Backend Templating

For Serendipity, only the frontend (what the visitors see) could be subject to Smarty-Templating. One reason for not utilizing these features in the backend was to maintain stability, ease of change for core developers and reduce migration woes so that the Admin Backend would always be accessible.

What we have now added to the Serendipity 1.2 snapshots (that will soon become public beta and a final release in late Summer) is functionality that allows you to template the backend layout as well as the 'New/Edit Entry' screen. Other functions like category manager, plugin manager etc. will remain hardcoded and eventually changed, because most of their look can already be controlled with CSS only.

To maintain stability and prevent migration problems where Smarty might not be initialized, Serendipity can fall back to the usual PHP-only backend. This is done using a tricky session variable scheme - when Smarty cannot be loaded, a session variable is set, and on the next page call, this variable will force the Serendipity framework to use the fallback routines. Nifty stuff. :-)

Please try out the new theming possibilites and give feedback. The default admin stylesheet can be found in the templates/default/admin/index.tpl and templates/default/admin/entries.tpl templates, and can be copied to your own theme directory as usual.

XML-RPC and PHP 5.2.2

Due to a bug in PHP 5.2.2, the Serendipity XML-RPC plugin will no longer work, because PHP does not initialize a required variable correctly.

The bug is listed on here and has been fixed in their CVS already. To fix the problem in Serendipity you will need to either update your PHP installation, or downgrade to the previous version.

Since this bug happens at a place where Serendipity has no possibility to interact, the bug cannot be circumvented by the XML-RPC posting plugin, and your provider definitely needs to upgrade PHP as soon as it will be out officially.

German PHP Magazine featuring Serendipity article

This month's german PHP magazine features an article introducing Serendipity and its capabilities, as well as some looks into thecode- written by yours truly, Garvin Hicking. The article is titled "Blogging mit Biss"

The article was written with newbies to Serendipity in mind, but also targetted at eager developers who might want to contribute to Serendipity. When the next PHP magazine issue comes out, we'll see to publishing the article on

If you've read the article and want to share your opinion, feel free to comment here.:-)

New theme: Adaptation

Alp Uckan has released his theme Adaptation (german page, layout can be seen on his site). It's a "content-first" based theme with advanced Serendipity 1.1 design options such as choosing color- and fontsets. It evolves around full CSS and XHTML compatibility and thus providing accessibility options being set by the user in his browser (fontsize, colors etc. are based on browser setup).

Have a look at this clean template, it's now also being added to Spartacus! Thanks a lot to Alp for providing his theme to the public.