Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
Above: a random selection of photos from my Flickr photo-stream.
We the committers and friends of the open source Roller Weblogger project propose that the project become part of the Apache Software Foundation. The rest of this document explains the rationale behind this proposal, how Roller meets the Apache project scope, initial source, resources required, and initial committer criteria. [Read More]
Big IDEA: from Zane State Collegeâ€™s IDEA Center: Wow, Iâ€™m impressed with Roller. A brief rundown of some of the plusses:
Maybe WordPress MultiUser is really the way to go. I used the regular WP for a class blog previously and liked having the multi-author blog. But I also really like Roller now; maybe the developers will add multi-author blogs soon.
- configurable editor interfacesâ€“plain, WYSIWYG (java, IE-only and Mozilla-only)
- timed availability of comments (enable for n days)
- enable/disable comments (per-post or blog-wide)
- nice blogroll import from OPML
- bookmark import
- create static pagesâ€“the link is created for you and added to the main navigation for you blog
- per-user themes
- spell check
- new user registration
- rss: site-wide, per-blog, and per-category
I've been digging into Part II of the book and making great progress. So far, I've written three of the "blog app" chapters. Recall that these are short chapters, each centered on an interesting blog application written in Java or C#. I did a blog app chapter about the Planet Tool aggregator, one about searching and monitoring blogs with newsfeed search engines, and one about a Cross Poster in C#. The Cross Poster is like Ben Hammersley's one, except mine handles both RSS and Atom feeds and can post to any MetaWeblog API based blog server (Ben's only does Movable Type).
Now I'm working on a pair of blog apps called MailBlogger (blogging via email) and BlogMailer (which sends you a daily digest of your favorite blogs via email). This stuff is really easy on the Java-side thanks to JavaMail and ROME. On the C#/.NET side: it's .NOT so easy.
Where is the .NET analog to JavaMail? As far as I can tell, the .NET class libraries support only SMTP and the free alternatives are pretty weak, especially when you compare them to JavaMail. I ended up using Pawel Lesnikowski's open source Mail Namespace for C#, which is what .NET blogging package Das Blog uses for POP3 support.
And where is the .NET equivalent to ROME? ROME is an active and growing open source product that can parse all newsfeed formats. On the .NET side there are two separate free parser projects, one for RSS and one for Atom, and both appear to be dead. I hope that is not the case because I need those libraries. For the Java blog apps, I can rely on ROME. For the .NET blog apps, I may have to use my own System.XML based parser.
By the way, I had to make some patches to RSS.Net (adding in W3CDateTime) to get it to parse dates properly.
I recently got the news that the book, or some portion thereof, will be released in the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP). That means we're gearing up for production right now. Getting the promotional stuff ready (for example), deciding which funky Manning dude goes on a cover, and putting the early chapters through production even though the book is not quite done. So, when will the book be done? I'm not sure. We have to wait for Atom Protocol to wrap up, but you'll be able to get the early chapters via MEAP in the next month or two.