Who Cares About Blog Software?

by Jon Davis 8. July 2011 02:02

It dawned on me tonight that there are a few people out there who actually read my blog, mostly people I don’t know, but almost all of them people who write ASP.NET software. I suppose this would make me happy, except for the fact that sometimes, such as with my previous post and the last couple months of “I’m gonna do something here” posts, I really make myself look like .. well, like someone who could be labeled lots of different ways, depending on the reader, but several such ways could be derogatory.

Truth be told, at this point now at 2011 I confess I don’t care deeply about blog software. Innovation in blog software is no longer my motivator for creating another one, if simply because it’s been done, many times, not just by other .NET developers but even by me. Yet I move forward, still not knowing for sure what the next couple weeks will hold for this strategy. I could have easily called it done already after last weekend’s nearly-successful implementation, but there were changes I wanted to make, changes that I found tonight I could not make without actually starting over, thanks to the limitations of Entity Framework Code First Magical Unicorn Edition 4.1™.

Tonight I have to take an honest additional look at my motives, as I began to do here already. If I don’t have a deep care about blogging software, why reinvent the wheel?

It’s more about having some limited degree of independence upon a prepackaged application, rather than install a prefab website like WordPress which is something that one of my non-technical family members could do if they put their mind to it. If one cannot build his own blogging platform upon which he blogs, what right can he say that he is a broadly experienced web developer in the first place?

On the other hand, I have drawn the line at some point in the architecture, in this case my use of components that are intended to make development very lightweight exercises. And perhaps the tech is not the place where I should be growing myself. Perhaps the re-selection, adoption, and participation with others’ efforts is a better path.

For example, even as I have become bored of BlogEngine.net as I have switched to ASP.NET MVC, and I am disheartened by the motives of some members of the Orchard project community, there are still other projects out there that are worth considering delving into.

Two of them are worth noting right now:

ASP.NET MVC CMS ( Using CommonLibrary.NET ) – This one is a mouthful and hardly a pretty name. But what I like about it is its heavy use of highly reusable “make-my-development-life-better” code libraries, namely CommonLibrary.NET which has a ton going for it. This package claims to be a CMS, but appears to be more of a blog engine at least in its prefab implementation, but although it looks a bit ugly on the aesthetic side, it looks feature rich, and it’s tempting to fork it, migrate it to MVC 3 + Razor, and give it a prettier name or something. I have been looking for something I can use as a strong foundation and on the surface this looks like a very accommodating solution, although I have yet to actually try it out.

Another solution worth checking out is AtomSite. This one is a couple years old but it feels a little bit like it was pretty much exactly what I was going to do anyway, although it is based on MVC 1.0 so I’d definitely migrate it to MVC 3 + Razor as I would with the other solution mentioned above.

If I choose to run with one of these, I really feel like I’d need to try to make it my own—fork it, name it, port it to MVC 3 + Razor, theme it, spruce it up, and make it sexy. This would probably mean finding preexisting designs such as for WordPress and porting them. I don’t do original creative design work very well.

At the end of doing all that, though, I still fear I’d end up just going back to my own blog engine idea, because I still have this lingering desire to build upon something that was more independent .. oh brother .. why are you even bothering to read this?! I’m just taking notes and bemoaning my indecision here. At the end of the day, I still need to step away from the computer and have a life.

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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