So what is this Something?

I haven’t had any updates in awhile because I have been looking at different blogging software.  simpleblog, while easy to implement and customize, lacks features common to other solutions that I would like.  So several months ago I began trying different programs in a test site, but none of them ultimately worked for me.  Among the ones I tried:

  • dBlog – This offered some features I have been looking for, but the default locale is Italian.  There is a translation for English which changes titles and headers, but things like the calendar remain in Italian.  There isn’t a lot of documentation in English, so I was left to doing a lot of manual code search-and-replace.
  • DotNetNuke – This is one of the primo open-source CMS solutions available.  It is an immensely powerful application that uses modules to offer the features you want: blog, document library, file library, ecommerce, forums, feeback, etc.  The application is geared for more commercial or multi-user sites, not a one-off blog, so the portal is a bit too much for what I am looking for.
  • Nukedit – A solution ready to go pretty much right out of the box.  But it lacks some of the features that even simpleblog offers.
  • WordPress – Probably the most popular blog software out there.  But it uses PHP and mySQL, whereas I prefer ASP and Access since I know how to write in VBScript.  I installed PHP and mySQL and tried to get WordPress working, but ultimately could not.

I have been using simpleblog 2.3 for awhile, and 2.2 before that.  Version 3 is available and after looking at it before all the others, I decided to look at it again.  It has the advantage that I am already familiar with the code that Johann has used for 2.x.  While it still lacks the features I have been looking for, I grew tired of trying all the other solutions.  So I have upgraded sidefumbling to simpleblog 3.0.

Pros:

  • Very simple installation using ASP with VBScript and an MSAccess database.
  • Built-in RSS feed.
  • Version 3 adds a sidebar for recent posts.
  • Version 3 uses FCKeditor for creating posts, which is a customizable WYSIWYG editor.
  • Easy to integrate it into your site by editing ASP files and including your own scripts.
  • Use of CSS for easy manipulation of global settings for font, layout, etc.

Cons:

  • No use of categories or the ability to group/search for posts based on keywords.
  • No search engine.
  • No notification of pending comments.
  • No use of CAPTCHA for comment spam-prevention.
  • Difficult to use code blocks for using literal code in posts, though I have figured out in FCKeditor how to do this.
  • Admin interface is limited to accessing previous posts by using calendar to access posts written on specific date, i.e., you cannot just browse a list of your posts for the one you one; you have to use the calendar to find the day you want and then bring up any posts for that single day only.
  • Cross-browser support is limited, mostly by layout issues.
  • No built-in way for posting from a mobile device, which is nice when traveling or making posts while at a conference, etc.
  • Not regularly updated.

Despite the cons, I offer my thanks to Johann for creating a free solution that has obviously worked for me.

Site outage because of my own carelessness

I apologize for the site outage that occured the last couple of days.  I think it was caused when I was trying to test a site searching tool.  It involved registering DLLs and granting permissions, etc.  But somehwere along the way I broke the site.  And my attempts to fix it only made it worse.  After spending hours and hours trolling the Net via Google to try and fix it, I resorted to help from the source:  Microsoft.  It took a couple of hours, but we were able to track down the permissions that were incorrect.  So everything appears to be back online, but I think I will have to visit all the pages to be sure.