XBlog – The XPages Blog Platform – Released

This past weekend an OpenSource project I’ve been working on for a while, called XBlog, was released. While not quite ready for prime time I think the release was probably a good thing to at least get people looking at it and hopefully provide some help in fixing some of the more stubborn issues (read please help). Currently, XBlog looks a little old school, but it’s got a pretty good feature set that should only grow in future releases. I’ve already been contemplating a few future features (say that fast 5 times in a row) which should show up there shortly. Also, look for this blog to be using XBlog in the very near future. I will also try and get some sample layout customizations up somewhere (probably here).

I had actually started XBlog just before Declan Lynch announced BlogSphere v4. Once Declan made his announcement I figured XBlog was pretty much a mute point. I then accepted a position with GBS and was tossed into the deep end of the Java pool. I really needed a place to learn and experiment and get up to speed. So I dusted off XBlog and proceeded to develop it with a fairly rich set of requirements. XBlog has fit the bill as a learning tool perfectly, and even some of what I’ve developed for XBlog has made it’s way into one of the projects I’m working on at work.

So XBlog is now out in the wild for you to do with as you please. Some of it’s features are:

  • Everything is configurable, layout, date formats, sidebars, styles, everything
  • Multiple Layouts already configured
  • Web Based Blog management site
  • RSS Import from your previous blog (This kind-of works and could certainly use some improvement, especially in resource management)
  • Google +1, facebook, twitter and digg this icons for all posts
  • Spam Prevention provided by Akismet
  • XSS Prevention proided by AntiSamy
  • Tags instead of Categories
  • Google Analytics and Google Adwords built in
  • Downloads are part of posts and pages
  • Automatic Comment locking after X# days
  • Build in code syntax highlighting using SyntaxHighlighter 3.0
  • Email notifications for blog owner and blog commentors (if they so choose)

Some of it’s known issues are:

  • Adding a script block to a post in the rich text editor works, however the script block is not visible in the editor the next time you go into the post to edit it
  • RSS Import – If importing from BlogSphere you must correct a couple of issues first
  • RSS Import – Email addresses for comments are not included in comment RSS entries, this breaks the Gravatar images for imported comments
  • RSS Import – Doesn’t import images (future version) or downloads (won’t be supported)
  • IE 7 doesn’t honor CSS float styles which breaks the layout
  • IE 9 doesn’t work at all
  • The viewScope bean expires after about 30 minutes, once that happens you loose anything you haven’t saved, so save often
  • Rich Text editor doesn’t work with Dojo 1.6, but this may be corrected in 8.5.3

Right now the known issues are kind-of large. There are a couple of issues keeping this from being a beta level application, mainly the viewScope bean expiring and being unable to import images via the RSS importer. If anyone would be willing to help out with these issues it would be greatly appreciated. So, check it out at OpenNTF and I hope you get some use out of it.

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