The observant among you will notice that the site has changed. I'm no longer running on Domino, and hence I'm no longer running on Blogo. The site is now fully powered by ASP.NET, and is running the excellent Open Source Subtext. Thanks go out to Ferdy for all the time he's spent writing and maintaining Blogo - if you're in the market for an open source Domino blogging engine then check it out, it's well worth it.
Why Subtext? I can't really say. I played with a few .NET solutions out there, and decided that I really liked quite a few things about Subtext:
- It's skinning is simple and easy to work with. If you can create a skin using Notepad then I'm happy, and with Subtext you can if you choose. If not, then there are plenty of freely available skins out there to choose from as well.
- It has a nice feature set, rich, but not too bloated. The rich editor works well, and it's got enough features to be useful without getting too large and cumbersome.
- It works with Windows Live Writer. I'm liking my Windows live writer a lot, and I'm also liking that people are writing about using it with subtext as well as adding functionality to it.
- It's free, and open source. The latter point isn't a big deal to me, but if it's free then it means there's typically no support, which makes the latter point come into it's own ;)
I felt like changing the style of the site at the same time, and so I threw together a new skin. I'm not really 100% happy with how it came out, and I've got a lot of changes that I plan to chip away at in the future, but for now it will do. A friend described the design as "Slick but impersonal", which isn't a bad thing given that the writing on this site is more about tech and less about me.
Whenever I play about with HTML and CSS layouts I realise how little I enjoy it. I like having a nice looking site, and I enjoy the design process when things work nicely, but most of the time that's not the case and the whole cross browser compatiability experience is one of frustration. I'm sure most designers out there would say the same things about working with ASP.NET and C#, and so each to their own - stick with what you're good at and with what you enjoy I say! So having said that, if there are any aspiring designers out there who'd like to design me a slick looking layout for the site, then drop me a line. You get to add a real world site to your CV as a reference, and I get a nice layout - everyone wins. I'd probably even pay if I was really impressed!
On a technical note, I'm glad to say my migration scripts I wrote for "my other site" worked perfectly well here as well. A few simple edits to map the different Notes field names used by Blogo, a quick run of my agent, and the generated SQL was good to go - in fact, the 144k script for the main content ran 100% perfectly first time. Nice. I once again found myself wondering if I should develop the process I've created here into a slightly more formal "Domino to SQL Migration tool" - it's bound to be useful to someone out there.
I'm pretty glad to have finally got the site migrated. This was the final part of my personal migration away from Lotus Notes/Domino. This weekend the server will be decomissioned and thus a (rather long) chapter in my life draws nearer to closing. The chapter is still not 100% closed, and the occasional piece of Notes/Domino content on this site will reflect that, but from here on out it's mostly about footnotes and memoirs.
Tags: ASP.NET, Ross Hawkins, Notes/Domino, Subtext