May 22, 2008
Every few months I like to release a new open-source project or at least a new major revision of an existing project. Today I would like to introduce Minima 3.0. This is a completely new Minima Blog Engine that is built on WCF, that is factored into various controls and that introduces a completely new model for ASP.NET development.
As a Training Tool
Normally I leave this for last, but this time I would like to immediately start off by mention how Minima 3.0 may act as a training tool. This will give you a good idea to Minima 3.0's architecture. Here was the common "As a Training Tool" description for Minima 2.0 (a.k.a. Minima .NET 3.5):
Minima 2.0 could be used as a training tool for ASP.NET, CSS theming, proper use of global.asax, integrating with Windows Live Writer, framework design guidelines, HttpModules, HttpHandlers, HttpHandlerFactories, LINQ, type organization, proper-SQL Server table design and naming scheme, XML serialization, and XML-RPC.NET usage.
Here's the new "As a Training Tool" description for Minima 3.0:
As you can see, it's an entirely new beast. As you should also be able to guess, I'm not going to use Minima for simply entry level .NET training anymore. With this new feature set, it's going to be my primary tool for intermediate and expert-level .NET training. In the future, I'll post various blog entries giving lessons on various parts of Minima.
Since it's no where near the purpose of Minima, in no version have I ever claimed to have an extraordinary feature set. In fact, the actual end-user feature set of Minima 3.0 is fundamentally the same as Minima 2.0 except where features are naturally added because of the new architecture. For example, it's now naturally a multi-blog environment with each blog allowed to have it's own blog discovery data, Google sitemap, and other things.
There are really three major "pillars" to the architecture of Minima 3.0: WCF, ASP.NET, and my Themelia Foundation (pronounced TH[as in "Thistle"]-MEH-LEE-UH; Koine Greek for "foundations"). It will take more than one blog entry to cover every aspect of Minima's architecture (see my lessons on Themelia), but for now I'll give a very brief overview. I will explain the ASP.NET and Themelia pillars together.
The backend of Minima is WCF and is split up into various services to factor out some of the operations that occur within Minima. Of course, not every single possible operation is included as that would violate the "specificness" of SOA, but the core operations are intact.
The entire Minima security structure is now in WCF using a custom declarative operation-level security implementation. To set security in Minima, all you have to do on the service side is apply the MinimaBlogSecurityBehavior attribute to an operation and you're all set. Here's an example:
[MinimaBlogSecurityBehavior(PermissionRequired = BlogPermission.Retrieve)]