Jump to content











Photo
- - - - -

BLOG/Website CMS


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Flyboarder

Flyboarder

    Member

  • .script developer
  • 95 posts
  •  
    Canada

Posted 15 August 2010 - 12:53 AM

This is mostly for nuno relating to a conversation we are having :)

Movable Type

Open Melody

#2 Nuno Brito

Nuno Brito

    Platinum Member

  • .script developer
  • 10545 posts
  • Location:boot.wim
  • Interests:I'm just a quiet simple person with a very quiet simple life living one day at a time..
  •  
    European Union

Posted 15 August 2010 - 04:43 PM

Hello,

I've been testing MT across other sites also mentioned on the portfolio of places using movable type. One of the details that I note is how only the main site is using the internal forum, other sites of more reasonable dimension opt by phpBB or vBulletin to host forum discussions. Even the sixapart forum is powered by IPB.

This is an indicator that forums are not their expertise and the preference of webmasters running MT is given to outsourced forum systems.

It reminds me how WordPress also has BBpress to supply the need of a forum system but the software itself lacks the progress achieved on dedicated forum projects as they had hundreds of people working on their maturity across the years. BBpress is clunky, slow and uncomfortable when compared to any other popular forum system.

The forum system on MT has a really cool front page design. I liked it so much that I'll ask Ferron (our designer) to work on something similar if possible. Liked the fact that thumb shots of members are displayed alongside the topic. Or the distinction made between questions in need of an answer along with recent topics is also very neat.

However, when browsing a topic there's no clear distinction between each forum reply. They look more like comments on a blog and the profile box of each participant is not as filled with details as we see here.

These are the type of things that we take for granted on a forum when people participate for a long time..

We run so many projects that giving each project their own space will create a feeling of loneness and distance between. Living in a crowded forum brings the advantage that a lot of people are on the neighborhood to check what you're doing.

These details can be added and redesigned but this is a worry as it already comes as default on other forums. The same for other functions like "thanks", reputation and so forth. But the design of MT is very sleek and clean, can be used as inspiration if more people also like it.


------

Adopting movable type would perhaps put us in the same category of a platform like sourceforge and this is not a desirable direction for our future. I'll explain why I mention this.

Sourceforge has thousands of ghost projects amongst a few shining stars, we are different as our community is not gathered around a single project and this helps new projects to get feedback that wouldn't occur if it was developed outside of the forum.

Also, few members have blogs and would have little reason to start or maintain a project blog, posting the progress in a forum brings better odds of reaching people visiting the forum and getting more feedback. This is a pattern that was noted over the years and helps a project to remain alive.

Movable type allows a lot of modules to be added but right now I'm really more worried about bringing all features as close as possible to the forum where I can maintain them and where people interact more often. This is similar to the Wiki case, we have made available a dedicated wiki system but it would just gather dust as seen from previous attempts.

For the moment we'll proceed with myBB. Yesterday I've completed a plugin that provides the support for members choosing their own subdomains.

Right now, whenever we move onto another server - all subdomains need to be created from scratch. Currently, as the winbuilder.net server went offline, all subdomains were dragged along. Recreating them requires manually adding subdomains one by one (over 50), create FTP accounts and double check everything. A lot of work.

With this plugin it becomes possible to keep subdomains dynamic. Guess no other forum on the Internet ever provided such feature before so we'll be using the forum structure to build ground-breaking features as this is the location where people feel more comfortable and we have the coding resources to improve our working conditions.

Next step is also adding a file hosting plugin to replace both the attachments system and FTP accounts.

:(

#3 Flyboarder

Flyboarder

    Member

  • .script developer
  • 95 posts
  •  
    Canada

Posted 15 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

perhaps put us in the same category of a platform like sourceforge

I would have to disagree with you, simply because you give other authors the option of creating their own blog/pages they dont have to, just like now with WB subdomains, the authors do not have to create a proper webpage for their project however they have the option to do so.

It would also be simple to create a plugin for movable type that would create the subdomains automatically upon user creation.

The .script authors could have their own project pages if they wanted along side the winbuilder main website, and you can still use a forum, such as mybb, for boot-land as you are now, i personally think the forum is fantastic and mybb may be a great option for us here. But by using a cms for the main site it gives the devs more options.

------

Having a CMS, or FORUM, could remove the need for server access, which it seems has been a security issue in the past?

-----

Obviously im not saying this is what you should do, you have some very good points nuno! :smiling9:
Im just throwing some ideas at you :(

It would be nice if some of the other devs would shed some light on their thoughts regarding our discussions.

#4 Nuno Brito

Nuno Brito

    Platinum Member

  • .script developer
  • 10545 posts
  • Location:boot.wim
  • Interests:I'm just a quiet simple person with a very quiet simple life living one day at a time..
  •  
    European Union

Posted 15 August 2010 - 10:32 PM

Having a CMS, or FORUM, could remove the need for server access, which it seems has been a security issue in the past?

Yes, we've suffered a lot from too many loose ends in the past.

Around 2006~2007 we adopted a CMS called MkPortal. One of the big advantages of this change was allowing members to add pages, files, write their own blogs and integrate nicely with the DB of the forum so that we had no integration troubles or need to recreate member registrations.

We've got the portal hacked and disfigured by someone. Luckily, they didn't messed with the forum posts as we were a small forum at the time and they just did it for kicks.

Later was the wiki, it was being slammed with spam attempts that drove our bandwidth to the limits, the forum was also hit hard and when the wiki had been disabled and the forum hardened, yet there were still plenty of DDoS attempts to deal at other locations of the server. I guess that our works don't make someone happy as these were very clever and targeted attempts.. :(

Right now the subdomains and other sites that we host become a serious headache, we've had one of the subdomains hacked about three months ago and now even my personal webpage portal also got hacked.

There is the need for a better level of monitoring and control of the server resources as one or two people will never be enough to keep track of what is going on.

All subdomains and sites are either being transfered to elsewhere (my personal page will be hosted at googlepages) or become managed by forum members that will add/edit/delete files using the forum framework.

- This avoids the need to manually configure subdomains ever again;
- Removes the need of FTP access to the server;
- Statistics will become public and allow monitoring excessive bandwidth by other members;
- Members can report malicious files and block them from being made public.

Ideally, the forum becomes the only point of contact of our server with the outside world.

- We focus all possible points of attack on the forum, becomes easier to identify attacks/abuses as everyone is using the forum;
- Backups become simpler to automate, we improve recovery time when the server collapses as subdomains and other services are self-contained;
- Given the available human resources, focus on keeping the forum running is a task that already consumes a considerable time so we need to keep services simple and self-managed.

Of course that concentrating everything on the forum also drives all of our work to a single point of failure which is yet another serious risk to consider.

Backups in other locations can help preserve the data and reduce this risk to some extent but it would still be nice to prevent any offline time with some neat load balancing. I'm also working on this detail but won't talk about it right now to prevent raising any expectations in case things don't work as intended.

:smiling9:

#5 Flyboarder

Flyboarder

    Member

  • .script developer
  • 95 posts
  •  
    Canada

Posted 16 August 2010 - 12:29 AM

It would be really nice if WB was able to access git repos, that way I could host all my files on github.com have my own wiki hosted there as well as my own project page.

-----

Perhaps someone here on the forum could design just a simple wb website, something static, and just keep on going like we are, except with new forum software :smiling9:




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users