Coming features

If you're exceptionally alert, you might have noticed that LnBlog has acquired a new feature: tags. Yes, you can now categorize your posts by topic. I've even added a sidebar plugin to allow readers to pull up all posts with a given tag. You can also view them as a single page, kind of like a sub-blog.

For anyone not familiar with the term "tag," tags are one of the hot things in "social software." They're basically just free-form categories. Rather than have some pre-defined list or hierarchy of categories, you just pick your category on the fly. If it's never been used before and is never used again, that's not a problem. If several categories seem appropriate, that's no problem either - just tag your item with all of them. It's a great way to communicate associations that might not fit any strict organizational model, but which could still be interesting to others.

However, that's not the reason I chose to add tags to LnBlog. The reason is that it was simply easy to implement. I figured it would be nice to have some sort of categorization system, but I didn't feel like writing an interface to add new categories. So I decided to just implement tags instead and do everything on the fly.

Working with tags in LnBlog is quite simple. When you create or edit an entry, there will be a text box to enter tags. You can enter anything you like in this box. If you want to tag the entry with multiple terms, just separate them with a comma. (Note: This can be changed with the TAG_SEPARATOR configuration constant.) So, for example, putting in "Linux,KDE,FreeDesktop.org" would tag an entry as being related to Linux, to KDE, and to FreeDesktop.org. When you search for any one of those tags, that post will show up. In addition, the blog itself will keep track of any tags you use and expose that list of tags for use by plugins. That's how the sidebar topics plugin works.

I'll probably have the next version with this feature up some time before Christmas. But first, I want to add another feature: a plugin loading configuration page. Basically, this will allow you to configure which plugins are loaded and set certain plugins to load first without having to mess around with moving or renaming the files. Currently, the interface for it isn't too pretty, but it's better than nothing. I'll polish it up in a future release.

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