Snipsnap and the ‘html’ macro

One of the add on features contributed  by the community to the snipsnap project was an {html} macro.

This is here… at the snipsnap site, and I have enclosed it as part of my mirror site. Obvioulsy best use while it remains on-line.

This escaped the enclosed code and rendered it in raw HTML. The snipsnap macro defintion syntax was to use the embraced keyword twice, so {html}<strong>Important!</strong>{html}

I used it to include the google map widgets, the delicious tag cloud widget, getsatisfaction, which worked, see below, and Disqus which broke the backup. One of its most important extensibility features, as you can see above was it allowed Javascript.

The Disqus bug was because the backup format was XML, and snipsnap struggled with recursive CDATA elements. The Disqus scripts held CDATA elements, which snipsnap tried to enclose in the same tags. This failed on important.

I have also used this technique to get sharethis, addthis, flickr badges and pictures, wordle and big huge labs web badge to work. ( I think that’s it). It was useful if you wanted, needed, additional parameters beyond those available in the snipsnap img macro.

Get Satisfaction

An example of the get satisfaction code is as follows;

<div id="gsfn_list_widget">
  <a href="">Active customer service discussions in Plazes tagged "davelevy"</a>
  <div id="gsfn_content">Loading...</div>
  <div><a href="">
<img alt="Favicon" src="" style="vertical-align: middle;" BORDER=0 /></a> <a href="">Get Satisfaction support network</a></div>
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script><script src=";length=0&amp;limit=5&amp;sort=recently_active&amp;tag=davelevy" type="text/javascript"></script>

It is used on the Plazes article as well.

Snipsnap Themes

Snipsnap offered multiple look and feels and for the advanced CSS coder, offered many opportunities to manage itl. My changes were relatively simple. In fact it might have been Snipsnap that took me to Blue Robot which influenced me a lot.

Green Robot Theme

On the previous bliki, implemented in Snipsnap, I implemented a Green Robot Theme. This was based on Blue Robot, which rather inspired me as you can see if you read the code and comments of what remains of my static site.

This is documented on the Snipsnap wiki at


I should also capture some comments on the CSS used by Snipsnap, it is/was a good looking blog in my opinion.

Green Robot

It used Georgia as a serif font, and Verdana as the sans-serif font. It’s basic content was san-serif , and the blog headings and dates used the Georgia font. The full css can be found on the snipsnap site.

The picture above suggests that when the blog comes across, some of the articles there, will document the progress and discoveries made as at the time, which it seems was 2006. It’s getting to be a long time ago.

Converting a Snip

We need to do the following things.

  1. Headings
  2. Links
  3. Bolds
  4. Italics
  6. Lists
  7. Images
  8. HTML Objects
  9. Line Throws


Headings, lines start with “1 ” or “1.1”, the ones need to be H3, or the title, and the onedotone need to be H3 or H4, depending on how the one is treated and if there is one.


These take the following format

{link:flickr pictures|}

The anchor text is between the colon and the pipe, the URL is between the pipe and the last ‘}’. I need to extract the anchor and the URL and generate an anchor tag.

‘< a =HREF=”‘ + $hyperlink + ‘”>’ + $anchortext + ‘</a>’

Don’t forget about the img decorations for the hyperlink.

Don’t forget about the name only anchors!

Snipsnap to WordPress

I plan to look at moving my snipsnap bliki to wordpress, i.e, here. This snip was originally placed on that site. I have transferred it for one reason because it contains xml tags which xslt has problems dealing with. This article consists of my notes made while designing a transfer mechanism.

Continue reading “Snipsnap to WordPress”

Snipsnap & Ubuntu

Install Snipsnap

I decided to test an install of Snipsnap on my favourite Linux. I am using Ubuntu 9.0

  1. Download the tar from
  2. Make a user, with a home directory,
  3. Unpack the tar contents into the home directory
  4. Install Java 5 both JRE and JDK, use synaptic, now you have to go to the Oracle old distros page
  5. Get and unpack my utilities into $HOME/bin, this needs to be uploaded here
  6. Create a ./mkenv script that sets JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-sun <- Ubuntu specific, I think snipsnap needs Java 1.5, I should test 6 on Ubuntu again but I have failed this test once

The login script is currently set to /bin/false. Lets see if we can build a snipsnap instance, I need to

  1. Run
  2. Fix the apache conf file to redirect the port.
  3. Test the utilities, I know that will need some tarting about.

I had to change the login shell from /bin/false, couldn’t get programs to run as the snipsnap admin user. I should have another look at this. Need to version control snipsnap manager.

Installing the rc files

I have an rc script, but most stuff I insert has post install triggers, and since I am not using a package to do this, I need to work out how to install the scripts into the rc directories. I have not done this for Ubuntu before. The following links are/maybe useful

The program update-rc.d does the job.



I created a mirror for my critical snipsnap files here…

My package copies are hosted here


I decided to upload the current copy of my utilities for managing snipsnap; it should make bring it online easier

  •  snipsnap-scripts-dfl20100822.tar.gz 8Kb ….. Download…


I checked in July 2010, as I was looking at porting my Snipsnap due to the Qube’s final failure and found that my archives were corrupt, and the had gone. Leo has promised to restore it. I have uploaded a .tar. I’ll compress it and reload the .tgz later today. The .tar is 22 Mb so I obviously didn’t get it right when I uploaded the two files in March 2009. Bit Torrent will have to wait until I have a new web server and then only if I can find some other (people’s) servers to act as peers. 29 Jul 2010.

I have had the subversion pages pointed out to me and uploaded the HTMLMacro page. This page now points at the original source as well as hosting my tarballs and now HTML Macro, which is the only user contributed code I currently use. 7th July 2009

Comments and size amended, comments about the original locations added. I should add HTMLMacro.jar to this page as well. 24 March 2009

I went back today and still can’t find it. So I have uploaded a .tgz file I had lying around and I am adding a share this button on this page. I haven’t a clue why the sizes are so different, if you’re lucky I’ll investigate and document it. I might also upload .torrent file when I work out how. For now, I’d recommend the larger file. 20 Mar 2009.

The Ubuntu forums were hacked earlier this week, and are currently unavailable. 26 July 2013

I copied part of my static snipsnap mirror to this page, when I created it from the roginal on the snipsnap bliki in July 2013. 26 July 2013

Snipsnap, RSS & XML feeds

This page was originally entitled “Snipsnap Blog & XML Feeds”. It documented one of the crucial failings in snipsnap; it’s limited rss feed size, of 10 and the blog article naming which means that it considered nearly all the articles to be titled “1”. In 2009, I experimented with using Google reader as a feed aggregator, good choice eh? The final part of this article documented my experiments and gave hints on how to follow me using the google reader feed. This is now no longer available.

Snipsnap Blog & XML Feeds

The snipsnap blog is displayed in HTML using the {weblog} macro. The weblog is also exposed using RSS and the default is to constrain these objects to 10 items.

I have looked at creating a page with more weblog items but I suspect that constraints within the snipsnap code will prohibit the xml feed from being larger than 10 items. I do not have the code skills to change this.

I did however create a feed in google reader so the complete feed is available via that feed. I could have used a number of feed aggregator/forwarders, such as a private planet or feedburner. I created the feed in November 2009 so previous articles will have to be mined. I could help with a delicious tag cloud for the blogs.

Snipsnap’s own tools aren’t good. There’s no automatic tagging, the tagging interface is slow and cumbersome and the index titles of the blog article are the dates and order serial, so that even if tagged the tag list is unusable.

Using Google Reader as a feed aggregator

This is all now useless. Perhaps I’ll delete it one day.

The first URL is a google reader URL, and the second is the XML file and will be rendered by your browser

To construct a google feed address, prepend the feed address with the following string,

To interpret the address above, %2F is the html visible code for /, %3A is : %3D is = and %3F is ?

Snipsnap Problems

This was copied across from the snipsnap bliki on 26th July. It’s all a bit redundant now, but it might be useful for others. This was a pagfe that documented my work in building the configuration and in some places represented a work in progress. In some cases, the resolution is not documented and in others I failed to resolve it. I eventually gave up on snipsnap. Hope this page helps someone! Continue reading “Snipsnap Problems”

Snipsnap Portlets

Snipsnap Portlets

This is an article about Snipsnap. There are a number of snips in the database called snipsnap-portlet-n. These will be displayed on a snipsnap page with a known class name, so CSS can be written for them.

I documented the code of the sidebar on the original wiki, partly as a backup. To edit the sidebar, use snipsnap-portlet-1. To see the code today, you’ll have to go to the Snipsnap site.

This was copied accross from Snipsnap on 26th July 2013.

Extending Snipsnap (superceded)

This article, which was originally about how to extend snipsnap & was copied across from the snipsnap bliki on 20th June 2013, I gave up on Snipsnap later in the year, and the project has been abandoned by its authors. This content is thus pretty much superseded and the title but not the link has changed to reflect this.. There has been some minimal reformatting undertaken. There are two idioms used which are snipsnap specific; they have been left as originally published and are now a nonsense. Other things will read oddly as I did not pursue my plans. Embedding Disqus broke the backup utility, or more accurately broke the restore. Continue reading “Extending Snipsnap (superceded)”

Add This

I created this page to test scripts published by It was originally created on the Qube. See below, Early Experiments for what I wrote at the time, all probably useless now. I have installed their widget and so even lower down on this page, after the article , are add this’s sharing buttons. I returned to the issues they answer in Feb 2015. It should be noted that at that time on the blog I use custom code implemented in the child theme, since I moved to Nulis I am using a vanilla implementation of Add This, on the wiki. Continue reading “Add This”

Apache as a Proxy Server for Snipsnap

This article describes my efforts to implement the configuration described at in the Apache as a Proxy.

Using the Java Server

Using Version 1.0b3 seems to work as documented on, the problems documented below are either tomcat’s or belong to the .war implementation.

Using Tomcat

I have done this using

  • A Cobalt Qube running Linux 2.2 (Yeah, I know but its what I have got!).
  • Apache V1.3.29
  • Snipsnap Version 1.0b3 Uttoxeter .war
  • Tomcat Version 4.1

because this is an appliance, I can’t turn Apache off, nor is it wise to upgrade it. So I implemented SnipSnap as .war on port 8080 and am now seeking to hide this from the world using the Apache proxy capability. This is to create a decent single naming convention accross my web space.I had some problems, but basically, the following lines worked for me


ProxyRequest off
ProxyPass        /snipsnap
ProxyPassReverse /snipsnap

The SnipSnap configuration

I set conf using the GUI provided


It seems to be working quite nicely, but many of the URLs held in snipsnap are now port aware, so I may have some legacy problems. I recommend anyone following me try and fix this before they insert any content.


This was copied across from my snipsnap on 7th June 2013. The bliki had been rebuilt several times but this page was not updated. I had got to the point where I installed it with the Java Server, and then used apache as a proxy to hide the port.

Further history and practice is documented at my user record on

The notes above say that I couldn’t turn the webserver off, that wasn’t true, it was possible to do so using the CLI, once one had an ssh connection.

Bye Bye to Snipsnap

In June 2007, at it was announced that the original authors and team the created and supported Snipsnap were ceasing work on it. Some community users proposed to move the code here… at

Where to get it?

It would seem that the Frauenhofer ftp sites no longer supports the download of the java library files. They were linked to at’s download page. The source forge pages point at the Frauenhofer site, so I have uploaded my copies of Snipsnap V1.0b3, Uttoxeter to a page on my static site,

Snipsnap was originally published as GPL, see

A new home for

Frauenhofertook down, but when Leo found out he got the files and restored the Site.