iBlog to Blojsom … not so fast Blojsom

iBlog to Blojsom … not so fast Blojsom

Right now I use a client side tool called iBlog to write all my blog entries. This makes it so I have to use a third party system, Haloscan, to have comments and trackbacks. I would like all this to be on the server, so I tried to convert …. but rolled back.

Here is the blog entry that I wrote on my brand spanking new Blojsom server:

iBlog to Blojsom Conversion

 I spent a couple of hours today converting from iBlog to Blojsom. iBlog is client application for the Mac which I really do like, but I get annoyed with it not being able to post its content directly to a Blogger API server. I’m replacing the client side with Ecto. Not nearly as slick, but it seems like it might do the job. I chose Blojsom as my server since it is Java, installable on Tomcat, pretty easy to administer, and has support for the Blogger APIs. The first thing that I wanted to do was move all my blog content from iBlog to Blojsom. This is not that easy since one is a client side application and the other expects XMLRPC calls to post to it. What I finally decided upon was to generate a complete RSS feed from iBlog with all entries and content and then post each entry to Blojsom over the Blogger API. To do the conversion, I built a little webapp with a form for all the parameters you need and a little bit of logic to do the conversion. Using Rome to read the RSS feed and Blog4J to call the Blogger APIs it was just a little bit of JSP 2.0 code to do the copy. So the first conversion went ok, except for one thing, the publication dates were wrong. Since the API supports them I was a bit mystified at first. In the end I had to patch both Blojsom to support it on the server side and Blog4J to support it on the client side. Pretty silly considering it is in the specification. Lastly, I am going to do a little mod_rewrite in apache to send people to the right RSS feed.

So why did I do this difficult conversion including a brand new piece of software to copy from RSS feeds to the Blogger API and then revert? As it turns out, Ecto is absolutely terrible in comparison to iBlog for editing blogs. I didn’t even post the above with Ecto, I used the online form because it looked nicer. Why isn’t there a really nice online web application with WYSIWYG in the browser that will post to any Blogger API based system? Why isn’t this built into Blojsom? Why do all these other systems suck so bad?

Can someone that has actually used iBlog and converted to something else point me to a client that isn’t terrible?