2010 Spring Clean Changelog

Posted by: Gremelin

2010 Spring Clean Changelog - 03/01/10 09:12 AM

I'm creating this topic to keep track of some of the updates being made to the site during our Spring Clean.

2010.02.26 - Recommended Reading: The system was finally completed and data populated.

2010.02.27 - Links: Maintenance of this section has always been a pain due to how we track outgoing links; the system is now fully worked into our admin panel to aid in maintenance. The system itself works as it has since the last update to the system.

2010.02.28 - File Sharing: The File Sharing system has been completely reworked, both on the backend and frontend. We can now manage things in the admin panel so db diving isn't a thing we'll have to do with this system. The front end ended up with an early morning reworking as it got hosed :P.

2010.03.09 - Caching, RSS, and Staff!: We made some critical updates to the Caching mechanism that we wrote last year, it seems that the RSS feeds we compile for sitemaps in the backend where croaking... This update allowed some cleanup time for the coding. The Staff System was also rewritten completely.

We have several backends which where never completed when the front end was worked on it's my hope to have these out of the way in March 2010 where time permits.

I am at this time not planning to add any new systems, I believe these should be held off until the Summer 2010 season and I'm currently focusing on finalizing current systems in place.

We will be working on a revamped application/jobs system, in the time being if you'd like to help, any user can populate the new systems (on the main page see the "Submit" section); this will allow users to in essence make the site theirs!
Posted by: Gremelin

Reports Hub - 03/03/10 10:19 PM

I am currently laying the groundwork for a "Reports" hub; if you've seen any of our sister sites (such as The GoNix Initiative you've seen that you can report any "issues" with just about anything (articles, files, links, etc); well, UGN Security will have the same thing soon!

What does this mean for you? Well, if you find say a file which is corrupt, or an article that is incomplete, you can let us know just by clicking the "report" icon next to its title.

We're also giving thought to adding a comments section to each item as well (which will ultimately work just how the reports system works) but that'll be something to touch base on at a later date.
Posted by: Gremelin

Gaming Reviews - 03/15/10 06:35 AM

Some time ago a former staffer (Crime) purged all traces of our gaming lineage off of the forums, landing a pretty substantial hit to incoming traffic through Search Engines. Since then we re-evaluated our policies and even started ideas for a separate Gaming Community (Elite Web Gamers). Today, we bring a little more back...

A Gaming Review page has now been added to the main page; this will allow all users to submit their review on a game (or, coming soon, comment on a review and add their own comments). This section pretty much clones coding from a previous system so maintenance was a breeze to get setup after email requests.

As always, you can add a review from the main page (See the "Submit" section).
Posted by: Gremelin

Front Page News - 03/15/10 06:11 PM

We've had the News relayed to the main page for some time; but the RSS parser that we where using was kind of dated and didn't support any type of markup from posts.

Additionally, there were some validation issues with the syndicated data and the pages weren't uniform.

Today we've revamped the news relay bits and cached the output for additional speed of loading; best of all, this data is now uniform (and additional feeds can be added at a later date); this means far easier maintenance and faster access times from the scripts.
Posted by: Gremelin

Gatherings and Zines - 03/15/10 09:42 PM

Some time ago we wanted to keep track of various Gatherings (2600, HITB Conference, Defcon, etc) as well as various eZine's, but updating these pages (among others) became quite tedious.

Both of these systems have been updated to the new code schema and are operating as intended; I'll likely adjust the look of them at a later date, but they're up and feeding from the backend and caching as intended.
Posted by: Gremelin

FAQ Revamp and SEO Handling - 03/17/10 05:30 AM

We've completely revamped the Frequently Asked Questions system as well as added some new code to help cleanup duplicate URLs.

It took a lot of time to rewrite all of the SEO friendly URLs and the systems that handle them; earlier today it came to my attention that since I'm not using a function to generate these links (And am doing it individually) these links weren't always the *exact* same.

As of today, a function is in place to generate these links.
Posted by: Gremelin

Re: FAQ Revamp and SEO Handling - 03/17/10 06:12 AM

I think that at this point I need to dedicate some time to updating the link creation and new coding on the existing systems versus pushing out new systems for a couple of days...

These updates shouldn't take *too* long though :P
Posted by: Gremelin

Re: FAQ Revamp and SEO Handling - 03/25/10 04:51 AM

After a short vacation (3 days, Sunday till Tuesday) I got back in and finished the new caching code and applied it to all of the pages that it applies to; I also finished all of the shorturl's coding that got updated and fixed up the additional coding to those pages.

It would seem that CafePress has updated the URLs to their product images, so next I suppose we'll need to go in and change all of the URLs to products so that they work in the store properly; this is a pretty big task since we have quite a few products lol...

I've got a couple of other ideas on the back burner, but I want to try to keep this spring update geared towards updating older code.
Posted by: Gremelin

Terminology & Definitions - 03/29/10 02:02 AM

If you've seen some of our other sites you'll see various definition pages of what things do (kinda like the manual pages that come with Linux).... About 2 years ago I decided that being a central information hub would be a valuable resource.

Today our Terminology page has been setup. Like most of the new systems everyone can add to it, all you need to do is just follow the formatting on the submission page.

If you'd like to take it for a test drive, click here.
Posted by: Gremelin

UGN Search Engine - 04/03/10 09:38 PM

It's been some time since we've had the search boxes on the main page working as they should; I know it's bothered a lot of you as much as it has to myself... Trying numerous different options gets kind of tedious, especially when they just stop working...

Well, today we've got the search options working with the Google Search for Domains through Adsense. This new engine should continue to work indefinitely (as it's pretty basic).

Please note though that the Internet and Site searches only use the Google Search, the Forum Search searches the forums using the built in forum search.

Also note that all content won't be immediately available in the search results as the site isn't fully indexed in Google at this time. This will change over time however.
Posted by: Gremelin

Advertising Pages - 04/05/10 08:14 AM

I know that I never really followed through with the (former management's) plan to sell advertising through a central area on the site... In fact, this area has been listed under construction since I recoded the site back in 2002.

I'm still not sure if or when we'll sell advertising, but I did complete the majority of an advertising information portal on the main site; as this section will remain under construction (as we're not planning on selling ad's at this time (other than our current Google Ad's)) for those who're curious you can see the new system here.

If you just try to access the Advertising System all you'll get is an "Under Construction" placeholder; so you'll need to be sure to visit through the advertising preview link above.
Posted by: Gremelin

Store 3.0 - 04/09/10 11:40 AM

One section that I will be tackling soon is the storefront.

Currently we have a system that's not updated properly, and theres too many items.

I'll be breaking the system back down to its most basic state to rebuild the system, and I'll be purging all of the current items for sale.

After this has completed we (myself and hopefully a couple of volunteers) will go through our CafePress account and decide what designs make it, which has to go, and what products are the "sure things".

Ideally i'd like to earn enough income on the site to afford non-profit status (which would allow you all to work for an official non-profit). I'd also want to get an SSL cert setup and finish paying on the domain we hold for ourselves and projects down the road.

If you have any ideas, let me know.
Posted by: Gremelin

Re: Store 3.0 - 05/20/10 01:00 AM

I'd just like to add to this changelog that we've added RSS and JavaScript syndication options which where posted about here.