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Last post Author Topic: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015  (Read 8081 times)

mouser

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Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« on: September 03, 2015, 11:19:00 AM »
We're on a roll and fueled by all of the generous donations at the last fundraiser!

This thread will be used for discussing our official migration to a proper CMS.

This is a big job, but DC member Stephen66515 and I are working hard on it now without distraction since the  forum upgrade was completed.

We've actually finished the most difficult parts, and it looks awesome.  There's just a ton of work left converting pages.

This thread will be used for discussing and previewing progress while we work on it.

Stephen66515

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 11:20:40 AM »
Working hard and having fewer nervous breakdowns now ;)

But yeah, if anybody wants updates, wants to offer up a feature suggestion - or other questions about the CMS, feel free to ask and one of us will update as often as we can!  :D

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 11:22:34 AM »
But yeah, if anybody wants updates, wants to offer up a feature suggestion - or other questions about the CMS, feel free to ask and one of us will update as often as we can! 

Yes, except for the fact that it's taking all of our concentration to focus on migrating the current pages, so please refrain from deep discussions about big new features and content until we get the old content migrated.

Stephen66515

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 11:26:37 AM »
Here's a little sneak preview of the top of the site with the navbar, logo, and improved site search (With smart-auto-completion to make searching far easier!)

Top menu with smart search.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015

But yeah, if anybody wants updates, wants to offer up a feature suggestion - or other questions about the CMS, feel free to ask and one of us will update as often as we can!

VERY good point! - Don't be scared if we don't answer this thread for a little while...we are probably just busy as hell adding countless amounts of data to the new site lol  8)

Yes, except for the fact that it's taking all of our concentration to focus on migrating the current pages, so please refrain from deep discussions about big new features and content until we get the old content migrated.

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 11:35:03 AM »
The look of the site should be much improved, and much more responsive for mobile users, etc.  And some of the functionality should be substantially improved (search functions, etc.)

BUT, much like the forum upgrade -- it needs to be emphasized that the biggest benefits are in terms of future maintenance and extensibility of the site.  The current site is basically just a huge collection of hand-written static pages (something that wasn't so outlandish back in 2005 when the site was started, but which is now certifiably insane).

So this upgrade will bring the site into the modern era and make it much more enjoyable to maintain, update, and add new content, and ensure that we can keep going for another 10 years.

It's exciting!

rgdot

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 11:36:26 AM »

JavaJones

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 02:38:49 PM »
WOOOOO-HOOOOO! It's been a long time coming. Congratulations mouser on getting started on this! And thanks Stephen for helping him out. He needs (and deserves) it. :)

My only feedback so far is that the look of the top menu is really quite... Windows 95. Any plans to change that? I know it's a somewhat minor quibble. :D

Edit: I realized I had another question - what are you using for the software listings!? I really hope you looked closely at using a directory listing type plugin.

- Oshyan

Stephen66515

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 03:11:03 PM »
WOOOOO-HOOOOO! It's been a long time coming. Congratulations mouser on getting started on this! And thanks Stephen for helping him out. He needs (and deserves) it. :)

My only feedback so far is that the look of the top menu is really quite... Windows 95. Any plans to change that? I know it's a somewhat minor quibble. :D

Edit: I realized I had another question - what are you using for the software listings!? I really hope you looked closely at using a directory listing type plugin.

- Oshyan


1. Not a problem at all! - Have to keep this short so I don't lose my steam moving all the pages xD!

2. Well...the menu I must admit, is not my creation, nor am I overly keen on it and am certainly open to changing the design! Will have to get mouser to see what he can create :D

3. Software listings are simply article pages - It was discussed many times for us to use some listings plugin, or repository software, but in the end a suitable one could never be found, and we are quickly learning that having them as articles on the website makes them just as easy to keep updated as any plugin/repository would be.

Currently, the process is something along the lines of - I bring pages over, realize we don't have a CSS class for a certain bit of the site, so mouser will then create that, then I drop that class into the code to make the page pretty with mousers CSS classes!  We have started getting a bit more 'fluid' with how we are working, and with each page we move over, the quicker we are getting.  I think the main killer points right at the beginning were trying to get the actual DESIGN of the site done to a point that it looks...remotely like DC and still looks "new", and now that's done, it is certainly a much easier thing to manage!

Nothing in the design is really set in stone right now and any images that are shared could be subject to change at any time (based on people's suggestions/ideas etc). - One thing I will point out...is those people who had access to the Beta Forum, also had access to see the CMS ;)

cranioscopical

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 03:22:05 PM »
improved site search (With smart-auto-completion to make searching far easier!)
Nice  :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 06:05:35 PM »
JavaJones actually deserves some real credit for gently but repeatedly suggesting I check out joomla -- so far i've been thrilled with it and am very happy to have switched over to it from my original plan to use Drupal.

My only feedback so far is that the look of the top menu is really quite... Windows 95. Any plans to change that? I know it's a somewhat minor quibble.

I hear ya about the win95 look of the main top menu navigation.  It's just the css making the buttons look that way -- we will no doubt give it a more modern look before we go live.

JavaJones

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 08:04:43 PM »
Cool guys. Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor soon.

As far as the software listings go, the nice thing about a CMS is it's something that could be added fairly easily later when time/energy better allows for proper testing or even *coding* of options. I trust that the current approach is best for now. :)

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2015, 04:43:57 PM »
I've been convinced of the value of having new content ready when we unveil the new cms version of the website, so YES we definitely want to figure out new kinds of CONTINUING content we can make a home for on the new dc website -- perhaps regular tech columns or blogs, and dc members willing to write such columns/blogs, etc.  Reviews, etc.

The only thing I don't want to happen now is to get distracted from migrating the old pages, which requires a bit of concentration.  Once we have the new pages moved over, but before we go live, we will make a concerted effort to line up some new content and ongoing content hopefully written by fellow dc members.  So if you have ideas, by all means please continue to think about them and plan them on your own until we are ready!

Stephen66515

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[UPDATE] Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2015, 03:35:09 PM »
Hey guys,

Just thought I would post a quick update on what is happening behind the scenes!

So...firstly, there are several new features for each page on the CMS, these will be revealed/discussed i another thread when I get a free moment - Without going into details now, they keep the pages up-to-date and more interesting to visit, especially if you have interests in specific parts of the website </vagueness>  :D

On from this, I have just imported a nightmarish amount of links into the Archive - These include (but are not limited to):

• Old Contests that everybody has forgotten about
• Reviews from years ago that pretty much hold no relevance anymore
• Pages I doubt anybody even knew existed in the first place

These equate to around 200 links from the current website (I highly doubt any of them are referenced anywhere on the entire website, but I don't really want to search every single one to see if they are linked....so they are coming with us in "link form" just so nothing breaks)

----

Further to this, Mousers software pages have been a headache to do, mainly because of the volume of information that has to be brought over...luckily mouser came up with an awesome way for us to manage certain aspects of these pages (Download Links, and such) that unifies every single software page, and makes things a whole lot easier to locate!

----

Discussions are in the works for other features on the new website when it is released, and I know a lot of you will be really happy to see quite a few of these bigger changes when they are implemented.




On top of all this, I would like to emphasise mousers note on having new content ready for the new website when we release.

To give you an idea of what that content could be, take a look at the list below (these are simply examples and we will accept almost anything!):

• Regularly updated blogs
  -  This will be a regular blog page for YOU on the website.  You will be responsible for updating this blog via DC at your own leisure
• Columns
  -  These could be columns about pretty much anything you feel like writing about
• Full Reviews/Mini-Reviews
  -  Same process as right now, just a better process for highlighting these posts.

Every bit of new content we can muster would be fantastic, and they will all be added prior to official release but AFTER we have finished everything else.

JavaJones

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2015, 03:56:37 PM »
Further to this, Mousers software pages have been a headache to do, mainly because of the volume of information that has to be brought over...luckily mouser came up with an awesome way for us to manage certain aspects of these pages (Download Links, and such) that unifies every single software page, and makes things a whole lot easier to locate!

Is it a Directory System? ;)

Seriously though, thanks for the update, great work!

- Oshyan

Stephen66515

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 04:08:25 PM »
Further to this, Mousers software pages have been a headache to do, mainly because of the volume of information that has to be brought over...luckily mouser came up with an awesome way for us to manage certain aspects of these pages (Download Links, and such) that unifies every single software page, and makes things a whole lot easier to locate!

Is it a Directory System? ;)

Seriously though, thanks for the update, great work!

- Oshyan

Is it a Directory System? ;)
Haha no, it isn't a directory system (though not through lack of my bugging mouser to get one, or a repository system!  ;D)

Seriously though, thanks for the update, great work!
Not a problem at all :) The updates are just rough right now as my brain is frazzled with the sheer volume of links that need to be dealt with (well over 500 in total) - Though a lot of them are not physically being moved to the CMS, we still needed a way to manage them so nothing breaks, and it has taken a little bit of time to come to an agreement on how best to do that.

Things are moving at a much smoother pace now though and we are looking good to be finished "soon"(ish)  8)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 04:16:38 PM »
Instead of segregated blogs, it might be useful to have a "DC Blog" where, with varying bits of editing help, everyone can post articles. So if we ever get into marketing, it's easier, and you can always do a sub-pull of people's posts, but it helps them/us not feel "pressured by blog decay". The byline is there, and the general momentum carries us all more than the sum of the parts.

It's easier to keep a "DC Blog" rolling than everyone dealing with blog stagnation. "Some other day's problem" is if you get so many initial articles, tactically space them out so you don't get a 3 month drought right afterward or something but whatever.


Tuxman

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2015, 10:12:41 AM »
Instead of segregated blogs, it might be useful to have a "DC Blog" where, with varying bits of editing help, everyone can post articles.

Must... resist... the urge...

ewemoa

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2015, 04:26:56 PM »
So...how's it going? :)

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2015, 06:26:59 PM »
Well, frankly we are more than a bit behind.. There are just soo many pages..
One of the issues I've struggled with is dealing with url naming and maintaining a nice hierarchical organization of pages..
But we're about to get back into full swing I hope.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 07:12:49 PM by mouser »

ewemoa

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2015, 08:26:37 PM »
Is it possible to have an arrangement where it's possible to make new content available soon and gradually add in older content?

JavaJones

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2015, 03:41:37 PM »
Is it possible to have an arrangement where it's possible to make new content available soon and gradually add in older content?

A fine, fine question.

Also, what about auto-conversion ("import") of pages somehow? Maybe more hassle than it's worth, especially at this stage. But it's a thought...

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2015, 03:59:26 PM »
We figured out a major issue with naming and organizing of urls/pages that was holding us up. I hope things will go more smoothly now..

ewemoa

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2015, 04:10:35 AM »
Glad to hear it!

Stephen66515

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2016, 10:22:33 AM »
OK Ladies and Gentlemen!  I had a bit of a lull in the development of the CMS due to problems at home, but...things got better, so CMS work has sprung back into life!!!!

Over the last week or so we have slowly been getting back into the swing of things (mainly figuring out where we got to, remembering what we called our classes in CSS and all that), but...we did manage to get some things moved over and work is really starting to go a lot more smooth now!


So...CMS is happening in the background, and the idea most certainly didn't die...It just paused for a wee while!  ;D


40hz

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2015
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2016, 01:43:05 PM »
Glad to hear it's still in the works. This is the one thing I'm probably more interested in seeing come to fruition than almost anything else here.

It's been talked about and discussed for so long. And now it looks like it will actually be happening. Go DoCo! And the folks who are making it come to pass. :Thmbsup: