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The Software Behind This Blog

Or should I say "blog"?  Currently, this "blog" is missing a lot of the features that people have come to expect from blogs. 

Right now all it really is is a page like any other page created in the Lighthouse CMS, but with comments.  It occurred to me that the page with comments is a very basic construct on the web today.  It's used not only by blogs, but by wikis, forums, and sites that publish articles of all sorts.  In all these cases, someone creates a page (for forums it's often called a topic) and then there is a way for anybody to add their 2 cents on the subject.  The way the page is presented in a blog is much different from the way it is presented in a wiki or a forum, of course.  In a wiki, the comments are generally separate from the main page, while in a forum, the comments are the meat of the page.  Blogs probably fall somewhere in between.

In any case, this is flexible construct and with the Lighthouse templating system I will be able to take the basic "Page w/ Comments" template and extend it to have more of the bloggy features people are used to.  Such as:

  • Should really show the date this was published and my name at the top.
  • Ping-backs, track-backs, etc.
  • One the index page, show not just the titles of the blog posts, but snippets.
  • Show a clickable list of topics and the number of articles in each topic.
  • Maybe a tag cloud, if they aren't already passe' :-)
  • The author and the commenters should be able to be alerted about new comments in email.

Most of these features shouldn't be hard to implement.  My aim would not be to implement every bloggy feature out there -- the likes of Wordpress are bound to always have more features -- but there are also some nice advantages to having this functionality built into Lighthouse rather than using a 3rd party blog tool.

  • You want a simple blog? Just create a new page with the blog template, and you're done.
  • You can create members-only blog content easily, and it's automatically integrated with the permission system of your site.

Oh, one thing I almost forgot to mention.  The comment form uses Defensio to filter out spam messages, so don't even think about it.


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