Postmortem, iBlog

Actually, a lot of my recent criticism of iBlog stems from the fact that I’m so immensely pleased with MovableType. It is not difficult to install, it’s free for the individual (non-commercial) user. It’s network based (although desktop apps exist so you’re not stuck with web interfaces) and quite portable and expandable.

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Arguably my website owes a lot to the iBlog application. When Apple released a free license of iBlog to all .Mac subscribers I downloaded it, played around with it, and quickly discovered a glaring security hole.

I wrote a warning article about the security issues and posted links to my article on a few Mac news sites. Thousands of visitors flooded my site and ever since I’d say it’s been “on the map”. Even though I have hardly done anything since December (until now) the site still draws dozens of people per day.

Later on I decided that if I was going to write an unpopular article about the application, I should really be fair and give the package a good shake-down and ended up writing a review of the package and got another several thousand visitors.

I would say the review was mostly favorable. The application had a couple bugs, particularly when publishing the blog, and especially if I tried ever jumping from one computer to another. Really I was forced to pick one computer and use it exclusively for my blogging activity. But otherwise I though the design was nice, the templates were customizable… enough. Of course, I wasn’t a blogging expert—I had just started about a month previous—so I didn’t have much of a comparison.

Time to return and write the epilogue, or more specifically, the post-mortem.

My biggest complaint about iBlog has to be its lack of portability. Not only is it generally impossible to “rescue” your blog entries from its internal database (in case you wanted to move to a different system) but as I said, it’s problematic to try to use the application from more than one computer. When I did a clean install of OS X 10.3 Panther on both my laptop and desktop, getting iBlog to regenerate many of the web pages just didn’t seem to work.

My second greatest complaint would be that there was almost no response to my “personal outcry” over the security issues. I not only wrote the makers of iBlog (Lifli Software in India) but I sent them an exhaustive and detailed list of half a dozen things they could do to fix most of those problems. To this day I don’t know if they implemented any of my fixes. (I’ve stopped caring and don’t have time to check every new release anymore.)

Another criticism I would have is that I’m not really sure iBlog is terribly original. Now that I’ve switched to MovableType I see that not only are many design methodologies similar, but the default stylesheet would appear to be an almost direct rip-off of one of the MovableType designs. Now I’m not certain about this, so don’t quote me. It may be that MT and iBlog adapted the layout from the exact same 3rd source, but well, I’ve just got to question the originality.

Actually, a lot of my recent criticism of iBlog stems from the fact that I’m so immensely pleased with MovableType. It is not difficult to install, it’s free for the individual (non-commercial) user. It’s network based (although desktop apps exist so you’re not stuck with web interfaces) and quite portable and expandable.

My iBlog pages remain up on my site. The primary reason is that there’s no other way for my to preserve my early writings. There is no good export methodology. So if you would like to read my older archives, proceed to my old iBlog pages.

End of story.

If you found this interesting (or of value) give me a +1 or somehow Share this.

Author: Murray Todd Williams

I’m a computer professional residing in New York City. I currently work for Accenture Interactive. I’ve been programming computers since 1978 when I was eight years old, which means I’ve been doing this stuff for almost 35 years. (I’m rounding up.) I’m also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a liberal.

2 thoughts on “Postmortem, iBlog”

  1. Have you looked at GeekLog (http://www.geeklog.net/) ? I have had some success with it — easy to install, customizable, easy to add RSS feeds to it, etc. (But I have not tried to use it on more than one computer.)

    I set them up with Geeklog, and they liked it a lot. But the mother ship made them switch to MT. They like that too, although now they no longer have the community forum posting function that they had in Geeklog.

    Here is their MT site: http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/CIS/blogs/mml-tech/

    Unfortunately I don’t have the Geeklog code they used anymore, but as you can see at the main Geeklog site, it is vaguely Slashdotty, open source, APIs are available, blah blah blah.

    The lamest thing about it, of course, is that they were forced to overlay the instituational header stuff, which I think is atrocious (esp. the Javascript, which doesn’t follow accessibility standards and is annoying even for a sighted/abled user).

  2. Love the concept of you being published online. Your intent comes through nicely, not just a site for you to explain to the world what you know. I like the non pretentious nature of it and surprisingly, it’s very interesting to read for a personal site. Kudos. I will check back to learn more… PS, I am not posting to one article, in fact I am commented on http://www.murraywilliams.com. I found the site through the crepe recipe. The batter is in the refrigerator now.

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