Rob Reed builds a better Blosxom with Ode #
I first contacted Rob Reed last year while looking for a copy of his annotated Blosxom bundle (not to be confused with Frank Hecker's version). Rob quickly and kindly obliged, and also informed me of a new publishing platform he was working on called Ode,
Release 1.0 has just become available for download today.
- a single Perl script
- with content generated from plain text files
- and look/layout determined by standard (X)HTML and CSS.
I asked Rob for permission (which was graciously granted) to post some of the thoughts he has shared over the last few months via email (emphasis mine):
- On Blosxom: I'm a big believer in (the vision of) blosxom. In fact, as crazy as it may sound, blosxom played a part in my decision to go back to school to get a masters in computer science. Of course there was more to it than just blosxom, and it's certainly not necessary to get a degree in CS to understand blosxom, but I think blosxom is an important project, and I wanted to explore that idea. So, long story short, it's fair to say that Ode owes a lot to blosxom. Anyone who understands the why of blosxom will almost certainly get what Ode is all about.
- On Ode: The project's motto is "Ode is simple" with the qualification that "Simple means you know how it works". I wanted to do something that blurred the line between end user and developer by making Ode accessible to anyone who was interested. To that end in addition to the normal sort of documentation there's a narrative walk-through of the source code similar to what I did with blosxom but with more discussion about not just what the code is doing, but why. I put together a lot of other resources as well, including diagrams related to the flow of execution, and a bunch of other stuff.
- On Twitter: ... like inventing the telegraph after the telephone and insisting that its limitations somehow represent unique value.
- On Facebook: Ask yourself if you're comfortable handing over all of your content to a service that you have no control over for the luxury of wading through ads, and then hoping that they don't change the terms of service at a moment's notice in such a way that you're no longer comfortable with their policies ... Perhaps more important is the fact that we already have a web. If you're like me, you don't see the need to build a web on top of the web and put it in the hands of a single commercial entity. Something about that just doesn't feel like a step in the right direction.
- On hiring developers: I don't agree with most of what [name removed] has to say about what it takes to be a successful software developer (and what to look for when hiring developers). In fact, if I could invent a machine into which I could feed everything he's written about hiring developers and have it spit out the exact opposite, that advice is probably closer to how I'd do it. I'm a believer in loyalty, potential, personal responsibility, and shared ownership of projects, even in a professional setting. I also don't believe in tricking people into revealing to you whether they'll be good at the job you're interviewing them for; or testing as a substitute for getting to know people. I'm surprised at how invested companies are in hiring people who are good at getting hired, not people who will be good at the job they're being hired to do (and also who will be pleasant to be around for the next 1-10 years).
- On "social networking": The web has been social from the very beginning :) ... that gets to the heart of what ode is about. I wanted to put together a simple platform that would allow a user to experience the web as it was intended to be - a distributed, collaborative space where everyone is able to contribute (as well as consume). A "more than the sum of it's parts" platform that plays well out on the open web. A tool for anyone who believes that permanence and substance are of primary importance.
/blosxom | Mar 25, 2010
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