I admit i’ve given this a little thought, but not too much. But i’m sure i’m not the only one with this viewpoint.
There’s not enough choices when it comes to blogging engines based on ASP.NET.
There’s ComminityServer’s blogging engine. And there’s dasBlogs, and then there’s a few other ones people have written themselves for their own purposes. (And i’m aware of the .Text fork or Sub Text that was announced.)
When I look “over the fence” at what the other guys are doing using other technology, I see two quite mature in the market blogging engines in WordPress and MovableType.
I think what WordPress and MovableType had when they launched was a big community following. I’ve seen WordPress evolve since the later days of b2/cafepress when Michel Valdrighi took a break/went MIA (ok, I don’t remember what happened, but those who were involved didn’t have much contact from him for awhile).
And I know that MovableType had this sort of community following as well.
Each had their seperate “market” segments of the blogosphere. Both had their own benefits in regards to different things.
Earlier today I was catching up on my reading of the Australian .NET Mailing list and saw the following from William Barthlomew:
… I live and breath .NET but I don’t think the .NET blogging engines have the maturity that the non-.NET ones have yet. And I knew I’d never get round to writing my own plug-ins so the language it was written in didn’t really bother me 😉
William actually uses WordPress for his blog, he used to be using .Text.
If there was a ASP.NET based blogging engine that could match what WordPress has to offer, then I’d seriously consider moving my blog over to it.
I wrote a reply to William’s post, but it doesn’t seem like it has actually gotten posted.
I think there could be a need for a new blogging engine, one written in such a way that it can evolve quickly and easily to meet the latest “trends” and what not in the blogosphere.
So it needs to be easily extensible through most likely plugins, a theming engine and several other things.
Thinking over this again, perhaps the best approach is not to start from scratch. Perhaps do what they are doing with Sub Text and build off of the “remains” of the .Text project.
A localised flavour, using Australian English 🙂
Built mostly by Australian Developers.
Involve the Australian blogosphere.
Perhaps a reworking of many parts of the original .Text project. Keep the best, refactor and rewrite the rest. Strip it down to its’ core functionality. Allow the rest to be added/removed through plugins.
Because honestly, who wants to install things they don’t need?
- Need a photo gallery? Install the photo gallery plugin. Don’t like the gallery plugin? Create your own!
- Want a new way of viewing archived posts? Either install a user contributed posts archiving plugin, or create your own.
- Want to change the way certain words in your posts behave? For example, a combination of certain words may automagically put an image into the blog in place of or next to those words
So how would a user create a plugin? Well, I haven’t thought that through too much yet. But perhaps either using VS.NET, or a simple custom made WYSIWYG plugin/theme composer that goes through the process of creating the different “parts” required for the plugin in a wizardy type way. But also allowing the user to escape from the wizard to perform more advanced customisations. Have some sort of gallery of user contributed plugins available would be good too. (A selection of the best/most popular of them to come with the default install. But allowing users to remove them if unrequired).
Would probably want the ability to run off several different datasources such as XML files, SQL Server, MySQL.
Perhaps also the ability to import data from different existing blogging engines such as Blogger, WordPress, .Text, CommunityServer, dasBlog and into whatever database the user has chosen to go with (as well as the ability to migrate from one datasource to another without the loss of any posts, or very much effort on the users’ behalf. Maybe all done via wizards?)
I think one of the keys of getting something like this going is having some form of community around it. So perhaps promote it as some form of community project. With several key figures governing the final decisions on what does and does not go in.
I know one of the big big things is community expectations. An example would be users in forums saying “hey, this would be one really cool feature”. So some form of commitment from the developers will perhaps be expected of initially. Not to say that we lock the developers into a project. I think once the core has been completed for the first time, that’s the most work that needs to be done. Thereafter it is mostly just maintenance and “rearchitecting”.
I just remembered something, and did a bit of a search. I remembered earlier this year Darren Neimke mentioned he was working on a blogging application. Hrm. I haven’t seen anything on his blog about this for awhile, wonder how it’s going?
So is there any interest out there in this? Adrian?, Jarrad? Geoff?
I think all this really needs is perhaps two or three developers to start off with, and then grow “organically” from there.
And “going forward” we will be able to go “onwards and upwards”. hahaha 😛
Whether this idea gains any momentum, I don’t know. Let’s wait and see 🙂