Dev notes: Why livejournal?

As stated in the first post in this blog, I'm taking development of this site dead slow to try and get things right on the first pass. This means that I don't want to rush to add any particular feature.

However there's one system that it was worth getting active quickly and without too much site-specific code - the blog! Without it, the site would be rather empty and pointless - not an entirely uncommon feature on the web, but not one that I wish to duplicate.

And LJ actually works rather well in this situation - it provides a whole back-end system, managing all the editing and updating features, as well as providing an RSS feed. Additionally, the remote interfaces provide good examples of interoperability techniques - there are interfaces for both updating and synchronising content, with a choice of REST or XML-RPC protocols (documented at http://www.livejournal.com/doc/server/ljp.csp.protocol.html ).

Of course, the fact that I'd written code to use these interfaces some time ago didn't hurt the choice, either ;) But really that just makes the point; the same interface that synchronised my previous-generation website allows me to update my journal when and where I want; interfaces exist for email, SMS or PDAs, meaning that I have three ways, if I so wish, to update any of my LJs from my Treo 600 phone. The only site-specific code I now need is a few lines that draw information out of the database into which the sync interface puts it.

As with other old code the synchronisation routines will probably be up for recoding later on, and I'll be examining them as I do so. I'll also be adding some features not found - or not exportable - from LJ, including summaries, local comments and posting categories, which I'll use to allow custom views and syndicated feeds. For the moment however, certain features will remain visible on LJ only - and with that caveat, I'll link from the posts here to the comment pages on LJ shortly.
Posted by parsingphase, 2004-04-08 20:48

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