Blogbot is now Open Source


I announced it on the main site last week.

I am now giving away the code and executables for free RSS readers. One reader is a COM add-in for Microsoft Outlook, and the other is a full C++ COM add-in for Internet Explorer. Right now, only the Outlook add-in’s code is up on sourceforge, but the IE add-in should be up soon.

The big reason for the license change is simply: time. I’ve been so much more involved with my day job, that I couldn’t give these projects any serious time. So I’m releaseing them to the community for free.

Here are a few notes on the outlook add-in:

Blogbot for Outlook was written in Python with a little C++ thrown in there. I really like the architecture I had developed for the app. It ended up pretty damn clean. Python worked great when it came to getting the prototype going. However, the lack of syntax checking for simple mistakes gets frustrating when the project gets larger. I blame the tools (or lack thereof) more than the language for this issue. The other problem was just the problem of shipping a single EXE for the app. This is just too difficult, and Python still has issues with DLLs colliding. The other issue was the immaturity of the documentation for the Win32 code and the design of the Python COM libs. I thought I had a problem with the Global Interpreter Lock, but that turned out not to be true. Overall, it was good, but I probably wouldn’t use Python as the environment… rather I would consider it an embedded language.

One of the big benefits of using Python was the modularity. I could easily test one single dialog easily without having to start Outlook and going through the motions. This is a big time saver for testing and caught many bugs early.

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