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Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

As I have not worked on JBlogs for about 4 or 5 months (getting lazy or just working on other projects), I decided it was time to get back into the swing of it again.

Today I am happy to say that JBlogs requires much less to setup and is better designed. As a result, I have got rid of the custom footer and custom headers. What you do now instead is define a PHP file which contains your own header such as this one below:

    $no_title = true;
    $expires = true;
    $math = true;
    $title = $title;
    $desc = $description;
    $head = $stylesheets;
    include $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'].'/assets/php/head.php';

This example is using my DragonScript to power the blog: it points the JBlogs variables ($title, $description and $stylesheets) to my own DragonScript. For the sake of going in to too much detail here (more will be on DevNet), this is how it could be used in a standard HTML page:

            <?php echo $title;?>
        <?php echo $stylesheets;?>
        <meta name="description" content="<?php echo $description;?>">

The foot can also be defined on it's own now as well. So the foot just points to the footer defined on the website. This allows JBlogs to integrate with your website from a very quick to create script.

I will put the latest version up as soon as I have tested it works absolutely as expected! 

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in BalfBlog

Finally, I have brought the innovation of live blogging to my blogging system - now there is something that WordPress doesn't give you out of the box (although there are plugins for it).

The new liveblog system is something I used to have using some very basic technologies that was never fully implemented. Now that JBlogs is fully implemented on the front end (apart from subscriptions, which my site subscribe button handles at the moment anyway).

Links are now fully working as demonstrated in some of the other posts that have links. This works with updates and new posts. Here is a nice link: The update page is also fixed now meaning that posts can be updated properly.

Coming soon:

  • Multi-blog post (inspired by the fact I post JBlogs posts on two blogs)
  • Delete a post from admin pages
  • Create user page
  • Subscribe page
  • Install page
  • Better information architecture
  • Better image support
  • Banner photos from the post page
Posted by jamiebalfour04 in BalfBlog

I'm afraid that I am having some issues with TinyMCE and links at the moment. I will have this fixed soon, hopefully. The problem appears to be related to the links in both the update section and new post section.

The update section is also not working, regardless of links. I have spent too much time looking into this tonight so I will try and fix this tomorrow.

JBlogs now uses the MySQLi driver to add improvements to MySQL performance. This post is merely testing this. :)

I am mainly posting to test out JBlogs, but also to inform you of some great features of it. I particularly like:

  • the easy setup
  • the integration
  • the email on post system
  • the edit post tool

Coming next: delete a post, edit a post from the admin panel, mysqli_ and much more.

Today JBlogs now has a way to view all posts in a category. By attaching the cat="category" to the end of the URL of the page, the blog will look for all posts in the specific category. This can also be achieved by simply clicking on the category after a post.

Even more amazing is the qry="query" URL parameter. This allows you to search from the blog itself. It currently has no user inteface but I plan to bring that soon. This will make JBlogs even more powerful.

Posts can now be edited and updates can now be checked for from the admin panel. This will initiate a simple AJAX call to my web server to verify that the current version is the same as the installed version.

JBLogs or JB-Logs is an abbreviation for Jamie Balfour Logs and is of course is blogging mechanism. JBLogs was known as BlackCat, but BlackCat has since been dropped in favour of the play on my name.

It's a content management system if you like, it's design is simple. You build the page around it rather than doing it all from some third party design. This is where it has the upper hand on certain other blogging systems in my opinion.

I say this from experience because when I used WordPress it was a nightmare to have to integrate into the site. 

JBLogs is one of what I call the Three Steps To Ditch Third Parties in an attempt to make the site more fluid and my own work, not some third party constructed site. The Three Steps To Ditch Third Parties started with my gallery, then the calendar and now the blog. Prior to this blog that this post is on, I used WordPress. It felt like an external website. I then started to build this blog.

Now it feels like my blog is part of my site, and it's now got it's own back end system powered by the wonderful TinyMCE rich text box and some clever PHP.

There are even little widgets at the side of every page (not on mobile and tablet websites) and on the front page. 

Of course, the widget is also included in the default blog package and is accessed through AJAX so it can be used on any website if you want.

Simplicity is the main focus of the blog though. It's simple by design having just one directory for user editing whilst the rest is not meant to be edited. It's also lightweight. It also only requires one line of code to start it from an empty PHP file:

<?php include 'jblogs/assets/posts.php'; ?>

That is all that is needed to make the blog work.

New features to come to the blog include a spellchecker for TinyMCE, the ability to edit posts from the user interface (it shouldn't take long, but I've got a job at the moment and then there's university, so we'll see how that pans out) and certain improvements on the interface. It's also written in mysql_ commands not the newer mysqli_ commands.

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