Friday, October 1, 2004

Adventures with Roller Weblogger


By Jeff Chilton

"Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory." -- George S. Patton (American General, 1885-1945)

I enjoy a challenge just as much as the next guy, but I have to admit, I'm not all that fond of those marathon endeavors that only serve to remind myself of just how ignorant I really am. There was a time in my life when I was young enough to know everything, but those days are just a distant memory now. They seem ever so much more remote, though, when I get entrenched in these projects that I've deluded myself into believing are just a few quick clicks away from success.

I've always been fascinated with the whole blogging phenomenon, and after the relative ease with which I was able to implement JSPWiki on WebSphere, see, I thought the next logical step would be to do the same thing with a blogging tool. As with the Wiki products, there are a number of OpenSource blogging packages available, and quite a few of them are Java-based.

From the various options available, I selected the Roller Weblogger, visit, primarily because I just happen to like it better than all of the others that I have seen. Recently, Sun launched a corporate blog initiative, using Roller as their blogging environment, and I figured that if it was good enough for them, then it was surely good enough for me.

The Easy Part

One of the things that compelled me to go ahead and undertake this adventure was the release of a new demo version of Roller, visit The package came bundled with Tomcat, an embedded HyperSonic Database, and a copy of JSPWiki, with which I was already intimately familiar.

I downloaded it, followed the instructions, and literally within a few minutes was up and running Roller on Tomcat with the sample data. Kudos to Roller's Dave Johnson, who put a nice little package together with that one.

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, however, I can now see that my instantaneous success with the demo was just another evil ploy to lull me into believing that I possessed the requisite skill to quickly get this software up and running on my WebSphere environment.