blash - BlackLight's shell
An AJAX CMS for browsing your web site through a shell-oriented interface
by BlackLight, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, http://0x00.ath.cx
Q.: What is blash?
A.: blash is a tiny CMS developed in AJAX that allows you to browse your website
through a shell-oriented interface. The way to use it is quite simple and
inspired from software like bash and zsh, you can see an example running at the
Q.: How can a web site be represented like a filesystem browsable from a terminal?
A.: A directory is fundamentally a `container' of logically correlated items (for
example, a directory could be blog/, or forum/, or news/, and so on). A page in your
web site is represented as file inside of its directory (for example, the 4th post
in a blog may be represented as the file `4' in directory `blog/'). Then you can
simply browse the web site in the following way:
- ls for viewing the content of a certain directory
- cd for changing the current directory
- cat for opening a certain file
A `file' can be a container of static stuff (in this case `cat' simply prints
its content on the pseudo-terminal) or the link to another page (in this case
`cat' opens that link in a new window or tab, be sure you allow your web site to
open popup windows). The pages having static content printed to the
pseudo-terminal are represented in normal font, the files that links to an
external content is instead represented as an `executable' file (by default, in
Q.: How can I use blash on my own web server?
A.: You just need, if you want to use the users module (strongly suggested), PHP
>= 5.2.0 installed on your web server, otherwise just a web server that can
static pages. All you need to do is to put the content of blash in your favourite
directory on your web server, and then it should all work out of the box. If you
do not have PHP support on your web server, go to system/blash.json and remove
"users" from the used modules or set it its "enabled" field to "false". *PLEASE
REMEMBER, ONCE BLASH IS READY, TO CHANGE THE ROOT PASSWORD BY TYPING "su" AND THEN
Q.: Which is the default password for 'root' user?
A.: blash. Remember to use it only one time, then change it using the passwd command.
Q.: Which browsers are compatible with blash?
A.: So far blash has been successfully tested with the following browsers:
- Mozilla Firefox ( >= 3.5)
- Opera ( >= 11.0 )
- Google Chrome (despite the auto-completion feature is a bit buggy)
- Konqueror >= 4.x
blash. Internet Explorer is currently NOT working with blash, at least any
release <= 8. I'm sorry, choose a decent browser.
Q.: How do I add the contents for my web site in blash?
A.: Open the file system/blash.json. This JSON file contains the preferences for your
shell (banner, prompt style, default user, escape sequences recognized in the
prompt string...), the commands to be used, and so on. Change this file in order to
change the preferences of your CMS.
The contents of your web site are held in the file system/files_json.php. Modify this
file directly using the example contents as trace for adding or removing new contents.
Each content can include the following fields:
- path (MANDATORY), the full absolute path that identifies that resource
- type (MANDATORY), the resource type (directory or file)
- href (for files only), if the file is a link to an external page, the link it
should point to
- content (for files only), if the file has static content that should be
printed in the pseudo-terminal window, this field contains its content
Q.: Can I add more commands?
A.: Sure you can. Take a look at directory `commands' for seeing the definition
of default commands. Each commands is represented as a JSON file containing the
- "name", name of the command
- "info", array containing the fields "syntax" and "brief", used for showing the
syntax of the command when you type `man blash' and the full description when
you type `man <command>'
- "action": a function taking as parameter the argument passed to the command
and executing the command itself. This function returns the string that should
be printed by the command to the terminal. You can also access and/or modify
blash's variables and settings accessing them through the object shell.* take a
look at the file `blash.js' for a brief description of the fields of this object
or to the sample commands in `commands/' directory for seeing how to access
After creating your JSON file with the new command, don't forget to add the name
of the command to the array `commands' in blash.json so that the CMS sees it.
Q.: Can I add more modules?
A.: Of course you can. Just place the code of your module in modules/MODULENAME
directory and enable it by adding to system/blash.json a new entry in "modules"
array following the example of "users" module, by setting the "enabled" field to
"true" if you want to enable it.