Please be assured that the lack of visible activity at this website is not an indication that nothing is happening. Although, to be completely honest, I have been spending a significant amount of time playing The Long Dark lately, when I probably should have been more focused on developing this project. Regardless, progress has been made, and as usual (in my development experience), progress completion has been held up by the little things, or in this case, the proper detection and insertion of tag references to a submission post at the time of submission. In an attempt to prevent duplicate tags, the code now examines the tags entered into the field one at a time, compares them against existing Tags already defined, inserts new ones if no match is found, and then assigns each one to the post all as the post is submitted.

Although relatively simple, the first iteration of the site's built-in submission/editing form is actually rather powerful.

Submit Form

At this stage the form can only insert new posts, mainly because I have not yet added support to the rest of the site to edit existing ones. I have to figure out a few things, such as persistence of form field data, how to load data into fields, and also add in some java-script to prevent the accidental navigation away from a form in progress to prevent some of the invariable loss of data that will occur. That said, all but two of the aforementioned items I wanted working in my last submission have all been met. Those two are namely:

  • Add support for post summary.
  • Add support to limit the number of posts on the home page.
I plan to roll those two items into the 0.3 release, as I get to it, because obviously this is not yet done, but we're making some considerable progress as previously I had to add submissions manually in a MySQL interface, which was clumsy and unwieldy when assigning tags to the posts in question. At this point, however, I can at least submit a draft version of a post in my browser, view the draft, then flag it public after I'm satisfied everything looks correct.

Even better, I learned how to use prepared statements effectively when submitting forms, so even though this form should be inaccessible to an non-authenticated visitor, there is still built-in security present to prevent SQL injection attacks.

Also to be included in 0.3 are the following items:

  • Add support to edit existing posts and set the visibility flag from draft to public (or private, or deleted).
  • Improve the submission form to avoid accidental data loss when a submit fails or when navigating to another page.
  • Add file upload support to add images and/or download links to posts.
  • Additional security.

Future items which may or may not make it into 0.3 include:

  • A dashboard with site statistics, a list of post titles (with links) authored by the user and other useful information.
  • An edit user form to support changing the user's password, adding "About" info, setting an avatar, etc.
  • Administration support to allow an administrator to assign additional privileges to users, inactivate accounts, update passwords, etc.

I have a lot I'm thinking about in regards to how I want this weblog to grow. However, since I seem to forget what I was doing 15 minutes ago, I guess I should probably document some of these. This list may change as time moves on.

ToDo list for 0.2:

  • Quash any remaining bugs
  • Make tags clickable
  • Make titles clickable
  • Add support for post summary
  • Make logo & title clickable link to "home"
  • Add markup support
  • Improve look & feel
  • Add submission form
  • Add support to limit the number of posts on the home page

In my (possibly poor) wisdom I thought I would be generous and offer anyone who might be interested in the current version of the FtES Weblog a chance to peek at my terrible code, and also the method I used to establish the database. I do not know if I will continue making this code available, but for now I have a simple Subversion repository to handle version control, so it is entirely possible that I may do this.

So without further ado, here is your download link. Please be gentle, it's my first time (coding in PHP).


Update: I found and fixed two minor output related bugs, but I'm not in the mood to repackage this just yet. Let me know if you know what the bugs are (and how to fix them).

Like the phoenix rising from the ashes once more, this personal weblog is now under construction and being developed in PHP as a learning exercise.

Stay tuned for updates on my progress, which I will post as frequently as time permits.