The name of the new software powering this website is Scripting2.
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.
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."
Scripting2 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.
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.
4. 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.
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.)
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.)
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? ">
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."
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.
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!!)
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.)
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.)