Blojsom 3.0 adds database storage and a even stronger API

My favorate blogging server Blojsom is shifting to Database storage for its next version. David Czarnecki the owner of the Open Source project outlined its very active history.

  • 01/29/2003 – blojsom project was registered on SourceForge and development was started.
  • 02/02/2003 – blojsom 1.0 was officially released. 18 releases were made in the 1.x cycle.
  • 09/10/2003 – blojsom 2.0 was officially released.
  • 06/28/2004 – Apple officially announces Tiger Server wherein blojsom is bundled as Weblog Server.
  • 03/14/2006 – blojsom 2.30 was officially released. 30 releases have been made in the 2.x cycle.

I remember running Blojsom betas, I think I started at Blojsom 0.7 when it could only handle one blog at a time. Then Blojsom 2.x came around and gave the whole project a real boost because it could easily handle many blogs under one install. I think the record is still 25,000 by some university in Australia. During the 1.x life of Blojsom, lots of plugins were developed and Blojsom was seriously deconstructed by the guys at HP research labs as part of there semantic blogging project. Its one of the things which I loved about Blojsom. Its nod towards something bigger than just simply blogging. Jon Udell did a talk about controlling our own data at Etech recently and one of snippits I heard was about he would run Xpath searches over his blog to pull out certain things. Its a step beyond tagging but one of the things which Blojsom has had for quite some time (Q3 2003 actually). Blojsom also has some other great stuff going for it like LDAP support!

Anyway, its a awesome blogging server and I believe Blojsom 3.0 will be better than Word Press. Its outgrown its roots in Bloxsom, which I believe is now struggling to stay around? And out grown all the Java solutions like Roller and Snipsnap. Being Java based will keep it out of the mainstream because most people have a LAMP setup on there hoster, but otherwise Blojsom 3.0 would be a bigger deal. Anyway more details about Blojsom 3.0

The first major change has been in the way blojsom is “wired” together. I've rewritten blojsom to use Spring for its dependency injection and bean management. There were aspects of the blojsom 2.x codebase that were more “patchwork” with respect to how certain components used or referenced other components.

The second major change has been in the datastore. I don't necessarily think I've exhausted all that can be done using the filesystem as a content database, but I've been feeling like there's a lot of development energy into making relations between data in the filesystem that can be expressed very easy using a relational database.

In blojsom 3.0, I've settled on using a relational database for the datastore. I'm using Hibernate as the ORM library to manage the data. This means goodbye to all the .properties files for configuration! It was fun while it lasted. The templates and themes are still stored on the filesystem, but I'd envision also storing the template data within the database as well. I've already prototyped use of the Velocity database template loader. I imagine removing any filesystem dependency will allow blojsom to be used in a clustered environment more easily.

Ultimately I think this will allow blojsom to scale much more than I think it can using the filesystem as a content database. I don't believe there are any esoteric relationships among the data in blojsom as to require a full-time DBA to manage an installation of blojsom.

The last major change has been in evolving blojsom's API.

For awhile now there are aspects of the API that were a throwback to needing certain data or referring to elements a certain way. I just wanted a more self-documenting and less redundant API.

For example, I've renamed the BlojsomPlugin interface to Plugin. I felt that having the org.blojsom.plugin package was declarative enough, but that keeping BlojsomPlugin was too redundant. None of the APIs have gone away, they're just more simple and straightforward.

The long and short of it is that you can do all of the things in blojsom 3.0 that were done in previous releases of blojsom. There are a few more components and plugins to migrate to 3.0, but I'm happy with how far things have come in such a short time given the scope of the changes.

You're more than welcome to start playing with blojsom 3.0 right now. All that you need to do after setting up your database is to add a blog and a user for that blog and you'll be able to login through the administration console.

If any of this interests you, feel free to participate on the blojsom-developers mailing list.

Being hosted with Hub.org, it would be wrong for me to not to choose PostgreSQL for my database backend. I would love to try other storage backends like a XMLDB but I can't quite experiment with this blog till I've tested it fully. Maybe there will be a way to run one blog on a Database and another on a filesystem or XML Database? Because that would be great. If worst comes to worst I will just run another copy of Blojsom for testing purposes.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.