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SBlog Challenge Discussion Area
Last updated at 1:43 am UTC on 17 January 2006
Here's a place to talk about the Challenge. First discussion, the features:

SBlog Challenge Discussion Area
SBlog - Templates

Avi Bryant
Well, let's talk about what we expect the "parts" to be. I figure there's
at least these, not necessarily in this order:

  1. work out the domain model
  2. make the domain model persistent
  3. build an RSS feed on top of the model
  4. build a functional web UI on top of the model
  5. make the web UI pretty

I'd be particularly interested in 1, 2, and 4. I'm happy to help out with
3 but don't find it that interesting. I'm the wrong guy for 5. I also
don't mind if it turns out that I'm not involved in 1 and 2 - I'd
definitely like to be involved with 4.

Optionally, there's also:

  1. build an RPC interface for modifying the blog
  2. build a Morphic client using the RPC interface

Again, I'd be happy to help out with this, but it doesn't excite me that

Well, it would be really nice if someone with a strong graphic design
sense participated so that what we produced ended up looking purdy. Apart
from that, what we need is just a few competent coders...

One thing that would be useful for a task list is just a set of features that we want the model to be able to handle - for example, do we want comments? Are they threaded? Can multiple users post to the same blog? Can one server host multiple blogs? Do we support trackback? RSS1? RSS2? Atom? Are entries categorized? Are the categories hierarchical? Can an entry belong to multiple categories? Etc...

Jim Benson
I think that the whole XML-RPC part is essential.

Blaine Buxton
Just to add something else. I was thinking that it would be cool to mimic the Swiki editing capabilities (the way you link, lists, etc) that make it incredibly easy to edit without knowing html. But, just like Swiki, you can add html if you want.

Jim Benson
You may certainly consider this, and implement it if you want. However, my "real world" experience is that it's a waste of time. In IE 5.5+ and Mozilla 1.3, Rich Text editing is how non-geeks (read real people) want to solve that problem. (See http://www.interactivetools.com/products/htmlarea/ for an example). They also want things like spell checking, and the ability to add pictures. In other words, the trend is toward either rich clients or desktop clients that provide that functionality (like Radio). Each solution has its advantages and drawbacks. At least that is what Dan Bricklin said at BloggerCon last weekend (Oct 4-5) http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/bloggercon/webcast. Dan has been in the space for awhile, so I tend to believe him.

Blaine Buxton
Also, about the purdy interface. What web browsers is everyone using? I was thinking of testing in Mozilla (latest) and IE 6.0. Is there anything else?

I would expect to check out against a reasonably compliant CSS supporting browser ( IE 5.0+, Mozilla ). I assume Safari is close in this regard. Let's try to avoid as much "fanciness" as possible, this is a Squeak challenge, not a DHTML show. Define a CSS sheet, have a template spit that out.

Blaine Buxton
And lastly, I agree with Avi's points. I think we can get those points done (the UI I'm thinking might not be the slickest). But, I think the XML-RPC should extra credit if we get everything else done.

I'll just point out why I selected XML-RPC for interacting with the blog. The first reason is that it's a standard API that many desktop clients use. Personally, I wanted to stay as far away from a UI as possible for the first challenge. Avi points out that there's no fun in that, I certainly can understand that. The second reason is more pedagogical; one of the things that I'm hoping to show is "Here's this outside view of the world, here's how Squeak can interface to it". However, the schedule is tight, and if you feel it will take less time to design your own protocol and implement it in a GET/POST world then to implement a given protocol, I'll certainly understand.

Trackbacks need not be implemented in the challenge

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