Sueetie Friends and Favorites in the works

Sueetie is a member-centric collection of integrated, yet loosely-coupled social networking applications which together form an online community.  Building that rich member community experience is where I’m currently pouring on the Sueetie development love.  We started down that road with Avatars, which we’ll be using for (drum roll…) Friends and Favorites!

More accurately, Sueetie will use a Followers and Favorites model, closer to the Twitter approach than to Facebook. There will be no formal request for friendship status.  You can follow someone and if they follow you, you’re friends.  Favorites will include

  • blog posts
  • blog comments
  • forum threads
  • forum posts
  • wiki pages
  • media objects

Support to follow other community members will be enabled for

  • blog post authors
  • blog commenters
  • forum post authors
  • wiki page authors
  • media object contributors

That’s the plan, anyway.  I might determine along the way that resources are better spent on beefing-up user profile to display and manage Friends and Favorites before enabling it globally.  The data gathering phase comes first, of course, which I’ll be completing for BlogEngine.NET and YetAnotherForum.NET for sure.  We’ll see after that.

I’m using JQuery, Ajax and WCF for the job.  Amazing how economical that collection of technologies has become.  There’s still some non-Intellisense, coding-blind javascript work involved, but there are so few lines of code that it’s not much of a hardship.  I’ll blog on the technical details later.

Building Friends and Favorites is app-by-app, so I thought I’d start with MY favorite app, BlogEngine.NET.  This is how it looks on my development server.  The buttons call a WCF Service with an Ajax ScriptManager wrapper and display the result with JQuery.

 

 

I decided rather than hide the buttons for anonymous users that the WCF service result for non-registered users display, "Please login or become a member to follow Administrator Guy."  What’s so cool about Sueetie Following and Favorites (from an old ASP.NET coder’s perspective) is that apart from the WCF Service, it’s all client side, with the "You are now following…" area displaying magically on the page without a page refresh. 

We’ve seen how Following and Favorite tagging is enabled for each blog post. Below is how it supports comments.  I wanted to retain the buttons for consistency, but decided to integrate the links better with the comment list flow as you see circled.

Here the same rule applies for anonymous users ("Please login…"), and in addition, attempts to follow non-registered commenters return a "Sorry, commenter is not a member…" message.

More to come on Sueetie Friends and Favorites, but this is a lot of fun and I wanted to give you a first look of what’s in the works!

Article written by

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.