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Interview with Coldstone of GreyMatter

November 10th, 2007

[GreyMatter]

Coldstone, the current lead developer of GreyMatter, has been kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions by BlogsWeek.com. Here’s the full interview.

BW: Coldstone, thank you very much for your time. Would you please tell us a little about yourself, and your involvement with the GreyMatter project?

Coldstone: I began using GreyMatter around August of 2006. I had started to dig into the code and started going to greymatterforums.com, for answers and to help other people with some of the difficulties I ran into when using GM. I had been going to the forums for less than a month when the maintainer at the time had some issues and closed the forums for good.

I spent a few weeks seeing if they would come back and searching Google to see if anyone else had started a new home for GreyMatter. After talking to a few of the previous developers, as well as Noah Grey, I decided to start up a new forum for GreyMatter.

BW: GreyMatter is an established blog platform with a loyal audience. What are in your view the strong points of this platform, that could motivate new users to try it?

Coldstone: What attracted me initially was that GreyMatter didn’t require a database. I still feel this is one of its strongest selling points. I think databases are great and one of my goals was to make GreyMatter flexible enough to use either system (flat file or database). My own motivation is that I didn’t want to pay more to my webhost for a database, so I found GreyMatter to be a perfect fit.

After working on it, I feel that its template system is really the strongest point. It’s very flexible and it really gives the user a great deal of control over how their blog will appear. As development continues, I think the anti-spam features are becoming more useful to users.

BW: GreyMatter development has been very active again in the last twelve months. Could you tell us something about the recent improvements? And what can we expect from GreyMatter in the near future?

Coldstone: My driving goal in the last 12 months has been primarily to clean up the existing code. I do not want to dismiss the fine efforts of previous developers of Greymatter. There was simply a lot of copy and pasted code, that was leading to bugs in GreyMatter. Sometimes even something as simple as a misspelled word would cause a template rendering issue.

I think that by cleaning up the code, it will make it easier for future developers to extend GreyMatter. There have been several efforts in the past to completely redo GreyMatter and I think that’s a very ambitious goal. At the end of the day, GreyMatter works for users. By doing incremental changes over two years, I think we will have a very good program.

Additionally, the GreyMatter development team has also been looking at security and spam control enhancements, such as setting a limit to the amount of links that can be posted in a comment. New features in the works are an integrated RSS feature, tags, and a draft feature, that will give users more flexibility when composing entries.

BW: Is there anything else you wish to add for BW readers?

Coldstone: I feel lucky to have found GreyMatter as I enjoy using it, but I am very grateful to the community that continues to use and support GreyMatter. I would like to thank Pete Finnigan and Carlos Phelps, as they are the other part of the GreyMatter team. They have provided expertise that I lack on numerous occasions, as well as many other contributions.

I have tried to setup GreyMatter so that when I am no longer as active on the project, it will be easy for the next developer to step in and take the reins. As each developer steps down, it is always the community that steps up to keep GreyMatter going and I am grateful for the chance to be a part of that community.

BW: Coldstone, thank you again for the interview and all the best with GreyMatter and all your projects!

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