What is dBlog (formerly Engrave)? It is a decentralized blogging platform focused on building custom blogs with custom domains without a hustle. It was first introduced in 2018, so it has been around for more than 5 years now!
To be honest, I haven't paid too much attention to the project lately. I was focused on other things that could impact the Hive ecosystem, like Ledger hardware wallets. However, I never abandoned it and always addressed issues as fast as possible.
- 1206 unique users
- 1501 blogs created
- 84756 posts created or imported
- 116 custom top-level domains configured
- 67 blogs with collaborators (you can manage the blog with a friend!)
During the last year, I fixed a couple of bugs and supported some creators with other random issues.
Fixed long-standing SSL certificate bug
In order to provide a secure connection for custom domains, there's an SSL management module. Its job is to create an SSL certificate when the domain is added and renew it automatically when necessary.
Unfortunately, there was a long-lasting, small but super annoying bug in it. It took me a couple of years to realize what the issue was. It only affected users who wanted to add a domain with the www prefix. In such a case, the system generated the wrong nginx configuration, which prevented the certificate issuer from validation. The solution was simple: remove the wrong configuration in case of any error during the SSL generation and generate a proper one.
I'm pretty sure the issue won't appear anymore!
Fixed a small bug with nginx configuration reloads
Every time the certificate gets regenerated, it needs to be reloaded by nginx to be served properly. In some cases, it couldn't load the new configuration, resulting in a "Certificate error" message. This is also fixed already.
By the way, I also updated nginx templates to take advantage of the new nginx version configuration, removing obsolete and deprecated settings.
Fixed the ability to buy a domain with HIVE or HBD
Some time ago, the domain registrar we are using changed its API and introduced some limits. I had to update the code and reconfigure the API client to comply with the new reality.
It's possible to buy and automatically configure custom domains with your HIVE and HBD assets. It's super simple and convenient!
I believe rewriting the platform to use HAF (Hive Application Framework) may solve a lot of smaller issues like syncing the content and rewards. I could get rid of the blockchain listener and index all the articles out of the box. That would make it even easier to use and create decentralized blogs!
Domain renewal with HIVE/HBD
It's already possible to buy custom domains with HIVE or HBD, but it's not possible to automatically renew it. I might add the support for recurrent transfers to make it simple and effective.
I'm super excited about this one. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the platform interesting not only for the authors but for developers as well. It already supports multiple themes with the ability to dynamically change it whenever you want. What if you could spend earned assets to buy unique themes perfectly aligned with your blog? What if you could create awesome templates/themes and earn passive income from bloggers who like your design?
I will write more about the idea in the future.
Despite not having many updates and new features, the project is definitely not abandoned. I still actively monitor it and maintain it whenever necessary.
There's one more thing that I'm particularly proud of. In the past, I spent a lot of time creating robust CI/CD, which should allow me to easily update the platform. Some microservices haven't been updated in 3 years. After fixing the issues mentioned in this article, I just pushed the code change, waited a bit, and it automatically updated the platform. Just like that. I was super excited to see that everything worked as expected after three years!
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