Andrew Connell

Followup on SubText & a decision to make in the future of my site...


The other night I posted about Subtext . If you’re the least bit interested, I’d suggest subscribing to the project news RSS feeds , joining the developer mailing list , but at the very least, check out the feature request list.

I’ve watched the developers talk about it in the developer mailing list, as well as the posts on you’ve been HAACKED (BTW: in the previous post I referred to “the guy behind” the project & blog… his name is Phil) and I’m very interested. As I had mentioned previously, there are numerous things I would like to add to my customized .Text implementation, such as:

  • Better comment moderation
  • Better & more admin friendly forms (mass delete comments, etc)
  • Better link page
  • Plugin architecture: if John Doe build a ASCX (or a few) to drop into his site, add in some HttpHandlers for a new page, drop in a few ASPX pages for admin, and maybe even add a few tables & stored procedures into the database all to add in a new module he just created, right now it’s a PAIN… and not very feasible (possible, just not easy)
  • Lots of little trinkets here and there

There are three things I’d like to do to the .Text source as I see it now… three things I can’t live without:

  • Search using the open source Lucrene.NET
  • A better photo album (mine is online… just need some finishing touches)
  • A complete overhaul of the admin site

Well, after spending some time reading through the feature list, I’m quite surprised at how much stuff that I was thinking is going to be in Subtext (see: feature list). There are a few things I’ve noticed that are missing from the feature list… but there are quite a few things in the list that I hadn’t considered. An example of one of their ideas that I fell in love with is having a link/icon within each post ~if~ you’re logged in as an admin that would take you directly into the editing of the post without having to find the post within the admin list. THAT’S HUGE for us 300+ posters!

So… why say all this? Well, I’m now considering: “Does it really make sense for me to spend all this time on MY site for some features that others are going to do as well, when they also have other cool features they plan to add?” So, I wonder, does it make more sense to just join the Subtext team, and while I’m working on features I already want, I can work on other people’s features they thought of, but I like as well? Hmm… I haven’t decided yet… but we’ll see.

One question someone posed to me on IM when I was discussing this possible change of direction: “if you’re not going custom, why not just do Community Server?” I traded IMs with him over the next 20 minutes or so and then went to bed… but I hadn’t put the nail on why Subtext appeals to me… until this afternoon (this isn’t supposed to sound like a Master Card commercial):

  • Customizing my .Text: 1 developer part time & completely customizable
  • Community Server: 3 developers (I think) full time & more of what they define (yes, they listen to what feedback people have)
  • Subtext : 8 currently part/full time (but the number is actually unlimited) and completely customizable

See where I’m going with this? I’ll keep with the path I’m on (customizing my .Text) for the next few weeks (as another project is taking 100% of my free time… no complaints! It’s just the priority right now), but continue to watch Subtext . However… I may just junk my mods and join the Subtext group… it sure is appealing (plus, I like that logo! they just need a tag button for it as well).

Now if I could just get the SourceForge CVS apps installed and configured, following Phil’s post , I’d be well on my way. I need to find a CVS add-in for VS .NET 2003…

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.