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public interface IBlog { string Dump(Stream consciousness); }

"Hello, World!"

Wednesday, 24 November, 2010 @ 9:47 PM < Adam Boddington
Tags: ASP.NET MVC, Building Neno, CSS, Markdown

This is post #1 in the Building Neno series. Please click here for a description of the Building Neno project and instructions on how to access the source code for this post.

I'm building a blog engine, and I'm going to use the blog engine to run a blog about building the blog engine. It's a bit chicken-or-egg I know, but I'm keen to do it. Here's what's driving me...

  1. It will be an example of NHibernate in action. I've wanted to do an NHibernate example for years but have never gotten around to it.

  2. I want to extract the beginnings of a framework from this application as I go. Framework, reuse library, whatever you want to call it, I've done this with my web applications at work and find it very useful in getting new projects up and running.

  3. Building this will be a great opportunity to learn since I plan to throw in some new technology that I've not used before. In addition, this will be my first public facing website -- so I'll have to start thinking about the million little things that keep other web developers up at night.

  4. The end result will be a decent resume reference. More so for me since all of my web applications are hidden away behind corporate firewalls. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A link to a web application with source should be worth a bit more.

  5. Lastly, but not least, I'm building a blog engine because Rob Conery told me to. And he told you to as well. Rob thinks every developer should build their own blog engine, like a jedi builds their own lightsabre. That resonates with me -- nothing screams "developer" more than a guy building his own interface to the big wide world.

Note, there's nothing on the list about building the next Movable Type. This will be an example application and a highly customised tool to suit my needs, not a feature complete blog engine. Others are welcome to implement the software, but I intend it mostly as a reference. The framework, on the other hand, I hope to make that easily reusable, at least for me.

The Stack

The technology stack of the blog engine will evolve, but here's what I'm using right now, in no particular order.

  • C#, XML, HTML and CSS.
  • ASP.NET MVC 2. I plan to switch to MVC 3 when it's released.
  • MarkdownSharp, Jeff Atwood's adaptation of the Markdown port, Markdown.NET, by Milan Negovan. I like the idea of being able to use any text editor, anywhere, to write posts with. Markdown lets me do that.
  • Blueprint, a godsend for anyone who's struggled with layouts.
  • Mercurial, specifically TortoiseHg and Bitbucket. You can download the source for this project from Check out the tags in the repository to find the right version of the code. The plan is to tag the code as of each post with the post's publish date and slug. For example, the code as of this post is tagged 2010/11/24/hello-world.

There's no domain model or database yet. NHibernate won't be added until there is. I'll add jQuery once I start using JavaScript. Right now I'm using a simple XML data source with Linq to XML to get text on screen. Nothing fancy, keeping it simple.

Stay tuned to see how it all evolves.

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