Subtext Logo For the past several days, I’ve been consumed with working on the Subtext blogging engine (not to be confused with the Subtext programming language). It’s been the most fun I’ve had writing software since, well, since working on RSS Bandit as a matter of fact. ;)

Speaking of RSS Bandit, Dare offers some good advice for those starting an Open Source project. I’m going to have to pick his (and others) brain some more and maybe write a short article with advice on starting and continuing an open source project. Especially since I’ve already violated one piece of his advice, which is to save the announcement till you have a release, in order to generate more excitement.

Despite not having a release yet, I have seen some excitement in the community over this project and I appreciate all the well wishers. If you’re interested in taking a look, you can get the latest source code at any time, but you’ll have to use CVS until we get a release prepared. I was working furiously to get an installer package ready, but upon the advice of the team, I put that aside so we could focus on having a more compelling release first. That also bought me some time and breathing room as I was completely stuck on a problem using WiX.

So far, some of the interesting features I’ve implemented are…

  • Friendly and informative error pages for missing blog_config records and malformed (or just wrong) connection string.
  • Skins can now add an edit link visible only to the admin user to the ViewPost page. So when viewing a page as an admin, you can click the edit link to go directly to the post editor. Sometimes I like to edit an older post and hated having to page through so many records. Instead, I can use Google to find the post and then click the edit link.
  • Fixed the MetaBlogAPI. I hated the fact I couldn’t edit old posts with w.Bloggar. Now I can.
  • Syndication compression (for aggregators that support it) using contributed code.
  • Applied a contributed patch to add “image”, “license”, and “copyright” elements to the RSS feed for those that want it.
  • Comments can be turned off after a configurable number of days.
  • … and more!

Already it’s at a point that I can’t wait to deploy it to my own blog. But I’m going to hold off till we can implement a few more features and get the installation package together. That’s the biggest technical challenge right now and I welcome any offers of help on that.

My pace on this project will slow by necessity as I get my consulting projects moving forward. But I have to admit, I’m having so much fun on this I often catch myself daydreaming about finding a wealthy patron to sponsor me to work on open source projects. But a foot set firmly in reality snaps me out of that stupor and back to writing code.

[Listening to: Plantastic - Artifacts - Lee Burridge - Nubreed 005 CD2 (6:01)]