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Gate

Posted Monday, September 21st, 2009 6:39:00 am
In a recent post, I mentioned that I was combining roncli.com, my projects site, and this blog into one website. Well, work on it has begun, and it's called Gate. The name Gate is actually short for Aggregate, which I will somehow work into the main theme.

Gate itself aims to be an open source, modular project. The first three modules will be a wiki, a Blogger-supported blog, and a project management module. I've been working on the SQL Server database setup the last week and a half or so and have it just about completed. Now I gotta write the repair script, which is what happens when installation goes wrong. It's been pretty fun, as I've been using jQuery and jQuery UI for the interface, allowing for the installation to be robust and user friendly.

The challenge is going to be figuring out how I want to do the modules. There are two problems to solve here. First, I need to figure out how to handle database usage between the modules and the core application. I'm using LINQ to SQL to build the data structures and synchronizing them with SMO, so theoretically the modules could use a separate LINQ to SQL file for the same database, but that might not be very optimal.

Second, I need to figure out if I am going to be able to just drag and drop modules into the /bin directory or if I'm going to have to compile it into the main website. The design strategy is to keep things simple for the user to install, so it would be nice if I didn't have to recompile things for every module. I know how to do plugins for desktop applications, as I have in Solar, a TCP/IP text processing engine that I've written that allows users to write their own plugins to process the text however they want to. Would it work for websites, or even make sense for them? That is the challenge ahead of me.

The nice part of it, like I said, is that it's open source. I'm doing this mostly for myself, and if others can get good use out of it, that's great. And if I can get others to help out with the code, that's even better. But until I have a functional version, I'm pretty much just going to write the core module plus the wiki, blog, and projects modules myself. Once the new roncli.com is online, then I'll look into releasing Gate as its own project.

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