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AuthorTopic: (RFD) Amiga.org's future  (Read 11889 times)

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  • Guest
(RFD) Amiga.org's future
« on: April 29, 2009, 03:41:44 PM »
Good morning ladies and gents,

As most of you have heard, the site's software will -- by necessity -- need to change shortly to accommodate the mandatory upgrades to PHP.

To recap, keeping the current (7 year old) version of Xoops that we run for compatibility is no longer possible.  There are core changes within PHP that would require us to minimally upgrade to a later version of Xoops which isn't HTML 3.x compatible (which is pretty much all the classic Amiga will handle).

While it's possible to go through the entire code base and change every line of code to be PHP 5 compatible, the amount of work involved is staggering compared to the returns realized (we'd still be running seven year old, unsupported software).

To that end, I've spent the last several weeks evaluating available software and have ended up leaning towards a software package called Drupal. (I'm open to any others)

What I don't know right now is whether or not I'll be able to rip out all the CSS and other display technologies that the classic Amiga can't handle, but at this point, it seems more reasonable than trying to retrofit Xoops.

Frankly, what I'm thinking right now is that the site would end up looking a little bit like a combination between bbc.co.uk, cnn.com, and even woot.com.  It'll also have a few personalized features tossed in, like personal image galleries and blogs (maybe even be able to bring back AO e-mail addresses).

I know that change is scary, and I know that a lot of you will freak out by way of this message.  I also know most of you aren't web programmers, and a lot of you have suggestions which seem simple.  

The reason for this thread is that I don't want the site to die (I did just re-up it for a year on the 27th), but want to open a common dialog to discuss what will / can happen with the future of the site.

Please.  Be open minded and constructive (as I'll try to be) and let's see what we can do to make Amiga.org better for the troubles.

BTW, this all happens around a June / July time frame.
 

Offline recidivist

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 03:50:08 PM »
It is a shame these forced upgrades are shutting out the classics.

 For my part,my old Mac IIci and Netscape 3 did all that I wanted/needed but was forced to newer browser/computer by website changes.

Better a website of Amiga info accessable only by PC/Mac than no website at all.

I wonder how that other guy runs  a website using a C64? with all these forced upgrades?
 

Offline Zac67

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 03:54:00 PM »
While there's surely NOONE here wanting a.org to die, I'm afraid there's no real way around migrating to something current (I was told Drupal is pretty nifty).
What's the perspective for the huge load of info that's been collected in the various threads over the years? Any chance it could get imported somehow into the new system? Mounted readonly in a separate branch? It would be a real shame to start from scratch again.
 

  • Guest
Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 03:59:14 PM »
Quote

recidivist wrote:
It is a shame these forced upgrades are shutting out the classics.

Let me be as clear as I can here.  There is nothing specifically "shutting out the classics".  The problem is, the Internet is now 15 years newer than the newest Amiga browser/compatibility and what ALL packages (Xoops included) now take for granted -- such as simple CSS -- the Amiga simply wasn't ever able to handle.

Keeping compatibility is second on my list, only second behind keeping the legacy data intact.  Best case scenario is that I'm able to rip enough out of Drupal to where the classic Amigas "sort of" work.

The question however is really, "how much extra work do I want to put in for the sake of what amounts to fewer than 10 users?".  

While I understand the sensitivity of making an Amiga site "usable by an Amiga", I just can't buy that almost all of you have other ways to connect to the site and that much of the fury behind a "non-Amiga-compatible Amiga site" is just Quixotic for the sake of holding on to the past.

Let me assure you that your Amigas will still work, regardless of whether or not this site uses CSS.  :)

Wayne
 

Offline trekiej

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 03:59:38 PM »
I do not know if anyone has talked about this idea before or not.
Can, this site be accessed by classic.amiga.org and the new site be amiga.org ?

Amiga 2000 Forever :)
Welcome to the Planar System.
 

  • Guest
Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 04:00:51 PM »
Quote

Zac67 wrote:
It would be a real shame to start from scratch again.

Regardless of what happens, the site's old data would be available in some format or another, even if it's just read only like ANN.lu or the Amiga Web Directory is/was.

Wayne
 

  • Guest
Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 04:02:34 PM »
Quote

trekiej wrote:
Can, this site be accessed by classic.amiga.org and the new site be amiga.org ?

Unfortunately no.  The problem is caused by the fact that PHP 4 support is going away. PHP 4 support is required by the version we're running.  Take it away, the site as it is now no longer works.

Wayne
 

Offline terminator4

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 04:03:40 PM »
sad news.  pity, as I did access this site using my Amiga 4000/2000. :-(
I'm sure there's others.  Is the upgrade necessary?  Why do we continue to upgrade when this site works fine the way it is? (sorry if i missed some news).  if there's a choice i'd pick the less complex, simpler software that is compatible on Amiga Classics and PeeCee.  
 

Offline harrison

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 04:06:12 PM »
Why not just migrate the site to the latest version of Xoops?  That way you should be able to retain the look and content of the existing site better than trying to migrate the whole site is a completely new CMS model.

Drupal is a very nice CMS.  It is one of the most versatile, but also one of the hardest to get to grips with.  It is also mainly a framework more than offering a complete site structure out of the box, meaning the learning curve is quite high.

An alternative if you don't want to stick with Xoops is Joomla.  I've been using it since the Mambo days and it is my preferred CMS over all others.  And with Joomla 1.5 the CMS's core code is better than ever, more streamlined and easier to work with.  And the mod community for Joomla is bigger than any other CMS on the market, commercial or open source.

One question that springs to mind.  What are you going to do regarding forum software?  Have you looked into how Drupal bridges the membership accounts with the forum software you are thinking of using?  And also if the existing members accounts can be ported?
Admin of classicamiga.com
 

  • Guest
Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 04:08:24 PM »
Quote

terminator4 wrote:
Is the upgrade necessary?

Required by the Web host actually.  PHP 4 was discontinued 3 years ago in favor of PHP 5 and the support path for PHP4 has now ended.

Quote
Why do we continue to upgrade when this site works fine the way it is? (sorry if i missed some news).


Please see above.  Guess I need to build a FAQ or something, not that anyone would read it :)

Humorously, I remember years ago when I was enthusiastic about web dev and everyone used to get mad because I'd change the site regularly.  Themes, upgrades, etc..  Then, about 5 years ago, the world simply surpassed what the classics could do, and no one looked back, so -- out of respect for the classic users -- I pretty much stopped adding / upgrading.

You guys were happy -- God knows why -- but now it's time when I simply can't hold off the present any longer.
 

  • Guest
Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 04:18:55 PM »
Quote

harrison wrote:
Why not just migrate the site to the latest version of Xoops?  That way you should be able to retain the look and content of the existing site better than trying to migrate the whole site is a completely new CMS model.


Good question, but two reasons.

1) Xoops is now about 20 revisions above the version we use now.  There is no upgrade path for software this old.  Toss in that you're not just talking about Xoops but individual modules (such as newbb) which aren't supported any longer, and it's almost impossible.

2) Xoops went CSS / XHTML several years ago.  This is why we stopped upgrading.  Their decision to "live in the present" (to be compatible with all the current standards), makes it pretty much incompatible with Classic Amigas unless I want to spend 2 months ripping code out of it -- which means we'd be stuck with no upgrade path again

Quote
Drupal is a very nice CMS.  It is one of the most versatile, but also one of the hardest to get to grips
with.


I understand the learning curve issues, but as a web dev, challenges might be fun for a change, and just what this site needs to become interesting again (from a dev standpoint).  I'm already working to learn it now on another site or two.

Quote
An alternative if you don't want to stick with Xoops is Joomla.  I've been using it since the Mambo days and it is my preferred CMS over all others.  And with Joomla 1.5 the CMS's core code is better than ever, more streamlined and easier to work with.  And the mod community for Joomla is bigger than any other CMS on the market, commercial or open source.

Joomla is my second choice, but I've only got experience with 1.0x, which wasn't usable for a site like Amiga.org is.

My loathing of the work involved in getting 1.0x to do anything at all makes it very difficult for me to embrace the 1.5 direction.

Quote
One question that springs to mind.  What are you going to do regarding forum software?  Have you looked into how Drupal bridges the membership accounts with the forum software you are thinking of using?  And also if the existing members accounts can be ported?


I could either use Drupal's built in forums (which -- humorously -- are so basic that they'd be Amiga compatible out of the box) or I could hitch into something like VBulletin, which still has an upgrade path for our Xoops.

Matter of fact, last case scenario -- and it's a thought -- I could just scrap the world as we know it, put up VBulletin (importing users/forums/posts) and forego the news, images, and other stuff until I could write custom pages for those sections.

Wayne
 

Offline jj

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Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 04:34:17 PM »
Dude you can not change the site.  If I can no longer view this site on my ZX81 then I would rather the site die.

Seriosuly though I for one will be glad of a better site with more up todate features.

I used to like the fact the site was constabntly being improved.

I doubt I have ever posted to this site from an Amiga.  What would be the point.
“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw

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Offline AJCopland

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 04:41:13 PM »
I'm fine with the idea, but then I only access the site from PCs(Win/Linux) & MACs with modern browsers...

...i bet people would be more supportive of change if you always used the line "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.", works every time :-D

Andy

Offline BinoX

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 04:48:12 PM »
ignore this...

I posted something without remembering that that feature was removed not too long ago
Back to action!
 

Offline Jose

Re: (RFD) Amiga.org's future
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 04:49:12 PM »
I second that. Sooner or later I was gonna put up at least one of my Classic Amigas online but there have to be priorities. I'd say update the site to new software. This old format is getting boring too!

By the way, CSS and newer functionally is supposed to appear on the Classic anyway, sooner or later. Someone could port Netsurf. IBrowse 3.0 is supposed to happend too, at least in the next 10 years. Will we still be here within 10 years ?  :-D We'll be getting on our 40s then :-o I don't know....Even more relevant to the thread, will we still be using our classics online ? I think everyone already has a PC or Mac.
\\"We made Amiga, they {bleep}ed it up\\"