I just went thorugh my logs and it seems that BlogAgent has been downloaded 70+ times. Cool! I'm even getting feedback via email, which I've dutifully responded to. Getting email about a project you've posted is cool. I wanted to share:

Ross Burton writes:


I'm trying to use BlogAgent on Linux, and have hit one fundamental
problem... is broken. To fix this:

* remove the Windows newline characters (^M or r)
* change %1 and %2 to $1 and $2
* add #!/bin/sh as the first line

Now I've got to hunt through the source and find out what the arguments
are... :)


and my response:

Hi Ross,

Thanks for the email... What was I thinking! I wrote those .sh scripts last night on my windows box really quick before posting it to my hosted Linux server where they didn't work. I didn't bother trying to fix them and just ran the app by hand. Thanks for the tips, I've made the changes in the release now.

I got another email lamenting the lack of Readme (doh!) which I'll put in the next version. But in case you haven't found any time to hunt through the source code, running the Jabber app is like this:

java com.manywhere.agent.BlogAgentJabber [serverUrl] [username] [password]

and the MSN app is:

java com.manywhere.agent.BlogAgentMSN [username] [password]

If you get an agent up and running, send me contact name so I can see how it's doing. There's bugs in both systems still which I'm working out. Jabber still has problems with the presence info - it's online but it doesn't tell anyone about it. I think it's just shy. Definitely tell me if you find any more bugs.

Thanks again,


Jim Hughes writes:

Hi Russ,

Ok, I might be wrong, but I reckon you're barking up the wrong tree trying 
to find lots of different libraries for BlogAgent, why don't you just use 
a Jabber server with a number of different transports?

I use which has AIM, MSN, ICQ & Yahoo transports and my (really 
crap) apps only need to talk Jabber to people on all these services.



my response:

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the email. I appreciate the feedback.

I sorta agree with you, but there's a couple things that make me think differently. The first is that the agent would be relying on the Jabber server transports to communicate with the other IMs and these transports are notoriously flaky. Secondly, JabberBeans isn't the most robust library - I think development on it stopped over a year ago - so I'm not sure how easy it is to automatically register the client (the agent) programatically for the different IM systems. I'm not even really sure how to do that with the exisiting clients. Jabber isn't the easiest system to get your head around. Talking to the different IM systems directly is the most reliable and easiest thing to do.

The reason I think what you're saying makes sense is purely political. I really hate Microsoft and AOL/Time Warner comes in a close second (despite their fine work on Mozilla). Having someone out there in the world install MSN Messenger or AIM because of the BlogAgent would be horrible. But is my Mom ever going to use Jabber? Not anytime soon... She's using MSN Messenger because - like everything else from MS - it was preinstalled on her system, so thus I want to support it. If I'm going to support it, I might as well go with the easiest solution.

I hope that explains my thinking: laziness, really. ;-) I'm still doing development (the itch isn't totally scratched yet) so we'll see how it works out.

Thanks again!


Tim Merrit writes:

I followed a link from Adam Curry to yours to find out what BlogAgent is 
and how it works, and managed to download it, but there ain't no ReadMe 
(ReadMes being such a comfort to scripting innocents like myself), so if 
you have time for a little explanation or a chance to expand a bit on what 
it does, I would be grateful and likely would even try it out.

Thanks to you and all the little independent developers who give so much. 
Hope you stay cool with your new haircut.

Regards -

Tim Merritt
Atlanta GA

my response:

Hey Tim,

Thanks for the email! I was completely remiss not to include some sort of instructions about how to use the system, especially after getting posted on Adam's blog where a lot of people would be trying it. I'm doing some work on the app tonight and the next version will have a quick ReadMe about what it does and how to get it running. I also posted some info on my blog tonight, if you get a chance to read that again:

Thanks for the tip!


P.S. The haircut is getting less comments today than the day before... and breezes definitely feel good. You should try it. We could start a fashion trend... ;-)

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