When it was released, I was quite critical of Community Server. I felt it was a rush job and shouldn’t have even been graced with a “beta” next to its name. That, along with other reasons, spurred me to start the Subtext project.

Today I took a quick look at the early bits for Community Server 1.2 that Jayson Knight put up, and I have to admit that I am impressed with the direction they are heading.

Obviously this is pre-beta software and I did run into some bugs (friendly error page though). But what I noticed is they are paying much more attention to the admin interface and usability. One of the big problems with .TEXT in the past is that editing an old post was a big pain because you had to find the post in the admin interface.

In Subtext, I solved that in a manner similar to DotNetNuke. If you are logged in and viewing your own blog, you see a pencil icon next to a blog post. Click on it and you are taken to the admin section where you can edit your blog.

Community Server 1.2 improves on this approach with a mighty jump forward. When you are logged in as an admin, and viewing your blog, moving the mouse cursor over the post highlights the entire post. Clicking on the post then brings up a web-based modal dialog to edit the post. Very slick and very easy to use.

If Telligent can improve on the installation story over the sticky mess from past versions, they will have a very compelling blog platform on their hands. Big ups to them for improving the usability and focusing on nailing down some key problems.

So does this mean that I am going to stop working on Subtext? Hardly, as I think there’s still room for a open source hobbyist blog engine. But I have to admit, the thought did occur to me to migrate my blog to CS 1.2 when it is released. Not having time to work on Subtext has left it languishing. But I will resist that temptation and focus on dogfooding Subtext.