Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Drupal's Blogging Engine vs. Roller

Now that we're basing the next Virtuas' website on Drupal, we have to make a decision about which blogging engine to use. Is anyone out there using Drupal for blogging? Does it support multi-author blogs? I'd much rather use Roller for our blogging engine. However, if we have two different engines powering our website - there won't be a way to search both sites. We can make look just like, but if searching one doesn't grab results from the other - it seems like it might not be worth it. Anyone know of a way to integrate Drupal's search index with Roller's?

Posted in Roller at Oct 01 2005, 12:52:11 PM MDT 5 Comments

You situation is very similar to mine with the exception that I'm using drupal/pebble rather than drupal/roller. I've not found a way to integrate the searches, and the reading I did about drupal blogging lead me to believe that it was some way behind roller etc. Maybe 4.7 will make things better. But take my opinion with a pinch of salt because I've not used drupal blogging in anger (I've used the rest of drupal in anger though!)

For me there is a bigger issue of not wanting to lose the feed subscribers (but I guess you're not thinking about moving the raibledesigns blog? - if you are I'd suggest that that would be blogger suicide).

Posted by Joe Walker on October 01, 2005 at 01:27 PM MDT #

I definitely won't be moving - this blog will always be here. We're simply going to start a group blog where all the different Virtuas Practice Leaders post to.

Posted by Matt Raible on October 01, 2005 at 02:13 PM MDT #

I believe the solution to your problem is to create a Drupal module that implements hook_search. I have created Drupal modules and they're quite intuitive. I don't have any experience with hook_search(), but I believe you could define custom SQL to access the roller database tables and output links to the matches over in the roller site.

Anyone else used hook_search() with external databases?

Posted by Aaron Longwell on October 01, 2005 at 05:34 PM MDT #

Could you say what makes you think it is behind Roller? I don't know much about Roller (I just popped over to the website, and there isn't an obvious feature list other than the User Guide), but Drupal blog content can pretty much do everything that other blog systems can. The main thing to recognize is that it is very much a group/community blogging system, but it sounds like that is what you are wanting to deploy anyway. Multi-author blogs is kind of a misnomer (i.e. what is a blog?) Every user can blog, and the /blog URL shows all blogs in the system (hence, multi-author) but each user also has their own page/feed. You can also use the story type for blogging if you want one group blog (which is multi-author, in the sense that you get a single feed, and no differentation between authors), or install the organic groups module if you want to have lots of distinct groups.

Here's a little overview of functions that the "blog" has:

  • podcasting: enable attachments for the blog node type, and the first attachment to any blog post will automatically be sent as an enclosure
  • tags: use the free-tagging backport (or wait until 4.7) and users can add categories/terms on the fly
  • blogapi: post from your desktop or other web app (e.g. Flickr) using Movable Type, Metaweblog, or Blogger APIs
  • trackback: enable blog content for this, and they can be sent/received; liable to be spammed, so deploy alongside spam module
  • wysiwyg editing, including comments: I recommend TinyMCE contrib module, plus img_assist for easy image uploading/insertion

That's probably good for basics. There are some advanced features like being able to add location data to blog posts, ratings using the voting.module, or other funky stuff like that.

Posted by Boris Mann on October 02, 2005 at 02:51 PM MDT #

Thanks for the detailed information Boris - much appreciated. It sounds like Drupal's blogging engine just might work for us.

Posted by Matt Raible on October 02, 2005 at 05:46 PM MDT #

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