PolarBlog: The Road Ahead

I figured it was about time to sort of layout the road ahead for PolarBlog as it's been a very long time since I last did this

From the "Future Development" list on that very old entry, there are three things that still haven't been completed!
  1. Pingback functionality
  2. Trackback functionality
  3. Entry print view
And two pretty big additions that did get added…
  1. A commenting system
  2. Posting entries via email
Of the three items that didn't get done, Pingback seems that it has sort of faded from the scene so I'd have to say that it's unlikely that will ever be added.

So in a mostly/roughly chronological order, here's what the future should bring to PolarBlog.

  • Entry Topic Image Position Control  Change to default displaying on the right.  This has already been done in the development version as well as on my blog.  This should also allow you to more easily use larger icons.  (Mine here have been bumped from 32x32 to 40x40, with the intent to eventually to to 48x48.)
  • Right Navigation Panel display adjustments.  This has already been done in the development version.  (As well here if you look to the right.)
  • Add support for MySQLi extension (requires PHP5 & MySQL >= 4.1).  This has already been done in the development version.  This (and the next item) were both under taken somewhat as "engineering exercises" for both PolarBlog and MyClient.  This should improve the database performance for those who are running PHP5 and MySQL >= 4.1.
  • Add automatic detection and support for PHP5 SPL.  This has already been done in the development version.  At this time I'm only utilizing some basic things, but this should yield a minor of a performance improvement for those of us who are running PHP5.
  • Comment Realtime Blacklisting (RBL).  This will add another layer of protection against comment spamming in addition to the basic IP blocking that is currently provided.
  • Trackback Support.  I know I've been talking about this one for quite a while now, and it's been put off many times to pursue other features that have been requested, but I think it's time has finally come.  This will likely be subject to more spam abuse than comments, thus why RBL will be implemented first.
  • User Self Management.  This will allow non-admin users to change their password, email address and such.
  • Documentation Restructuring.  The current single page documentation has grown rather cumbersome to manage.  The documentation needs to be restructured in to smaller chunks/multiple files to ease the maintenance burden this has become.
  • Component Caching.  This will allow various components (mostly entries) to be built and cached instead of being generated every time.  This should yield a performance improvement by drastically reducing the number of database hit it takes to render a page…particularly the default/main page.
  • Templating Engine.  This is something I probably should have done at the very beginning.  'Tis water under the bridge now…in any case this will allow more control over the layout of your blog.  Currently you have a good amount of control via CSS, but this would allow you have total control and remove or add things without digging deep into the code base.  I have not made a final decision on what templating engine I am going to use yet, so this is still something you can voice an opinion on.  No promise though.
  • PostgreSQL Database Support.  That pretty much says it all.  This would allow the use of the PostgreSQL database instead of MySQL.  This another "engineering exercise" for both PolarBlog and MyClient.
  • Plugin Support.  This will add the ability for users to create components to display on their blog.  Some of the defaults I have in mind would be a weather component, a Gallery "latest photo" (or other) picture, etc.  This would be framework that anyone could use to create plugins to share with others or custom features just for their site.  An example would be me creating cycling "Latest Ride" component that would pull data from my CycleLog.
  • RSS Feed Limiting.  This option will allow you to truncate your RSS entries to X characters instead of the default of sending the full entry.
So those are what I have at this time.  Please feel free to comment below, enter a bug, or send me an email (kevinp ~AT~ polarlava.com) if there is something you'd like to see added or changed.

And even better would be if there is something here (or another unlisted feature) that you feel you could develop, then volunteering to help out would be even better for everyone.  Without any assistance, it's going to take quite sometime before a lot of this sees the light of day.
January 15, 2006 @ 11:41 am | Category:
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