Automated Blog Author Creation in Gummy Bear vNext

I’m honored to get such great feedback from users on how to improve Sueetie.  Some of the issues they share with me are so obvious that I’m embarrassed to have not thought of them myself.  Thanks to those users and frequent Gummy Bear updates, I can perhaps make amends.

One of obvious missing links in Gummy Bear’s evolution is an easy way to create blog authors.  Out of the box, the “admin” user is a Blog Administrator, “testguy” is a Blog Editor.  Both can author blog posts, but that’s not good enough. One of the first things Gummy Bear site owners want to do is create blog posts with a new user account. I completely did not consider that. Creating a blog administrator manually isn’t difficult, and I documented the process in detail on the Sueetie Wiki.  In the next Gummy Bear release that manual process is no more, to be replaced by the one-click administrative feature shown below.

Sueetie is my exploratory, R&D, after-hours fun project, so I can build features free of the billable hour and its delivery expectations.  For example, I wanted to use a jQuery autocomplete UI for selecting users for Blog Administrator assignment. Just because. After some jQuery research I decided to go with James Smith’s excellent Tokenizing Autocomplete Plugin. Here is the new form using James’s autocomplete plugin. It’s very cool and I’ll try to blog about the technical behind-the-scenes pieces of using the plugin with ASPNET soon.

Since we’re going client-side I used the Ajax ScriptManager to handle sending the selected users to a WCF service.  That looks like so.

function Submit_Click() {
    var names = $(“#txtUsernames”).val();
    if (names != ”) {
        var ws = new SueetieService();
        SueetieService.CreateBlogAdmin(names, displayResults);
    }
}

function displayResults(result) {
    $(“#ResultMessage”).text(result);
}

We’re sending a simple string containing the userids (ex: 254,293) to the service and parsing it there. The WCF service returns a message containing the display names of the new blog administrator users.

We gave Testguy Macintosh the ability to post to the site blog, so he now sees the Blog Admin link and can access the blog administrative pages.

And when IS the next Gummy Bear drop, you ask?  I spoke to Santa about it and he assured me that he’s going to give us a new Gummy Bear for Christmas, and Santa doesn’t tell lies.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.