The state of dBlog

in HiveDevs3 months ago

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!

https://dblog.org

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.

Current State

  • 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!)

Maintenance

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!

Plans

HAF

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.

Themes marketplace

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.

Final Note

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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Good news! I hope for 'Themes'.
I've been betting on dblog for a few years now and I don't regret it at all, but I still hope it will be even better. I'm hoping to implement a drop-down and freely sorted list of post categories.

Dobra wiadomość! Mam nadzieję na nowe, rozbudowane szablony.
Od paru lat postawiłem na dblog i absolutnie nie żałuję, ale wciąż mam nadzieję, że będzie jeszcze lepiej. Mam nadzieję na wdrożenie rozwijalnej i dowolnie sortowanej listy kategorii wpisów.

Powodzenia!

I'm glad to hear that, especially given that wordpress plugin reached its EOL.

Keep up the good work! :-)

Lmao "that wordpress plugin", you can call steempress/exxp by it's name you know

exxp ok, but I don't use S-names :-P

Hahaha fair enough

That WordPress plugin was frustrating! I tried to download and connect my Hive (Steemit) but it was a daunting task! Lol

I like dblog better, it's easier to use. 😀

Very good news. I've even been thinking about dblog lately. Cool that the project will get a second life.

Congratulations on getting into the top 20

Never knew about Domain name service on Hive, but now I do.
Why can't I use keychain as a login method on dBlog?

It's the consequence of the initial design decision. That could be easily change if I finally move it to HAF :)

Oh, that's fine, hope in future you'll add that feature too. Thanks

Keychain log option isn't currently available on dblog. I utilize hivesigner as a convenient and secure alternative for logging in. 😉

I have no issue using HiveSigner, it just takes me away from the page while approval is required.

| "Despite not having many updates and new features, the project is definitely not abandoned. I still actively monitor it and maintain it whenever necessary."

Phew! That's a relief!

While it may have room for improvement like other dapps on Hive, I'm happy with it's features. It gives a more polish and professional appearance to my blog page. Thank you for bringing this project to Hive!

Nice work ! Good luck on the HAF integration, make sure to document your onboarding experience, it's likely to be super relevant for blocktrades' team on the state of docs

Hello engrave!

It's nice to let you know that your article won 🥇 place.
Your post is among the best articles voted 7 days ago by the @hive-lu | King Lucoin Curator by hallmann

You and your curator receive 0.6881 Lu (Lucoin) investment token and a 14.64% share of the reward from Daily Report 132. Additionally, you can also receive a unique LUGOLD token for taking 1st place. All you need to do is reblog this report of the day with your winnings.

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I have one tiny problem with using @engrave. I am using @engrave for the domain christyromano.com. By default for my @iamnotchristy account I have payment declined for posts. Christyromano.com is a noncommercial unofficial fan site. On hive.blog, peakd.com, ecency.com, et al. the crossed out $0.00 for declined rewards is obvious but after importing my posts through the @engrave dashboard the posts on christyromano.com don't have the crossed out value to indicate that payouts for posts are declined. On christyromano.com the posts look like they are receiving rewards when they get enough upvotes when they are not receiving rewards. for example, on https://christyromano.com/unofficial-christy-carlson-romano-fan-site-running-on-hive-blockchain it shows a $0.02 reward for the post but on https://hive.blog/hive-121744/@iamnotchristy/unofficial-christy-carlson-romano-fan-site-running-on-hive-blockchain the post clearly had rewards payment declined.

Could @engrave have it so that declined payout posts when imported are clearly displayed as declined payout posts? Or when payout for a post is declined no value at all is displayed on the custom domain using @engrave.app

Overall @engrave is a great application. The declined payout for posts not being reflected on my site though is a problem since the site is intended to be noncommercial. Since this is for an unofficial fan site it is important that it is clear that it is noncommercial.

Thanks.