Introduction to Firedrop2
Downloading and Installing
If you'd like to see some examples of blogs created with Firedrop2, you
should checkout Planet Firedrop.
This is an aggregator for blogs created with Firedrop2.
Firedrop2 is a great cross platform, clientside blog tool. It
has lots of features, most of which will be covered in this documentation.
Because it is written in Python, it is the ideal blogging tool for Python
programmers. You don't need to be a programmer to use it though.
It allows you to make blog entries in any of following markup formats -
markdown, or ReST.
Amongst other features it has a plugin system for add on
tools, and a simple templating and macro system
for use in your entries. The macros allow support for funky features like Python
source coloring and smilies. The plugin system has paved the way for addons
like a spell checker, entry emailer, and themes.
This page explains how to download and install Firedrop2. After this read
Getting Started, for instructions on how to create
The latest version of Firedrop2 is 0.2.2. You can download this from :
You can also obtain developer versions from the SVN
repository. The version from SVN sometimes contains additional features, and I
try to keep the version there fully working. As with all bleeding edge
software it's possible there will be new bugs as well as new features.
If you are using Windows and would like an executable version that doesn't
require Python to be installed, you can use Movable Python.
This comes with Firedrop2 built into it, and configured to run from the
second Quick Launch
As a special bonus it is designed to work from USB memory stick, so you can
carry your blog around with you.
Installing Firedrop2 and getting it working is fairly straightforward. The
steps are detailed below.
First you must install all the dependencies. If you have any of
these already installed you can miss those steps out.
If you don't already have Python installed I recommend the latest version,
which is 2.4.3. There are pre-built binaries for most platforms
available for download from the official site.
Firedrop2 probably requires Python 2.3, or more recent .
This is the cross-platform GUI toolkit that Firedrop2 uses. It will
almost certainly require a recent version, 188.8.131.52 or later.
It has been tested with the latest version, 184.108.40.206.
Download the latest version from sourceforge. If there is a setup.py
included in your distribution do not use it to install Wax. This will
be a cause of much frustration.
Instead copy the wax folder into your site-packages folder .
You will need this to use the Firespell
Spell Checker plugin.
In order to use ReStructured Text markup, you will need docutils 0.3.9,
or more recent, installed.
Next install Firedrop2, obviously you'll need to download
Inside the zip file should be the following files and directories :
This is the program file to launch Firedrop2. So long as the
firedrop2/ directory is on sys.path you can put this file anywhere
you want to.
Double clicking on this will launch Firedrop.
This is the default macros file.
You can edit it to add whatever macros you want.
See the macros page for details of where to put it, and how to use it.
This directory contains a single module called messagedialog.py.
If you are running Mac OS X you need to copy this file over the
default one supplied with Wax. It contains a compatibility fix.
Hopefully at some point this fix will go into the main Wax distribution.
A copy of the Open Source license that Firedrop2 is released under.
There is an online copy of this at BSD License.
This is the main directory.
You need to put this directory in the same place as you put wax. Inside
your site-packages folder.
This directory contains all the Firedrop2 files, as well as the
following subdirectories :
The files in here are Python modules used by the macros.
These files are where plugin modules and files go.
These are the default template files used by Firedrop2,
A few test files used in the development of Firedrop2.
This directory is used by the new Themes plugin.
These are the text source files of the Firedrop2 documentation.
They are turned into HTML by rest2web.
The HTML documentation for Firedrop2.
This directory has a smilies subdirectory.
These are the smiley images used by the smiley macro. Assuming you want to
use them, you'll need these on your server somewhere. This folder has a
little file called sc_smilies.pak.
This file describes the smilies, and the macro system needs access to
it. Full details are in the macros page.
The firedrop2/ directory also contains three configuration files :
The default values for new entries.
This is used to specify the plugins that will be available to every
blog. You can also enable individual plugins in the build.ini for
This specifies a default blog to open when you run firedrop.pyw. You
can specify the path to one of your blog directories here.
When you run firedrop.pyw and open a blog these files will be copied to
your home directory and used from there. Another file will be created called
.menuhistory.txt. This will store a list of all the blogs to present in
the Recently Opened menu list.
More details on the file locations for the various options file can be
found in the Options
Having installed Firedrop2 (and confirmed that it works by double clicking
on firedrop.pyw), turn to Getting Started.
This has instructions on how to create your weblog.
Firedrop2 is an open source project. There are lots of different ways it
can be improved. See the TODO List for a list of these. This
page also contains the (short) list of known bugs with Firedrop2.
If you think you have discovered a new bug, or have questions to ask, use the
mailing list :
This is the right place for :
- Bug reports
- Feature Requests
If you want to get involved, then take a look at the TODO List, and see
which feature you would like to implement. If you want to know where to start,
ask on the developer's mailing list
and you'll soon get some pointers.
If you are interested in Firedrop2, you may find the following links useful :