[ng-dhtml] blog software / requirements

Tom Trenka ng-dhtml at dept-z.com
Sat Aug 28 12:21:54 CDT 2004

Hello all,

OK, quite a while ago Joyce set up Serendipity on the dojotoolkit server; so
far only she and I have made any posts...I've got some free time coming up
(basically my wife is leaving for Korea--for 4+ months--tomorrow morning),
and so I've turned my attention back to the Dojo web site and branding.

I've redone the logo, and I'm much happier with it (and apparently Alex is
too).  If you'd like to see the quick draft, here it is:


I've also begun sketching out the basic layout (graph paper as of yet) for
the overall site, with a focus right now on the blog itself, and with that I
started delving into the Serendipity documentation...and basically I'm not
impressed :(  Part of that can be because I haven't looked at PHP in
something like 3 1/2 years; part of it (I'm sure) is that I'm currently
working on a project for SixApart where I'm getting an in-depth view of
MovableType.  Either way...

I'd like to bring up the topic of blogging software again.  As far as I can
see, these would be the basic requirements:

1.  Multiple authors
2.  A single set of categories accessible to the multiple authors.
3.  The ability to customize a set of templates (as opposed to one); for
instance, an index page, an entry page, archives and comments.  And when I
mean customize, I mean being able to specify things on an entry-by-entry
basis if need be, with excerpts, continuations, summaries and more.
4.  The ability to provide multiple format XML feeds (like what Serendipity
has right now).
5.  The ability to generate a calendar.
6.  The ability to do Trackbacks.
7.  The ability to create/generate multiple profile pages (I'm thinking
about Dojo information here, not necessarily blog-related but certainly
related to the overall site).
8.  Remote posting (i.e. browser-based).  Most of the available blogging
packages have this, but I thought I should list it anyways.
9.  IP Banning / comment deletion.
10.  Permalinking
11.  URL rewriting, if possible.

(I'm sure there's a couple of others, but I can't think of it right now).

...so I've gone out and done a quick review of the major packages available.
In order:
1.  Serendipity (what we are using now)
2.  MovableType 3.x (need to pay for it)
3.  TypePad (also need to pay for it)
4.  Blogger (don't need to pay for it)
5.  WordPress (PHP-based, free, pretty comprehensive, still looking it over)

As far as I can tell, Serendipity, MT, and WordPress support the multiple
author/template creation process.  Exactly *how* each supports it, I'm still
a little uncertain; at this point I am pretty familiar with MT, but stil
have a bit to go with the other packages (and once again documentation seems
to suck).  Blogger supports multiple authors, but provides for only one
template.  TypePad (in theory) is essentially a web based service that uses
MT in the background; the only problem right now is that SixApart doesn't
give access to the actual templates used for a TypePad site (this will be
changing within a month or so; I should know because I have to have that
information to complete this project for them).

Of course, both MT and TypePad cost money.  In theory I might be able to
talk to Ben Trott and convince him to give us a discount, but I wouldn't
count on any of that at all.  I *do* have a full copy of MT 3 right now, but
I'd be really leery of actually using it without paying for it :)

So...are there arguments for or against any particular package?  I would
like to be a little better informed, since obviously some of you have used
some of these other packages and seem to like it (i.e. Joyce and
Serendipity, Alex, David and even myself with Blogger, etc.); and I would
like to have this hammered out soon, because I plan on going "bingo-bango"
as a friend of mine likes to put it and get something a bit more "official"
up within 2 - 3 weeks.


Other things.

We've talked about this before, but I'm at a point where I seriously need to
know how we are going to organize the overall Dojo site, in terms of major
sections.  As it stands right now, I'm going with the following sections:

1. info
2. blog
3. wiki
4. docs

I'm working it over so that it will be fairly easy to add or remove one of
these major sections; but it would very beneficial if we had this decided on
*now*.  So, am I missing anything, or do I need to think of certain things
in a different way?

Please speak up NOW, if you have an opinion.  Even if the opinion is about a
single section (for instance, right now probably Leonard is the only one
dealing with the wiki, so he may have something to say about it).  And bear
in mind that while I value your opinion, there may be times where I'll
ignore it (for instance, when I showed David the new logo yesterday, he said
"I don't like it" and after a little conversation it turned out the only
thing he didn't like was the color...so now I'm ignoring his opinion on it
and going forward :D).  Please don't take that the wrong way; I just want to
get this decided on and done.


(ps Joyce, if Serendipity does support everything I'm thinking about, I will
probably want to pick your brains about the custom development of it.)


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