Could we please organize an effort to update the main site.

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compguygene
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Could we please organize an effort to update the main site.

Post by compguygene »

I have been thinking about this a lot as something that needs to happen with the .4 release. Then today I saw blondie post this on another topic.
blondie wrote:somewhat related, I would be more than willing to write appropriate weekly updates for the main site.

obviously in the past when I usually write about this game, it is about whatever I'm interested in, but it's easy for me to put that aside and do more serviceable updates about development, broader advertisements about popular servers, from a non-fort-centric vantage point.

update the visuals of the mainsite is also long overdue. It's a visual advertisement which says the game hasn't been updated in 7 years, which is untrue! It's a shame Lacka's work never went anywhere (although the forums skin is available as an alternate) :( It was all very high quality in my opinion, if not entirely polished and finished.
I think he makes a few good points here. As I recall, there was an attempt about 5 years ago to organize a team to update the site, but it went nowhere. I remember the discussions and debates on what to do and what platform to choose. In the end, nothing happened.
We need to keep in mind the recent example that Kyle gave about the website. He went to a job interview. and was describing the contributions that he has made to this project. So, the employer looked up the main Armagetron website. It was very embarrassing for Kyle. I know that there are some people that are reading these posts and playing the game that are going to school for programming. I would hate for them to be put off from contributing to this project because they are afraid that with the appearance of the website, their contributions won't be as effective as they should be to help them find that first job.

TLDR; The main site is looking rather dated, we need to put together a team and actually change it.
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Tank Program
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Tank Program »

I'll agree that this is worth looking at. Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and install Wordpress some place? It's a much more mature piece of software now than it was the last time we were considering this.
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by compguygene »

Boy, would that be nice. Then you could even take news item submissions from any of us, approve them, or not, and have a nice, constant source of news. Wordpress has reached the point that you can likely just use one of the many, there are literally thousands, of pre-built themes and just customize the graphics to our needs.
Perhaps it is time to finish of Lacka's work on the Armaunified theme for this site and the wiki, and make a similar looking theme for the main site.
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kyle
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by kyle »

s|wordpress|drupal|

wordpress is a programmers nightmare
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by compguygene »

I understand your viewpoint here, kyle. I think that the idea is if you can use wordpress without having to directly modify code. As in if you can find the functionality you need in off-the-shelf themes, existing widgets, and the base product, it isn't a programmers nightmare in that no programming will be needed. Perhaps if we can keep the design of the main site simple and effective, we could get it done pretty quickly and this time it will actually happen. If you remember the debates of the past, it was this need to create a site from html and not to use off the shelf software that kept a real site update from happening.
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by blondie »

github + jekyll might be an elegant, open source way to do it.

also completely avoids any security issues with wordpress, as author accounts would be on github accounts. It also doesn't have all the extra weight.

http://jekyllrb.com/

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Tank Program
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Tank Program »

Drupal... yes that's a lot more mature now as well. I know essentially zero about using it though. I don't get the impression that it's easier to deal with than Wordpress from an administrative point of view. I at least have some experience dealing with WP... writing plugins, modifying the code, doing templates, its database, and most importantly actually using it.

The big difference between considering Drupal and WP maybe that they're different types of content management systems. Drupal is very much a fully fledged flexible CMS, while WP is more like a blog system with a bunch of stuff stuck on. For the size of the main site and what we do now, we can quite happily manage with WP, because at the moment all we do is News and a few static pages. The question is would we want to branch out? The CMS side of Drupal would let us (potentially) build a well integrated daily builds page, replacing beta.armagetronad.net. A well integrated resource browser, replacing resource.armagetronad.net. A well integrated server browser, etc. The other part of this that while these would all be technically possible, would anyone actually write them to replace the existing stand alone systems? Is it really necessary? I'd be in favour of keeping the main site mostly as is, but allowing for easier updates, and hence why I thought of WP originally.

I've used another system similar to Jekyll before, Pelican, which also generates static sites from template files. I would not recommend something like that. It's not any easier a system to maintain than the current one. Current workflow: write it, check it into SVN, run svn update on the server. Jekyll workflow: write it, build it, check it in, update the server. At the bottom of it all it's the same static HTML, except in our case you have to actually know how to write HTML to update the site, while Jekyll could potentially handle auto-building menu items, etc.
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Durf »

I have used phpBB as a CMS before. (phpBB mods aren't that hard to make)
You could do the same, everything can be managed via phpBB groups just like any other feature.
Personally I avoid adopting a CMS for things that don't need it (if all you want is the look, then just make the look, no need to get 100 other features you won't use)
Typically I create what I need from scratch; often times it is less work for the same end result.

I'm willing to provide any help needed working with the main site (I know html css php etc.. I can build you a CMS) regardless if it's phpBB or Drupal or WP; I have the capability and experience to help, just ask.

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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Monkey »

Personally, I think we just need to ensure the following:

1) The site's content is current, informative and useful (news updated more often, some videos of the game, more resource pages, etc).
2) The site's menu layout is the best it can be.

I really don't think that the site is that bad at all. If the site is to be changed, then my advice would be to keep it clean, simple and avoid bloatware (Wordpress/Drupal/<Enter-your-hideous-beast-of-choice>).
Playing since December 2006

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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by compguygene »

I am glad to hear that you have experience with wordpress, not just how to use it but in writing plugins, etc. Tank. I still maintain that one potential benefit of wordpress is to get contributions of content, articles and videos, that people from the game could post, and be placed in a moderation queue so that nothing would actually go on the site without a mods approval.
Also, one other reason to go with wordpress.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Right now, Armagetron Advanced, the main site, ranks at the bottom of the page for a search for "tron game"
Our game ranks on the second page for "tron lightcycle game"
4 years ago when I checked on this last, we ranked in the top 3-5 spots, of course that was before Disney came out with a new tron game, which will always outrank ours.
With better on-page SEO and growth in our already strong off-page SEO, we could move up to be more visible in the ranking.
More visibility=More Downloads
Hopefully, when .4 releases, More Downloads will also lead to a higher conversion rate of Downloads to players.
The right choices with the website will do a lot to optimize this. Wordpress, with the right plugins, like All-in-one-SEO for example (a free plugin), can do a lot to help. Another thing that would help would be those social media buttons you see on so many sites. If we all just added that "Social Proof" of Facebook likes, Twitter mentions, etc. Google, and other search engines, would take us even more serious.
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by blondie »

my experience with wordpress is that it can be made too look very clean and non-bloated. It's relatively easy to visually design for, in my experience.

http://revolverarma.tk/ runs wordpress, for example.

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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Tank Program »

I'd want to avoid hacking the mainsite onto the forums because phpbb doesn't have the nice plugin system. Every mod is therefore a potential major headache when upgrading.

Simply having more updates will help push us up search engine rankings, as they will drive more page views. Still, it's a valid point.

More things to think about...
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by compguygene »

If you are thinking about some sort of integration of the phpbb3 forum here and the new wordpress site, you should check out the WP-United Wordpress Plugin. For those that don't what to have to click on a link
WP-United Plugin page wrote:Bridge phpBB and WordPress!

WP-United glues together WordPress sites and phpBB forums. Get the full power of WordPress publishing and plugins, with the familiar and established community format of phpBB.

WP-United is fully modular and individual features can be turned on and off. These features include:

User integration: including single sign-on, synchronised profiles and avatars, and user management. Works with external registration modules such as social login plugins. Users in phpBB get accounts in WordPress and vice versa. Completely controllable and customisable by setting permissions for who can integrate and at what level, using a unique drag-and-drop interface.
Template integration: Have your phpBB forum appear inside your WordPress site. Or vice-versa; integrate your WordPress blog inside your phpBB header and footer. Includes a "one-click" mode that analyses your theme's CSS and modifies it on the fly to avoid CSS and HTML conflicts. This is no iFrame solution, it is a complete and automatic template integration.
Behaviour integration: Use phpBB smilies and word censor features in WordPress
Cross-posting: Post something in WordPress and have it cross-posted to your forum -- Automatically or manually, you choose! Once an item is cross-posted, comments in phpBB and WordPress can be set to sync up under the blog item too!
WP-United also includes TEN widgets for you to drop into your WordPress page. Each widget is configurable and displays a wealth of forum information to increase engagement on your site. All of these widgets work even with the above modules turned off. They are:

Latest forum posts
Latest forum topics
users online list
Forum statistics
An integrated login/meta/avatar/profile block
Birthday list
Quick poll (select from active phpBB polls in an ajax widget)
Useful forum links list
Forum top bar (with breadcrumbs that work in WordPress)
Forum bottom bar (to match the top bar!)
I have used this Plugin once before, and it has been stable and well supported for more than a few years now. I think that this would give you the integration that would be useful, no hacking required.
Armagetron: It's a video game that people should just play and enjoy :)
https://bit.ly/2KBGYjvCheck out the simple site about TheServerPharm

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Tank Program
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Tank Program »

If we want to go down the full merge route, that would be good. Still not convinced that's a great idea. I think for handling that sort of thing what we would want is a WP plug-in that does armathentication. Uses contact us if they want to post, their details gets added to an "OK" to login list, they then post under their auth. People could then comment using their auth as well. Possibly a bit of a dream, but more ideas to consider.
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Re: Could we please organize an effort to update the main si

Post by Jip »

I just wanted to note, that Lackadaisical made a theme for Wordpress a while ago.
Look here: http://forums3.armagetronad.net/viewtop ... 17&start=0

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