Blogging software

In moving from my old blog at JRoller to one on my domain I had to choose which blogging engine to use. After evaluating a number of systems such as Movable Type, Typo, Blogger with sftp, etc… I ended up with WordPress. My main requirements for blog software were:

  • all the usual stuff (comments, pings, trackbacks, etc…)
  • search engine friendly URL’s
  • themes with a good selection
  • plugins with a good selection
  • import from RSS (so I could move my old posts along with me)
  • language in order of preference: Ruby, Java, PHP, and lastly Perl
  • a good sized user community

So far working with WordPress 2.0 has been relatively painless and left me with a very positive impression. The installation took about 5 minutes including the apache config. The plugins have been a little problematic since many don’t yet support 2.0 but considering it was just released it’s not surprising. Lastly, they’re using some AJAX which is nice to see.

Now that I have it installed next steps will be to learn how to use subversions vendor branches so I can manage my local changes to my WordPress checkout as well as being able to easily merge changes from the official WordPress subversion repo.

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9 Responses to Blogging software

  1. Anonymous says:

    If Ruby was your first choice of language why not go with Typo?

  2. Todd Huss says:

    I liked Typo but my impression was that WordPress has a much larger user community, ergo more themes, plugins, etc… I also don’t have FastCGI or Lighty running on my current Linux server so it would have been a little extra work to setup, whereas I already had Apache, MySQL, and PHP installed.

  3. Dash says:

    I’m trying to move to Drupal, and I asked Matt Schmidt about three months ago to give me a database dump of my roller site for the migration, but he seems to have disappeared into the ether (and jrollers’ howling problems, no doubt)!

    It looks like you’ve managed to move everything here, would you mind mailing me how you did it?

    Cheers,

    Dash

  4. Todd Huss says:

    Hi Dash, It was quite tedious actually. I never managed to move the comments so I left all of those behind which was unfortunate. In Roller you can download each page of posts as an RSS feed. My blog was about 5 pages so I downloaded the 5 RSS feeds, saved them to disk, and then in WordPress I used the import from RSS feature to load them into WordPress.

  5. Dash says:

    Thanks, I was looking into scraping my site but I ended up with a lot of unwanted stuff!

    The RSS feeds I get are only 30 days old though?

    How do you get a feed for the whole page (obviously I can make the front page as long as the whole blog if I wanted)

  6. Todd Huss says:

    That’s a good question, I just looked and I can’t remember now. I vaguely recall that there is a way to pass arguments to the http://jroller.com/rss/username page to get it to give you entries within a certain range! Now I can’t figure out what the arguments are though so I’d recommend hitting the source at http://svn.apache.org/viewcvs.cgi/incubator/roller/trunk/ and see if you can figure out which options the rss page responds to.

  7. Dash says:

    Sorry to keep bothering you, but I’m really not that up on Java…

    I’ve found exportrss.java, and exportrss.vm

    Are you saying that if I can override the

    loadDates(website); or loadDates(WebsiteData website); (a bit further down)

    My default rss page will change?

    I feel really lost and/or dumb now! I need to know exactly what to write… sorry.

  8. Dash says:

    I’ve found a solution, thanks for the guidance!

    The secret seemed to be adding:

    #set( $xmap = $pageModel.getRecentWeblogEntries( 1000, "nil" ) )
    #foreach( $day in $xmap.keySet() )
      #set( $recentEntries = $xmap.get($day) )
      #foreach ($entry in $recentEntries)

    #if ( $pageModel.getWeblogEntry() )
      #set( $entry = $pageModel.getWeblogEntry() )
    #end
    #if( $entry )
      #set( $day = $entry.pubTime )
      #set( $textcontent = $entry.text)
      #set( $comments = $entry.comments )

    …into the rss page using the exportrss.vm model above.

    Now I’ve got some script kiddies changing my xml to sql insert statements. Full description will be up on Skip The Budgie when I move next week.

  9. Todd Huss says:

    That’s great, I’m glad you managed to figure it out and thanks for posting the solution!

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