June 15, 2005
Owen Winkler put together an overview of all self-installable blogging software, circa mid-2004. After surveying his options, he notes one clear trend:
Even more dishearteningÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ .Text is the only blogware that anyone suggested for the Windows platform. I asked and asked about it because I wanted to give Windows a fair shake. Well, it seems that the only thing that .net developers care about is .net. That is, who cares about the applications you can create with it as long as you have this wonderful language to create them with. I wish them well in ever getting anyone off the ground with .Text, since I couldn't even figure out how to get a copy. Yeah, it was that user-unfriendly.
To be fair, the comparison is a year old, and it doesn't include DasBlog, which is unfortunate. But even after accounting for those factors, the question remains-- why are there so many PHP/MySql solutions for self-install blogging software, and only two for .NET? He makes an interesting observation in a followup post:
I want to like .Text because I'm running on a Windows server. But the fact of the matter is that (as the anonymous commenter above makes an excellent example) the only thing that the .net developers seem to care about is pretty code/pretty language. They don't care if the software works. They don't care if the software is easily installed. They don't care what the software depends on in order to run.
.Text is too complicated for the average user to use. There seem to be different versions of the software depending on what you want. And anyone who is not a developer will have a devil of a time trying to work the gotdotnet workspace. Ick.
The code in WordPress is admittedly a bit messy. But any coder worth his salt (and I'll make this hasty generalization in a heartbeat - not the myriad of erudite but inexperienced VB devs) can easily figure it out.
This leads me to my final conclusion that .net developers (especially those coding blog software) just don't "get it". I'm sure in a few years after everyone is done cooing over .net itself, .net developers will start to focus back on the user instead of how nice their new toy is.
.Text is now Community Server, but I've installed Community Server and I feel this is a valid criticism.
Of course, I'm one to talk, since I am running a WIMP (Windows - IIS - MySql - Perl) blog solution myself. Doh!
Posted by Jeff Atwood
What about Joel Spolsky's Citydesk? It isn't a blogging solution per se, more like a website maintenance solution, but I use it for blogging and it works great. (Even high-profile bloggers like Steven Den Beste use it.) It isn't .NET but it is a Windows app.
I develop with .NET+MSSQL for most projects I do. Both at work and home. But when it came to writing a custom CMS for a web site I manage PHP4+MySql4 was simply the best option. Solely because I know that it will work on pretty much every hosting company in existence without a hassle.
I used Community Server for my blog. Installing it was as simple as setting up a virtual directory and running a sql script. Customizing it was more involving, however. The default install assumes that you want to build a community site which many blogs, forums, and photo galleries. Modifying it towards a single blog solution with a custom skin required a few evenings.
I use dotText and it is because it is .NET. I wanted to install it and see Scott's great code at work. If it were not for my interest in installing dotText I probably wouldn't be blogging at all.
On the otherhand, I've not upgraded to CommunityServer because I don't want the headache of installing it for a single blog. I may do it at some point but not in the near future.
The default install assumes that you want to build a community site which many blogs, forums, and photo galleries. Modifying it towards a single blog solution with a custom skin required a few evenings
You should definitely check out DasBlog. It's much more single blog/blogger oriented, and it's very easy to set up.
Free .NET and SQL Server hosting solutions are *really* hard to find. Usually, ISP provides free PHP + MySQL web hosting for customer's home site.
On my opinion, that's why .NET blogging software struggle to grow out.
In general I agree that the ability to easily deploy a solution is overlooked in most open source solutions (whether or not they are .NET powered).
Phil Haack over at www.haacked.com has started a fork of .Text that's goals coincide with solutions to some of the issues you're discussing here. Easier deployment, simpler administration, well formed roadmap, etc.
The choices for DotNetNuke are even slimmer, I have always wondered why as well.
What about Joel Spolsky's Citydesk? It isn't a blogging solution per se, more like a website maintenance solution
Well, I think we have to rule out general purpose solutions for the purpose of this discussion. Blog software is a distinct enough genre to measure.
What blogging software are you using Mr. Atwood? MySQL and Perl...isn't that against your heritage or something? :-P I run .Text and like it. I don't like the new Community Server since it seems to be all or nothing...I wish it was more modular...allowing just .Text installs. I'm looking at dasBlog for my own personal blog..but would like input on MySQL/Perl solutions as well. What is a good one with a decent gallery built in. I've seen galleries destroy the layout and navigation of the blog and that's annoying as the designer in me screams out for standard navigation. Keep it in one spot or get me confused.
did you ever mention what you use as your blog software?