Updating the website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 23, 2016 - 7:06pm
The site runs on a very old version of Drupal and is something that Bill custom built as his first project learning Drupal.  Because of this there are some "features" that Bill himself has commented are not the best implementation.  Because of his customizations, I've been loathe to try to do any sort of updating.  I've considered rebuilding the site from scratch but there has always been one feature on the site that has had me a bit worried and that was the projects.  That was one of those custom built things that Bill made that would not just translate through an upgrade to the system.  In fact, a few years back, Bill looked at rebuilding the site from scratch as well and got as far as the projects and still didn't have a better solution.  Additionally, the fact that the site is running on this older version of Drupal means that it is stuck running on my now aging home server instead of being moved to a cloud hosting provider.

However, I've been looking at this again and have found an extension module that I think will allow me to reproduce the project functionality on the site with native (and therefore hopefully faster) systems.  This will be a longer term project as I don't have a lot of time to devote to it but it is something I'm going to start working on.  If I can make this work, everything else should be fairly straightfoward.

So, this is your chance to chime in on features you'd like to see, things we need to keep, and stuff that can go away in a new starfrontiers.us website version 2.0.  Sound off below.  No promises but I'll take everyone's input into account.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine
Comments:

iggy's picture
iggy
November 23, 2016 - 8:45pm
Definitly bring back the chat room.

Mostly I'd like to keep pretty much what we have.  I like the look and feel of this place.  Projects, forums, downloads, these are all good.  I have not used the wiki much for reading, less for writing.  The wiki is odd in how it posts in plain asciii like text.  That is a feature that could modernize in it's look.  If it was faster I would love to see it become more of an encyclopedia of SF.us fan cannon.
-iggy

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 24, 2016 - 8:35am
Yeah, the wiki is a hybrid monster on this site.  Larry added the functionality in response to the starfrontiers.wikia.com site and the wiki on starfrontiers.info but it never quite worked right.  I'll have to admit, I've never even really looked at it.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 24, 2016 - 10:50am
Question about project content:

Would there be interestin or use of the abililty to post material in multiple projects.  I.e. you make a forum post or download and have the ability to post it in multiple projects you are a member of.  This framework I'm looking at has that option but it adds a little complexity to the user interface.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2016 - 11:52am
I've liked a lot of the features on the website. I'll make some copies of my postings in case things go down.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 24, 2016 - 12:00pm
Oh, and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
November 24, 2016 - 1:35pm
I think it would be good to post to multiple projects.  When I post my Celestia Frontier stuff I'd like to be able to post both to the project and the open discussion from time to time to advertise to those who are not following the project.

I'd also like to see who has seen a post.  Some threads don't get past the initial post and it would be comforting to know that they are actually seen.

As for backing up the content onthis site, I'm guessing that you will not experiment on this copy of the site but rather build the new and then port the content over.  Am I correct?
-iggy

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 24, 2016 - 3:47pm
Yes, my plan is to build a whole new site and then port the content over.  Setting up the projects might not be as straightforward as I had hoped.  When I've associated a forum or book (the documents) with a group, new posts are not automatically associated with that particluar forum or book.  I've got to figure out how to make that happen.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

iggy's picture
iggy
November 24, 2016 - 11:01pm
We've done a lot of linking to past posts.  Will those links be preserved or updated in the posts?
-iggy

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 25, 2016 - 12:47pm
Can you restore the game room? Also, make posting links work with Chrome. ;)
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 26, 2016 - 7:23am
Thinking about things like chat room and game room and wondering if they could be connected to a project. Lets say a project is a game- PBP or etc. functionality that let the players jump in to a room and play without ttying up the chat room for the site might be good. Historically there has not been a lot of game play on this site. It has usually been farmed out to other platforms.

It would be nice if this site was game ready/ friendly and everything was under one roof. For me the one stop shopping of hitting the what's new button and catching up at a glance would be nice.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 26, 2016 - 11:17am
jedion357 wrote:
Historically there has not been a lot of game play on this site. It has usually been farmed out to other platforms.

Historically the game room got lots of use right up until it stopped working circa 2008. Once it stopped working it never worked again and as such we ended up farming out. IIRC our game room utilized one of the earliest forms of an online dice roller, that's the time frame we're talking about here when it comes to how long ago it was used. 

As for a project tied to the SF.us game room, try Online Star Frontiers Games then hit the Forums section there to see how long ago the game room last worked. Basically Speaking was the last game I hosted there, IIRC one of the last (if not the very last) game hosted before the game room crashed for good. 

Basically Speaking @ the Game Room --- link at the bottom is for a game synopsis from the first session, note the 2007 discussion date. Old stuff that predates a vast majority of our current members who never had the fortune to utilize that classic piece of this board's history. 

Note the low node numbers of those links for another idea as to how long ago the game room was functional...we're creeping up on the 45K mark for nodes and those are all pre-2K nodes, not to mention the uber-early #81 node discussion. Wink
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
November 26, 2016 - 8:42pm
If you start making adjustments to the wiki, be advised that not too long ago one of the updates to how wiki works in general started causing conflicts with some of the templates so that they would not work the way they should.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
December 3, 2016 - 6:56pm
ChrisDonovan wrote:
If you start making adjustments to the wiki, be advised that not too long ago one of the updates to how wiki works in general started causing conflicts with some of the templates so that they would not work the way they should.


I think -- and I'm guessing here -- that the others are referring to the "Wiki" tab on this website, not the http://starfrontiers.wikia.com/ site that we are familiar with. A usable chat room would be a good addition.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
December 3, 2016 - 7:25pm
Yes we are refering to the wiki tab and not wikia.com.

The chat tab used to work and you could pop up group and individual boxes for chat.  Saturday and Friday night used to be common chat nights where we would talk about anything.  Some times it was just two people for the night.  Other times several people would be on chatting while they did whatever real life stuff was going on.  Some great chat sessions turned into detailed forum discussions and great magazine articles.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 16, 2016 - 8:18am
iggy wrote:
Yes we are refering to the wiki tab and not wikia.com.

The chat tab used to work and you could pop up group and individual boxes for chat.  Saturday and Friday night used to be common chat nights where we would talk about anything.  Some times it was just two people for the night.  Other times several people would be on chatting while they did whatever real life stuff was going on.  Some great chat sessions turned into detailed forum discussions and great magazine articles.


Here, here!

or should that be:

Hear, hear!
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
February 12, 2017 - 4:10pm
Just an update on this.  I made a copy of the site a couple of days ago and have been playing around with migrating it from the 5.1 version of the underlying software to a more recent version.  So far I've taken it from 5.1 to 5.23 to 6.38.  I've lost the site theme and some of the specialized displays as expected, but it looks like all the data migrated okay.  The next step is to upgrade to the current 7.54 version but from the looks of it that will be easier than going from 5 to 6.  If that works, I'll start working on building a new theme and getting the projects set up in the new system.

Making sure the data migrated was my biggest concern and it looks that that is going to be okay.  I haven't checked everything but the spot checking I did of all the forums, characters, documents, and downloads, both generally and in the projects all seems to be there.

Once I've tested it all out and have a new theme, I'll take the site off-line and migrate the current data.  That likely won't happen for a month or two though.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 21, 2017 - 6:24pm
Cool
"Zoinks!"

RodFive's picture
RodFive
February 27, 2017 - 11:00am
A lot of work, very much appreciated. Thank you.