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DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread

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If we have any skilled web dev people here, there is one job that could be "volunteer-outsourced" right now -- creating a custom smf2 theme to approximate the current donationcoder forum look..
It could be done totally independently from what I'm working on -- you would just install the current version of smf2 on a local machine and then make a new theme based off the default on, but trying to capture the basic feel of the current donationcoder theme.
Any takers?

Update report:

I have been working hard on porting over and cleaning up the forum customizations and tweaks to smf2.. My hope had been to be able to jettison them all in favor of new core features in smf2, but that has not turned out to be feasible -- we still have some custom stuff that is needed (custom spam handling/reporting/etc).

However, the cleaning process should pay dividends eventually -- after 10 years there is a lot of cruft to get rid of.

Now, originally my thinking was that we might change hosts and move to the a new cms and upgrade to the new smf2 forum all at once, but i'm thinking now we might try to reduce the confusion by first upgrading our forum in place, without messing with CMS or host changing.  That would reduce the possible sources of problems and let me work out the kinks on the new forum more easily.

So, I'm hoping we might do that sometime in August if all goes well...

Is starting with something pretty vanilla and gradually adding features when enough clamor is raised infeasible?  Or alternatively, classifying things to be added into two groups -- one group for must-have up-front and the other for things to possibly added down the line...

May be we'd find we could live with much less -- so less work for you all at once and perhaps less maintenance burden going forward?

Perhaps this is what you had in mind already...

I'm working my way through the must-have stuff.. Have been having some long days plodding through slowly, but also having some occasional fun.

I'm making good steady progress each day.

I don't want us to take too big a step backwards, so I'm going to try to get 95% of the forum features working as before, and then go live -- then we can work out the kinks and see if that 5% is still needed, and see what other new stuff we might want.

There are a couple of things that were really messy in code which we would probably be smart to jettison:  The programming School and the "Personal Area" where people could post drafts.  The spaghetti code that was necessary to implement those is probably not worth the maintenance hassle.

It's a pretty safe bet that, going forward, not everybody will find everything to their liking as things change. We must be prepared to let go of some current conveniences if and when they become the biggest obstacles to progress. If maintaining 5% of something is accounting for 45% of your effort that will make a persuasive argument for dropping it. A new system can't hope to be a winner in every category, it just has to offer a set of benefits that significantly improves on today's set.


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