Tao Te KaChing
Workin' the cash register of the Great Tao

Lame .NET Blog Solutions, and Me...


So after receiving hordes of spam comments through BlogEngine (even with Akismet set up), plus theme formatting issues, I decided to change over to another engine.  I need to re-do much of my content, anyway.

I am on a .NET-based provider service, so using WordPress or Drupal was not in the cards.  I have installed and tried both.  Both are solid web applications, easy to set up and use.  I also tried setting up MovableType.  A horrid, HORRID beast.  If any of you out there who read this want to reaffirm or retort this claim, feel free, but my god was it LOUSY to install.  I never did get the thing working right.

BlogEngine was what I used there for awhile.  It is nowhere near as polished as WordPress.  I know that sounds like a lot, but come on.  They’re advertising BlogEngine 1.5, not 0.5.  That “1” in front should take care of things like importing issues (weird character strings I had to write many stupid SQL queries to fix), theme formatting (pictures and text out of borders), proper Windows Live Writer (WLW) theme-detection support, etc.  Still, it was extremely easy to set up and get going.  A huge plus.  But that marriage did not last.  I finally got sick and tired of it’s pre-pubescence…

dasBlog gave me problems.  I did not tinker with it long, because I wanted to get the site up so I could stop thinking about it and start posting and cleaning up old entries.  I started sifting through the config files, and just gave up.  So I decided to throw Umbraco online.

Umbraco was extremely easy to set up…the first time.  Next thing I know, I had installed some initial package thing and was looking at an admin screen.  Okay.  I create a page.  Can’t see it online.  I delete the existing page.  Something weird happens.  Delete all the tables to start over (per an online suggestion).  Still saying I have package installed.  Re-create database.  Now there’s no default content.  I create a page.  Go to my homepage.  Blank.  I remove Umbraco.

I’m sure it’s fantastically powerful, but boy do I not want a learning curve.  I know it’s a CMS and not just a plain ol’ blog engine, but I installed Drupal and was throwing down pages in like 2 minutes.  So, at this point BlogEngine still wins here in the ease-of-use department.  I go for broke and download SubText.

Install went relatively quick and painless.  Admin screens are clear and concise, but not very many themes.  I’m happy enough.  Now I go here to Windows Live Writer to write this post.  WLW can’t detect the theme.  I’m not as happy again, but damn sick of installing all these other lamer .NET blogging solutions, and I can certainly live with the tiny WLW theme support issue.

With all the power of ASP.NET, why hasn’t a .NET WordPress been made yet in like two weeks?  Aren’t blogging engines like the new “hello, world” or something?  Where’s the de facto .NET blogging / CMS solution?

Well, to address Ken’s article there, maybe it turns out that all those zillion Ruby and .NET and Perl blogging apps out there kinda suck, and to create a solid product that everyone will use (like, say, WordPress or Drupal) takes a lot of time and effort, much more than a “hello, world”.  Or perhaps people roll their own not so much to be cool, but because all those extra features and everything great aren’t quite as important to them as, say, text that stays inside some div tags.




Ok, so I see this right after I get things imported from BlogEngine.  Notice I apparently started blogging in May 2009:

SubText archives list

I luckily backed up my BlogEngine site.  Here’s what it shows (click to enlarge).  Weird, according to BlogEngine, I started blogging way back in 2006:

BlogEngine archives list

See any difference?  Ok, WHAT THE F—K?!!!  I throw the blogml.xml file BlogEngine produced into XML Notepad.  Looks like the date-modified of each post was set to when I transferred them from Blogger.  So, uh, what if I want the posts shown by the date-created, then?  Or, more importantly, how were the entries imported by SubText?  Going to the admin area in SubText to edit my post give me NO information on which date is used (please click to enlarge):

SubText sux

…and yes I use the Tibi theme on my Google Chrome:


…I like it, what can I say (my wife and I just bought a minivan, so I have  no more allusions to being a man anymore)…

Anyways, I won’t even go off on the slug malfunction.  I’m more concerned with my archives showing up in proper date order, so let’s see what’s in the db:


Ok, if you click to enlarge, you’ll note that there’s a DateSyndicated field.  Look’s like almost all of them got syndicated May 2009, which is quite wrong.  Checking the be_Posts table showed no DateSyndication field, BUT apparently it did set the imported posts’ modified dates to when they were imported.  This is just dumb, folks.  I didn’t modify my date when I imported it, I simply imported it.  BlogEngine sux b---s big time for the data douching.  SubText sux b---s far less but a little for the admin post-date thing, and the slug butchering.



So, SubText has actually been working out great and has some good features to it.  So far, BlogEngine.NET SUX THE BIG B---S and SubText not quite rocks, but I’ve only been playing around with it for a day now.  I’ll try throwing together a theme or two here soon, and then we’ll be talking.

In the meantime, I happened to stumble on this blog post where the user is having problems with comment spam in BlogEngine as well.  Perhaps the BlogEngine people should think about incorporating Captcha along with Akismet into their core product maybe?



Ok, Phil Haack, leader of the SubText project (and apparently a contributor to my beloved Subsonic; what’s with all the “Sub-” projects?) and of Haacked fame, just commented on my lousy blog…SubText officially rocks now!



SubText 2.5.1 is excellent.