dasBlog 1.7 questions and answers

First of all, the community reaction to dasBlog Community Edition 1.7 has been great! I’m delighted that people have been able to move with little trouble. However, a number of folks have asked some questions and I’d like to answer some of those.

Question: What happened to the Attachment feature, and what is this new Enclosure feature?

Answer: in previous versions of dasBlog there was a way to Attach files etc to a post. However, all this did was move the file from your desktop to your /binary folder and adds a link to the content of an entry. I never thought this was very useful. Furthermore, dasBlog never utilised the enclosure feature of RSS. I decided it was high time we actually make this feature useful, and support RSS enclosure. However, RSS enclosure only allows for a single enclosure per RSS item. My goal was to also allow the old functionality, and support a true n number of attachments but only expose a single one as the RSS enclosure, but I never finished this work. Expect it in the next version.

Question: What happened to the image upload feature?

Answer: Since FreeTextBox has a nice image upload feature via the Gallery I assumed this was good enough for folks and I removed the duplicate functionality in upload image. Well, a number of folks have expressed that they miss the old feature. Expect this to come back in the .2 version of 1.7, and in 1.8 expect a better image upload feature that allows you to store all the images/attachments per Entry in a guid based folder in the /binary folder. I’ve wanted this for a while as I have tons of stuff in my /binary folder that’s orphaned.

Question: The directions for uploading are a bit confusing, can you clear this up?

Answer: I reworked them a bit as I got plenty of feedback that it was confusing. I’ve placed them in the Release Notes.

Question: How do these new anti-spam feature work, and how do I turn them on?

Answer: dasBlog 1.7 has 4 major anti-spam features. They are all disabled by default, and you need to enable them in your Configuration. When enabled there is an additional option to send an HTTP 404 Status Code to blocked referrers, dropping the connection and not wasting any server resources on the referral.

1. CAPTCHA for Comments

This feature will force users to prove that they are human via a proof. The proof is that you mist enter a 6 character series of digits and numbers in the CommentView page before the Comment will be accepted. The aim of this is to prevent automation of comment entry.

2. MovableType Blacklist Support

dasBlog includes support for the MovableType Blacklist by Jay Allen. This will prevent referrals and comments from any domain that is listed in the blacklist.txt file. When enabled, dasBlog will attempt to download this file in the Application Start method, or when enabled from the Configuration page. At most the file is downloaded once per day, and will also be downloaded whenever your ISP sets your ASP.NET worker process to recycle.

3. Content based Blacklist

dasBlog will also filter out any domain from referrals or comments based on keywords that you can enter in the Configuration Page. You should place the entire domain, or any subset of that domain separated by a semi-colon. For example, “foo;bar;foo.com;bar.com”.

4. IP Blacklist

The IP Blacklist must be enabled from the Web.config section (httpModules) since it operates as an HttpModule. The list of the IP addresses to block is located in the blockedips.config file in your SiteConfig folder.

Question: Will you add support for rel=nofollow?

Answer: Yes, this is checked in and will be in .2. It will only be used for Referrals, not for Trackbacks or Pingbacks. If it becomes a problem for Trackbacks and Pingbacks I will add support for this as well. dasBlog does not render html tags from comments so there is nothing to do there.

Question: I’ve found a bug or have a feature request, where do I send them?

Answer: Please enter them into SourceForge

Question: When will bug x be fixed?

Answer: In about a month we will fix the highest priority bugs in a Service Release. This will be the .2 version of 1.7.

Question: I have some code I would like to contribute, but I don’t want or know how to join the project.

Answer: Just zip the code and send it to me. You can get the code from CVS Anonymously.