New Blog System

Given my frustrations with the BlogCFC setup, I'm endeavoring to create a system that will be a little easier to use to maintain multiple blogs. I'm building this system inside Mach II and will use Reactor for database interactions so I can get a handle on these systems. I've outlined some constraints and put together a kind of time-line.

Constraints

  • New blog system must use the blog database structure from BlogCFC as much as possible. Although I hate it, its a practical decision; I can maintain my blogs with BlogCFC while getting a test database and its easier for others to migrate later.
  • The new blog system must be able to more flexibly support multiple blogs, keeping file duplication between blogs to an absolute minimum.
  • Blogs must be "skinnable", having each blog page pass through a single display page which can be selected dynamically. This allows end users to better control the appearance of their blog from a single page.
  • Blogs should be Object-Orient as much as possible (make use of beans, etc).
  • The new system must have better integration of a WYSIWYG editor for ease of use.

Benchmarks

  1. Create a blog object that can be loaded with data and create a "skinning" process for that object.
  2. Create the process to load the blog object from the database.
  3. Build a new admin interface for the blog.
    • WYSIWYG
    • "Static" page creation
  4. Setup caching of blog builds to increase performance.
  5. Optimize the blog for integration with Mach-II (automatic bean creation and such).
  6. Implementation of Ajax and Javascript elements.
    • "In-line" comment and post edits
    • "Real-time Previews" - Use of Javascript and Ajax to display post previews as you create the post.
  7. Widgets - The ability to place small interfaces where you choose on your blog along with a system to easily plug in new widgets
    • Link Managers
    • Image galleries
    • Message Board Support
    • Multimedia Posts (video, etc.)

Technologies

  • Framework: Mach-II - I've picked Mach-II as my framework because it has some very nice features that handle the automatic creation of Beans and then can pass them off to other event handlers, and I think that this is a very nice feature when looking at an OO design. In addition, I'm hoping that I can find some synergy with the Record Objects that Reactor Creates.
  • Database Interactions: Reactor - Really, its the only database tool of its kind that I've come across so far. It also has several advantages over traditional DAO objects I'm used to working with: its Record Objects are very similar to Beans, and it allows the creation of new requests without affecting old queries. The first part is useful if I can connect record objects to my Mach-II framework as Beans, and the second is useful for implementing a system for Widgets that allows for plug-in-play like interfaces.
  • Javascript/Ajax Framework: Prototype - I'm just in love with Prototype, and between it and the libraries based around it (such as Scriptaculous) I've got about everything I need. I might even try getting into the Spry framework from Adobe Labs, as they really seem to be getting a lot of things right in that system.

 

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Jon Hartmann, July 2011

I'm Jon Hartmann and I'm a Javascript fanatic, UX/UI evangelist and former ColdFusion master. I blog about mysterious error messages, user interface design questions, and all things baffling and irksome about programming for the web.

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