Saturday, November 13, 2010

APEXBlogs v2 - Plugins section

I'll have to push back the release of APEXBlogs version 2 for some time. Most of the development is completed, but I'm still working on the new UI of the site. Before going live I also want to do some blog posts about what will be in this release, so if some of you have comments I can still consider these and possibly make changes. There are at least five other blog posts waiting, before the go-live...

As I wrote before, it's not just an update of the current APEXBlogs, instead it's a complete new release written from the ground up with many new sections/features.

One of the new sections in APEXBlogs v2 is the APEX 4 Plugins section. Aggregating blogs and tweets is fine, but in the APEX 4 world, plugins became very important, so I definitely wanted to keep up with what people wrote. So this new section of APEXBlogs is exactly doing that. It searches for the APEX 4 Plugins out there and aggregates them and provides you with an easy search (Interactive Report).

At this stage it aggregates the Oracle Plugins page and the Community Plugins rss feed. I decided to keep it like that for now and am not including other personal links to APEX plugins, but might consider to do that in the future if I see they don't get posted in the ones I aggregate now.

Technically it was interesting to get the Oracle Plugins as they don't provide an RSS feed of their plugins, so I parse the complete html page (with utl_html and regular expressions). I hope Oracle (Patrick) doesn't start to change the look and feel and the way they organized the page too many times ;-)

As you might see in the screenshot, I added a Rating column... I thought to review the plugins I aggregate and add my personal rating against them and some comments why. Obviously it will be a personal rating and might be subjective. On the community plugins page ( people can rate the plugins too, but the rating is not part of the RSS feed so I can't show that.


Stew said...


I really like your idea to include feeds from the Plugins areas.

At first, I was surprised you didn't use Feedburner to get the Oracle feed instead of parsing the page directly. Then I realized you wanted to list the Plug-ins, not simply note that the page had changed.

Thanks for giving us a chance to comment on features before you roll them out.

It's looking great so far!

Tjedlin said...

This is an excellent idea! I like the ability to search multiple sources.

labatterie said...

I realized you wanted to list the Plug-ins, not simply note that the page had changed.