Blogging apps are the new Hello World
Before I get into this post, I need to give a warning, as I may unintentionally rub a few people the wrong way. This post is about some blogging apps, and while I work at Telligent, who offers Community Server and Graffiti CMS. This is my own opinion and while not about us vs them at all, Telligent offers applications for blogging. Though I link to some other blogs/people for my points in this post, it is nothing against them.
For ages, the classical example of a developer's first foray into a new language was always the simple "Hello, World" program. These days though, it seems like our classic friend has been replaced with writing a blogging app. For instance, the ever-famous "Create a weblog in 15 minutes" Rails screencast. Or other developers say "every beginning Rails developer should write their own blog software" (nubyonrails.com).
The problem with this? Blogging software is overrated!
Seriously, talk about a polluted atmosphere... look at all your options just for .NET that I can think of off the top of my head: .Text (people still use it), Community Server, Graffiti, SubText, DasBlog, BlogEngine.NET, DotNetNuke, and now Oxite. That is just the .NET world... remember, we're the small guys when it comes to the internet at large (compared to LAMP).
What about the world of Ruby? Perl? Python? PHP? There are probably enough derivatives of blogging apps to populate a small country.
Releasing a new MVC framework? HEY! Write a blogging app! Azure was announced... if someone hasn't already, you know a blogging app designed for Azure is coming. When Google App Engine came out, knew some one would.
Or as mentioned earlier, all the cool kids are writing their own blogging app. I recently thought of writing my own, but then I stopped myself asking why? Why scratch an itch I don't have. What issue do I have that none of the other applications can solve? What need do I have that isn't being met? NONE! I use Graffiti, and although I may be biased, it does everything I need. I have no itches. Why waste my time writing something I don't actually have a need for and no problems to solve? I'm not going to spend my personal time coding something if I don't even deem it useful.
Or another way I saw it... writing the shortest blogging app. The one mentioned there is only 657 lines of code, while the closest one in its comparisons is a hair under 7k. Note the author makes some concessions, about its a blog and not a blog engine, but seriously. I was looking at it thinking "ohh cool", but then ended up settling on "so?"
And recently, there is all the Oxite drama. That has been hashed over plenty, but what I don't get is why is there so much attention given to it? Ok, a Microsoft sample app that is a example of what not to do... they have done it before. Or take their Channel9 video, which talks like "holy crap this is innovative!" Every time they say "cool" or "awesome" in that video I cringed. The communities response has been overly dramatic as well. I stopped following Rob Conery on Twitter over the weekend because I'm tired of hearing about Oxite. Ok, Rob is helping them refactor, I get it, but do we need the constant status updates? I love SubSonic and like Rob's blog, but I get a sense of Superman coming in and single handily saving the day.
Seriously, blogs have been done. Want to write something related to blogging? Ok, fine, but do something innovative, not the same old thing. Disqus was innovative. Oxite isn't.
And again, nothing against the Oxite team, Rob, or anyone else... just my personal rant about being tired of hearing about blogging. Yes, I am blogging about my dislike of blogging apps. It oozes with irony.