Greg asked me the other day in his email if I had written my own blogging code or if I was using something else. Anyone who goes back in my posts far enough (only a few months) will see that I tried Radio first and thought it was weird, flaky and mysterious (not my favorite traits for software). Then I decided to go with Blogger, but after a couple server outages, I decided that since the functionality was ridiculously simple, there was no reason not to write my own. I mean, Blogger is VERY simple if you think about it. How many DB apps have I written in JSP? Too many.
Thus, since my new motto is "just get it done" I slapped a blogger-like app together which is what you're reading now. It's butt-ass ugly code that barely functions. I ripped off the calendar stuff from somewhere, wired in some db stuff and VOILA! My own personal online notebook.
Since Greg asked me about the code, (I haven't written back to him yet, I'm just dropping packets all over the place) I was thinking I wanted to clean it up. Then I started cleaning it up and realized it was a fruitless effort. So I cleaned it JUST enough to be generic, and posted it just now. It's called MiniBlog and like the BlogAgent (which is running right now in a wierd, totally flaky manner) it's open sourced and free (like beer).
To use it, you have 1) have a JSP engine running on your server. If you don't then this will be pretty unusable for you. and 2) You have to edit the index.jsp page, but only slightly. At the top there's a bunch of variables like "weblogName" and "weblogDescripton". Edit those and you're done. The DB is HSQLDB which is included in the download, so you don't have to worry about that. Change the variables and you're ready to go. Yes, yes, I know. I could have read these from an XML file or some crap like that, but this is a quick and dirty app. In the code that you're viewing now, it's all hard coded. That's fine, it took 20 seconds of refactoring to get it to where it is now. Another 20 seconds at some point I can put those variables in a better spot. But for now, you have to touch the page. The rss.jsp page I didn't have a chance to edit. So if you want to have an RSS feed that doesn't say "Russell Beattie's Notebook" you'll have to dig in there yourself. ;-)
I wanted to talk about my new motto for a second. Back in 1999 I decided to start my own software company called Avedia.com. Like the rest of Silicon Valley, I wanted my own startup too. So I incorporated and started doing development (notice the order in which I did this... stupid me) on some demos for an online educational company. Sorta like Digital Think, but with all Audio/Video/Webshow slides. I wanted to get deals with all the conventions that go on all over the country to record their presenters and then provide these presentations online after the show for a fee, to be split between my company and the original conference holders. Decent idea, reasonable business model, but it never went anywhere. Why? First, because I didn't want to use RealVideo or Quicktime and started writing my own multimedia app (STUPID) and Secondly, because I never got anything done.
I started SO much stuff during the year following. But not wanting to publish half-ass code, or start with anything less-than-perfect, I got shit actually produced, and after 9 months or so of developing nothing solid, I gave up and moved to Spain, met a cute girl, learned Spanish, travelled, got married, had a kid. And 2 years later I'm starting up my dev-cycles again.
But THIS time, I'm just getting it done. I don't have time or patience to make everything perfect beforehand. JUST GET IT DONE. GET SOMETHING PRODUCED.
Okay, it's late (getting things done means cutting back on sleep, but that's okay, I feel better for it.) Back to work on the BlogAgent tomorrow and this weekend I'm going to start serious work on the Manywhere Journal. Watch out Radio, it's coming!