Baseball Toaster Fairpole
To do list
2005-04-07 23:18
by Ken Arneson

My first priority right now is to get the blogging software into a satisfactory state, so that I can move on to the fun stuff.

So with that goal in mind, here's a list of things I will try to implement in the next version of Fairpole.

  • Persistent cookies for login
  • Better registration error message when name is not available
  • Create a separate "HTML output module", to handle formatting of
    blog entries, sidebars, comments, etc.
    This will incorporate the following:
    • Bugs:
      • & and   not saving properly
      • tables not displaying properly with auto-breaks
      • not saving line break status for blog entries
    • Features:
      • allow urls, italics, and other HTML-like features in comments
      • javascript buttons to format them
  • Sidebar ordering
  • Fix IE textarea bug for blog entry box
  • Blog entry previews
  • Fairpole Disclaimer
  • editable # of entries per page
  • link "Baseball Toaster (beta)" to the homepage
  • Refresh button for the "Hot" list
  • Various CSS/template tweaks

Here are some things on my to-do list, that I'm probably not going to put in the next version:

  • preventing double posts on comments
  • search
  • autolinking
  • spell check
  • tool to edit/delete comments,ban commenters
  • Toaster homepage editor
  • import old comments

2005-04-08 06:55:05
1.   Tangotiger

I love the stuff you are doing here.

How in the world are you finding time to do this? I can't even manage my time to install pre-built software, much less build it from scratch as you are.

What technologies are you using?


2005-04-08 11:37:28
2.   Ken Arneson

It helps being a consultant and not having a steady job. (I'm suddenly getting a lot of offers for contract work, though.)

Also, simplicity is key. A simple, flexible, well-designed architecture can turn complex tasks into simple ones. I spent about five months planning and simplifying (and simplifying and simplifying) the architecture. Once I had the design I wanted, it only took me about two weeks to actually code the thing.

The code is mod_perl, and the back end is mysql.

2005-04-08 15:28:23
3.   Jon Weisman
Are the offers a coincidence, Ken, or are they related to what people have seen here?
2005-04-08 19:13:00
4.   Ken Arneson
More of a coincidence, probably.
2005-04-09 08:17:26
5.   Dave D
Ken, so you're "baking" pages ala Moveable Type and publishing out HTML files? I hope you don't run in to the long publishing time that large blogs can experience. Are you using a rich text field for blog editors to write their entries or do they need to use some sort of special markup to do bold, quotes, etc.? TinyMCE is a nice compact editor without the bloat of something like HTMLarea. I work a lot with content management systems so I'm pretty familiar with the problem space here :)
One tip, when previewing, you can save users a click by putting the comment field right there on the page to be edited rather than having to click the "Edit Again" button.
2005-04-11 14:40:30
6.   Ken Arneson
No, I'm not publishing files like MT. The components can be cached, but the pages are assembled dynamically.

I'm not doing any rich text editing, either. The bloggers use straight HTML. For the comments, I'll probably use some simple wiki-like markup.

The blogging/commenting is not going to be as full-featured as some other systems, because that's not the point of the software.

You're right about the "Edit Again" thing, although, I'm not sure when I'll get around to fixing it.

2005-04-13 07:04:19
7.   Dave D
is search in the works or should we just use google?
2005-04-19 16:14:05
8.   Ken Arneson
At this moment, both.
2005-04-21 14:59:34
9.   Eric Enders
If I might offer a suggestion, it would be pretty cool if there was a "Hot Topics" sidebar similar to what they have at BTF.

i.e., this would be in addition to "Hot From the Toaster." If you're reading Dodger Thoughts, say, a sidebar to show you the most recently commented upon Dodger Thoughts threads.

2005-04-22 16:53:04
10.   Ken Arneson
Thanks, Eric, that's a good suggestion.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.