Thinking Still In Progress

Wherein Robert muses about what he really wants. Apart from the 98-inch Plasma Screen, of course.

I‘ve been musing about what I really want from a blog tool, which in turn helps me to think about what suits my purposes best. I‘ve narrowed it down to a very small number of things: removing the mechanical aspects of titling and time-stamping entries; automating archiving; simple permanent-link generation; simple URIs in the site; and the convenience of all the Cocoa goodies like spell checking. I‘ve also been thinking a bit about overall design, and re-designing the other pages on the site, but that‘s more-or-less trivial thanks to the organic goodness of CSS and XHTML standards.

iBlog certainly allows fairly comprehensive customization of the generated HTML and CSS, and the design of the site. And it certainly gives access to all the Cocoa goodies – witness the lack of spelling mistakes. iBlog also does all the heavy lifting of turning text into HTML, including the time-stamps and titles. What it doesn‘t do brilliantly, as far as I can see at this stage, is build a simple site structure. I‘m also not thrilled about the handling of quotes, dashes and other typographic niceties. For these reasons, I‘m starting to think seriously about MovableType, despite the more complex infrastructure required. One major complication with going that way is that it requires Apache to be running, which means opening up port 80, which means that I then need to go nuts and make sure that it‘s securely locked down.

I‘ve come across a description of how to get MT running on a Mac , and from reading the MT documentation suggests it would be fairly easy to synch local static pages up onto .Mac. We‘ll see. I‘ll continue with iBlog for a little while yet, to give it a fair test.

I‘ve been looking at site designs, and come across some nice ones that give me food for thought. The MovableType site itself is elegantly designed, and I‘ve always admired DaringFireball, but one that I‘ve come across is this joke site which is both funny and nicely designed and implemented. Whatever I go for, simplicity will be the name of the game.

I will be seriously examining the copyright ideas being explored through the Creative Commons project, but I was tickled pink by the copyright notice over at Buzz Machine, which is another nicely designed site.

Posted: Thu - July 24, 2003 at 07:58 PM   The Occasional Masthead   Technology   Email Comments

© Robert Hook