Website considerations for www.Ca3D-Engine.de

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Carsten
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Website considerations for www.Ca3D-Engine.de

Post by Carsten » 2004-12-26, 12:10

Hello all!

As slowly but surely the next official Ca3DE release comes into sight, I've also started some (re-)considerations about the Ca3DE website.
My latest idea was to turn it into a site like http://www.phpbb2.de , which itself is based on phpBB2 ("Plus" version).
This step would integrate content management with the existing forums well, and make handling the current (static!) website much easier (making it much more dynamic).

In advance, I've also looked into themes for phpBB2 Plus. All available themes are demonstrated for testing purposes at http://plusstyles.phpbb2.de/
So far, I'm considering one of the "FI Black 3D Blue" or "FI Blue 3D" themes for installation (possibly with alterations). My favourite is currently "FI Blue 3D", even though one has to get used to it, AND I think that the large blue background pattern should be darkened for our purposes.

Despite many positive aspects about this step, which I really do favour over any other solution and content management systems I've seen so far (like Mambo, e107, ...), there is also a slight problem: I cannot really try it out before putting it on-line. Moreover, once this forum is converted to the new "Plus" version, it cannot easily be turned back without recovering from previous backups.
Therefore, my current intention is to first backup this forum completely, including of course the database. Then I'll switch to the new website (phpBB2 "Plus"). The changes will take immediate effect, even though I might not have finished administrating it. Should anything fail, I had to restore the previous backup. That in turn means that ALL forum postings would be lost since I made the backup.
:beta:

To summarize: I'll soon make a separate announcement (probably shortly before or after New Year) here in this forum. Then I'll do the backup and upgrade cycle. Then everything will run in test mode for a few days. You may use the website as normal, including the forum, but in the case of severe problems (and only then), I'd be forced to restore the backup, rendering all posts that were submitted during the test period lost. The start and end of the test period will be separately and clearly announced.

Finally, I'd be happy about any comments and opinions in this regard!! It's very important to me that YOU'll like the new website once done, not me. :roll:

Oh, and before anyone asks when the next release is planned: CaWE made really good progress recently, and I'm now planning the next release for end of January / begin of February, CaWE included. :wohow:
Best regards,
Carsten
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Post by Thrawn » 2004-12-26, 12:43

That are good news! A less static site would be good for a larger community because different persons can easily work on it! -> Ca3DE Febuary with CaWE -> HUURAAHHH!! :groupwave2:

@ Designs: I personally dont like those you have choosen :oops: I would prefer FI Subgray, FI Black or FI MS Orange Gray

But as I know, the whole thing supoorts a skin chooser, you only have to register and then choose your design. >The data is saved in a coockie and you'll then always see your favourite design!
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Post by Shadow » 2004-12-26, 21:09

have you considered phpNUKE?
another neat idea would be to get ourselves a wiki.
that means way less static. even just a wiki 'users manual' would be nice cause then we can work on a manual and let u work on the engine
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Post by Carsten » 2004-12-28, 13:09

Shadow wrote:have you considered phpNUKE?
Not before, but I just read about it. It seems like another good CMS with its own strength and weaknesses. (I'm surprised anyway that there are so many CMSs around...)
I'll stay with phpBB2 Plus though, as it works very well with the existing forums, and seems to serve all our needs.
another neat idea would be to get ourselves a wiki.
that means way less static. even just a wiki 'users manual' would be nice cause then we can work on a manual and let u work on the engine
Well, the idea does certainly sound attractive, but it also has a tendency to increase the time I have to spend as a web admin, whereas I'm striving to decrease it.
I also want to continue to maintain the manual as LaTeX source, which is (afaik) impossible to combine with a wiki. However, anyone who is interesting in contributing something to the manual or to anything else is welcome - just post at the forums, and I'll attend to everything else.
Best regards,
Carsten
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Post by Carsten » 2004-12-28, 13:21

Stormtrooper wrote:But as I know, the whole thing supoorts a skin chooser, you only have to register and then choose your design. >The data is saved in a coockie and you'll then always see your favourite design!
Stormtrooper, that is of course right, and I'm seriously considering installing multiple themes.

However, offering multiple themes for user choice also makes it impossible to establish a "Ca3DE theme" that is consistent across the website, logos, icons, and even the bitmaps in the demo.
This in turn makes it impossible to establish e.g. a "brand" logo that everybody recognizes (like the "M" of McDonalds or the Ca3DE splash screen in the demo :P )

I'd still like to hear everybodys opinion about this, but would much prefer to "force" anybody to use a common theme.
(Another issue is that only one language - English - will be supported, because all language packs are only made for the default theme, and no language-specific packages are available for any non-default theme.)
Best regards,
Carsten
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Post by Shadow » 2005-01-04, 22:57

i think i like the colors. but they dont really match the splash screen. of course im always partial to the darker schemes...
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Post by Carsten » 2005-01-04, 23:12

but they dont really match the splash screen. of course im always partial to the darker schemes...
The splash screen is not finished yet - as is the entire portal site. I'll make it matching asap.
I also prefer darker colors, and will work towards a darker theme, e.g. as on http://www.xnickx.de/forum/portal.php
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Carsten
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Post by Shadow » 2005-01-04, 23:28

i meant the splash screen of the engine itself. im using one of the other themes right now f1 black3d blue and the smilies will need to be updated if we go darker as there is a white halo around them. i like this theme alot tho
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