"Probably the saddest thing you'll ever see is a mosquito sucking on a mummy. Forget it, little friend."

- Jack Handy, Deep Thoughts
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!

Problem found with PHP version 5.2.8

The newest version of PHP (version 5.2.8) has either a bug or a "feature" in how it reads XML that renders bloo blogs unreadable.

The good news is that this is fixable. Version 1.20 of Bloo should fix this problem for good, by changing the way we're laying down a lot of the XML that Bloo needs to produce all visual elements. 1.20 is coming out soon, so hopefully no one will experience any downtime. If necessary, a patch will be delivered.

If you experience unexplained, garbled output in your Bloo blog, contact your webhost to see if your server was upgraded to PHP 5.2.8. And please let us know here, so a patch can be delivered to you.

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.

Two new themes - Butterfly and Elegant

Two new themes have been uploaded to the Themes blog and are available for downloading and use on your Bloo blog. They are:

Butterfly (based on the Expression Engine theme by Thomas Arie Setiawan).

Elegant (based on the Elegant 2.0 WordPress theme by ShinRa)

New Themes

Some new themes have been uploaded to the Themes blog and are available for downloading and use on your Bloo blog. They are:

Daleri Dark (based on the Wordpress theme by Andreas Viklund).

Pure (based on the WordPress theme by Celestial Star)

Note: Pure requires Bloo version 1.10 to function properly. If you're not already on that version, you can upgrade to it by following the instructions here.

Field of Dreams (based on the Field of Dreams WordPress theme by Nathan Metzger)

Note: Field of Dreams requires Bloo version 1.10 to function properly. If you're not already on that version, you can upgrade to it by following the instructions here.

Refreshing (based on the Refreshing WordPress theme by Kate of rock-kitty.net)

More themes are coming soon . . .

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.

Problem discovered on theme create

For those of you on version 1.00 that have installed Patch 2, please avoid creating new themes within the system (i.e, don't create table-based themes). A problem has been discovered that will cause the blog not to initialize if you create a new theme.

This has been fixed and the fix will be in the next release of the software (1.1) coming soon. In the meantime, if you run into a problem after creating an on-the-fly theme within Bloo, you can get back up and running by manually deleting the new theme from the snap_on table.

If you need help, leave a message here.

Again, this only affects you if you're on Bloo version 1.00 patch 2.

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.

Version 1.00 nearly ready!

Forgive the silence recently. Much work has been in progress. The production release of Bloo 1.00 is nearly ready and will hopefully be released in the next two weeks or so.


Themes Blog

The new Themes blog is available! This is a space where Bloo themes can be demoed and downloaded. Some new themes are coming soon.

The theme blog is here: http://www.outofthebloo.com/themeblog/

Patch available for release candidate 2

There is a new patch available for release candidate 2. It's a relatively straightforward one - it fixes a security vulnerability in the comments SnapOn and also fixes a bug in category selection while posting: any category with an apostrophe in it was getting cleared when a post was edited.

You can get download the patch here.

Bloo, getting some run . . .

Bloo now has a project site on Freshmeat.net. I waited this long to set one up there because I wanted to wait for a production version. Now that we're at release candidate two, the time seems right.

Also, got a comment on the Bloo site yesterday: Bloo has been featured on LinuxLinks.com.

Cool . . .

Bloo version 1.00 Release Candidate 2 Released

The second production release candidate of Bloo, version 1.00, has been released. You can download it here.

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


  • Multiple Category Tags. Now a post can be filed under multiple categories. This one was long overdue . . .
  • Modified the post changes protector extension to handle changes to the post category.
  • Redesigned the layout of the post admin and post display. In particular, made changes to accommodate multiple categories
  • IP Blacklist - yet another Spam fighting SnapOn for Bloo. This one allows you to blacklist certain IPs so they can't leave comments or send trackbacks
  • Multiple comment protection. In the past, people who were too quick on the Submit button might see their comment hit twice. This has been fixed.
  • Reworked the ThemeSelector so that the admin can select which themes he/she wants to be in the rotation. This is important because in the past, all themes showed up, even "Bloo Base", which isn't a very presentable theme.
  • Added capturing of the create and modify user id to the comments and post tables. Now we can see who did what.
  • Made some general improvements to the phoo base foundation classes
  • Date formats are now configurable by the admin. Now the admin can set the date format for the post date, post time, and comment time display. In addition, moved Post, Comment date formats and display settings to the Look and Feel section. Just seemed more natural.
Bugs Fixed
  • An ampersand in a post title screws up the RSS feed. This has been fixed.
  • When comments are sent to moderation, the user is not notified. Instead, they are just told “Thank you for your comment”. This has been resolved
  • Those with “Everyone” status don’t have any real access to the admin panel. Fixed. Now they see a minimal administration panel, which basically just gives them the ability to edit their profile
  • Error messages on login are very plain. Made 'em look nicer
  • Simple Human Check display doesn’t start on its own line. Now it does.
  • CommentFloodQuery was not working. This has been fixed.
  • Upon upgrade or install, SnapOn and Theme lists were not shown in alpha order. They are now.
  • First quote in Bloo Quote was not being selected as current upon entry of that quote into the system. Fixed.
You can view the detailed release notes here.

Watch me for the changes . . .

BlooQuote patch uploaded to SourceForge

The BlooQuote patch is now deployed to Sourceforge. You can down load it by clicking here and selecting the bloo.v.1.00rc1.patches.zip or tgz file.

This fixes a pesky problem in Bloo release candidate 1 in which the Bloo quote of the day no longer advanced. In addition, administration of the BlooQuote snapon is improved so that you can now select the quote you want to make the current quote.

Work is continuing on release candidate 2.

Watch me for the changes . . .

BlooQuote bug fix deployed

You'll notice that my Jack Handy quotes now roll forward nicely.

I'll be releasing that fix out on SourceForge in a patch file soon.

BlooQuote bug

A bug was discovered in the BlooQuote snapon that basically freezes it at the first quote - in other words, doesn't roll forward through the daily quotes - when you upgrade to release candidate 1.

There's a patch coming out for that. I'm going to test it here first.

Also - multiple category tags are coming! Been working on the interface . . .

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