February 21, 2003

Yesterday, as I concluded my entry (or somewhere about then) a thought struck me – why shouldn’t I combine Blog and BlogMan under one interface? I think the reason this whole line of thought was set off was because I received an e-mail from a Blog user who suggested some extra fields like the Excerpt field in Movable Type since he utilizes them to display per-entry stuff like his current mood and music. I guess I simply could add an extra Excerpt entry box or extra info box without merging Blog and BlogMan but the whole excerpt thing made me realize that if I do do that, the UI for Blog and BlogMan will look even more similar. So why maintain two different programs which are both for blogging and which both have almost the same interface? On the other hand is of course the question of how much more additional overhead will the merger bring and will all users need that extra bloat?

I’ve been going back and forth with this question. It will be a lot of work to combine the two programs and to come up with a unified database structure to handle the data for both systems. Plus data conversion for existing users is going to be a real pain. But on the other hand, a unified Blog and BlogMan would mean that would be to go from a blogging utility supporting the Blogger API to Blog (and vice versa) so much simpler and easier. And at the same time, there are common features like image thumbnail creation that people want for both Blog and BlogMan – and it would make sense to put all of that into one program rather than two – well, maybe not make sense but it’s easier … and I’m lazy :p

I still am not sure if I really want to go that route or even if it is possible but I’m thinking about it. In the meantime, since I can’t do a merging of Blog and BlogMan except as a new version, I’ve been working on the 7.x bug fixes again :-) I still am messing around with the collapsible category entry panel since I am not totally happy with how it works – meaning that Blog does not remember if it was collapsed when Blog closes … it will again be open when you restart Blog. I’d like to fix that but the component that I’m using has certain limitations and it looks as if I will have to modify the component itself if I want it to work the way I want.

I did look into a bug reported some time back where the very first date range with an entry does not get listed in the archive table of contents though the archive file for that range is created. When I first tried to reproduce the problem, I couldn’t since everything seemed to work fine. I then did some further checking and realized that this happens only when there is only one entry for the very first date range – otherwise things work fine :p I finally traced the problem to a logical bug in looping through records and managed to fix it. I also changed the encryption method used for passwords so that we don’t get stray carriage returns embedded in the password to create havoc with the INI file storage – I just need to test the upgrade routine for that and if that works, we’re set. Unfortunately, the upgrade routine will not correctly update the passwords of people with embedded carriage returns and so they will have to re-enter their password(s) one last time after upgrading to Blog 7.1 – sorry :-( I should hopefully have the 7.1 release out pretty soon … unless I get caught up in something else again …

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Tags: General
Posted by Fahim at 6:02 am   Comments (4)