

Mephisto also contains Liquid/Template based plugins and themes. You can check out more info on the liquid plugins here: Writing Liquid Plugins for Templates

What’s To Come

We want to make sure what we have now is polished before we start adding additional core features. We’ve been discussing file management, multi-site administration, and spam prevention. These are all things that we’ll start looking into after the 0.5 release. We’ve got a lot of infrastructure in place for both of these things, like at, it’s just a matter of getting it finished, polished, and pushed.

How You Can Help

We know that you’ve got ninja skills only a mother could love, but we’ll embrace your freakish talents as well. So, on that note, we’d like to ask your help.

  • Templates: If you’ve ported a publicly released template over to Mephisto, please add it here: Mephisto Templates
  • Converters: At the moment we only have converters for Typo and Textpattern. If you can write importers for other systems like WordPress, Blogger, etc, that would be great. If you can’t write one and have some sample data from one of these system, please post it to the mailing list to see if someone else can write an importer for it.
  • Filter/Macro Plugins: If you write any filter or macro plugins that you don’t mind sharing, please post them here: Mephisto Filters and Macros
  • Liquid/Template Plugins: If you write any liquid/template plugins that you don’t mind sharing, please post them here: Mephisto Liiquid Plugins
  • Evangelism: Pimpin’ ain’t easy, so if you can give Mephisto a plug, or blog about your (hopefully positive) experience with Mephisto, we’d be forever in debt to you.

Posted in Mephisto, Mephisto Setup

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