.Text or dasBlog?

Considering the helpful responses I got on my JB vs IDEA post, let me throw another one out there...

I'm going to setup an internal weblog here at my new job and need to decide on which tool to use. Since this will be hosted on IIS, using one of the .NET weblogging tools would make the most sense. dasBlog and .Text seem to be the front-runners and I've read nothing but positive reviews on both of them. I'm not sure how they differ though and which one would be better for my needs. I'd need a tool that

  • is easy to setup, maintain and post to
  • allows for multiple authors to a blog (or multiple single-author blogs with a common main page and rss feed)
  • supports comments and comment-rss
  • is free for commercial use (not that the company I work for is cheap or anything, but I don't feel like dealing with the paperwork for approvals, reimbursements, etc.)
Additional pluses would be things like
  • easy uploading of documents, images, etc.
  • easy customization of the look and feel of a blog
  • wysiwyg editing of blog posts in IE

I know I could just download, install and evaluate both, but I'm sure plenty of others have done that already so I'll take the lazyweb approach for now ;-)

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.hutteman.com/scgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/119

Just a little background. I'm using BlogX and have chosen to migrate to dasBlog (which was inspired by BlogX).

I don't know about others, but I found .Text configuration to be a bear. No offense to Scott W., but even the forum on his site didn't help. I tried both the single user setup and multi-user to no avail. Plus it requires SQL Server for out-of-the-box storage (with hooks for writing your own storage provider if desired). So in one sense my opinion is both a condemnation in that I never got it to run, but could have been a small oversight on my part, which prevented me from enjoying the true feature functionality.

From the standpoint of dasBlog, one of the big benefits I see is the file-based storage. That means I can tweak those content files if I'm in the mood to use notepad. Plus its added to the BlogX foundation all the the features you would expect in a blog engine - trackback, OPML, etc etc. I found the setup easier than .Text as well. All in all if I could sum it up, dasBlog has less moving parts (that's more of a subjective qualification than objective, however).

I haven't used either enough to give full feature comparison, but I hope that helps.

Posted by Mike Marshall at January 9, 2004 5:13 PM

Based on your requirements you want .Text. I run dasBlog and like a lot of the features but it requires a complete set of binaries for each blogs and has no aggregation page across blogs...

Posted by Chris Kinsman at January 9, 2004 6:16 PM

Being hosted on IIS doesn't rule out PHP. I've run many PHP applications on a Windows platform with MySQL and SQL Server no less.

So along those lines I'd recommend WordPress . It has all of the features you are looking for. Is easy to set up and supports the Blogger API so you can use tools like w.blogger and other tools. You can see a default install at my personal blog. (My host has been acting up tonight so hopefully it's up now)

You can either edit the template directly through a web interface or edit the CSS offline to get a new look and feel.

I'm also partial to GeekLog, I run my technical site on it, but it doesn't support a lot of the RSS features you are looking for. You'd have to find a plugin or roll your own.

Posted by Scott at January 9, 2004 11:42 PM

Out of curiousity, what blog engine do you use for this weblog?

Posted by Harris Reynolds at January 10, 2004 12:32 PM

Well I work on dasBlog, and while they are both very full featured blog engines, I personally like the fact that it uses a file based store, supports cross posting to more than one blog, and is xcopy deployment. Yes you need a set of binaries for each user so if multi user blogging and aggregation is your #1 req then .Text is the answer.

Posted by Omar Shahine at January 10, 2004 2:35 PM

The only feature you ask for that isn't present in .Text is uploading documents. There is an image gallery in .Text but no generic document upload functionality.

Posted by Shannon J Hager at January 10, 2004 3:06 PM

Harris: I use Movable Type for this weblog and like it a lot. I don't think I'll use it this time though because:

  • Setting up Perl on IIS is more of a hassle than using .NET
  • MT is not free for commercial use
  • MT doesn't allow for easy uploading of documents and other files
  • MT doesn't have wysiwyg editing of blog posts
  • I'd like to check out another type of weblogging software to see how it compares to MT ;-)

Posted by Luke Hutteman at January 10, 2004 4:18 PM

Correct me if I am wrong but if .Text relies on MS SQL and you want to front it for the Internet isn't there some kind of Internet Connector License fee required and isn't it expensive on top of the cost of MS SQL Server itself. Then again I don't know for sure that .Text requires MS SQL but if it can use MySQL then that's cool. FWIW I am using DasBlog and found it very easy to install, configure and use. I also like its persistent storage mechanism though a database is always nice when porting things around.

Posted by Kevin Pirkl at January 11, 2004 2:53 AM
MT doesn't allow for easy uploading of documents and other files
Hi, Luke: Actually, it does (at least in the 2.64 version I'm running). From your blog's editing menu, click the "Upload File" link on the left-hand side (third from the top). Posted by Phil Weber at January 11, 2004 11:15 AM

Phil: You're right, it sure is there - In almost a year of MT usage, I'd never even noticed that option... So thanks, that'll save me some time in not having to fire up my ftp-client...

Posted by Luke Hutteman at January 11, 2004 3:52 PM
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