Changes Coming @ Your LISNews
I'll be moving LISNews onto the Drupal platform at some point in the near future.
If you're one of the very few readers who have been around since the beginning of the site you might recall I've made changes like this before. I started the site (In1999) with flat html files, then we were powered by PHPSlash, and lately LISNews has been running on Slashcode, which tends to be hard to use, buggy, and rather poorly designed. So to help celebrate the 8th anniversary of LISNews (November 2nd) this year I plan to move LISNews onto Drupal, and yet another new server. That gives me about 4 months to get to know Drupal a bit better, work out all the formatting, and then move over all the old content including users, passwords, comments, stories and journals. I'm also thinking about a to return to the old colors (Some find bright Orange soothing).
Slashcode was never a great fit for LISNews, but it was pretty much the only choice several years ago when I made the move. Slashcode isn't right for us for many reasons, but I think it comes down to just a few things. Slashcode is written by people whose primary goal is crowd control. My goal has always been participationâ€¦. The twain shall never meet. And the user/developer community is pretty much nonexistent. Shane over at Lottadot has been our host for a few years, and he's also been the most vocal and helpful Slashcode developer.
So I'm hoping Drupal will increase participation and make LISNews easier to use, and therefore more interesting for everyone. I think the large and active developer community will allow me to add in all the useful modules that are available, which should make the site better because more people will be able to participate and contribute instead of waiting on me to fix bugs that never happen.
The seed to move actually got planted @ALA this year when I was talking with someone about moving her blog. It reminded me of the moves I've made with LISNews in the past, and got me thinking about the future. One trouble with each move is some stuff will disappear. I told her "you just gotta cut the cord", and I expect I'll do the same this time. There's a chance just about every single useful page @LISNews will essentially disappear. All the feeds will change, the articles will all be broken, all inbound links will be 404. Should I care about this? I don't know. I remember Jessamyn trying to convince me I should really care during the last move, but apparently it didn't work, because everything broke then too. I suppose I could do some mod_rewrite work this time and make things not quite so broken.
The move to Drupal will also allow me to host LISNews on LISHost once again. That'll mean it won't cost me any extra money next year! So, sometime soon I'll be directing one of the "other" LISNews domain names at a Drupal install. I'll poke around and practice, get to know the code a bit more, and I invite you to do the same. Then I'll figure out how to move the data over, and we'll be ready to go. Sounds easy, doesn't it? What could possibly go wrongâ€¦..