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My name is Dave Livingston and I killed BlogFusion

Many of the folks in the ColdFusion community consider it dead, well, it's not gone!

Hi, my name is Dave Livingston and I killed BlogFusion.

Many of the folks in the ColdFusion community consider it dead and have moved off to other open source CF blogging applications. Well, it's not gone. BlogFusion is actually alive and well, we just haven't done a very good job of letting the rest of the world know that or how it's morphed.

When we took BlogFusion over, Jake Mckee had done a great job of creating a CF application that worked well and had some really great features. He wrote BF as a blog application that took advantage of Web Services on the net when they were brand new. He got it out in the world by selling it cheap or trading for an item off of his Amazon Wish List, which all CF developers loved. It was an application that you could get easily and pretty cheaply, and it fit whatever project you had at the time.

My company, BrainBand, had a client come to us with a blogging project. They wanted a way to offer people blogs and create a community. I approached Jake with my idea and the features I was looking for, and I hired him to help us create this community blogging application using BF as a base. Long story short, it became BF version 5, and we became very involved in the direction and features that were being added.
During our development, Jake got a great opportunity and could no longer spend time on BF, so we purchased it from him with a view to taking it to the next level: not just turning it into a CF application, but turning it into great blogging software that was written in CF.

I know that sounds a little funny, but we wanted our market/audience to be larger than just CF developers. We thought that our product could be very useful in large and small businesses, community groups, marketing agencies, etc.

All of the sudden, we had a software product to develop, build, and sell. This was exciting because blogging was getting a lot of attention and press, and we had already sold this solution to one of our clients. On the other hand, we had some pretty big questions and hurdles to deal with. BF had grown organically and had added many great features in a very short period of time (kudos to CF for making that possible). The code had become massive and very cumbersome to deal with. We also didn't know how it would hold up under a real-life load. What about support? When we were handed BF it was set to run on Windows, Linux, Microsoft's SQL, MySQL, Postgres, and Access. Only one of these configurations had really been tested and put through any kind of quality assurance in version 5. Between the task of managing a code base that was starting to crumble under its own weight and what it would take to really support BF, the cost and time were starting to add up.

So, we made a few decisions. First, we would move to a software-as-a-service model so that we could control the environment the code ran in. This would let us support everything in one place instead of dealing with all the possible configurations clients could come up with. It also let us keep the cost way down by providing several rate plans so customers could scale their communities gradually as they signed people up. Next, we moved the code base to an MVC framework so we could streamline the existing functionality and set it up for some big features we're about to add in version 6. And we decided to simplify the administration and add a plug-in architecture. That way people could easily add or remove the functionality and not have to mess with the rest. My lead programmer, Jon Clausen, put it best when he said, "The idea was to make an app that would be the best at blogging while leaving room for expansion." Here's a list of what's coming soon:

  • Single blog version you can download the code for
  • Admin plug-in architecture
  • Spam protection with Akismet
  • Integration with Flickr and Photobucket
  • AJAX comment and preview posting
  • Reworked photo blogging
  • A new admin interface
  • The single blog will have installer
  • Everything will be XHTML and CSS to tweak whole site
  • Theme plug-ins
  • An API for users to build their own plug-ins
Even though there are a number of free CF blogging applications out there, we aim to make BlogFusion the easiest and most fully featured. So BlogFusion isn't really dead, and there are some exciting things yet to come.

More Stories By David Livingston

David B. Livingston, co-founder and chief technology officer of Brainband Technology Services. He is an experienced professional who brings a strong background in all areas of Information Technology including web development, wireless solutions and IT management. In his position at Brainband, David is responsible for development and maintenance of Brainband's production team, networks, servers, infrastructure, and the management of all assets and technology. Mr. Livingston has over nine years of information technology and management experience in a broad range of positions and responsibilities. He has worked in several major industries including training, property management, insurance, e-learning, technology, communications and real estate. In 2002, he co-founded the Dallas Ft. Worth Wireless Users Group which promotes the acceptance and use of wireless technology. David also speaks regularly at user groups and technology shows on topics including wireless, programming, security and emerging technologies.

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