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My Scripting2 to-do
By Dave Winer on Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 5:19 AM.

The name of the new software powering this website is Scripting2.  permalink

It's name is consistent with the name of other projects I've done over the last couple of years. permalink

For example... permalink

River2 is a complete from-the-ground-up rewrite of the aggregator I wrote in 1999 and adapted to be part of Radio 8 in 2002.  permalink

Scheduler2 is a rewrite of the Frontier scheduler. Much more efficient, better stats, easier to debug, assumes threading is available . And Log2 is a rewrite of the Frontier logging code.  permalink

In all cases it took a lot less time to write the new one than the original. And they are much easier to maintain. In some cases they've been so complete and error-free that there has been no need to maintain them. That's the way these "2" implementations go. You learned a lot with the "1."  permalink

A picture named baking.jpgScripting2 is a rewrite of my blogging software. Its roots go back to the NewsPage suite developed in 1995. With this rewrite it no longer has code from before May 2010. I've learned a lot about web programming, esp in the Frontier environment, in the last 15 years. It's great to have an up-to-date codebase. permalink

That said, there's still a lot to do before others can use it.  permalink

1. The blogroll in the right margin is editable, as are the templates, but you have to be on the server machine to do that. Obviously there needs to be an API to get and set those.  permalink

2. The user must be able to configure the tool. Where is the server it will communicate with? Do they have a custom domain name, if so, what is it? There's a built-in glossary function. There must be an easy way to edit it. permalink

3. The first time you update in a day all the other pages in the month have to be rebuilt so the calendars point to the new day. This is a good time to mention that the pages are static, that's why the motto of Scripting2 is "All baking done on premises." The pages are baked not fried. However there are dynamic elements in the page, provided via JavaScript includes. I plan to do more of those. permalink

A picture named tomSawyer.jpg4. There will be an Edit This Page function in the app. This is one of my biggest complaints about current blogging tools. They don't allow you to edit things you should be able to edit, like the template for the site. And while there are edit links on stories, I believe everything should have an Edit button on it. That way you don't have to understand two viewing models. Having a "dashboard" to edit content is wrong, imho, and represents a huge step backward in the art of blogging. I want to bring it back, and make it a competitive issue. permalink

5. Scripting2 will be great for podcasters. You can right-click on a post to attach an MP3 or AVI to any blog post and it will automatically show up as an enclosure in the RSS feed. It won't scrape the HTML as WordPress does, which is, imho totally wrong. (This feature was in the old Scripting News software but hasn't been implemented yet in Scripting.) permalink

6. There's no browser interface, all access is via its API. I'm doing an outliner-based tool, but others could be built, including a browser interface.  permalink

7. Right now all publishing is live to the site. There must be an intermediate step, where you're previewing a post before you publish it. This feature was never implemented in the original software. Personally, I don't mind editing while people read, but other authors do mind. (BTW, building the feed and building the HTML are separate ops, even now. So when you publish the HTML the feed isn't updated, until you press the Build RSS button in the editor window.) permalink

8. Add commands to the right-click menu. permalink

9. What about second and third-level text? It's an outliner after all. What if I add some text subordinate to one of the paragraphs in a blog post? Should that be rendered in-line or should it start a new web page? That way each blog post could become a whole site. This is now within reach, at least technically, if not conceptually. Are people ready for this? Am I ready for it? <img src="> permalink

10. Images. I'm still using the image-management code from scripting1. Must have equiv-or-better functionality in scripting2. permalink

11. One template or two? Right now I have different templates for story pages and all other pages. The difference is the title and the byline. I think I could find a way to have just one template with a little "media hacking." permalink

12. Table-less template. For people who hate tables (I'm not one of them, obviously) the good news is that you have full control of the template. If you think you can get something that's nice to look at to work without tables, show me how and I'll get rid of the tables. permalink

13. There are display bugs related to expand/collapse on the home page (and the ancillary pages). If you collapse the first item it slightly smooshes the headline of the second story. If you collapse the second story it completely smooshes the third. If anyone has an idea why this is happening, please comment below. (Update: Colin Faulkingham supplied the fix for this. Thanks!!) permalink

14. Some people will want a preference to not generate the paragraph-level permalinks (the little purple hashes adjacent to paragraphs on story pages). Most people seem to like them. Some people find them annoying, or worse. Obvious oppty for a pref. (Default on.) permalink

15. Should I put a Tweet This button on the posts? A Facebook Like button? I really resist doing this because, while it may seem like a good idea today, in a year or so, will it still seem right? What if I had put Myspace links on, or Digg links on my stories in 2005? When you go back through the archive those would seem crazy, almost defacing of the content. Don't those things belong in toolbars or bookmarklets? Interested in knowing what people think. (Steve Jobs got to ban Flash, do I get to do the same in products I design? Heh. Yes I know I'm not Steve Jobs.) permalink

16. It says "Eastern" everywhere, but the server is still running on Pacific time.  permalink

More items/issues will be added to this list as I remember them. permalink

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