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Introducing Kameleon: An MVC Blog Application

with 2 comments

I have just switched my blog over to Kameleon.

Kameleon is a new blog application that I have been developing this past week using ASP.NET MVC. There are a lot of great blog applications for .net including SubText, DasBlog and blogengine.net, but building your own is a great way to explore a web framework. I plan to use Kameleon to capture some of the trails and tribulations on developing with MVC and also trying to work out some of the emerging best practices.

The application is only in its embryonic stages at the moment but it has most of the standard blog features.

Features

Posts, Pages, Comments, Feeds, Categories and Tagging

All quite valuable assets of a blog application :)

Skin Engine

It features a very flexible and simple skin architecture. At its most simplest a skin can be a folder with a master page, a stylesheet and few images in. However every base page or control template can be overridden by just dropping an aspx in the skin folder to provide complete flexibility. Obviously its better if most of the customisation is done in the CSS, but its useful for converting themes from other blogging engines.

Widgets

The Widgets in the sidebar are data driven and what appears (or not) in the sidebar can be controlled via the admin. Currently, each widget is called in via a RenderAction, I will expand on this in a future post. (I am still not sure if it this the cleanest way to have widgets)

Search

I use the excellent Lucene to search and index blog posts. When content is added or updated, it is updates the index and invalidates any cache.

MetaWeblog API

Support for blog clients.

Windows Live Writer support

A bit of extra support for Windows Live Writer so that it can auto-detect Kameleon’s API and its capabilities.

Clean friendly URL’s

As Kameleon is built with ASP.NET MVC, you get clean friendly URL’s out of the box.

Multiple Blogs

A single instance of Kameleon can run multiple blogs. The blog (and skin) can be auto-detected from the incoming request (domain).

Ingredients

It is has been made using the following ingredients:-

  • ASP.NET MVC
  • Subsonic 2.1
  • SQL Server
  • Lucene.Net
  • Elmah
  • Log4net
  • ASP.NET Membership & Role Providers

What next?

There are still a few features that are missing, the Admin side needs building out and support for trackbacks and pingbacks is required. I also need to improve test coverage and do some refactoring.

I will put the source code on Google Code/Codeplex when its been whipped into shape a bit more.

Other MVC blog applications

Part way through this week Oxite was announced by Microsoft  I haven’t really had much time to look into it, but it looks like being an excellent real world example of an MVC application. You can find it on CodePlex It is well worth a look.

Also looking forward; SubText 3.0 will be developed using ASP.NET MVC, and that is worth keeping an eye on.

Written by andrew

December 11th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Development

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2 Responses to 'Introducing Kameleon: An MVC Blog Application'

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  1. Looking forward to seeing this! The Ninja

    Dave The Ninja

    16 Dec 08 at 9:39 am

  2. There’s also AtomSite, another ASP.NET MVC blog app.

    Alex Angas

    7 Sep 09 at 2:21 pm

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