FCKeditor strangeness under mono 1.1.3

On my demo site at monoforge, the FCKeditor displays correctly in Mozilla and Firefox but in IE it acts like a downscale browser was detected and renders as a plain textbox.  It behaves correctly on my Fedora Core 2 test machine running mono 1.0 in all browsers so I suspect the problem is in the mono 1.1.3 release. As I mentioned previously I also had worse problems on mono 1.1.3 with FreeTextBox. The mono team said FreeTextBox works for them but I suspect they are doing daily builds and have all the patches since 1.1.3 whereas monoForge has just the official 1.1.3 release. I'm starting to think that if we are going to use the developer branch on monoForge we should have frequent builds from SVN so that we don't report bugs that are fixed, otherwise we should probably stick with the stable releases.

FCKeditor is now the editor for mojoPortal

I made the switch tonight to FCKeditor becuase it seems plenty good to me and its totally open source unlike FreeTextBox.  Besides I've been having errors on monoForge with the FreeTextBox as of mono 1.1.3 but it could be a configuration issue I suppose since the mono guys say it works for them. Weird thing is the same code has been running fine for a long time on previous versions of mono. Anyway this is my first post with the new editor. FCKeditor is mostly javascript with a very small .NET wrapper whereas the FreeTextBox dll is 136kb which is almost as big as the mojoPortal.Web.dll for my whole site which is at 200kb currently. Not that size matters that much but interesting differences.

Next up on the development front is a Contact Form module so people can send me e-mail without knowing my address. Thats the last piece I need before I can migrate my JoeAudette.com site to mojoPortal from Rainbow.

After that I've got an idea for a more safe version of the File Manager. I'm not getting rid of the current one by any means but its a true file manager and it is very risky to expose the file system so directly, it should only be available to server administrators and developers.  The one I'm developing for normal users will provide a very similar user experience but the folders and file names will be database driven and the actual files will be managed on disk by the system in a safe way with the ability to prevent un-authorised download of files posted by users.  I will store all the files on disk in one folder, but the files will not be stored with their original names. They will be named Guid.ToString() + ".config" and the file name will be stored in the db along with the original file name which will be displayed to the user. This will prevent the files from being downloaded directly via http requests without any special server configuration because the server is already configured not to serve .config files. There will be virtual folders with a FolderID, ParentID, Name structure and the files can be assigned a FolderID. This should be enough to present the user with a normal file system like experiance. This will be a replacement for the Documents module.

I'm shooting for another release this sunday evening with the contact form and new editor.

FCK Editor

I'm thinking of switching from FreeTextBox to FCKEditor for the Html WYSIWYG used in this project.  FreeTextBox is great but its not as free as I'd like it to be for this project.  FCKEditor is licensed under the GNU Lesser Public License and most importantly includes the source code.  It also looks plenty feature rich, I let you know how it goes with a trial.

New Release Now Available 12/12/2004

As promised a new release is now available on the download page including the new Image Gallery and File Manager features.  The File Manager feature allows you to manage the file system subject to the permissions that the .NET worker process has. For my installation on monoForge, I had the staff make my Data folder and all its children writable, you may wish to do the same if you want to be able to upload files and also images for the Image Gallery and you are hosting a site there.

I tested the installation process much more carefully for this release, but as always if you run into problems please post a message in the forums.

I had to comment out the use of the HttpUpload module (SlickUpload) because I'm so far unable to get it to work under mono. This feature allows large uploads and has a progress bar. You can use it if your site is installed on a windows machine by setting the web.config entry UseUploadModule to true and uncommenting the HttpModule entry.  I think the problem is in mono, not in the module code but I'm having a hard time figuring out just what to report for a bug since I haven't yet pinned down why it doesn't work.  I posted the error and the code in the Bugs Forum if you want to try and help.

File Manager almost ready!

I'm almost finished with a new File Manager module based on the free open source SeekDotNet File Manager  Its pretty sweet and was easy to integrate.

I'm also using a free and open source HttpModule for file uploads written by Chris Hynes. Its called SlickUpload and it can handle very large files and supports a progress bar easily.  It also integrated easily with just a few lines of code and a little javascript.  I've been looking for something like this for a long time and am really glad to have found it. I've used the ABCUpload control and its pretty nice too but I needed a free one for this project since this project is free and open source.

For those of you who had troubles with the last release I promise to test the installation process more carefully, there was some bad data in the initial data creation scripts. I don't have an upgrade procedure in place yet but thats one of the reasons I'm still calling the releases alpha. I think you can upgrade though by replacing all the files and then carefully comparing the table and data scripts to your database and modify your db where needed. At some point I will have an automatic upgrade process but thats my best advice for now. I'm shooting for a new release by Sunday evening hopefully with both the new Image Gallery and File Manager modules.

I'm also happy to report that the performance improvements in mono for ASP.NET are very evident since they upgraded the servers at monoForge to the newer mono 1.1 branch.

Exciting times at mojoPortal!