Opened 12 years ago

Closed 11 years ago

#151 closed Feature/Enhancement Request (fixed)

drupal-based blogging for members

Reported by: alfredo Owned by: alfredo
Priority: High Component: Tech
Keywords: blogsmf.mayfirst.org Cc:
Sensitive: no

Description

I've been thinking about this whole wordpress thing with our blogs and it seems to me that, since we're so involved with Drupal, we should really see if we can make blogging work with that engine.

1 -- It's something we know a lot about and can handle very well

2 -- It's really superb in terms of handling multiple users

3 -- My hunch is that it can integrate much more easily and seamlessly with the rest of our membership system (including openid)

4 -- It has an awesome RSS capability

5 -- It's the most themeable of the cms's I've worked with (and I've now worked with most of the biggies - at least a bit)

Thing is, in working for LSNTAP on their new site, I've put together some scripting that extends Drupal's blog logic to do blocks for blog lists, months, latest blogs, and blogger profiles, etc etc.

And I think this might be something we could use. One site dedicated solely to blogging and synced with our other membership system sites!

So...here's a url so people can take a look at the basic concept and then register and do a little blogging yourselves.

Go to

http://alfredolopez.net

and click on "blogs" in the top navigation bar and then click on one of the names in that list you see and you'll see the experience for viewers.

Register, log in with the info you get by email, edit your profile under the "forstaff" group of fields and do a little profile for yourself (I think I have image assist activated but, if not, it can be to put your pic up there) and then do a blog or two: create content, blog and submit.

Check out what the think does. :-)

Oh yeah...we should report any bugs and feel free to critique it except for the look (this isn't theme at all -- we should await the new theme or maybe select a transitional theme for this).

Tech trick: when you register as a user on any site, red registers you as a user on the blog drupal (user_save is the Drupal function -- Jamie and I have done stuff with that before) and like VOILA!!!

Does this make sense at all?

I'm gonna mark this "high" since we are getting some clamor for blogs and there's been quite a bit of discussion about what to do.

Change History (19)

comment:1 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

Type: Bug/Something is brokenFeature/Enhancement Request

comment:2 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

Owner: changed from Jamie McClelland to alfredo

comment:3 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Summary: Thinking about a different approach to membership blogsdrupal-based blogging for members

It looks very nice, alfredo. much cleaner than most drupal sites. You've really stripped it down well, so it just has the essential blogging features.

Have you tried integrating it with our OpenID system for authentication?

What approaches does it offer for managing spam?

comment:4 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

I think this approach (combined with OpenID as dkg suggests) opens up the potential for a single drupal site to act as the initial point of entry for our members.

What if the initial page (for logged out users) was super stripped down. It sends welcome to May First/People Link - Members Login Page. It offered one login box to go directly to your webmail and one login box to login (via OpenID) to the Members Intranet. From the members intranet you could:

  • Post a blog entry
  • Join an organic group
  • Start an organic group
  • Email other members of an organic group
  • Send a txt message (finish the txtmob drupal integration)
  • Post an event to the shared calendar

comment:5 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

Good thinking...and I think we can probably think up more things and add them as it develops. I'm getting a "this is the way to go" feeling here. Maybe I should put up a site which implements some of what you're writing, Jamie and incorporates openid, Daniel and at least mimics what we haven't put together quite yet. I'll start working on that.

comment:6 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

I suspect the fewer things we can manage to add, the more usable the site will be. Alfredo, are you ok with using alfredolopez.net as a proving ground for this approach? Or do you want to set up a different site altogether?

Is the goal here to basically move all of the content of mayfirst.org to this new site? I just looked for a ticket about upgrading mayfirst.org to a newer version of drupal, but couldn't find one. Is this a planned goal? if so, why isn't it a ticket yet?

comment:7 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

Can't answer the question about why no ticket but it is definitely a goal to upgrade to at least 5 and that's what Ana's design work has been about. But I don't think we're talking about that kind of integration here. The MF/PL site, I've always thought, would remain separate from the members' site, which is what Jamie's referring to.

I have no really good reason for not using my own website as a test platform for a while. But I think it might be a good idea to actually create a test site, which requires very little real estate and very little effort and allow us to install Organic Groups as actually test how a "pared down" site would look.

I have this fantasy about doing some stuff with my own website (like family things and pics of my grand-daughter) and so the navigation system is set up for that and I think things could get somewhat confusing in a short time. So I'd opt for a separate testing site.

comment:8 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Sounds reasonable to me, Alfredo. I was only suggesting using alfredolopez.net as a testbed because you'd offered it in the start of this ticket. Could you choose a hostname (maybe within the dev.mayfirst.org subdomain) and set up an example of what this would look like?

comment:9 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

Okay. I gave this a slightly "off" url because I didn't want to use a url where members might end up going to it. We can change the site name, etc. at whatever point. It's easy.

http://blogsmf.mayfirst.org

I'll integrate a logo, etc. into it but I'm not sure whether we should be waiting for the main MF/PL site design in order to launch this thing. Up for discussion.

Anyway, here's a rough time-line for it.

I'll be point-person on this project. :-)

1 -- this week -- Everybody register, log in and really test the site's programming and feel. Post events and blogs and move around the site. Anything you don't like or that doesn't work, post the issue. This includes stuff we should add to this site.

2 -- at end of this week -- integrate openid

3 -- next week -- write code that picks up the email site for this specific member and then parses it to the url for "My Email" in the navigation scheme. Right now, it's hard-coded to chavez.mayfirst.org (Alfredo's email server).

4 -- next week and week after -- work on the look of it, etc.

After that, looks like we may be ready to go. :-)

ps: much of this "blog block" stuff is our programming. Drupal blogging doesn't act this way out of the box. I'm sure others have done things like this (probably much better) but I really didn't see anything that quite matches it. So we are free to make it do everything we want and change it any way we want. It's all in the block configuration boxes.

comment:10 in reply to:  9 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Replying to https://id.mayfirst.org/alfredo:

Looks good Alfredo.

3 -- next week -- write code that picks up the email site for this specific member and then parses it to the url for "My Email" in the navigation scheme. Right now, it's hard-coded to chavez.mayfirst.org (Alfredo's email server).

I would suggest starting with adding a block that allows web login with a drop down for the user to choose their primary host. That way, people can go directly to web mail if they choose to, rather than having to login to the drupal site and then login again to web mail. It's also a simpler solution. Maybe it could be later configured so that once you login, it will display the web mail login with your primary server pre-selected (but changeable if you want to login as a different user to your webmail).

Also - I don't see this block showing up right now at all.

ps: much of this "blog block" stuff is our programming. Drupal blogging doesn't act this way out of the box. I'm sure others have done things like this (probably much better) but I really didn't see anything that quite matches it. So we are free to make it do everything we want and change it any way we want. It's all in the block configuration boxes.

That's great Alfredo - nice work!

I would encourage you to put this code into a module rather than store it as php code in the database.

Drupal has a block hook function described here:

http://api.drupal.org/api/function/hook_block/5

You could create a simple module (the basic directions are here: http://drupal.org/node/82920). If you called your module blogmu (just a suggestion), then you could create a function like this:

function blogmu_block ($op = 'view', $delta = 0)
{
 if ($op == 'list')
 {
  $block[0]['info'] = t('Most recent blog posts');
  $block[1]['info'] = t('Blog posts this month');
  $block[2]['info'] = t('Blogs by month');
 }
 elseif($op == 'view')
 {
  if ($delta == 0)
  {
   $block['content'] = [insert your code for recent blogs here]
   $block['subject'] = t('Most recent blog posts');
  }
  elseif ($delta == 1)
  {
    $block['content'] = [insert code for this month blog]
    $block['subject'] = t('Blog posts this month');
  }
  elseif ($delta == 2)
  {
    $block['content'] = [insert code for blogs by month]
    $block['subject'] = t('Blog by Month');
  }
 }
 return $block;
}

comment:11 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Yes, this looks great, Alfredo. thanks for forging ahead with it! i've added a few tickets with observations about blogsmf.mayfirst.org as a first-time user.

comment:12 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

The module about which Jamie speaks will also require the visibility function which I've written (that's code to determine what pages these things appear on). I'll work on this module this week. Thanks for the excellent code example, Jamie. Really helpful! :-)

comment:13 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Hey Alfredo - any progress on this? I'm very excited about getting the blog stuff up and running.

comment:14 Changed 11 years ago by alfredo

I'm rewriting the block code into a module, Jamie, and it's been slow going because it's a bit complicated. In fact, the profile on our blog page is now broken as I rewrite it.

I think we should figure out how we're going to approach the id issue (if at all) and what, if anything, should be immediately added to the blog page and then write a series of instructions for it and launch it. I can be ready by the end of the weekend.

comment:15 in reply to:  14 Changed 11 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Replying to https://id.mayfirst.org/alfredo:

I think we should figure out how we're going to approach the id issue (if at all)

Do you mean #159 ? or #168 ? If so, could you follow up on those tickets with what you see as the open questions?

and what, if anything, should be immediately added to the blog page

I think there's already too much at the moment (e.g. i think calendaring should be removed, given the TZ issues), so i don't think we need anything added. i'd like to see the pages produced by this tool be as simple as possible.

then write a series of instructions for it and launch it

Yes, instructions are good. We can start writing them up on the wiki here, yes? The simpler the site is, the fewer instructions should be needed, though. Would it be possible to set up a blogging site for all members which only needs a single screenful of instructions?

I can be ready by the end of the weekend.

Great, Alfredo! Thanks for all your work on this.

comment:16 Changed 11 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Keywords: blogsmf.mayfirst.org added

comment:17 Changed 11 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

I've created an overview page for this project. Any instructions about how to use it that aren't built into the site should probably go on that page. It would be a good place to introduce the project as well.

comment:18 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Thanks for starting that page Daniel!

comment:19 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

Closing this meta ticket - I don't think they are any issues specific to this ticket that are not resolved.

Please login to add comments to this ticket.

Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.