Rails Blog Engine

Pre-beta release. Public APIs may change.

Add a blog to any Rails 3.1 site using rails_blog_engine. First, add the following line to your Gemfile:

gem 'rails_blog_engine'

...and run:

bundle install
rails generate rails_blog_engine:install
rake db:migrate

Check the configuration in the newly-generated config/initializers/rails_blog_engine.rb and tweak as necessary.

If you're using Devise, or another framework which defines current_user on ActionController::Base, then all you need to do is add a blog_admin? method to your user model:

class User
  # ...other stuff here...

  # Return true if the user is allowed to post to the blog,
  # moderate comments, etc.
  def blog_admin?
    # Your code here.

You should now be able to access your blog at and start posting!

Philosophy and planned features

rails_blog_engine should...

  • ...be installable in under 5 minutes.
  • ...be simple and easily hackable.
  • ...be opinionated.
  • ...be customized by overriding templates or forking the source, not by adding configuration options.
  • ...be secure.
  • ...follow all white-hat SEO best practices.
  • ...have excellent unit test coverage, including tests for JavaScript.

CoffeeScript, SCSS and other standard Rails 3.1 features are fair game, as are RSpec, HAML and CanCan.

The following features are on my wishlist:

  • More generators to aid customization
  • Caching
  • A basic editor: Auto-save, with preview and a "Publish" button

In other words, we want just enough features to make blogging pleasant, and nothing more.

What if I'm don't have ActionController::Base#current_user?

Add something like the following to config/initializers/rails_blog_engine.rb:

class RailsBlogEngine::ApplicationController
  def current_user
    # Check session, etc., here.

Please open an issue if you have any questions or problems.

Setting up titles and tags

To set up titles, add the two following yield lines to the <head> tag in your app/views/layouts/application.html.erb:

  <title><%= yield(:title) %></title>
  <%= yield(:head) %>
  <!-- etc. -->

Turning on the spam filter

To enable the spam filter, create an Akismet account at http://akismet.com/ and set the environment variables RAKISMET_KEY and RAKISMET_URL. If you're deploying to Heroku, you can do this using:

heroku config:add RAKISMET_KEY="mykey" RAKISMET_URL="http://example.com/"

On your development machine, you can create a file named .env in the root directory of your project, and specify the variables as follows:


Then launch your application using the foreman start command. This will require adding the foreman gem to your Gemfile, and creating a Procfile.

Syntax highlighting

If you want to be able to display source code snippets with syntax highlighting, you'll need to add the following line to your Gemfile:

gem 'pygments', :git => 'https://github.com/nathany/pygments-gem.git'

Next, run bundle install and restart your server. This will allow you to include code snippets in your posts as follows:

<filter:code lang="ruby">
def hello
  puts "Hello!"

You can also add your own filters. Documentation and generators should be available soon.