AvantBlog Now Supports Titles

Now that I have a new Atom API library to play with (thanks to the development of webpad), I threw together a new copy of AvantBlog in about 40 minutes.

This version supports titles (so everyone can stop asking now!) and I improved some of the messages a little as well. There is also a new feature which allows you to specify the size of the edit fields so that you can maximize the use of your device’s screen-size.

To specify a custom size, add ?w=XX&h=YY to the end of the URL in AvantGo (or your handheld’s bookmark), where XX is the width of the main post body (and title field) and YY is the height. These values should be somewhere in the range of 10 – 30 each. You will need to play around to see what’s right for your device, but as a hint; my old Palm Vx used 17 and 6, my HP iPAQ uses 20 and 11 to get the biggest space available.

Happy Posting!

PS: For those who are interested, I’m also putting together a new ‘AvantType’ that will operate exactly as AvantBlog does, but post to a TypePad blog!

API Problem Fixed

Thanks to a suggestion from Bill, I found the problem that AvantBlog has been having when attempting to authenticate with the Blogger.com servers… basically they moved their servers!.

As Robert discovered in this post, the server that responds to API requests moved from plant.blogger.com to www.blogger.com, so basically I was posting authentication requests to a server that didn’t exist. This has been rectified now and it appears to be operating properly.

Enjoy your blogging folks ๐Ÿ™‚

Problems with Blogger.com

Something appears to be wrong with Blogger‘s API server, so AvantBlog authentication is very touch-and-go. I’ve modified the program slightly so that it reports properly when it can’t connect to their server, so at least you’ll know what’s going on. Also, on suggestion from Ron, I’ve added a ‘Try Again’ link so that you can log out/log back in again and see if their servers are responding properly.

This problem appears to have been happening for the last couple days at least, so let’s just hope that Blogger sort it out soon. I wonder if their fancy new Atom API is going to be any more reliable?

AvantBlog Authentication Work-around

I’ve posted details of an authentication problem work-around for AvantBlog. Basically the problem arises because AvantGo appears to expire sessions after about 24 hours whether you want them to or not (correct me if I’m wrong here anyone…)

To get around this, you can easily configure your AvantBlog channel to pass your username and password along with each request for the channel, as per these instructions;

  1. Go to https://my.avantgo.com/home/ and log in using your *AvantGo* details
  2. Click the “My Device” tab on the left
  3. Click your “AvantBlog” channel to modify its settings
  4. In the “Location” box, add the following onto the end of the address “?username=USER&password=PASS” (no quotes), where USER is replaced with your Blogger.com username, and PASS is replaced with your Blogger.com password.
  5. Save the details (“Save Channel”) and exit AvantGo’s website
  6. Synch your handheld again – you should find that you are now automatically logged into AvantBlog, and this should continue each time you synch, whether you post or not!

I’ll also post my warning that went with the mailing list email I sent out here;

Obviously, this method means that your channel is defined using your actual Blogger.com username and password, in plain text. These details are passed ‘over-the-wire’ in plain txt, so this is not particularly secure. The chances of someone exploiting this are minimal, however if your blog contains any sensitive information or is of a secure nature of any sort, I do not recommend that you configure AvantBlog using this method.


Dano = AvantBlog-friendly

Slight update on my post about AvantBlog working now – it appears that only blogs which have been converted to the new Dano system are working, if you are still running an older version, then you will need to upgrade before you can use AvantBlog apparently. If anyone finds out anything to the contrary to this, please let me know!

AvantBlog Having Problems

Thanks to changes in the Blogger.com API, AvantBlog appears to be failing to post on all blogs now. I plan on re-writing the Blogger API code that I have available for download which will be used to upgrade AvantBlog and hopefully bring it up to speed with the recent changes.

In the meantime, sign up to the mailing list to be the first to find out when it’s available and working properly again.

Thanks to those who have emailed me to let me know that it wasn’t working ๐Ÿ™‚

More Projects To Come

The main 2 sections of the site to be completed are the projects (still have some micro-sites to put together here) and the search system. I will also need to bring across the copyright info from the old site, but that will largely be copy/paste. The search system will be the most interesting part to develop, and I have some nice plans for it as well – We’ll see what I can do as far as combining 2 XML documents and an XSLT together (server-side using PHP of course!) to create the results.

The projects really could use a little work, but I just don’t have time to work on them right now. Once the site is live, I will be working on RESTments again to get that going, and then when that is up, the projects will all receive a make-over to ensure that they work with PHP’s register_globals off and magic_quotes_gpc off as well. I will also eventually get to working on new versions of webpad (which I have some great plans for) and AvantBlog (want to make a few versions, so that there is one for each major type if possible.

So now, with no other external contracts to take up my time, it is just a matter of not falling asleep and then all I have to do is my website, should mean that it’s up within a week or 2.