The Future of Serendipity

When I started working on Serendipity about 5 years ago, this happened mainly because of a personal itch to scratch: I wanted to see my personal blogging and CMS-needs fulfilled on my own page.

Since then, development of Serendipity was mostly caused by my personal thoughts of usable features, and of course the wishes of this community. In my oppinion, this has worked out quite well, the features of the past years have been received well by you.

Despite of that, this also means that Serendipity does not have an outlined Feature-Agenda.

The differentiation of Serendipity against other blog engines is quite important to me. Serendipity cannot and willnot be a WordPress-Clone, but fills its own user base: A lean base system with strong expandibility, secure and bugfree code basis and workflows/usage methods close to the user. A 'bottom-up' development process is my favouriteed variant, as a Developer I would never want to push features into the product, that have not been mentioned by users (=non-developers).

For the next Serendipity 1.4 version I am still missing a few new useful functions, which is why I would like to ask the community, which things you currently miss most, or in which places see strong indicators to put work into. Because this is, where I would like to improve things.

Please write down your wishes and ideas for the future of Serendipity. This entry has also been posted on the Serendipity Forums, where it can be easily commented.


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s9yftw am um :

"... where it can be easily commented."? Only by people who have an account on the forum, which seems like a lot of effort just to request a feature.

I personally would like Serendipity to allow bulk editing of posts, such as assigning a category to multiple posts at once.

devnet am um :

you can already assign an entry to multiple categories at once.

As for bulk editing of posts...what would be the reason for a feature like this? Tell a use case for this to make sense.

Garvin am um :

Well, of course - if you have no forum account, feel free to comment here. The forums sadly are often spammed, and since phpBB does not have that good antispam methods like s9y has, we required user registration. Sorry for the inconvenience. :)

Did you try the "assign categories" event plugin? This allows you to bulk-assign categories to multiple entries?

Marcus Radisch am um :

Hello together,

i prefer an wiki, i have an lot of ideas and the wiki should be without passwords.

Bye Marcus Radisch

Garvin am um :

I cannot also check on a seperate wiki page, my time is limited. I would like you to ask to discuss your ideas on the forums or here, and I (and the community) can comment on the ideas and eventually put them on the Wiki list (

Thanks, Garvin

Matt am um :

I recently installed serendipity and am enjoying it immensely. One feature that I would like to see is something that allows visitors to flag a comment or entry as inappropriate (for an admin to review later).

And it's been mentioned before (on the forums), but a specific tutorial/example plugin (one that is extensively commented) would be very cool as well.

Matt am um :

I've also been poking around the core and find it to be very well commented, so thank you guys for that. Something like that for some basic example plugin would be wonderful.

Bjørn Roger Rasmussen am um :

s9y is a great product! I really like it!

The thing I miss most is a better handling of "media files". It works great to upload pictures and to attach them in an article. But the system does not handle files like .PDF.

I use the media file options also to .PDF, but I have to cheat with a manual link in the article like ./uploads/MyPDF.PDF to get a link to the file. The WYSIWYG editor does not allow doing a direct connection with the picture media button.

The WYSIWYG - editor also irritates me with all the not well formed document error messages.

Garvin am um :

In fact, the media library does handle PDF files, it should also insert a link to your entry when you call the media manager. So I believe there is more likely some sort of usage error or bug in your installation. For more help/support, please come to the forums where we can work this problem out.

Regards, Garvin

Marcus Radisch am um :

Hello together,

i've a lot of improvements/change ideas. 1.) An updateservice for the hole system, like spartacus.

I've install Movable Type last week 2.) So it is possible to set up an new blog on an existing istallation? It is difficult to develop this.

3.)An Plugin, where i get the new articles from my friends. Like an social network.

4.)An easy way to bring an poll from the sidebar dirct to the article. (smarty templateing is cool but it's often to difficult for an normal blogger)->User friendly. I don't want to hack code, i want to blog.

Many greeting

Marcus Radisch

Flominator am um :

Just a quick post without checking the forum for existing extensions:

Looking for broken Links on all entries.

Best regards and keep up the good work,


Marcus Radisch am um :

Hello together,

that's an great idea, for the next versions! I would say. Looking for broken links on all entries periodically(cron jobs) and then delete the links not the text.

many greetings

Marcus Radisch

Marcus Radisch am um :

Hello together,

An idea is that a blogger can write entries via email(subject is title, text is text)

many greetings

Marcus Radisch

Garvin am um :

I think it's a good idea about automatic link detection, but it comes with great problems: What with sites that temporarily are not available? If a link is down at one time, it must not neccessarily mean that it will be no longer valid at all. If you then remove the link, you can never get it back.

Another thing: The more entries you have, the longer the search will take. Many hosts have 30 second execution limits which would make the plugin fail all the time, as connecting to a single link can often take 3-4 seconds. Take 100 blog entries with 120 links - this will take ages, and also cause a lot of traffic.

Marcus, about entries via mail: We have the popfetcher and mail2s9y plugins for this a long time already. :-)

Regards, Garvin

Marcus Radisch am um :

Hello together,

i'm so sorry to say that, but i think that plugin popfetcher is not very comfortable because i can't set tags or different categories. and where do i found the mail2s9y plugin, is it the same like popfetcher?

many greeting

Marcus Radisch

Garvin am um :

Entering tags could be difficult in the email, you need a specific format. However, the plugin could be enhanced with this of course. And you can set different categories already. mail2s9y is something else, you need procmail or qmail server access.

Andrew am um :

Hey Garvin! Hope everything is well. I'd like to suggest having password protected entry. I understand you can use .htaccess and permission, but an ability to specify password when writing an entry would be great. Sometime I write an entry to selected people, and only that entry needs to be password protected.

Keep up the good work!

raimondo am um :

Hi Garvin, I think this is yet a great work.

2 years of use and only 2 requests/ideas:

  • more powerful rewrite control
  • integration (api keys, xml, etc ) with social media

Regards, Raimondo

reinhardl am um :

A additional Wiki for dokumentation and developement will be a goog idea.

Mandrake am um :

Hello Garvin,

I've been using s9y for four years now, we've talked quite a few times about caching and performance issues, I still remember when the simple cache plugin was released, at that very time I would have had to change CMS if not for that plugin.

I have some features I would like to see on s9y sometime, not necessarily on 1.4 tho:

  • mod_rewrite real URI change for the freetag plugin (WP has it out of the box)... Is not that of a small issue, the plugin/tag URI ain't very pretty and doing that many redirects isn't SEO friendly.

  • Caching at the core?... You've giving me good arguments against this before, just wanted to remember it might be a good idea at some point.

  • Improvement on the multiblog feature: I believe this hasn't changed much since 0.x versions. I started offering free Blogs to friends and customers some years ago but the installation and administration was having a bottleneck on my life so I stopped. I love s9y, but now I have to use/recommend the Wordpress autoinstall in Fantastico anytime I get asked for a Blog or CMS.

  • anti-Spam plugin: there's this feature which denies duplicated comments, but it compares with all comments published on the Blog, I think it should cover only on comments in the current entry or at least allow this to happen.

  •, It would be nice to have a simple smarty variable with the first 200 characters or so (perhaps set by an argument) so it can be used as summary on singleentry or as metadescription. Every time I update s9y I must set this variable and I believe this could be useful on all templates without having the overhead of another plugin.

  • Setting tags and cats via popfetcher would be awesome, I would use it, but perhaps is not that necessary.

  • Perhaps going green by running on solar power instead of relaying on fossil fuels... ;)

Mandrake am um :

Ehm, I almost forgot

There are some issues with WYSIWYG editors besides HTMLAREA, but even this one doesn't load if the Blog's language is set to spanish.

I have tried FCKeditor and TinyMCE without success... I been able to use them at some point, but not without an extra effort and lots of searching on the forums.

Perhaps setting other default HTML editor besides HTMLAREA could be a good idea.

Garvin am um :

@Andrew: Password protection comes with the "Extended Properties fo rentries" plugin.

@Raimondo: Can you elaborate on the "more powerful rewrite control"? What is insufficient in the current method?

@reinhardl: Why an additional Wiki? What's wrong with the current one?

@Mandrake: Added the URL rewrite for tagging to the Todolist. About Caching, I simply need more developers for help and ideas on this. Same goes for Fantastico, I have no experience with it. About your shortened variable: You can use the |@truncate smarty modifier on the entry.body variable. Setting categories via potfetcher in the mail subject is already possible. I added tags to the todo list. About the spanish language file from HTMLArea: I would need a spanish developer to check this, I don't know what's wrong inside the file, probably some UTF-8 clash.

Holger Mitterwald am um :

Full PostgreSQL support. Postgresql 8.x has messed up a few things. Would be nice if they could be corrected.

Garvin am um :

I believe this is more a task for Postgresql 8.1.x to clean up this mess. Withdrawing typecast support sucks, I see no way to make s9y properly support this scenario. s9y depends on dynamic typecasting. This is actually a feature of a RDBMS, I see no reason to be so pedantic to remove this. It's like making PHP6 require full variable initalization and getting rid of flexibility.

Alex am um :

Add a Favicon button . Simple! but would be cool to have in the admin area just to enter the url of the icon and s9y writes the entry in the index.tpl.

Kevin am um :

The htaccess could be a bit more seo friendly i believe.

For example...

If I edit a post's title, it will change the url for the post.

If the post is indexed well, search engines and other sites will still point to the old url. The old url should have a 301 redirect to the new url. This will prevent duplicate content problems since both urls will bring up the same content.

Mario am um :

Am I too late? It's December now..hmm An automatic 301 redirect for renamed posts would be really great.

Garvin am um :

It's still december. ;)

There have been some new features that we wanted to get into 1.4 while there was still room, so there's been a bit delay.

If you want to try it right now, the current snapshots are exactly what will become serendipity 1.4 - and by migrating to a snapshot you will have no problem updating to the final version later, in fact it will be much simpler to update from a snapshot to the final 1.4 release.

Regards, Garvin

Mario am um :

How time flies...

You mean I should switch to 1.4 right now? I just installed 1.3 because I didn't wanted to have trouble ;)

But if you say "go", I guess I'll go...

As I work mainly with TYPO3 (and with the extension RealURL = user friendly URLs) I have the same problems there too.

Garvin am um :

Yes, I can recommend the current s9y 1.4 betas without any problem. I'm using it on my blog as well, and it definitely is more advanced than 1.3. :-)

As for remembering past permalinks: Currently there is no internal concept to track all previous links. It could also easily "spam" the permalinsk database table. Actually, if you use the %id% in your permalink, then the permalink will always work even when the title of the entry might change...

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