"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Monday, December 3, 2007

Eye Twitches & Creativity

My eye's been twitching consistently for the past week. What do you think the odds are that it has something to do with website administrative duties? Nah, didn't think so.

There have been updates, however, which is why there's a new post in less than a week. The forums have been shut down, at least till Monday evening for maintenance and upgrading purposes. Come the new week, and we'll have a new forum. Well, to be honest, we already have one but I've had to convert it from phpBB to SMF which for some reason, wasn't as easy as I had thought it would be. However, it has been done and my Sunday has been utilized to great effect. Excellent. All members, posts, topics and threads have made the shift.

We'll also have greater control over the registration process, with these really easy to add modifications. Compared to phpBB, SMF seems like heaven. Literally. Whereas previously the reason for membership and signature fields were one, they have both been miraculously separated with the former being mandatory and coded in from the backend to that effect. If you don't fill it in appropriately, it will result in actual revocation...how frackin' amazing is that?! What I've wanted to implement for a year has been incorporated in a day. Sad, I realize but also incredibly fulfilling.

There's also a nifty newsletters option which takes care of my previous concerns and I have the option to send them in HTML which can include our official header/logo (when we have one) on top. Seriously. I was going to pay for this. I am still a CS person, it seems, or at least with a mildly mechanical bent of mind to say the very least (allow me my butter this one time, please).

There's also a calendar for events, which again, takes up quite a bit of what I wanted incorporated. Eventually, I'll find a way to bridge our forums with the site everyone else sees and has access to.

Also, you can change your display name finally (this was something I had incorporated in my own vision, before switching over to the open source world. Back when I thought coding was fun!) to something other than your username, which is most especially useful if you want your privacy.

You'll also get 'Happy Birthday' messages from the forum provided you want to, and have entered your birthdate.

So there are a ton of new things in this forum board that weren't there earlier, and although I've spent most of the latter half of the day ensuring everything remains as close to possible as it was before, it's going to take time for the users to get used to this new format.

But hopefully not too long. I shall admit to being supremely excited; after a much needed length of time, finally something to talk about.

The new forums will be launched Monday evening, and if you're a member you will be notified accordingly.

I'm hoping for a new design with the New Year, and we'll be well on our way. With changes in the editorial policy planned as well, things are gearing up to a (hopefully) more productive quarter.

4 comments:

Khaver said...

Awesome stuff, looking forward to the new design :)

mp213 said...

The new forums are up, and I've tried, for the sake of simplicity, to retain the same color scheme of our old forums. Don't want people freaking out or anything!

Depending on what the designers show me and how things eventually turn out, the forums' look will change too.

Glad to hear someone apart from the usual suspects are looking forward to the design. :)

Khaver said...

The design is pretty cool, mp. Though the orange is a wee bit... harsh. Just a bit. But a great re-design XD

mp213 said...

Actually, the forum's redesign wasn't the 'redesign' I was talking about. :) I was referring to our main page. Once that layout, structure and color scheme changes, the forums will follow suit. The reason why I've kept the orange and black is because I've carried it over from our old forums (we've switched from phpBB's rigidity to SMF's fluidity), and it goes with what we currently have on the main website page. When that design changes, you can say goodbye to the forums' design as well. :) Hope that clears things up for you.