From time to time I take a few minutes to troll around Technorati.com to keep an eye on who might be linking to my site, or more specifically, the SharpMT pages. Last week I found IdiotProof.org who tried to use Pocket SharpMT to post to his dasBlog hosted server and it failed on him. A little while back, I made a couple of changes that made my server calls more XML-RPC compliant; that request came in from someone using dasBlog, and since I never heard back, I had hoped it worked. It didn’t. And because of some incompatibilities, I don’t see dasBlog support in the future of SharpMT…
I wrote SharpMT to support MovableType. I’ve never hidden that fact nor have I changed my mind about it. If I wanted to use a generic offline writer, I would have used w.bloggar, but I need the extended fields that MT supports. Hell, if Zempt was out when I first started using MT, I probably wouldn’t have written SharpMT… I use MT, so the tools I write for blogging also use MT.
Since MT uses the BloggerAPI to allow third party access, one would hope that any blogging engine that uses the same API would be able to post from a compliant tool. What a fuckin’ pipe dream that is. Here’s some facts: for each new post MT returns a numeric string; dasBlog returns a GUID. Not a huge deal, actually… right now SharpMT converts the string to a number so that it could cut short a download of links, if a download isn’t required, but that can be worked with. Another hiccup: Blog ID. MT uses a numeric string again; dasBlog returns the URL of the site. Nothing major here, as it can be worked around. Text Filters are ignored on dasBlog I think – no biggie… categories seemed to be OK.
Then the big problem… posting. MT uses a specific structure that is radically different compared to what dasBlog uses. I would have thought that MT is the culprit, deviating from the specification by adding a bunch of different fields to the post structure, but dasBlog doesn’t seem to be all that generic either. The MT-specific fields that are part of the Post object don’t exist in the dasBlog version, but then again, the date/time format that’s required of dasBlog looks to be very .NET-formatted and MT uses an ISO format… and that can’t readily be worked around.
I don’t know who to blame for it, but it’s not the same API.
And so, that means no dasBlog support. Were I going to make this into a paid-for-project, I would dump the connection functionality into a DLL and then have different plug-ins for different engines… hook up some UI hooks that turned off certain fields, depending on engine. Stuff like that. But I don’t want this to be a paid-for application, so it’s not going to happen… why the Blogger API has a two versions running around, I don’t know, but there might even be more versions. If every engine has it’s own custom members to the objects being passed around… oi, what a damned mess it is.
And I have to say thanks to Dave at IdiotProof.org, for letting me test a post or two on his Blog, in an attempt to figure out what was going wrong when posting to dasBlog!