Wednesday, October 06, 2004

My adventures with Blojsom

Quick Notes Blog: October 2004

Ok, I give up. I burned about 4 hours learning about the state of blog servers. I liked Blojsom because it installed under a java web server (Tomcat) and because it's the starting point for the future OS X Tiger integrated browser.

Ultimately though I gave up on it. I can see why Apple is going to use it in Tiger, but for now:

1. This is WAY too raw for a non-engineer to setup and run safely -- unless one has a lot of time to learn about it. For example -- there really doesn't appear to be a way in the GUI admin console to DELETE a post. Hmm. That's kind of a major omission. I also removed the "default" user since I wasn't using it -- uh-oh, That destroyed my site. I'm sure it's easy to fix by editing the config files directly -- but that's not going to work for me.

2. Most of the blog clients I tried had one problem or the other working with it. I think everything in the XP world of blogging is raw. OS X apps are much more mature and better tested.

3. There don't seem to be any true bookmarklets for Blojsom. That's critical. My potential users are NOT going to install software and they are NOT going go to a special site to create a posting.

I've spent way too much time on this problem -- including running through a few open source syndication servers. I think there are some good solutions, but they require far too much installation overhead for my uses. I suspect the integrated Tiger server will be JUST what I want, but I'm not going to buy an OS X server for my employer (even if they permitted it!).

Really, what I want is something that combines the brilliant simplicity of Google's Blogger with the ease of installation & initial setup of Blojsom.

Update: Just as I was about to pull the plug I saw very quick responses to my inquiries from the Blojsom's developer. They may address some of the key issues and are evaluating the problems I ran into. Maybe they just needed a grouchy end-user like me.

I think Blojsom has the right approach. Tomcat/JBoss with a WAR web app is the right deployment for a lot of small business and corporate settings -- and only Blojsom does this. If they can address the key issues they'll have a product they can sell, as well as provide free via the BSD license.

So I won't quit just yet -- especially if they can build me the bookmarklet they've promised!

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