Use cases behind single/multi-blog support


#1

I notice that Typo (like many other blogging engines) seems built around
the
idea of one, or at most a few, blogs. Most bloggers
don’t want to run their own server-side software – they want a hosted
solution
, along with user self-registration and differentiation of blogs by URL
path.

So a blog-server admin would naturally want to host many bloggers. I’m
thinking of something like blogger.com, although presumably specialized
for
some niche.

What motivated the decision to support one blogs (now moving forward to
supporting a few)? What are the use cases that made Typo and other
blogging
engines work this way?


#2

On 3/6/07, Brody P. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

So a blog-server admin would naturally want to host many bloggers. I’m
thinking of something like blogger.com , although presumably specialized for
some niche.

What motivated the decision to support one blogs (now moving forward to
supporting a few)? What are the use cases that made Typo and other blogging
engines work this way?

I’m guessing that it’s because building thread-safe code which can
deal with hundreds of simultaneous requests for hundreds of different
users’ blogs, and do it all securely, is hard. Much easier to set up a
separate Unix account per customer. That way you get:

  • Stronger security, because it’s enforced at OS level. You don’t need
    to worry (as much) about user X injecting some SQL and wiping out 200
    customers’ blogs from your database.

  • Better ways to manage disk and CPU usage (e.g. run ‘and’ to stop one
    user’s blog soaking up all CPU time)

  • Ability for users to add their own CGI, deploy their own applications

  • Ability for users to FTP/FTPS in and edit their web pages and
    templates directly (*)

  • Ability to scale indefinitely, as it’s relatively easy to move users
    to less loaded servers transparently if you have to

Building all that into the application layer is a lot of work
requiring lots of attention to detail. People like Google and SixApart
have multiple full-time developers dedicated to their blog software,
dealing with security issues that crop up, load issues, and so on.

The (*) shouldn’t be downplayed either. Users expect it. Even cheap
$10 hosting from GoDaddy comes with a Unix account and FTP access, so
why not use those accounts to segment your hosted blogs too?

Basically, unless blogs are your entire business, I think you’d be
crazy to invest in the amount of work required to support lots of
users on a single software deployment.

mathew


#3

My $.02 …

On Mar 6, 2007, at 3:39 PM, Brody P. wrote:

Most bloggers don’t want to run their own server-side software –
they want a hosted solution , along with user self-registration and
differentiation of blogs by URL path.

The authors of Typo did not have the above audience in mind. Nor are
they particularly interested in building solutions to problems that
they don’t have - they have plenty of work already. heh.

I’m not a developer or contributor, just a happy end-user.

From lurking on this list for a while, I get the impression that
Typo was written to scratch a particular itch and that Typo became
useful and useable enough for others to pick up and start using as
well. The authors wrote it for themselves and shared it with others,
most of whom were running locally hosted “single” blogs at the time.
This topic has come up quite a bit in the past and the general
consensus was that “multi-blog” support was not something that any of
the core developers had any sort of urgent need for or interest in.

Typo’s roadmap was motivated by the needs and interests of the core
contributors rather than market research and use-case polls. As it
happened, nobody was particularly interested in “multi-blog” stuff,
especially as other blogging engines are already doing that quite
well. This could easily change (or not) in the future.

Apologies if I’m putting words in authors mouths …

-Chris