As you may have noticed things have been very quiet round here recently – actually for about 10 months! I’ve not been on an extended holiday though. There have been quite a few changes going on, some of which you may already have seen and some which will become visible soon.
So what’s been going on? Well…
This Community site has been moved to a new server using Docker rather than an LXC container. That’s geek talk for a change of the underlying technology platform that runs the site. You won’t really notice that change. Hopefully it still looks the same to you even though to me it’s got some big differences.
Something you might have seen is that the Weather-Watch forum software has changed. It used to use Simple Machines Forum (SMF) and has now been migrated to use Discourse. It was quite a challenge to convert a few thousand user accounts and 600,000 forum posts and associated attachments from one environment to a completely different one. That change is behind us now and people are getting used to Discourse, which has some great new features that weren’t possible in SMF.
Now you might be thinking “What’s the forum got to do with this Community site? They’re two different things, aren’t they?” Well they were when I was using SMF, but Discourse has a nice feature which connects the forum software to the WordPress software used by the Community site. Now that I’ve got both ‘systems’ on the same platform I can start integrating them.
A couple of things that are possible are:
- Using Discourse forum accounts to log into the Community site. If you’re a forum user then you’re automatically a Community site user. One username and password rules both systems.
- Forum topics and comments can be made visible in the Community and community posts and comments can be made visible in the forum. I’m not sure yet how I’ll use this, but I’ve got some ideas and I am going to start to experiment soon.
So, yes we’re getting there, although I’m not sure where ‘there’ is at the moment!