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Blojsom 3 Plugins Update Wrap Up

Blojsom 3 was first mentioned on March 23rd 2006, and it was finally released (post milestone releases) on September 29th 2006.

The first time I mentioned about updating my plugins was on March 27th 2006. And today, March 25th 2007, almost a year later, I finally finished updating all plugins with necessary improvements along with documentation updates. Phew.

Here are some notes of each plugin:

BlogTimes Plugin

In Blojsom 2, BlogTimes Plugin only draws the current entries on the page, which means it only draws one blog time on a permalink view. This doesn’t give a good indication on the user’s blogging time pattern. In Blojsom 3, it draws a configurable number of N latest entries. So if you set it to a large value, e.g. 100, then you’ll get better graph on the time you post your last 100 blogs regardless whether you’re on a permalink view or not.

Galleryr Plugin

I was planning to upgrade Flickrj library from 1.0a8 to 1.0a9 for Galleryr Plugin for Blojsom 3, but I hit a problem with URL retrieval to which no one on Flickrj mailing list replied. I tried checking the source code to figure out the root cause of the problem, but SourceForge’s CVS was down all the time. I remember that I checked it on 3 different occasions. I also tried decompiling the binary class one by one, but at the end it was just a waste of time. I decided that I could live with 1.0a8 as long as it works as expected, though I really wanted to ditch the need to have GalleryrPhoto class.

Gravatar Plugin

In Blojsom 3, Gravatar Plugin stores Gravatar ID as comment metadata. This is to ensure Gravatar ID calculation is done only once, either when the comment is first posted or (for comments migrated from Blojsom 2 installation) when it’s viewed the first time. In Blojsom 2, Gravatar ID calculation is done every time the comment is viewed.

IpToCountry Plugin

The biggest problem with Blojsom 2’s IpToCountry Plugin is with data storage (country data stored in a large memory footprint) and retrieval process (pulling the country data repetitively on every comment view). While in Blojsom 3, this plugin stores the country data in the database, while country information is retrieved just once (similar to Gravatar Plugin approach) and stored as comment metadata. In short, IpToCountry Plugin no longer has a performance problem in Blojsom 3.

Pager Plugin

Pager Plugin is no more, it’s basically replaced by SkipFilterHelper Plugin in Blojsom 3. But I still did port pager.vm to work with SkipFilterHelper Plugin so you can still have the good ole page based navigation in Blojsom 3.

Param2Ctx Plugin

Still alive in Blojsom 3, still the simplest plugin ever.

SCode Plugin

I upgraded JCaptcha library from 1.0-RC1 in Blojsom 2’s SCode Plugin to 1.0-RC2.0.1 in Blojsom 3. This plugin still has all 3 of the original flavours (simple, gradient, and funky), I was thinking of adding more flavours but ended up wanting to finish the implementation a.s.a.p and stuck with the existing flavours. One problem that I’m starting to regret is the use of class loader in ImageFactory, I should’ve just injected the image engines via ImageFactory constructor instead.

TrackbackKeyword Plugin

TrackbackKeyword Plugin has some minor improvements in its Blojsom 3 implementation where it’s now possible to specify between checking all keywords or just one of the keywords to determine a trackback spam suspect, other than that it’s also now possible to configure proxy authentication for the plugin.

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