"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other."

- Jack Handy, Deep Thoughts
Bloo version 1.35 released

Bloo version 1.35 has been released. You can download it here.

This release is primarily focused on improving the comments-management of blogs. Below are the significant features and bug fixes in this release:

  • Bloo now supports full comment moderation
  • The comment thread subscription is enhanced. For instance, you can now cancel your subscription to a comments thread - every comment email you receive has a link which, if clicked on, will unsubscribe you
  • Added two new spam Captchas: Bloo Captcha (which we've been using here for awhile and which is currently in force for Thinklings comments) and Google's reCaptcha service.
  • Private Site, a new Bloo extension SnapOn, which allows you to set your entire blog private, meaning that only logged-in users can see it
  • Max Links Spam Filter, also a Bloo extension SnapOn, in the Spamicide collection. Spammers, we hates them. we hates them forevah!!
  • Emails coming from the system now look better (or that's the theory)
  • Fixed a bug that caused comment counts to show no comments when viewing posts by category
  • Performed various other bug fixes and architectural improvements

For some of you who have been thinking about starting to blog, and want to go the less-travelled road, you might think about giving Bloo a try. Be part of something small! (As you can see, marketing and snappy slogans are not my forte)

Watch me for the changes . . .

Bloo version 1.34 released

Bloo version 1.34 has been released. You can download it here.

Below are the significant features and bug fixes in this release:

  • Bloo now has an Image Uploader SnapOn, which can be activated to allow you to upload images directly to your blog's filesystem with one-click adding of those pictures to your posts
  • Bloo now has Ajax capabilities, through the Bloojax SnapOn. Expect more dynamic content in future SnapOns and general releases of Bloo. For now, this primarily is used for the Image Uploader SnapOn
  • Some other tweaks - added throbbers to the install and upgrade programs, Removed the "Powered By" credit text because that's so 2002
  • Fixed an issue with complex characters not being translated correctly in the RSS feeds
  • Fixed an issue with the Bloo WIKI SnapOn that caused problems identifying the main page when the WIKI SnapOn was enabled for more than one blog in a blog community
  • Performed general code cleanups

As always, my new year's resolution is to produce new releases more frequently! Look for a roadmap for future releases to come out soon.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What's coming in Bloo version 1.34

A new version of Bloo is being worked on as we speak. Among the features included in this version will be BlooJax, which will Ajax enable the software, and a true, secure image upload feature.

Coming "soon"!

Bloo version 1.33 released

Bloo version 1.33 has been released. You can download it here.

Below are the significant features and bug fixes in this release:

  • Version 1.32 introduced a bug that caused comment counts on posts to be, at times, reported incorrectly. This has been fixed.
  • Comment moderation works again (it kind of, um, quit working there for awhile).
  • Community blogs (member blogs) were not able to create their own themes. Now they can.
  • Pop up comments are now optional. In the Discussion Settings in the Lists and Settings administration panel a setting now controls whether the comment link produces a pop up or in page comments.
  • Alternating styles are now available for comments and trackbacks, by setting the CSS style classes comment_row_even, comment_row_odd, trackback_row_even, and trackback_row_odd.

Bloo version 1.33 in user test now

Bloo version 1.33, which fixes the aforementioned comment count and moderation bugs, and adds a few new features, is currently being tested on some blogs. It is expected that the version will be released for public consumption in the next few days.

Bloo version 1.32 released

Bloo version 1.32 has been released. You can download it here.

Below are the significant features and bug fixes in this release:

  • Added the BlooStats package, which keeps statistical counts on posts and thus aids in the performance of the blog
  • Fixed a problem with the dates on draft posts, which were not advancing to the current date when the post was made public
  • Was unable to delete comments on blogs that had Bloo Wiki enabled. This has been fixed
  • Notification settings for new comments/new posts for a sub-blog were being sent to users of the main blog as well. Fixed this
  • Fixed a none-too-friendly error message when bloo.config.php is missing.
  • For users of Bloo version 1.30, there is now a quick upgrade option.

More releases coming soon!

Bloo version 1.32 now being tested

Bloo version 1.31 (release candidate for version 1.32) is being rolled out to several blogs for testing. If all goes well, version 1.32 should be available to the public in a few days.

More info coming soon . . .

Bloo version 1.30 released

Bloo version 1.30 has been released. You can download it here.

Below are the significant features and bug fixes in this release:

  • Posters can now alter the date and time on a post
  • BlooNews is now available. BlooNews allows for blogs to subscribe to Bloo news from the Bloo Development blog (devblog.outofthebloo.com). This extension also allows a blog to become a news publisher
  • Added an RSS feed for Post Categories
  • Community blogs can now be set as public/private. Only public blogs will be displayed on the front page of a community blog.
  • Added profile settings to provide for email notification to a user if a new post and/or comment is created on the blog. If you want to be notified anytime another poster creates a post on your blog, or anytime someone comments on a post written by another poster, turn these settings on in your profile (obviously, this mainly applies to group blogs)
  • Fixed a problem with decomposing ampersand entities in posts and pages.
  • There was a problem logging in; if the server didn't have a valid domain name it wasn't saving the cookie. There were also problems related to logging out that have been fixed. Some of these problems were related to how the unique "blog signature" was being created. This root cause has been fixed.
  • Foxed a problem with the RSS feed, which often did not work in bloglines.
  • Fixed slashes/magic quote processing. Improper handling was causing slashes to appear in notification emails, for instance.
  • The guest account was logging in to no specified administrative panel. Now is taken to the My Profile panel
  • Fixed a problem that was discovered in the upgrade program when upgrading from a 1.10 blog.
  • Generalized the RSS Collector, to allow it to be used for multiple types of RSS feeds
  • Added the PhooCheckBox class to the Phoo Phramework
  • Parameters can now be passed to a SnapOn

Work will soon commence on the next release of Bloo.

Happy New Year!

Bloo version 1.30 coming soon

The next version of Bloo is now being tested on some key blogs and will be released for general consumption sometime in the next week or two.

More information coming. The Bloo New Year's Resolution is to have more frequent releases!

Just upgraded the development blog to Bloo version 1.25

Bloo version 1.25 has not been released for public consumption yet, but the development blog has been upgraded to it so that it can start doling out Bloo News, using the new Bloo News extension. This is the first news post.

Once this version is fully vetted and rolled out, anyone who upgrades to it will have a much more direct way of being notified of new Bloo releases and other Bloo doings.

There are some new themes coming soon as well.

Bloo version 1.22 released

Today Bloo version 1.22 was released. You can download it here. This release is primarily a bug-fix release, with specific attention toward fixing theme problems that manifest in earlier versions of IE.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed the Pre Render event, which was not working on menu items. Fixed
  • In IE, when logged into a community blog, the front page of the blog did not acknowledge the login. This has been fixed.
  • Fixed problems with the base three column theme - had a fat-fingered style
  • Fixed some themes that were not rendering in earlier versions of IE. Included in this were the Bloo Clouds theme, Red Train, Camera, Jill, Field of Dreams and Pure. These themes can be found at the Bloo Themes site.
  • Bloogroll Posts description was incorrect. It needed to reference the RSS Collector which was established in version 1.20. This is fixed.

Bloo version 1.20 Released!

Bloo version 1.20 is released! You can download it here.

In many ways, Bloo 1.20 will look a whole lot like Bloo 1.10. But it contains some pretty significant feature additions, and represents a real firming up of the underlying Bloo architecture as it's always been envisioned (but not quite implemented, until now):

Below are the major features and bug-fixes included in this release:

  • Bloo Community - this one is pretty huge. Bloo Community is an extension SnapOn included in the core release that allows you to, on the fly, create sub-blogs off your main blog. Each sub-blog is a full-blow Bloo release, but entirely segregated from the content on your main blog. You can even open up things so that guests can request a sub-blog under your main blog (you have full control over accepting or rejecting that request, and also you can suspend or delete sub-blogs that don't behave). You can read more about Bloo Community on the Bloo Wiki, here.
  • RSS caching and collection is now centralized and part of the core release. You can read more about this on the Bloo Wiki here
  • Added About Me link to the Sidebar
  • Provides for version checking on snapOns
  • Cleaner error messages
  • Created new Wrapper styles for themes - this gives more flexibility on how themes behave. You can read about the changes to themes in 1.20 on the Bloo Wiki, here (and if you've created your own theme in Bloo, you really need to read that to help convert your theme)
  • Removed some old core themes. So there are less themes delivered with Bloo, but the ones that were removed were pretty cr@ptastic anyway. You can find more themes for Bloo on the Bloo Themes Site.
  • Add more base themes for sidebar right, sidebar left, and three column. All Bloo themes at this point cascade from one of these three.
  • Added the BlooWiki SnapOn to the release. Using this extension SnapOn, you can now easily turn your blog into a WIKI (our own Bloo WIKI is built off of this).
  • Fixed a problem with localhost login (for people testing Bloo locally)
  • Fixed a problem with trackback and comments links when title permalinks are enabled.
  • Improved the RSS Feed
  • Fixed a problem with the FavoritePosts extension SnapOn that made it not work if permalinks not set to title
  • Fixed a problem with Theme Preview - Stop Preview wasn't working
Now that 1.20 is out, a lot more attention is going to be paid to creating new Themes and extension SnapOns.

Update on Bloo version 1.20

Although originally scheduled for November, obviously 1.20 was not released at that time ;-) - some features were added, and a lot of work has gone into just getting it as ready as possible for public consumption. One big change was in how themes are handled; some style changes were made to the base themes to make them more flexible, and this delayed things a bit.

It's the stretch run now. The pre-release versions are being tested on several different sites, and final bugs and features are being resolved and coded. In addtion, work is ramping up on Bloo Community (more on that soon).

Thanks for your patience!

Bloo version 1.20 coming soon

. . . hopefully in November.

Version 1.20 introduces some significant structural changes, although the blog will, for the most part, behave as before.

The biggest new feature in version 1.20 will be Bloo Community, which will allow Bloo bloggers to open  up their blog space for the registration of sub-blogs. It's kind of like setting up your own private MySpace (or Idaho, or whatever) community. The main Bloo site (http://outofthebloo.com) will be opening up for community blog registrations soon, meaning you can become a Bloo blogger without having to download and install the code in your own webspace. Lots more coming on this.

Following 1.20, a lot more attention will be paid to the development of themes and extension SnapOns.

Patch 02 for Bloo version 1.10 released

There is a patch for Bloo version 1.10 that fixes a problem in the post category administration that is preventing the creation or editing of categories. When these operations are attempted, the web-page just times out.

You can download the patch here.

Once downloaded, do the following:

  1. Upload the bloo.install.command.overlays.xml file to your blog's "install" directory

  2. Upload the post.command.overlays.xml file to your blog's "core" subdirectory:

  3. Once that's done, go to your administrative panel,
    a. select Lists and Settings  
    b. select Post categories  
    c. Click the "edit" link next to the General category  
    d. Edit it (if desired - but if not, still go through this process) and press Save

Patch 01 for Bloo version 1.10 released

There is a patch for Bloo version 1.10 that is necessary if you are getting nasty errors when upgrading from Bloo version 1.00 to 1.10. Basically, the patch fixes a problem that occurs for webhosts that do not have gpc magic quotes turned on by default.

You'll know you have the error if you get something that looks like this when you run the upgrade program:

SQL Error: You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that
corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near
''Page.sidebar'' at line 6:select o.overlay_id ,o.syntax from vl_overlay
o where o.syntax like '%Post.form.search%' and deleted_flag = 'N' and
o.name = 'Page.sidebar'
Installing the patch and re-running the upgrade will fix the problem. The patch is relatively small - just two files.

You can download the patch here.

Bloo version 1.10 Released!

Bloo version 1.10 is (finally) released! It includes some nice improvements over 1.00. You can download it here.

Below are the main features and fixes included in this release

  • New and improved install and upgrade programs
  • Title-based permalinks are now available. In other words, instead of your post permalink appearing as http://myblog/post_id=1, your permalink can look like http://myblog/posts/out-of-the-bloo-a-blog
  • Beefed up security layers to protect against hacks.
  • Searches now work for static pages as well as posts
  • Improved the emails sent on comments and trackbacks
  • Linefeed to BR tag replacements for posts and pages are now smarter. They won't add BR tags within TABLE, OL or UL tags
  • General improvements in sidebar styles and organization
  • Fixed a problem with the published date in the Comments RSS feed
  • Fixed a problem with the Recent Comments link, which was preventing it from working
  • Fixed a problem with the upgrade/install Ping that caused some blogs to hang on install
Click here for the detailed release notes.

Bloo 1.00 Security Patch released

Bloo version 1.00 Patch 2 has been released to resolve some known security holes in Bloo. If you are a Bloo version 1.00 user, this patch is highly recommended (note: it is only for version 1.00). You can download the patch, in either zip or tgz format, here. Just click on bloo.v.1.00.patch02.zip or bloo.v.1.00.patch02.tgz.

(for more information on the already-released patch01, click here)

In other news, work on Bloo version 1.1 is movin' right along. Expect the new version to be released soon!

Problem with View Recent Comments link fixed

An error was found in the default Page.sidebar overlay that comes with version 1.00 of Bloo. The fix for this is trivial, and there is now a patch available (bloo.v.1.00.patch01) that will fix it, here.

Note: If you are an upgrader who has already customized Page.sidebar, most likely you already have a good View Recent Comments link in your sidebar, so you may not need the patch. For new installers, the patch is necessary; you can also just customize your sidebar and fix the View Recent Comments link manually (go to Look and Feel, Overlays, and find and edit Page.sidebar in the Custom category) rather than bothering to download and install the patch.

The problem was due to some quotes in the href for that link that were inadvertently left as html entities in the overlay.

Also in the patch a small problem with the Last Published Date in the Comments RSS feed is fixed.

Bloo version 1.00 Released!

This is the big one . . . the first full Production release of Bloo! You can download it here.

Here's what's new in this release:

  • Commenters on the blog can now edit their most recent comment after posting it. This ability lasts for several minutes
  • The Private post type was created, allowing posters to create posts that can only be read by logged in posters or administrators.
  • The Popular Posts extension now can have a specified time-window wherein it measures comment activity (rather than always just measuring for the life of the post)
  • The blog now includes a “Lost your password?” feature, to allow users who have forgotten their password to get a new one.
  • Now posters can create static pages, which are like posts but don’t display a date stamp and can only be displayed by going to the static page’s permalink URL. In other words, static pages don’t roll along in the normal post stream. This feature is useful for creating more “timeless” pages, such as an “About Me” page.
  • The Bloogroll can now recognize a constant set in an overlay that specifies which Bloogroll categories to display. The constant is bloogroll_category_list, and is set in an overlay (usually Page.sidebar) using this syntax: _=bloogroll_category_list=Category 1,Category 2=_, substituting, of course, the real categories you want to display for Category 1 and Category 2
  • Created the Contact extension, which allows the blog to have “Contact Me” and “Contact Post Author” links which will display forms through which users can send email messages to the blog administrator(s) or a post author without knowing the recipient’s email address
  • Added links for “Older Entries”, “Newer Entries” on the Post display page to allow for navigation to older and newer posts.
  • The permalink for posts is now, by default, on the post title, rather than the post time.
  • Created the "Favorite Posts" SnapOn, which allows the administrator to show a list of his/her favorite posts from the blog.
  • Created a Comments RSS feed.
  • Created versioning in the system, which Bloo uses to detect when an upgrade is needed.
  • We now have a new Bloo logo!
  • Created a Trackback Send form, for sending trackbacks to other blogs.
  • Form navigation is now smoother as the first field on most forms is now in focus by default.
  • Changed the display of the “Everyone” security role to the more appropriately named “Guest”
  • Renamed the “snapons” directory to “core”, for clarity’s sake.
  • Removed the Remote Blacklist Spamicide extension SnapOn from the core release. Never much liked how this one worked (too many false-positives)
  • Fixed a security vulnerability in Comments editing
  • Fixed a problem with Post categories that have apostrophes in them (they were blanking out when the post was re-edited).
  • The Bloogroll category drop-down was getting confused when the Category ID was greater than 10. This is fixed.
  • Fixed problems with the RSS feed that caused it not to validate in certain feed readers.
  • Fixed alignment problems in the post form when their were no post form extension snapons (such as Quicktags) enabled.
  • Fixed a problem in the Lag Time Spam Checker extension snapon that was causing it to fail when checking trackbacks.
  • Numerous other internal fixes and improvements
You can read the detailed release notes here.

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