November 13, 2002

Blog might (might not <g>) be “inept” or substandard but the same can certainly not be said about the Blog users – all of you are top notch :-) Thank you for your kind support and defence of Blog. It always is a pleasure to know that people like your software enough to defend it publicly – thank you all, Edward, Tyran, Phil and any others I might have left out inadvertently! Mike tells me that I can relax since BOS have removed the offending remark from their site :p I know, I really shouldn’t have gone into such a snit about it but *I* like Blog and so it kind of irritates me when somebody puts it down without offering an alternative – kind of reminds me of the time everybody (meaning actually the ZDNet groups Net publications :p) were going into a tizzy about this Australian group who had come up with the “brilliant” idea to do a browser which supported both the IE and Mozilla engines. Scope had been out for a while at that point and some of the Scope users got so cheesed off that they wrote to ZDNet and me as well :-) But I digress …

Some interesting new ideas have come up for Blog both here and on the Blog mailing list. I want to get into that but I also want to give a status report on BlogMan – so I’ll do a quick report on BlogMan and then get to the Blog stuff :p BlogMan is now at the beta stage – except for getting some sort of documentation in place. It can save and delete entries both locally and remotely, it can publish via the remote server and it can synchronize with a remote server. Currently it will work with both Blogger and Movable Type and I hope to add other blogging utilities as soon as I can find API references for them. If anybody is interested in seeing their blogging utility supported in BlogMan, do let me know (preferably with a link to the API reference for the utility). I hope to release the beta either today or tomorrow but it might be later since you know how I get bogged down with stuff :p Plus, I still need to create a page for the BlogMan app.

Now to the Blog ideas – one idea was by Phil to support style sheets for previewing. This made me think, “Why stop at style sheets? Why not apply the whole template to the preview?” It sounds like a good idea to me but there are problems – if you use relatively pathed images in your template, then they won’t display in the preview and it will look ugly. I was thinking of maybe adding support for a directory which would have all the images used in the template but path parsing could again become a problem due to the way I implement Blog. So then, I decided to give a customized Blog temp directory since that is where I put the temporary file for previewing and if the user can customize the temp directory, then they can put any necessary images in that same location or create the sub-directory structure needed from that location to hold the images. This seems like the best solution but there is a problem there too. Currently, I delete the Blog temp directory both when Blog shuts down and when it starts up (in case, Blog crashed and so didn’t clean up on exit) and you can’t do that with a customized temp directory since there might be image files in there that are needed for the template. So … I’m still left pondering how to go about this. Any ideas?

The other idea is something that has been in my mind since I added the backup facility – the option to do an automatic backup in Blog – either daily or weekly when you close Blog. All the user would have to do would be to set up the frequency of backups and a location for the backups and Blog would automatically create the backups when you close it. This sounds like a good idea to me but I hate adding new features unless a lot of people might use it since otherwise it is just bloat to me. (Yes, I know there are exceptions :p But I’d rather not talk about those <g>)

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Posted by Fahim at 5:42 am   Comments (5)