Thoughts on Building a Web Logging Tool

Still working on the weblogging idea and I think the best way to tackle it is as follows. Write some code that takes an XML representation of the news data that ZWNews uses now and combine it with an XSLT stylesheet to format the news items into HTML. After that is working then I need to be able to FTP the resulting file to a specific filename on a specified server. Once I’m at that point I’ll have the basics working for the back half of a weblogging tool and it will be time to start building the classes to manage the news items and the supporting methods for a user interface.
For the XSL part of the code I just recently finished an article I throught was really good (Rescuing XSLT from Niche Status) and I purchased a book on XSLT that looks quite good (XSLT: Working with XML and HTML).
Ultimately anybody who wants to succeed is going to have to offer features unavailable with the existing services (especially the most popular one, Blogger) and an easy method to convert their existing weblogs and templates so they can migrate to your tool without a lot of pain. In order to do that I’m going to use myself as a guinea pig and test out using an XML based template for Blogger so all of my log entries end up exported not as HTML but instead as XML. Then the generate page could be pulled as a URL from our weblog tool and all the news entries automatically imported. So basically the first two steps up above (XML + XSL and copying the result via FTP) is my goal for this weekend. We’ll see how far I get.

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