First release of Drupal progressive blogging platform
by Shai Sachs, Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 02:49:43 AM EST
Last week I posted a prospective roadmap for a Drupal-based progressive community blogging platform. I've begun working on that platform, and have a very rough draft of the platform ready to go. If you are interested in helping out, email me at work (ssachs at lightbulbfirst dot com) or leave a note in the comments, and I can send you more details. I'm not quite yet ready to post a link to the software itself, but I hope to be ready for that within a week or two.
Below, I've written some details about the functionality available to date, as well as some of the upcoming high-level technical challenges. If you are a Drupal developer who'd like to lend your suggestions or expertise, or if you are a blog reader/writer and have some thoughts about how comment voting and recommendations can be improved, feel free to drop a note in the comments. Finally, if you have some thoughts about a good name for this platform, I'm all ears!
In this first release, I've worked on pinning down the user model and the permissions available to each type of user. There are four roles: administrator, owner, front pager, and member. Anyone who registers with the site automatically becomes a member, and is allowed to write blog posts and comments. The administrator is an all-powerful user who has access to all functionality on the site; generally, this is someone who really knows Drupal very well, and is capable of working with all of its features. The owner is the user whose job is to oversee operation of the site and who has power over all users and all content on the site, but might not be a Drupal expert. The owner can make other users front pagers, or can block or delete users at will; she may also promote or delete content at will. Front pagers are normal users in every way except one - their blog posts automatically appear on the front page. Blog posts which don't appear on the front page automatically will appear in a right hand sidebar called "Recent member posts".
In the near future I will work on making the user profiles a little bit more interesting. That will include a signature line, an about me section and a URL for the user's home page. I'm fairly comfortable with the technical work needed to accomplish that - for the Drupal developers in the room, I'll be using the Content Profile module, and I'll write some custom code to display comments in a separate tab on the user profile screen.
The other upcoming functional improvement is comment ratings. I am somewhat familiar with the Voting API, but would be curious to hear from others whether there are superior ways to implement comment ratings. If it's possible to implement recommended diaries at the same time, so much the better.
Once again, any comments on the technical implementation, or on planned improvements to the platform, are very welcome. I'd also love to hear suggestions for the platform name!