What's new in Roller 2.1

We're getting ready to release Roller 2.1 (incubating). This release turned out to be a pretty big one. We focused on performance, comment management and spam prevention, but we also added a host of other small changes, fixes and improvements. Here's a summary of the most significant changes: What's new in Roller 2.1.


I've been exchanging some very productive emails this weekend with Jed Brown, who's working on the new Performcaning for Firefox release. We've finally got Roller and Performancing playing together nicely and I think we're going to have some good news for Roller and Performancing users coming in our next releases, that's Roller 2.1 and Performancing for Firefox 1.1 both coming soon to a browser near you.

Project Teepee: better Subversion support for Netbeans

Project Teepee. Great news. I love the new CVS client in Netbeans 5 and now Subversion is getting the same treatment, possibly as soon as May. Via Roumen.

Java and REST at JavaOne 2006

I'm very happy to announce that my proposal Java and REST: Implementing the Atom protocol was accepted for JavaOne 2006. Tags: topic:[JavaOne 2006], topic:[Atom protocol]

Performancing 1.1 release coming soon

So says Nick Wilson. Any chance that MetaWeblog API will working in the new release? (sorry, I'm not registering just to leave a comment). Tags: topic:[Performancing], topic:[MetaWeblog API]

Group blog rollout

John Clingan: More group blogs are popping up on blogs.sun.com.

FamFamFam icons in Roller

We're using Mark James' wonderful Silk icons in Roller now. You can get all 700 of them at Mark's site FamFamFam.com and he's got pretty much everything covered whether you're developing an IDE, an ecommerce site or a blog server. The price is $0.00 and the license is Creative Commons (Attribution).  Here's a small sample:

We were using the old Java Look and Feel Repository icons in Roller. You know, they're really in need of an update. Maybe the icons from Open Office and the various Netbeans incarnations could be bundled into a nice Java icon pack.

WTH is wrong with Performancing?

A couple of bloggers at BSC have asked about Performancing for Firefox, so I've been trying to get it working with Roller. Since Roller is not on Performancing's  list of Blogging Service options, I tried "custom blog," specified "MetaWeblog API," and entered my blog server settings. No dice. So, I turned on Roller debugging and watched what Performancing is sending over the wire. Here's what Performancing sends for the MetaWeblog API newPost() method:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <param> <value> <string>t</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>t</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>p</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>:</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>/</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>/</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>l</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>o</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>c</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>a</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>l</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>h</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>o</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>s</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>t</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>:</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>8</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>0</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>8</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>0</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>/</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>r</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>o</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>l</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>l</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>e</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>r</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>/</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>x</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>m</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>l</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>r</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>p</string> </value> </param>
    <param> <value> <string>c</string> </value> </param>

My post had the title "test" and the content "test" and as you can see, neither of those words appears in the XML above. Obviously something is horribly broken. I've offered to help the Peformancing folks get Roller support going, but I'm not sure I can really do anything to help. Looks like the problem is on their side.

Assuming that Performancing's other options (Blogger.com, WordPress.com, TypePad.com, LiveJournal.com and MSN Spaces) work fine, this is pretty depressing. Plain old unadorned MetaWeblog API is the one that's broken, the one that's tested last and the one nobody cares about. Is that really true? Did the Performancing developers really have to write custom code for each and every blog server?

Tags: topic:[Performancing], topic:[MetaWeblog API], topic:[XML-RPC], topic:[Blog client]

RSS and Atom in Action part II out the door

I spent Saturday rewriting the second half of my search/monitoring chapter and then Sunday and Monday I spent updating my C# examples. I also built, ran and tested all of the example code for the book and committed a number of fixes to the Blogapps CVS. And finally, I sent the whole Part II bundle back to Manning for typesetting and proofreading. The end is near!

I had been using Visual Studio C# 2003 but since that's almost three years old now, I moved everything over to Visual Studio 2005 and .Net 2.0. Moving to .Net 2.0 was pretty easy. I downloaded Visual Studio C# 2005 Express Edition and that worked fine for almost all of my examples, but not for my one ASP.NET example. I had to download Visual Web Designer 2005 Express Edition to get that working. Both of those IDEs are free at least for the next year. You can get them here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express. Nobody pays for IDEs anymore, not even Micro$ofties.

Updated blog search service comparison

Lots of good feedback on my blog search service comparison. Everybody except Google and Yahoo wrote in with corrections and additions and in response I've updated the matrix.

Blog search service comparison

Part II of my book is back from the dev and copy editors and I'm spending this weekend correcting and updating the chapters so they can be sent off to the type-setter. Most of the changes appear to be small, but the chapter on searching and monitoring blogs is in serious need of update.

The world of blog search has changed a lot recently. When I wrote the chapter last year, Technorati, Feedster and Pubsub we the whole story. Now Google is coming on strong, Yahoo is experimenting and who knows what Microsoft is doing. So I decided to try comparing the features of what appear (to me at least) to be the leading blog search engines. My new list is Google, Yahoo, Technorati, Feedster, Pubsub and IceRocket. I'm not totally sure Yahoo belongs here, News Search appears to be pretty weak, but I'm going to leave them in because they're a big name. Note that Microsoft is not in the list (if they have blog search, I can't find it). Here's my blog search feature comparison matrix so far:

Are any of those features unclear or require explanation? Let's see. I probably shouldn't have listed "Ads in results newsfeed" as a feature, it's really more of a bug.  "Web interface to search" is only there because Pubsub doesn't have it -- you can't get search results on the Pubsub site, you must subscribe via newsfeed reader. I think the rest are self-explanatory.

And here is a list of the blog search services with links:
If you have a correction, question or think I've left out something important, please let me know. Comments are open.

Update I: Feedster appears to be having problems these days. The Feedster API docs are not available, I get 404s for the Feedster API and the developer wiki. Link search and subscribe to search features are temporarily disabled because, the site says "Our Chief Scientist is bringing you something new in January!"

Update II: After receiving feedback from Mark Cuban of IceRocket, Greg Gershman of BlogDigger, Ian Kallen of Technorati, Steven Cohen of Pubsub and  Allen Graham of Feedster. I've updated my matrix. Cuban and Cohen sent in some corrections. Greg asked that I include BlogDigger and BlogPulse, so I did. I also added in a row for Open Search support. Both Kallen and Graham wrote in to tell of cool new features coming soon, but nothing new for the matrix right now.

Tags: topic:[Search],topic:[RSS],topic:[Atom],topic:[Blog Search],topic:[Yahoo],topic:[Google],topic:[Technorati],topic:[Feedster],topic:[IceRocket],topic:[Pubsub]

Where's winter?

With temps in the upper 60s in Raleigh for the past couple of weeks, warm enough for my traditional geek t-shirt, shorts and berks uniform, I'm starting to wonder if we're going to miss winter entirely this year.

Today's links [January 11, 2006]

MacBook Pro

MacBookI didn't believe it would happen so soon. Apple has released an Intel based laptop and is accepting orders now for deliveries in February. I really want one, but I'm going to wait and see how Raible and Dion like theirs before I buy one for myself. 

PodcasterCon 2006: thanks!

podcastercon logo

I'm a little late blogging this, but PodcasterCon 2006 was great (and I'm not even a podcaster). Brian Russell did a great job of putting together a totally uncommercial unconference and I thoroughly enjoyed the three sessions I attended on advanced podcasting, podcasting as a teaching/learning strategy and hacking RSS.

My favorite session was definitely podcasting as a teaching/learning strategy, where session leader David Warlick got the whole room involved in collaborating via wiki and podcast tools to build a detailed outline of the problem space.

Scott Johnson, formerly of Feedster, lead the hacking RSS session, which turned out to be only a dozen people and focused on feed advertising and metrics. Scott wouldn't say a thing about his new venture (Ookles?).

Later, I went to dinner at Carolina Brewery with a big crowd of mostly out-of-town folks from the conference. Here the list (lifted from Ryan's entry): Greg Cangialosi (The Trend Junkie), Josh Staiger (joshstaiger.org), Derrick Oien (Intercasting Corp, Rabble), Dave Chekan (Libsyn), The other Dave (Libsyn), Hoopes (Libsyn), Chris MacDonald (indiefeed), Rob Greenlee (Melodeo, Mobilcast) and Will Raymond (Concerned Citizen). And after dinner, at Fuse, I met Greg Gallant and Aaron Quint, the guys behind Venture Voice.

I've got a brain full of new knowledge and a folder full of new podcast subscriptions, so thanks again Brian.

Do something!

Dion Almer: Sun: hire a couple of people to work on JRuby so Rails can run on the JVM. Or, fund Groovy to finish the job, or.... do something!
This comment on Dion's post is interesting too:
Mikael Gueck: Please Sun, do about Python and Ruby exactly what you did about VB - concentrate on building actually useful tools. Pandering to bored programmers is not a viable long term strategy, it's not like the current fad will last any longer than any of the previous ones.
I'm not sure that pandering to bored programmers (developing "crippety crap," as the Drunk and Retired guys might say) is a bad strategy as there are probably a lot of them out there, but I do agree that Groovy, Jython and JRuby are very important efforts.

Gimme credit, gimme fixes, gimme it ALL!

I've been exchanging emails with a developer who has integrated my old Relay-IRC chat client into his gaming web site. The guy doesn't understand the Mozilla Public License and I'm not sure I'm smart enough to explain it to him, but I tried just the same. Along the way, I came up with this.

Dave's dumbed-down explanation of open source licenses.

Here's what you're telling your downstream users when you pick one of the three levels of open source licenses:
  • Level 1: Gimme credit (APL, BSD, MIT)
    You can use, modify and redistribute my code in your product but give me credit (actually, modern BSD doesn't even require credit).
  • Level 2: Gimme fixes (MPL, CDDL, LGPL)
    You can use, modify and redistribute my code in your product but give me the source for any fixes you make to it.
  • Level 3: Gimme it ALL! (GPL)
    You can use, modify and redistribute my code in your product but give me your entire product's  source code.
What do you think; is it too dumbed-down to be useful?

Today's links [January 05, 2006]

Roller update

Here's an update on recent Roller developments and mailing list activity.

Roller 2.1 was planned for late December 2005. We had it ready to go and deployed it to some production sites but there were a couple of loose ends that prevented an "Apache Roller" release and then the holidays hit. We decided to postpone 2.1 until the end of January and add in the features we had planned for 2.2. The Roller 2.1 release proposal summarizes the new features planned. Pardon the mess, it's still under development.

Roller 2.0.1 is ready for release. It is intended for PostgreSQL users who are upgrading from Roller 1.X and if you're not a PostgreSQL user you can safely ignore it.

In other news...

Elias has updated the Weblog Tags proposal, originally written by Allen, and claims to have a significant chunk of IBM code ready to contribute. Tags may be in sooner rather than later, so we'll have to figure out how to manage that in SVN. Dave Levy has also joined the tags conversation.

I've been corresponding off-list with Craig Russell, who is implementing a JDO backend for Roller. After some questions about getting Netbeans setup to debug the unit tests and about the Roller manager interfaces, he's off and running.

A new contributor on the Roller-dev list, Sean Gilligan, contributed a proposal and a patch for Really Simple Discovery (RSD) and Allen helped get it into the Roller 2.1 codebase.

Migs Paraz, whose Roller-based geo-aggregator I mentioned before, is continung it contribute to the Roller-dev list and is working on enhancing Roller's planet-style aggregator so that new planet groups can be defined for the front page via the UI.

Thats all for now.

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