Lick’n Gelato

by Christopher Paul on July 14, 2007

I read TechCrunch’s article on Gelato, the open source Tumblelog software. It’s like Twitter, Pounce, and the original: Tumblr. Nick Gonzalez noted that, much like WordPress, Gelato uses a ‘5-minute’ install system and all you have to do is setup a MySQL database and edit a config file to get things working.

I have never installed WordPress or any other LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server from scratch and even getting one of those right is a daunting task for me. My host, DreamHost, makes it easy by offering ‘1-Click Installs’ for popular FOSS packages like Joomla, Gallery2, and, yes, WordPress – the content management system that this site runs off of. But today, thinking that Gelato was really easy, I decided to install it myself.

I have to say… so far, its easy. And maybe next time, I’ll install my own WordPress blog.

I created the sub-domain for my Gelato tumblelog. Then I used DreamHosts MySQL management panel to create the database. After that, I uploaded the files to the right location, edited the config.php file to reflect my database information and ran the install. It was that easy.

Once I got my Gelato site started, I was amazed at how advanced it is. Written by a Mexican development group, it offers anyone the ability to host and customize their own quick blog. I use Tumblr for my tumblelog system and Gelato looks exactly like it. While I doesn’t have all the features one might want (yet), development is active and ongoing. Plus, they aim to include support for plugins just like WordPress so its only a matter of time before it catches up with its more mature FOSS cousin or those other hosted services.

I did run into an Internal Server Error (Error 500) when I went to the main site after creating a post. I haven’t figured out why, exactly, it gave me that error but I went into the database and deleted the posts and it went away. So far, I’ve created 3 more test posts so whatever it was hasn’t happened again.

But if you are a WordPress fan like I am and you want a tumblelog, Gelato looks like it will be perfect for you.

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