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Update on new servers; More on the new blog feature!

Monday, May 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

May
12
2008

I had a very busy weekend, but I still managed to accomplish a tremendous amount of work on the new JSF server project. If you missed my daily updates this weekend and are interested in reading more about the new servers (including some additional new features, benchmark comparisons between the old and new servers and other miscellaneous bits of information), here’s Saturday’s update and Sunday’s update.

Yesterday I quickly mentioned that I purchased an additional add-on product that integrates seamlessly with the forum: blogs! This morning I’d like to talk a little bit about this new feature, and what it means to the forum members.

The new blog feature is a full-featured blogging add-on that will enable JSF community members to create their very own online blogs within the forum. The most popular section of the forum is the Fitness Journal section, so I’m certain that providing a seamless method for those users to create their own JSF fitness blogs will be a very popular option. Of course your blog is yours to do what you want with, so you can make it about anything you want. Here are just a few of the features you can expect:

  • It is simple for members to create their own blog space within the community. Getting started is as simple as posting the first message (using the same familiar forum message editor). There is no lengthy setup process – blog owners are free to personalize their blog at any time by defining a title and a description that will appear at the top of every blog post.
  • It is a feature-rich blog application, with support for fully formatted WYSIWYG posts, attachments, comments, trackbacks and pingbacks, draft posts and categories, as well as seamless integration with the overall JSF forum.
  • The blog home page is available via a single click from any page on the forum. The blog home page aggregates activity from all member blogs into a single page – with information about the most recent and highest rated blog posts, recent comments, a randomly featured blog post, full support for browsing posts by date and overall blogging statistics.
  • Site wide and per-blog RSS feeds allow syndication to external readers, and full support for subscriptions enables users to join their favorite blogs and receive regular email updates.
  • Member blogs are integrated with the forum profile system – profile information is displayed alongside blog posts, and existing profile pages are enhanced with information about blog activity.
  • The blog Control Panel empowers members to control every aspect of their blogs, from permission controls (who has access to view and comment on the blog), to full management of blog categories, draft posts, trackbacks/pingbacks and subscriptions. Blog owners also have the ability to moderate comments on their own blog.
  • …and much more!

Sound cool? I think so!

As I mentioned at the top of this update, I accomplished a lot of work this weekend. In fact, the lion’s share of the work is done! Honestly, I’m surprised at how quickly I’ve managed to put this together. About all I have left to do is get the SSL virtual hosts working (I use SSL for administrative purposes), get netfilter/iptables configured, do a security audit and lock everything down tight, tweak a few support programs and optimize Apache/PHP/MySQL. Once I accomplish those tasks, we’re going to be about ready to roll out the goodies. Unless something goes horribly wrong, I’d say it’s going to happen by next weekend at the latest. There will be significant downtime involved – probably a half day or more. I’ll keep you all posted…

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