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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:19 pm 
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Due to a scheduling error on my part, I can't make the web meeting this evening, so I thought I'd bash out a quick list of thoughts on what I think is needing doing or looked at.

1) The site needs updating from Joomla version 1.0.13 to 1.5.1, the main reasons being for better security, usability and functionability. this could be done in 3-4 hours, but I'd need FTP access and preferably DB access so backups could be made (is phpmyadmin installed anywhere for web access to the DB?).

2) The site theme and content taxonomy needs a rehaul. So many people I've spoken to have said stuff along the lines of "just make it easy to use, kthxbi". The inconsistant aesthetics are confusing as is the navigational structure of the menu tree at the top. Too much information is being offered and that's overwhelming visitors. I'd suggest having links to the menu root articles ("About us", "Gallery", "Forest Music", etc) with a general section about bumf (some of the contents of the "What We Do" section could be used for this, with the rest of the info from there being integrated into the "About Us" section), then having links to section specific articles from these.

The theme (or template/skin in Joomla terminology IIRC) is built using XHTML/CSS (tutorials here and here). I'd love to see a unified site theme on the Joomla site and the BB (phpBB tutorial here). Also, there are methods of letting the user choose what theme they want to use. Why not have a default easy to use design by default and ask the forest community for additional themes (i'm sure there are tens of web dev persons around) which would them be accessable through a drop down menu or preference setting?

2b) Joomla doesn't do blogging very well. The Joomla dev team use WordPress integrated into Joomla for their blog. The current way event info is added to the site (by publishing it on the front page then shifting it to a year-long archive page) is bad as none of the info is categorised, dated or easily searchable. I still dn't have a satesfactory solution for this one and is something I'd like to do some research on. Wordpress integration might be an option, but I'd like to look into how well integrated the content posted on the blog is with the rest of Joomla.


3) It would be cool if we could get the Forest Music flash player on the front page.

Intergration with the Forest Music's profile on Last.fm would be cool, after that gets sorted (not sure with the progress on that, not that it's a huge priority right now). Also, getting the Mac in the cafe on the network so that music listening data can be sent to Last.fm needs to be done.

Podcasting falls under the audio/music heading as well, but that's another matter for the moment.

4) phpBB needs updating for the same reasons as the Joomla update.

5) Making it a lot easier for user to users to get events and content on Joomla without having to post a thread here begging somone to update info would be cool. The process for getting this done could be a lot clearer and maybe having articles set to open wiki-like access for collaborative documentation creation would be cool.

This could be made simple by linking the BB user/password authorisation with Joomla. IIRC there are modules out there that do that.

6) Getting embedded media (flv (youtube), etc) working is required. Shouldn't be to hard, just need to pick out the best extension for the job and install it.

That's all I can remember right now, GTG, apologies for not making the meeting again. Ryan promised to read this out in my voice which should hopfully have provided some amusement. TTFN.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:31 am 
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good overall analysis. i agree with most.

i wouldn't rush to upgrade joomla. as you say, it is a big job and possibly a waste of time if we are going to move onto something different soon. am i right in thinking this upgrade is particularly problematic because our joomla has been quite heavily customised, so lots of potential complications?

i've worked with wordpress and found it to be very straightforward. can we do the whole site with wp? or do we need joomla in there too?

yes, theme and content taxonomy def needs a rehaul!

bb upgrade to version 3 is on the way. i want to try it out before we go live with it. it can be linked to the new beta site, and hopefully the look can be more integrated.

optional skins are a cool idea, but i think things have to be kept simple cos customised skins can cause complications when software upgrades are needed. we had trouble with this before with the bb. when upgrades and mods require alteration of the skin, all of them have to be changed. this can be even more complicated when the skins are non-standard. i think the phpbb3 may be designed to avoid this, but it's something we should check for whatever software we use. we don't want to have to delay upgrades because of tricky stuff to do with aesthetics. but, yes different options is cool, and could reduce the need to spend ages tinkering with the look of the site.

will music player on front page slow down the loading time?

bb user/password crossover with the rest of the site would be cool. phpbb3 has better support for this as you can restrict the characters used in usernames if necessary. only problem is if older ones already in use are incompatible.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:38 pm 
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there are currently no cool skins for phpbb3. there is the standard one, which is crappy, and the only other one currently available is an imitation of this here current one what you're presently looking at. it's called subsilver2 and i'd say it's useable, but could probably be improved. i'll look into that. i'm not into the bb being integrated with the rest of the site to the extent that it will be harder to upgrade. maybe i made that clear already.

how much do people feel its important that the bb and the rest of the site are integrated and looking the same?

i just looked briefly at some free joomla skins. this looks quite good for us, in terms of the layout and general style. most of the others have a corporate kinda look about them.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:40 pm 
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Totally missed this meeting, sorry. I'm into the idea of investigating whether our whole site could be done as a wordpress blog. I'm totally up for working on it once I have a bit more time on my hands. Think the problems with it run deeper and just sorting it out within joomla. Was talking to James recently and he said something about wanting to setup a demo wordpress or similar that we could try it out on. He also wondered about getting Tom from infoseed onboard. All good thoughts.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:39 pm 
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installing wordpress is no problem. but is there a plan for making it look cool? can a blog ever look good enough for our site? i need convincing.

milk's concept of blending joomla with wp is interesting, no?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:14 am 
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Arr har! I have installed wordpress on a public server, not for any deep consideration of it being better than others, just because it looked a decent starting point and I wanted to do something. So far it looks good - its category management works just how we want it right out of the box, for instance.

I have PM'd details to chombee and milk and am happy to extend that further.

Wordpress is fully themable so I'm sure we can make it look cool.

Why don't we book out the action room our for a late night session, 8pm to the wee small hours and get everyone in and go for it?

Thing is, we can talk about this for ages - I'm in favour of just trying to program it and see what we come up with.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:59 pm 
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beev:

Quote:
installing wordpress is no problem. but is there a plan for making it look cool? can a blog ever look good enough for our site? i need convincing.


Hmm. Well, I am okay-ish at web design but am not a graphic artist. As far as I know we don't have an active webby graphic artist with us right now. What I would do is take an existing wordpress theme, there are hundreds of them and some are pretty cool, and then customise it using some of the art/graphics from out current site. Would that be good enough? There is only one way to tell. I agree that we need to convince people.

P.S. does our site look all that great right now? It looks like a blog but doesn't behave like one. Anyways, I reckon I could do a fair impression of our current site with wordpress.

Quote:
milk's concept of blending joomla with wp is interesting, no?


Naah I think that's the wrong idea. The point is to simplify, but adding a simple thing on top of our existing complicated thing will just make the overall thing more complicated. Now we will have a joomla site and a wordpress blog and the interaction between the two to deal with. I think we need to go for the simplest possible setup that meets our needs, which surely must be one software or another, rather than one bolted on to another. My two cents.

James:

Quote:
Why don't we book out the action room our for a late night session, 8pm to the wee small hours and get everyone in and go for it?

Thing is, we can talk about this for ages - I'm in favour of just trying to program it and see what we come up with.


Yes and yes. Although I personally can't make any action room meeting for the time being, don't let that stop you.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:35 pm 
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when the web supergroup meeting?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:02 am 
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i haven't received any reply to my request for potentially suitable times from our 3 volunteers so far. shall give them another poke tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:56 pm 
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what time and stuff: i'll send them a direct email.
r

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:06 am 
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i was going to formulate a date/time after seeing what's good for them. if they're all available at some point during the day then i'd have it then, but if it'd have to be in the evening that makes it harder re booking the action room. tues/wed/thurs afternoon or early evening (up to 7pm if there's any WG's or other such events already booked) is a basic start from my point of view anyway, don't know if that'd be too soon or a bad time for some, but you can re ask the question in your mail.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:57 pm 
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i think evenings will be better for them. PM me your email milk and i'll get you all in touch via the email.
r

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