I blogged in November 2007 about Open Source and .net, also talking about blog software. While I am happy to report that the general landscape looks a lot nicer now in April 2009, I am still sad by the state of blog software.
Back in 2007, I complained about complicated setup processes, the inability to run in common configurations (aka. “Medium Trust”) and generally low quality. 3 Weeks ago, I’ve had to setup another .net blog, so I looked at the landscape again.
It has improved. But not that much. Software like WordPress is still miles ahead, and I am not even talking that much about functionality here. I’m talking about some fundamental things like ease of installation. Or about the fact that Settings in the WordPress Control Panel are actually *explained*. Or the fact that I can put in RAW HTML into my postings WITHOUT WordPress destroying it. Sure, if I switch between WYSIWYG and HTML View, there may be a breaking conversations when using funky HTML, but if I stay in HTML, it just works. If I put in Garbage, then WP will output garbage.
I’m not even talking about the Theme and Plugin momentum that WordPress has. I am really just talking about a Software that is easy to install, runs on my hosted server and allows pushing of some Content. Is that asked too much? Sadly, yes. I don’t want to be too harsh, hence I will not name the tools I’ve tried (there were 4). I don’t want to blame developers who are really trying to do something for issues that lie within the framework. The ASP.net infrastructure has a lot of advantages over PHP, but as good as stuff like Web.config, Medium Trust and SQL Connection Strings is, it’s adding more complexity that developers seem to not try to take away from the end user.
I don’t know if this is the fault of the ASP.net Webforms model or if the .net OSS Community is smaller or whatever. I’ve now decided to tackle something that I have on my ToDo-List since writing that post in November 2007, I’ve decided to write my own blog software. I want to encounter the problems that the people who are creating it have, I want to run it in a production environment (Dogfooding, so to say). The recent release of ASP.net MVC was the final bit that removed all excuses for not doing it.
I will run into a lot of issues. I want to learn and use TDD, DI and ORM, and I have experience in none. I will do a lot of refactoring, and a lot of breaking changes and braindead mistakes. But I don’t want to be a complainer anymore when I have the opportunity to change it.