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Now that the stable version is a frozen state, meaning that no more new features will be added before its release, it is time to start thinking on what will come next. The pLog team has several new features in mind and we would like to know what you -the users- think about them and if they would really be useful to anybody. Please note that the list of features I am going to give now is not sorted in any order (the first one will not be implemented first and the last one won't be implemented the last), but they will be written as they come to my head :)

  • Possibility to easily upload pictures and files, so that we can include them in posts and generate albums. There is already some work on this and this is probably the first feature that will be included in the new release, since I belive it is quite important to be able to add pictures to one's diary. But we will also have the possibility to create our own photo albums and show them to our friends.
  • A cleaner interface to add new themes/template sets and to invite users to join our blog. At the moment there is no other way to do that, other than adding records to the database manually.
  • Search feature.
  • Support for PostgreSQL as the underlying database storage system.
  • Enable or disable comments on a per-post basis, rather than on a global basis like now.
  • Blog-over-email features, so that we don't need a browser to quickly publish our stories.
  • "Hidden" categories. This basically means that not all categories would be shown in the homepage but only the ones we would select. This would be helpful in case we still want to have those categories but we don't want to clutter the web site with too much text. These categories would still be shown on the list of categories and could be still accessed by readers.
  • Generation or RSS-compliant feeds on a per-category basis, not on a general basis.
  • Many more templates included in the default package (or in an additional template package), so that people with zero knowledge of html and templates can find something that they like.
  • XMLRPC Blogger-compatible API
  • More than one category per post.
We'd like to know what you think!! Let us know if you would like to see something included here.

Development status: final version... near!

Development on the stable version has basically stopped and we are now giving the final touches to the user documentation. We're holding off the release until we have the documentation because we believe documentation is as important for a package as the code of the application itself, and we're also trying to make sure that it is as high-quality as pLog itself. My guess is that maybe in one or two weeks everything will be ready. When we make the final release I'll carefully detail the changes since the last plog-devel release, but don't worry, there won't be many.
On a related note, I would like to remind you that you can still help and translate pLog to your language. If no other language is added, pLog will be released translated to Spanish, Catalan, Italian (partly), Portuguese (partly), Russian and Chinese.

Development Status

Thanks and welcome to our weekly appointment with the development status of pLog :) Finally, the final version is closer than ever. I have been working on redesigning the administration interface (it did need a redesign! :)) and now that it is complete, I should make it completely localizable and work on the languages that I can localize myself (Spanish, Catalan and English). Any help will be greatly appreciated ;) There is also an interesting feature request that I will probably include in the final version, which is adding a "user" parameter instead of a "blogId" in case we have one and only one blog per user. Before it's too late, might be a good moment to take care of that.
I expect to release another beta very soon!

How about a beta?

We're getting close to having something that works, and I am thinking about releasing some kind of beta or pre version so that people who are interested can see what's coming and can also make feature requests or file new bugs if any ;) The code is still a bit rough on the edges but I would expect no major changes before the final version so I think it's a good moment to do it. Let's see if I can have something by the end of this week.

Weekend is here!

As the topic says, the weekend is here but we do not stop working :) Today I added several things to the development version, and I can say that now the administration interface is 97% complete, and that also means that a final stable public release of the development branch is getting closer and closer. Yeepee!! :) Another thing I added is htmlarea, a replacement for the 'textarea' tag in html.
I'll keep you updated. Have a nice weekend!

Another day is gone...

...and amongst other things developed today, the one that stands out the most is support for incoming Trackback requests. That is, if any trackback-enabled blogging platforms sends pLog a trackback request, pLog will be able to take it and keep it. If you don't know what Trackback is yet, it is basically a mean for a blog to say to another blog "hey, I am linking to you in my blog so I am sending you this notice, so that you know" (well, kind of ;)) Trackback then creates a web of relationships between blogs and it is useful to know who is linking to you and when (and it is also more reliable than relying solely on the http referer for this purpose) In the next few days I am planning to add support for sending trackback requests when adding new posts, but that'll take a little longer since it is a bit more difficult.
Other than that, we're getting closer to a final public release... The administrative interface is not finished yet but should be soon, while the new design for it is also on its way!!

We're doing fine (development status)

Today I committed to CVS support for previewing the post when adding a new one or when updating an already existing one. It is only a basic preview of the html text but it is enough to read if there are any mistakes or errors.
I've also committed support for managing the article categories: removal, edition and addition of new ones. So far during my tests everything seems to work fine, so the next few things I should concentrate on is adding a similar interface to handle all the links and the link categories we have defined. I am hoping to have that ready before the end of next week... Once that is done, and we have a nicer design for the administrative interface, I'll be happy :)

Development status

Today I committed to CVS support for links and link categories (I think that is also known as 'blogroll') It actually works as you can see on the column on the right side :)
We've been thinking about adding support for WYSIWYG text edition controls like ofhtmlarea or Spaw. HTML editing becomes much easier since everything's done in a graphical mode. My concern is that these things use Javascript (I don't really fancy Javascript) and require a pretty new version of browsers (IE 5.5+ and Mozilla 1.3b+ in the case of ofhtmlarea) What do you think? Do you think that it would be a nice feature? Please post your thoughts as comments.

What is working... and what is not

Not too bad that there is already somebody interested in testing the development version in the CVS :) I thought it might be interesting to at least list all the features that are already working (as of today, 15th of July) and those basic ones that are not.

Things that working:
  • New posts can be added, categorized and published or kept as drafts for later edition.
  • Posts can be listed by using different filters (categories, status, etc) and deleted.
  • Optionally for every post, the platform can send an email to the poster notifying of new comments.
  • We can add as many posts categories as we need. Later on we will use these categories to classify all the different posts.
  • We can change some of the settings of the blog: language used to display the messages, name and description of the blog, template used to render the content, etc.
  • Comes with two templates: this yellowish flashy one and the default one.
The following things are considered basic but don't work yet or haven't been implemented yet:
  • Posts cannot be edited or previewed.
  • Categories cannot be deleted.
  • The 'blogroll' feature doesn't work yet. That is, we can't add our own favourite sites and links and categories to classify those links.
The next few days I'll probably contentrate on this list of not working features, to see if we can at least have a nice working version but without bells and whistles pretty soon. I'll keep you updated ;)

Welcome to the development journal

The next version of pLog has already enough functionality to be used as the development journal. That doesn't mean that it's ready!!! To be sincere, I'd actually say the opposite: it is far from 100% ready but we have to show somehow our progress and our product to the people stopping by our project site, and I couldn't really wait any more. I had to show the world what I was working on :)

Along with this first version, comes a new layout. Kind of flashy, I know :) I borrowed it from (check it out!!) because I was a bit tired of the old blueish one that comes by default with the old version... I have to admit it is a bit too flashy for a development site, but while we get a new one ready (there is already somebody working on it), why not demonstrate how easy it is to create a new style? It took me about 10 minutes to separate the template in blocks (header, body and footer) but it actually took me much longer to refine the stylesheet... Hopefully that's not a problem with pLog ;)

The plan is now to use this site to announce new versions, inform about the development status and also to hear your opinion. We'd like to know what you think, your ideas, problems you see with pLog and all that stuff. You know :) File releases and the project forums will still be accessed through the project page at SourceForge.

This first public working release of this development version is not yet available as a file release but instead via CVS. There is a reason for this: if I create a release for this in the project page, people will start downloading this one instead of the older (but stable) one and then we don't feel like getting plenty of bug reports complaining about things which we already know don't work (that is why this is a development version!) People who really know what they're doing and who know how to use CVS, please proceed :) In any case, we might change our mind later on if people are feeling too lazy to use CVS... By the way, I have tagged the version that I am using to type these lines as PLOG_UNSTABLE_20030714, in the plog_devel CVS branch. You have been warned... :)
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