What is it?
Metrophix is an open-source PHP system for managing webcomic sites
which is released under the
GPL (version 2).
What does it do?
Some of Metrophix's currently-implemented features are:
- Scheduled updating, allowing you to upload comics before an absence which
will be released at predefined times.
- Several instances may be installed simultaneously, allowing for multiple
- Comics may be divided into individual panels
- Comics can be titled and separated into individual chapters
- Several comics can be shown per day
- Comics may be read by comic, day, week, or month at a time
- News posts for any number of authors/administrators
- Support for rich media: primarily Flash, but also MPEG Audio/Video,
MP4 Audio/Video, Quicktime, AVI, 3GPP (serial cell phone webcomics!), Java
more power to you.
- Comic image locations are hidden, preventing people from guessing what
the next comic's filename is and "peeking" ahead if comics are uploaded in
advance. Depending on your web server configuration, comic images may not
even be in a web-accessible directory!
- A variety of actions can be taken for those loading the comic image
directly or from an off-site script: either nothing can be done, the comic
will be denied, a placeholder comic can be shown instead, or the comic can
be sent with an ad attached to the image.
- Searchable metadata can be assigned to each comic (or panel), including
description, dialogue, characters, and location.
- Customizable, automatically-generated feeds for
Atom 1.0, and
- Full handling of advertisements with limited, non-privacy-invading
tracking of views and clicks
- Appearance can be highly customized with CSS
- Additional CSS files sent depending on client browser (so extra
stylesheets can fix IE's broken rendering or Firefox's foibles)
- Multiple CSS profiles can be enabled, allowing visitors to choose which
"skin" to view the site in.
- Multiple language support--publish web sites and comics in several
different languages simultaneously
- Just for the heck of it, WAP support is included for mobile phones. It
looks uglier than anything imaginable by the human mind, but it's there.
Some of the features planned for future versions of Metrophix are:
- Unnecessary to have a MySQL database--uses only a flat file structure
(some features won't work, however)
- Access stats
- Customizable page caching for faster response times
- Apollo- (or Silverlight-)based storyboarding tool (based on
ComicsML) for brainstorming and
collaboration between several author-artists.
- Automatic metadata parsing from ComicsML files or entries
- Conversely, automatic ComicsML generation from metadata
- Automatic referral to the Nobel Prize committee
- Translation of comics into ASCIIlicious renderings for people browsing
What do I need?
Metrophix requires an implementation of PHP (at least 5.0) with the GD
library installed (for image manipulation) and access to a MySQL server
(also at least version 5.0).
Eventually it will just require PHP (and optionally use a flat-file structure
if it needs to), but that's a plugin delayed until a future date. Keep an
eye out here for it to appear.
Metrophix has been tested under Apache 1.3, PHP 5.0, and MySQL 5.0.
When can it be shown?
When it's done. It's currently working in a minimal fashion (well enough to
run Metrophor's site, at least), and it has
recently been released as a beta version for the public to take a look at
before its fully official release. Once the bugfixes are made from the wider
beta test, a demo site will be put up for all to experiment with.
Status: 0.951-Beta (2007-10-24)
The newest beta version has been releaseed! The old beta (0.9b)
has been significantly refactored after many serious flaws were discovered in
the code; this beta version addresses those flaws, although it will probably
introduce some others. As always, beta software should be considered a work
A second beta version was released on 2007-10-24, updating two bugs in
stored cookie authentication and header/footer display.
The software can be downloaded from the
Up-to-date status can be seen in the