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Welcome to Geeklog Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 10:29 AM EDT

Remember the golden rule

  • Thursday, November 15 2001 @ 12:33 PM EST
  • Contributed by:
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Guys, Geeklog would conquer the world if you remember to make it as configurable as possible. Which points in the direction of increasing modularity and taking as much out of the core code as you can and putting it into modules or plugins.

Why? Because there are big philosophical differences among webmasters. For example, I detest topic icons, I don\'t want my users choosing themes, and I don\'t want anonymous users posting. Doesn\'t mean the functions shouldn\'t be optional (someone else might love \'em), but I want to disable them as cleanly and as quickly as possible. I have a whole bunch of similar prejudices, and I think anyone reading this page will be nodding sympathetically. The common experience of the weblog webmaster community is a frustrating hunt through all the available software looking for the right feature set. We\'ve all found programs that are perfect but for one missing (or nonremovable) feature.

Which leads to a second consideration. Be sure that the core code is free of any trace of modules or removable features. Examples (I don\'t remember where each is from): Software that allows you to disable polls by switching off the current poll, but still displays an entry in the main navbar for earlier poll results. Software that lets the webmaster be the sole moderator for incoming articles and comments, yet allows all users to see a counter for ranking posts, which would only be meaningful if voting were enable. And so on and so forth. The idea is to keep the interface free of things that might confuse the end user, right?

The reason that Geeklog or Drupal or Nuke gets adopted is that there are a whole lot of webmasters who would rather not become serious programmers. So we find convenient software and tweak it. The less coding we have to do, the better. What we hate is having to rip out code that\'s part of a program simply because the developer fell in love with an idea (like ranking). Or because every other weblog seems to do it (like polls). Whatever, it\'s more work for mother, and mother doesn\'t like to work.

Easy configurability is going to become increasingly important. The recent news events have produced a significant uptick in weblog and content management use; this is only going to draw in more webmasters with increasingly diverse needs. . . .

The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.

  • Good points but...
  • Authored by:Tony on Thursday, November 15 2001 @ 08:38 PM EST most open source projects, Geeklog was made to scratch an itch. When built by it\'s original author, he included many features which are considered core to Geeklog (links, calendar, etc). With that said, I still agree with you 100% about modularity.

If you were to browse CVS from it\'s beginning (which doesn\'t even include most of the early code) you can really appreciate how far Geeklog has come. Are we where we need to be Will we ever be? Well, I think it\'s safe to say someone will always have an itch to scratch.

Simply put, I find these features core to geeklog:
1) news/content management
2) moderated submissions
3) comments
4) polls

That\'s it. However, a base Geeklog install includes a calendar and link system. Should it? Well, sure as long as you can turn it off. Can you now? No. Will you be able to? Someday...more than likely.

See where I\'m getting? This software is evolving. If you want to see a good example of modular code that allows you to snap widgets in to extend the base functionality then I\'d install a copy of Geeklog 1.3 beta (to be released on SourceForge tomorrow) and try either the static page plugin or the book review plugin. With little effort you can upload the compressed file, it installs itself. Not sure if you like it? You can disable it temporarily. If you decide you hate, you can uninstall it completely.

Believe it or not...the people that develop Geeklog agree with you whole-heartedly.
  • That\'s why I\'m a fan
  • Authored by:ezra on Thursday, November 15 2001 @ 10:23 PM EST
Yep. We agree. Sorry if I sounded preachy, but I kinda got carried away. Keep doing what you're doing, and keep asking for feedback, and everyone will be very happy. And I'll even test the beta-beast. :-)
  • Good points but...
  • Authored by:argyll on Friday, November 16 2001 @ 06:20 PM EST
Tomorrow is now today...AWWWRIGHT!
  • Legacy code and the future
  • Authored by:Tane on Friday, November 16 2001 @ 07:06 AM EST
I agree too, but the problem with Geeklog 1.x is it has a lot of legacy code, and ripping parts out, which might break it, to suit a few people doesn\'t make sense.

With Geeklog 1.3, the code is becoming more modular, but I think even parts that are concidered \"core\" can be turned off (I don\'t have calanders on my site anymore, but only because I don\'t link to them. There still there, but the public don\'t know it.

I\'m hoping that while Geeklog 1.3 WILL be powerful, it will also be a proof of concept for Geeklog 2.0, which because it will be started from scratch, we can make it much more easy and configurable.
  • Legacy code and the future
  • Authored by:Anonymous on Monday, November 19 2001 @ 07:49 AM EST
Be careful with the idea of *starting from scratch* and think about the Mozilla project for example. There's an interesting article about this subject from Joel Spolsky called *Things You Shoud Never Do*.

Netscape 6.0 is finally going into its first public beta. There never was a version 5.0. The last major release, version 4.0, was released almost three years ago. Three years is an awfully long time in the Internet world. During this time, Netscape sat by, helplessly, as their market share plummeted. It's a bit smarmy of me to criticize them for waiting so long between releases. They didn't do it on purpose, now, did they?

Well, yes. They did. They did it by making the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make:

They decided to rewrite the code from scratch.


  • Don\'t worry
  • Authored by:Tony on Monday, November 19 2001 @ 01:54 PM EST
2.0 won\'t be an entire re-write. 1.3 moves us in the right direction. Many things are now taken care of by OO objects. What we are proposing for 2.0 is to make it as OO as possible...doing so doesn\'t necessarily mean rewriting a lot of code but, rather, moving function currently in libraries (ala lib-common.php) to objects. Same code, different file...just more modular.

Some things, on the other hand, will be completely rewritten because they aren\'t suiting the needs of the users. I can\'t give you specific examples off-hand but I will be once we get a stable 1.3 release out the door.

  • Legacy code and the future
  • Authored by:Anonymous on Friday, November 30 2001 @ 05:20 PM EST
Well, the code of 2.0, which is far less
complex then a web browser-*censored*-
operating system, as was being
developed by Jason, was actually coming
along quite nicely and did not have any
serious flaws. I dunno about the new 2.0,
but as for the old one, I know it was a
complete rewrite and one that I thought
was well-deserved, turning the system
from a hacked together mess to a clean
system. Now what has been going on
from 1.1 forward is good steps, and I'm
sure they'll reach the same point