If it seems that I haven't spent much time working on my website recently, well, I haven't. :-) A whole lot has been keeping my busy for the last few weeks, including:
That's the highlights, but I've been dealing with some other stuff as well. I have some projects I'm trying to get done before I start my new job on Monday, and of course once I do begin my new job I'm sure it'll keep my busy for a while. So, to be honest I don't know when I'm going to be able to start posting regular updates again, but hopefully it won't be too far off.
One important task I'd like to finish up is putting out an update for Universal Extractor 1.5.1. I had mostly completed it about a month ago, but just haven't had time to fix a couple remaining issues and get the updated translation files. I'd like to start working on that again this weekend if I can finish my other projects in time, so keep an eye out for it in the next week or two.
For my third and last post in this series, I'd like to discuss overall site management design changes. Prior to this latest change, I had always run LegRoom off of PostNuke. Now, PostNuke has been good to me over the years. It's been around for a while so it was a pretty mature product even in 2002, it has a huge community behind it, and it's been flexible enough to let me do pretty much anything I wanted during the previous couple redesigns. I'm very appreciative of all the hard work that the PostNuke devs and community have put into the product, and I certainly do no regret choosing PostNuke for my site.
With the latest redesign, however, I felt the need for something different. I could've just slapped a new theme on top of my PostNuke install, as I did previously, but I really wanted to migrate to a new content management system altogether to give me a chance to truly redesign the site from the ground up, as well as clean out a lot of the cruft that had been gathered over the years (see Part 2 for some examples of this). Additionally, while PostNuke was a capable and mature CMS, I wanted to move away from it for three main reasons:
So, after a rather extensive search, I settled on Drupal. As of version 5.0 it seems to offer the best combination of capability, flexibility, efficiency, and standards compliance out of all of the open source CMSes that I examined. (By the way, I'd really like to thank the admins of OpenSourceCMS for making it easy to "test drive" so many website management systems. If you're a webmaster that's not familiar with this site, check it out ASAP.)
So, aside from the CMS change, what else is new? While migrating all web content over to the new site I spent a lot of time "updating" all content to use a specific look and feel. My previous site was something of a testing ground for me, and was originally started when I just didn't know much beyond pure HTML. Each page that I added to the site was essentially created using whatever level of experience I had mastered at the time, resulting in a hodgepodge of styles and techniques. This is especially true of the Tips and Tricks pages, of which some had to be nearly completely rewritten. Now, however, I was able to apply the same coding styles uniformly across all pages on the site. Yay!
In addition to the common style, you may also notice a common layout for all of the pages. Each has a navbar across the top that will take you to any location in the page. Each page is broken up into the same sections, where appropriate, for consistency and easy of use. I also added section breaks, along with "return to top" links, to cleanly separate each section. These are a lot of subtle changes, to be sure, but they really do a lot to enhance site usability.
Other page-specific changes:
I think that pretty much covers it. I hope you enjoyed this brief look into the redesign process for this site. Up next - the conversion script I used to migrate from PostNuke to Drupal. It is truly one of the most ugly pieces of code I've ever written, but it got the job done. As promised, I'll make it available to everyone else to use, along with an explanation of the details and shortcomings of the script. I just need a bit more time to clean it up and write the details.
Update: 03/21/2007 14:41
In a rather ironic mistake, I accidentally specified a bad link to the Firefox Tips and Tricks page. Oops. :-) That's been corrected.
I just noticed that the links to several of my modified Greasemonkey scripts were not updated to reflect the new site layout. I fixed these links on the Mozilla Firefox Tips and Tricks page so that they now point to the correct location.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
My last post on this subject discussed the changes the most directly affect users. This post will discuss content changes.
With the exception of the previously mentioned Support Forum, there's that's truly new in terms of content. While everything has been reorganized and cleaned up, I haven't yet had the chance much new information to the site. I did, however, remove several sections that were available on the previous site. Here's a summary of what was not migrated:
*Restricted to authorized users. Anonymous users couldn't see it.
That should cover it. If you have a questions or comments about these removed sections, please post a comment and let me know. I'll probably make one more post on this topic, covering overall site layout and design changes.
I hate to do this again after the recent major changes, but I need to do some more testing. E-mail will be unavailable beginning 8:00am CDT. I'll update this post as soon as it's available again.
Update: The mail server is available again as of 11:00am CDT.
I've updated my Firefox and Thunderbird Tips and Tricks pages. I actually updated them a couple weeks ago during the website migration, but I was limiting myself to news posts only about the migration itself at the time. So, if you've already checked it out recently, there's no need to do so again.
For those of you that have not check it out recently, the main changes involved updating the extension and Greasemonkey script lists, as well as posting the latest copies of my user.js and prefs.js files. This update is current as of Firefox 18.104.22.168 and Thunderbird 22.214.171.124.
In case you haven't yet explored the new site, I added an official Support Forum to LegRoom.net. I debated whether or not I wanted to do this, as I've never had one on my site in the past and, in general, I'm not really much of a fan of forums to begin with. However, given the relative popularity of my applications (particularly Universal Extractor and AutoFLAC), I decided that it would be easiest for both me and my users to have a centralized location for support and feedback.
Prior to this, all feedback for Universal Extractor was directed to the MSFN forums, AutoFLAC feedback was directed to the Hydrogenaudio forums, and all other feedback was handled via e-mail or website posts. This has worked fine, and I'm very grateful to the fine folks at both MSFN and Hydrogenaudio, but at this point I'd like to begin consolidating feedback and support into a single location. I'll continue to monitor those topics and post new release notices, but I ask that all future support requests be submitted via the LegRoom.net Support Forum.
I'm going to update my software pages shortly to reflect this change. If you have any problems with or questions about this change, please let me know (or better yet, post to the forum! :-).
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