LnBlog 0.5.3 - "No Need for Spam"
It's release time again! LnBlog 0.5.3, also known as "No Need for Spam," is now available for download. You can get it from the download page as usual. You may also want to note that I've decided to join the 21st century and am now cryptographically signing the release archives with GnuPG. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it. If you do know, then you can find my public key here.
This release adds a number of significant features. The biggest features are actually all implemented as standard plugins, meaning you can customize them and/or turn them off. The first of these is a plugin to blacklist IP addresses from submitting comments or trackbacks. This has several features. First, when you are logged in, it displays the IP address from which a comment or trackback was posted along with a link to ban it. If you are logged in as the administrator, there is also a "global ban" link. Basically, the idea is that you can ban apply a ban for just the current blog or globally for all blogs managed by LnBlog. The two files are merged when the plugin loads, so the blocking rules from both will be applied. If an IP address is found in one of those files, any comments or trackbacks it submits will just be discarded. And just as side note, if you want to make your regular account the administrator in order to make global banning more convenient, you can do that by creating a userconfig.cfg file in your LnBlog userdata directory and adding the following line to it:
ADMIN_USER = your_username_here
Note that this will make the administrator account into a regular user. Of course, that probably isn't a problem for most people.
As for the IP ban lists themselves, they are actually a list of regular expressions, one per line. When you click one of the ban links, the actual IP address is added to the appropriate ban file. However, you can edit the file from a sidebar link and actually change those lines to use PREG (Perl-compatible regular expression) syntax. So, for example, if you're getting spammed by the whole range of IP addresses between 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168, you could block that entire subnet by simply adding 123.45.67.* to the ban file. If you're a real regular expression wizard, you could get really fancy, but this should be sufficient for most people.
The next spam-related feature in this release is another plugin, this time to just turn off comment and/or trackback posting for your whole blog. This plugin has settings that allow you to turn off trackbacks and to turn off comments either for everybody or just for people who are not logged in. This is for those who would rather just not deal with comment or trackback spam at all.
The third semi-spam-related feature is a plugin to notify you by e-mail when a trackback ping is received by an entry. Basically, this is exactly the same as the comment notification plugin, except for trackbacks. This way, you'll actually know when you get trackback spam.
One more option on the plugin front, it is now possible to add your own custom links to the articles section of the sidebar. When you log in, you will now see a link for that at the bottom of the articles section. The file format and interface is the same as for modifying the sitemap.
The last big feature is pretty permalinks for entries. Rather than the date and time, the last component of permalinks will now be a sanitized version of the subject line. Of course, the old-style permalinks will still work, even for new entries, so there is no need to convert anything. I've just added some code to create a wrapper PHP script with a nice name whenever an entry is added or modified. The other nice thing about this is that if you change the subject of an entry, the link with the old subject will still work.
As always, leave a comment or e-mail me if you have any problems, questions, or comments. Enjoy!
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