Archive for the 'site updates' Category

Some day this site will reach the top of the “to do” list

That day isn’t today, unfortunately. But hopefully soon. (I’m decluttering and part of the decluttering is getting rid of a load of notes and papers I have related to the updates for this site. I can’t throw them out because I need to transfer the information on them to the site and I can’t finish decluttering with them hanging around. Oh, it all goes round and round…)

Where have I been?

I’ve been away from the updates I *was* working on for months. When I last posted (in February), my mother had just recently had a stroke. A few weeks after that, they stopped her chemotherapy (for ovarian cancer) because it just wasn’t working. I went down to visit with her one last time in late June, and she died just after midnight on August 5. I still don’t know what to do with myself.

Moving to Joomla

I’ve put the move to a Joomla-driven site on hold. Part of it is a control issue, as in I feel I don’t have the kind of fine control I need/want when using a content management system like Joomla. I will likely eventually finish the conversion, more as an exercise than anything else, but for the foreseeable future, the site will be static HTML pages. So, my plans for the immediate future of the site are to just (for the love of God!) finish the original redesign so that I can start thinking about adding content. (There’s a ton of that that I just haven’t gotten around to adding.)

So, please stick with me. If you’ve e-mailed me and haven’t gotten a response, please try again. I’ve had a memory like a sieve over the last year or so and probably just forgot to reply to you. It’s nothing personal so please feel free to bug me about it. :-)

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Sometimes life hits you

Sorry for long absence. And so much for a speedy site redesign. Well, that’s pretty typical for me, as you probably already realize — I have a very short attention span, it seems and I’m easily distr….ooo, shiny.

Family troubles have been keeping me away. My mother was diagnosed with her third bout of cancer late last year, and about a week and a half ago suffered a stroke. So my brain has been everywhere but here for months.

Still, I do plan on finishing the new redesign. I’m moving the site to a Joomla platform (it’s about 5% done so far) to make it easier to maintain and hopefully easier for other people to help out if they want. (That’s the beauty of a content management system.)

Stick with me — it’s coming, it’s just coming slowly.

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The best laid plans

So, how’s the site update going?

It’s going. Slowly, but it’s going. I’d estimate that it’s about 40% done right now, but that clearly means I won’t be unveiling it this long weekend. The problem is that I keep getting sidetracked by things I want to change as I’m trying to port the information over from the old format to the new — it adds a considerable amount to the time it’s taking. So I’m resetting the countdown clock until November 1, 2009, giving me 2 more months to finish the work.

Please bear with me.

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What’s on your wishlist?

What will updating the site include?

  1. New site design (throughout the entire site, with all existing pages either converted or removed if no longer in use), using Joomla. Existing pages will be converted and cleaned up (possibly even rewritten). Pages that are no longer in use (such as the webrings page) will be removed.
  2. All regular cast biography pages will be completed and/or updated.
  3. Crew information and guests will be as complete as possible (given that I don’t currently have access to all of the episodes).
  4. The Channel Ten show section will be completed.
  5. Additional content will be added to the Supply Room and Exam Cubicle sections.

What will updating the site not include (at least not by August 2, 2009)?

  1. Being realistic, it’s probably not going to include any additional episode guides. I know that 70 days sounds like a long time, but it really isn’t. Once the new CMS is implemented, though, it will be much easier to add that information and so episodes will be updated as I can get to them, maybe one or two every week or two starting in mid-August.
  2. It also may not include all of the articles and photos that I have on hand. I’m going to try to get them all in on time, but if they aren’t all ready by the deadline, the stragglers will come in the days and weeks following the August 2 deadline.

What would you like to see on the site?

Besides it actually being updated regularly, I mean. And all the missing bits and pieces (like cast bios and the like) being finally filled in. Is there anything that isn’t currently on the site and not on the “to do” list for the site that you’d like to see here?

For example, I had been considering restarting the forum again. Does anyone want that? Jodi’s Yahoo mailing list is nice (though I admit I don’t venture there very often) but there’s something to be said for an actual forum, one that isn’t hidden behind a locked door.

What else would you like to see here? Now’s the time to tell me, so leave a comment (or drop me an email) and let me know what’s on your wishlist.

2 comments

If you wait long enough…

…you don’t have to finish anything.

Such has been my history with redesigning this site. Long before I ever complete a redesign, I either get bored with the new look, tired of the sheer amount of work involved, or sidetracked by other things.

So, here we are. This site redesign has been taking so freaking long that I’ve changed my plans. (Several times, in fact, but you really only care about the latest decision because that’s the one that I’m actually going with.)

After leaping in head first to help redesign a rodeo site using Joomla earlier this year, I’ve decided to convert the Hospital to Joomla as well. Once I’ve got the design tweaking nailed down, converting the actual content will be much faster than with the current design/redesign because I won’t have to worry about the infrastructure, just the content.

At the risk of sounding like I have many other times before, I don’t envision this taking very long (I realize that “very long” is a relative term. For example, the current redesign has been underway since 2004. That’s a very long “very long”. This will be much shorter.) The design tweaking for the Joomla version should take no more than a month or so to complete. The content conversion should take another month or two. (Keep in mind that I won’t be working on the site full-time.)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the site at this domain (it was officially opened on August 2, 1999) so my plan is to get this all completed by August 2, 2009. That’s over two months away (70.5 days, to be exact) so it should be doable.

I’ll keep you posted.

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