When I started creating this site this morning, the first thing i though to myself was that I wasn’t going to use BlogEngine.Net for yet another blog. So I went on a mission to find some other open source blogging systems written in ASP.Net. One of the things I needed the codebase to support was to work seamlessly with Live Writer, so after some quick research I found that the new Orchard project support Live Writer and so does SubText. So using WebPI, I decided to give them each a quick test run.
I’m sure the Umbracians out there are asking: Why wouldn’t you just use Blog 4 Umbraco considering I’m on the core development team. Well, i guess it’s because all I really want is a very simple blogging tool and really just wanted to try out some new tools.
So I started with Orchard and was kind of excited to see what it offered since it’s newcomer to the CMS scene and has a bit of hype behind it. The admin UI was nice and is was very easy to install. Setting up a new blog was pretty straight forward as well… just click on Create Blog. It' also has a couple nice skins you can test out. So far so good (even though this is still a alpha/beta product). So I tried plugging in Live Writer to it and it turns out that Orchard really hasn’t implemented some of the much needed features of the MetaWeblog API such as categories & tags! ouch. On a side note, i tried looking at creating new content types in Orchard, thinking it would be similar to how Umbraco works. Turns out it’s not quite the same and looks as though this functionality is in its infancy in Orchard. There was really only one data type to choose from which was text and it appeared as though i couldn’t delete a content type either. We’ll see how the project looks in a few months.
Next I went on to SubText. This was also pretty easy to install (not as easy as Orchard though) but the admin UI isn’t so pretty. SubText has pretty much every feature that you could want out of a blogging system and comes with a bunch of skins as well. One thing i noticed which looked pretty cool is that you can add text filters so the SubText will automatically create links for you in your posts. So I plugged in Live Writer and everything is pretty good, except that they haven’t implemented tagging in their MetaWeblog API either.
As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve settled back on BlogEngine.Net. It has better Live Writer integration than either of these other two blogging systems, the admin UI is nice enough and it’s pretty damn easy to use. I really wish they’d implement non ASPX page extensions sometime soon though!