LJ Pal – Failed Central App

As I get more comfortable with my new development server, I’ll re-upload all of my files. Until there, here’s a new one.

I attempted, twice, to create a front-end client for the online blogging service LiveJournal. The first was a component in MX, but failed because of cross-domain security issues. Central at least asks for permission, but the XML-RPC was so convoluted, I got really frustrated and gave up on this project.

Anyway, one man’s trash is anothers treasure.

LJ Pal – Failed Live Journal Client in Central

20 Replies to “LJ Pal – Failed Central App”

  1. That’s too bad man – Is it a LiveJournal service issue, or is it more related to Central issues? I’m guessing that if it’s problems with cross-domain security, you might have more hope if the next version of Central is based on FP7.

  2. I’ve been dreaming of a Central app that replaces Zempt (http://www.zempt.com/) for some considerable time now…. would be something nearly every blogger in Christendom could utilise.

    Would be a good idea to work against the MoveableType/Blogger API to get the widest possible audience for the tool. I’d be happy to help out with server-side development, scoping and testing if you ever want to try again :)

  3. Brian Leroux was experimenting with a Flash-powered Metaweblog API client for JournURL at one point. He ended up having trouble with the XML-RPC library he was using, and never finished it. You might ask him if he’s got any insight that might help.

    Anyone wanting to pursue similar experiments should just let me know. We’ll set you up with an account, and I’ll point you at one of JournURL’s Metaweblog endpoints for testing.

  4. Sean, there isn’t anything bad about it. That file is one of 50 million projects I try and either fail, or drop simply because they were learning tools. Sometimes, however, I feel someone else would like to see the code, for whatever reason, so figured I’d recycle the files.

    The security is that Flash 6 cannot load data from another domain. So if I loaded my component up to my website, it wouldn’t work because I’d either have to use a server-side script to read my journal and pass that to Flash, or livejournal.com would have to upload a shim.swf to their servers.

    Central, even currently, is fine because it provides the user with a security dialogue.

  5. …geez, well, it’s great to see there is a desire for these clients as well as the voluntary help being given; cool, thanks guys, next go around of contract lull, I just might do that!

  6. hrm… could you trick LJ into using the shim swf by renaming it .GIF or .JPG and setting it as one of the user’s avatars? Central won’t care about the extension, and LJ may not care – and probably don’t do binary-level filetype checks on avatars…

    just a thought… :-)


  7. just looked and the avatars are stored at userpic.livejournal.com… so, that should be okay with the current Central engine, but might be a problem once Central goes to F7-based (if MM doesn’t “fix” the cross-domain stuff for Central by then). :-)


    ps – the “remember personal info” section of your comments doesn’t seem to be working for me. FireFox w/ cookies turned on…

  8. Grr… it’d be all too easy to use some server-side stuff, but that defeats the whole purpose.

    At any rate, sorry for the remember personal info; this is based on the pure template of MoveableType.org’s moveable type. Not sure why as I never touch any code beyond formatting.

  9. Well, the funny thing about Central now is if you have Flash 7 installed, you’ll get it’s popup instead of Central’s for the cross-domain (I think), so either, or 7 doesn’t really matter; it’s just up to the user to accept.

  10. oh well… i thought it would be nice to have a Central app that my wife could use for her LJ posting. then perhaps there’d be some meaning behind my blue Central tshirt she wears all the time. ;-)

  11. I haven’t given up, I just got frikin’ fed up with parsing XML. As a Flasher, that’s pretty much my life, so I needed a break. There are a plethora of XML to AS classes out there that I have no excuse not to use, so the third time around, I’ll probably use a few. Keep da faith!

  12. No, wouldn’t do any good. That only allows the SWF that holds to that code to share it’s internal information with another SWF that loads it from another domain.

    Since Central in this case is loading data from https://www.jessewarden.com, all that code would do is allow another SWF to load the SWF from https://www.jessewarden.com and read it’s information.

    Again, it doesn’t matter; both Flash 6 and 7 work with security dialogue’s in Central, and therefore provide the user with the ability to allow the data access to occur, thus allowing the app to work.

    The ideal situtation is to put a shim.swf with allowDomain command of all + a policy.xml file with “*” all command for each user’s sub-domain (as early adopters had theirname.livejournal.com).

    The security dialogues, though, will work for now as you can easily ask the user to say “Allow”.

  13. awesome. i’ve been wanting to make a central LJ client as a side project too. i can’t wait to take a look at what you’ve done and see if there’s any way i can help make it work.

  14. Your the insanely talented woman who made BlogReader, right? I see no reason why you couldn’t knock it out of the park, then.

    The app was based off an old way of working; I’ve since changed methodologies based of Sean Voisen’s class as controller approach.

    At any rate, the key to that guy, really, is the XMLRPC Layer class… it deals with all of useless XML they send back. I should of used the plethora of XML wrappers out there… but I dind’t realize getting so intimate with their XML would take so long. If that was turned into a simple class, I probably would’ve made more progress.

    Thanks for your interest!

  15. actually, greg burch (who commented above) did most of the heavy lifting for blogreader. i honestly feel like i helped out and just changed the ui around a bit while he did the more time consuming parts.

    i’m really hoping we can make this work, cause i’d love a central lj client (did you notice that the blogreader does on ok job on lj feeds? i admit that the lj feeds helped us find tons of interesting bugs in blogreader… we tried!)

Comments are closed.