Spartacus infrastructure change, Developers please read

Since the core Serendipity project is now maintained on and every developer is quite happy about that, we decided to go the jquery-plugins route and delete all Serendipity plugins.

No, just kidding. We actually imported all data from the CVS servers into the github infrastructure. The short version for normal end-users: Nothing should change for you!

All current Serendipity developers also have access to those repositories to contribute code. Developers now no longer should commit code to CVS (actually, they can't, because I took all their committing karma *eg*).

The harder task for the Spartacus infrastructure service is the actual publishing of data. The Spartacus plugin operates on a PEAR-like XML format for each plugin, which luckily is automatically generated by a small shellscript which runs once daily on one of our webservers ( That script iterates on a checkout of all plugins and templates, creates the XML and uploads it to all mirror servers (currently, and now also

Downloading the files also either works via the files that are uploaded daily to and, or you always could use the server, that published the file via a nasty ViewVC oddity. The spartacus plugin of the current github core code (version 2.25) now can also retrieve those files from the servers.

For all users that currently use the Spartacus plugin with the SourceForge.Net mirror, our daily script now pushes all changes in the GitHub tree also to CVS, so that both repositories *should* be kept in sync. This is done via the and gitclone.php scripts in the additional_plugins repository, for anyone that's interested.

Most likely, something in this script won't work properly, so in the next days it might be that some glitches in the matrix can occur. In that case, please report issues and remain seated. Or buy christmas presents for your beloved. Or your beloved developers.

Sebastian Spreen contacted us some time ago and offered to help out with a nicer presentation page of Serendipity templates, including some more convenient community features like voting and user-uploads.

His new website is a nice addition to, where only a selection of templates is kept for automatted downloads and generic overviews.

So check out his page and tell him how you like it! The Serendipity team always appreciates the creation of sites dedicated to Serendipity, many thanks to Sebastian!

Smarty problem with Serendipity 1.4

Due to some feedback on the forums, we were made aware of a bug of the bundled Smarty templating engine that can happen in some PHP environments and lead to PHP warning/error messages.

If this occurs for you, please simply download an updated version of the file bundled-libs/Smarty/libs/Smarty_Compiler.class.php and upload it to your blog directory. Of course we will integrate this update to a future point release of Serendipity.

Serendipity 1.2 released

The Serendipity Team is proud to present the final release and immediate availability of Serendipity 1.2.

This release is a feature consolidation release and focuses on small usability improvements, a shiny new template (bulletproof) as well as backend templating and backend login mechanisms as well as some tighter security restrictions.

Some more changes in depth are:

  • Templates: The new bulletproof template is an awesome example to show off Serendipity's cool template options. This template allows you to easily configure the look of your Serendipity site: Place navigation links, choose sidebar layouts, indicate if you want to use/show trackbacks and comments, pick your custom header image or even custom colorsets. Don Chambers, Matthias Mees and David Cummins as well as other contributors have worked very hard on this template that provides an awesome, unified template structure. Go to their site at to check out the details!
  • Templates: The admin backend (overview page and entry editor) can now be styled via Smarty and gives you the full flexibility to make a custom look of the backend. Plus, more CSS classes have been added to the default admin theme that make CSS-only changes much easier. Templates now also can have large preview images by clicking on their thumbnail.
  • Usability: Moved the problematic option to withdraw your own privileges from personal configuration to the user configuration panel.
  • Feature: Added SQLite3 and PDO:PostgreSQL support.
  • Feature: Allow to configure whether article overviews for a certain category should include articles of subcategories or not.
  • Performance: Improved SQL performance for archive overview generation and permalink lookups.
  • Plugins: Plugins can now hook in much earlier to make external authentication easier (like trough the OpenID plugin).
  • Spam: Enhanced the spamblock plugin with captcha previews, .htaccess generation and some more options.
  • Security: Stronger autologin cookie encryption and template option handling, thanks (once again) to Stefan Esser. Proper session fixation prevention, thanks to David Vieira-Kurz.
  • Bugfix: Sending pingbacks now properly works.
  • Bugfix: The Track-Exits plugin now properly tracks links in conjunction with the caching of the entryproperties plugin.

The full list of changes can be found in the NEWS-file of the release.

You can download the new release as always on the Serendipity homepage at Updating is easy: Just upload the new files, visit your Serendipity installation and let the upgrader do the rest.

After the upgrade you might want to purge your browser's cookies (due to the new authentication mechanism of Serendipity 1.2) to prevent login problems. Detailed upgrade instructions can be found in the FAQ on our website.

Enjoy Serendipity, and thanks to everyone who participated in the release process!

For the team,

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.

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.