Update: This plugin now exists! It’s under active development, and has some pretty cool features. Read more about it through the link.
There comes a time in most every Rails applications’ life where its owner wants to up the “Web 2.0” factor and create a blog presence. Luckily, this is Rails, a framework ideally suited for creating a blog. Unluckily, there doesn’t seem to be a de facto Rails blog plugin floating around the community yet.
Now I know what you’re thinking… Mephisto! No thanks. The same factors that drove me away from Beast drive me away from Mephisto as well. Who wants to manage multiple subdomains, multiple app repositories, two sets of Mongrels, cross-subdomain authentication issues, and figuring out how to share resources (like views and images) between your Mephisto app and your standard app?
Upon discovering that no good blog plugin existed, my first instinct was to see if I could bring to life a sort of “Savage Mephisto.” Unfortunately, whereas I had a little bit of time to squeeze in Savage Beast development during Bonanzle’s final run to launch, I have virtually no time whatsoever to work on a project like this, now that Bonanzle is live and doubling in traffic every few weeks. Nevertheless, I did at least give a half-hearted attempt to make Mephisto into a plugin before realizing that as vast and deep as Beast is, Mephisto is probably twice as complicated, and thus, half as plugin-able.
So I turned my attention to creating a blog plugin from scratch. You can get a sense of how far I’ve gotten on the other Bonanzle blog. Like SB, I wrote it using the Engines plugin, so it could theoretically be extracted to a repository for download with relatively little effort. However, I’m not sure what the demand is like for a plugin like this would be? I mean, you could write your own fairly functional blog in a day or less, and you could conquer the cross-domain Mephisto issues, or you could try out one of the not-well-rated blog plugin attempts on Agile Web Development.
Anyway, I’ve decided to use the responses to this post to gauge how much enthusiasm there is for an easy-to-setup Rails blog plugin. If there’s lots, I’ll try to make the time frame to launch short. If there’s little, it probably remains a Bonanzle-only plugin.