Scott Hanselman

DasBlog Gripes?

June 17, '05 Comments [10] Posted in DasBlog
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DasBlog. Yep, it's Open Source. It's free. You can change it. You can leave it as it. Sometimes it sucks, other times less so. This fellow isn't digging dasBlog very much. UPDATED: He has since published a followup/retraction.

Here's some hyperbole and gripes from his post:

  • I'm getting increasingly frustrated with this POS blogging software called dasBlog.
  • I wish before I made the conversion I knew that those features are more like vapor ware.  They don't work.
  • The application restarts every five minutes, and there are so many little idiosyncrasies that I can't control. (He includes this event log here)
  • To this day I can't find anyone that's not using the default themes or a slightly modified one.

Here's some interesting information for anyone who cares:

  • If nobody visits your website in 20 minutes, IIS6 will restart your web application. By default. You can change this setting in IIS. If you have any app, even a custom one, it will be restarted every 20 minutes of inactivity if you don't change the setting. DasBlog simply logs that we restarted.
  • There's actually pretty good documentation on making themes, there's many folks who've changed their themes. There are only 3 template files to edit. You can also use any Radio theme and there's dozens of macros to use.

All this bile after only 2 weeks with dasBlog? That's a bummer. On the upside, he includes this post showing how easy it was to move posts into dasBlog using our Object Model.

I'm sorry you hate dasBlog. I use it, and a few thousand others. I served 780,000 page views on this blog last month with dasBlog. Some users are happy, some are not. Those who are not happy with it can join up and help make it better (remembering that it's free and it's something we do in our free time) or you can switch. Such is the nature of choice.

As aways, if you have a question, ask.

I choose dasBlog for now. I hope readers will make an educated decision and pick a blog that makes them happy.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Saturday, 18 June 2005 01:26:42 UTC
It's probably because I'm not an ASP.NET developer in the first place that I didn't find it too hard to make my own theme. But then again, I've kept it simple...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 04:42:52 UTC
Whie I've recently posted my own grips about dasBlog lately, I still have to say it's my favorite ASP.NET based blogging tool. I'm excited about the possibilies it offers and the flexibility it has. I'm also very interested in getting my hands dirty in the source when I have time and contributing to the project!

One of these days I'll figure out how to use CVS and sourceforge so I can actually even get the source and muck with it. Thanks for all your work on the project though, incase you don't get told that enough!
Saturday, 18 June 2005 06:35:23 UTC
While it seems true that most people using dasBlog dont bother to muck with the themes much, I think its unfair to say that dasBlog is hard to theme. It took me a little while to re-learn how to do CSS, but I now have a blog that I think is pretty customized. (check out my own page).

I also wonder what features he expected dasBlog to have that it doesn't? I find it has pretty much any feature I would expect in a blogging engine.

I have also recently started changing the source to modify the back-end to my liking. I am in the process of writing a "picture-of-the-day" service that would display a different picture from my flickr stream dayly.

I am actually happy enough with dasBlog that I wm wondering if there are any plans to move forward with dasBlog into ASP.NET 2.0? I would really like to see web parts used and xhtml compliance would be nice. I would even be willing (and interested) in contributing to the coding effort.
Saturday, 18 June 2005 12:23:28 UTC
I had no problems figuring out the theming without consulting a single piece of documentation or searching the web. I also found it fairly robust, in fact, if I ddn't tell you I was running on dasBlog you'd probably be hard pressed to figure it out (http://uallas.com/blog/). Did I mention I did 99% of it with CSS? I only had to make a handful of mods to the actual template files themselves. I'm also interested in the migration to 2.0 as well as standards compliance and am fully willing to help on that front. I think you have enough people that are plenty capable of managing the actual backend but I'd be glad to help shape up the UI. Also, here's an open thinks to all of the developers involved with the dasBlog project.
Saturday, 18 June 2005 22:27:21 UTC
That should say thanks...I hate it when I get fat fingered.
Sunday, 19 June 2005 06:56:31 UTC
The only bad thing I can say about dasBlog is that it does not take care of Trackbacks spam.... :(
Monday, 20 June 2005 00:45:42 UTC
Eran, actually we do! We just added it, and it will be out soon!
Monday, 20 June 2005 08:30:53 UTC
It does the job for me, even with a very strict web map (no writable subfolders under the root) I was able to change the code and add the harcoded paths to the configuration file using a search and replace.

Also the ease to convert my old blog which was stored as RSS into the new system was a synch - it even automatically worked out the categories.

Sigh, lack of sleep and time means that I'm still using the default themes.
Wednesday, 22 June 2005 03:29:30 UTC
I've been looking at installing dasblog as my blog software.

Currently i'm considering using dasBlog or rolling out my own custom blog using monorail.

After briefly reviewing the source, one gripe i have is that it seems that the SharedBasePage is alittle to congested. its over 1200 lines of code, given maybe 1/3 are comments. Still i think i might need something a little more lightweight. Scott i respect your knowledge and i have been an avid reader, but it seems like you guys overcomplicated this blog project for no apparent reason.

I code asp.net fulltime and i know this could have been done simplier.
John Morales
Wednesday, 22 June 2005 07:50:21 UTC
Remember a few things:

* dasblog has grown from blogx and this is our 7th release. Things get hairy and its definitely time to refactory.
* base classes, especially in asp.net are choke points, you are right.
* dasblog doesn't just show html, it supports rich logging, all blog apis, rss, atom, pingback, trackback. The list goes on. It also supports themes and is completely internationalized.

That said, you're 100% correct, sharedbasepage is a pig. But, it is a big that works, that survives big traffic, is fast and getting faster.

Is it possible to be lighter weight? Totally. And support all these features? Probably not.

Either way, there's a reason for every complication, nothing was done without a user story behind it.

If you can make it better, please join our team! If not, write your own and iif it supports the features I want, I will write the dasblog->moralesblog conversion tool.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.