July 13, 2005

Something new for the website

A note from the 3D Realms Webmaster, Joe Siegler...

"For years I've been doing the news on the 3DR site the same way, but I've decided to get with the times and put the 3DR news archives in a content management system, and not do it the old way. My "old way" was to manually create the pages in Microsoft Frontpage, and then upload them to the server. While that worked, it was a pain if I wanted to edit from home, or needed someone else to do an update. Making this move is mostly a benefit for me in terms of maintenance. And going forward it will make it easier to do certain things I have planned.

Now that this has launched, I wanted to add a few thoughts about the new system, and point out a few things.

  1. First off, a major MAJOR thanks goes out to Kev_Hectic from our forums who helped me out in getting the old news into the system. Without his help, this project would probably still be ongoing. Thanks Kev!
  2. I've decided to add some color for the subjects of the stories to make 'em stick out a bit more. The old system had the same font as the body of the story in white, which I didn't think "stuck out" enough - not enough attention was drawn to the subject. The colour choice is a match with other colors on the page layout, so it fits in that regard (meaning it's not something like bright green which would be bad).
  3. The biggest benefit to you the site visitor is that you can search the old news now, which wasn't possible under the old system (at least internally, anyway). The search box is at the bottom of the page.
  4. Speaking of old news, the news now goes all the way back to the start of our website. I discovered some old news from Summer of 95 to Fall of 97 that I thought was lost. In our old format, the earliest news story I had was October of 1997 (our site went online in July of 1995 originally). We weren't doing "news stories" from Oct of 96 through 97, but the ones we did before that were thought lost. But thanks to the magic of archive.org, I was able to fully restore our news history, going all the way back to the initial launch of our website on July 7, 1995. The index link is also at the bottom of the page.
  5. All the stories say "posted by Joe Siegler". One of my ideas going forward is that news stories might be posted by folks here other than me. However, all the existing stories needed to be entered into the system, hence the usage of my name.
  6. Another reason for doing this is that I'm going to have the 3D Realms site listed as a news source in Google News. I've done that with some non 3D Realms sites I'm involved in, and thought it was a good thing for here as well.
  7. Some fonts have changed - the font used for the body of the text is slightly different than it was before, and some spacing has been put between lines of text to make it more readable for some folks who have said the existing one was too small in the past.
  8. There is also now an rss feed link for the site news which you can use in anything that can read rss files. That link is at the bottom of the page.

I find it hard to believe that our website has been going for a decade now. You can tell the scope of our news stories is different in 2005 than it was in 1995. Look at some of the announcements from the earliest days and how little they actually said. We didn't even announce the release of v1.0 shareware of Duke Nukem 3D (Jan 29, 1996)!

So let me know what you think - you can join in the discussion on our forums with the link below. Overall, it shouldn't be THAT different from what came before - I spent some time making the software mimic the existing site as it existed."

Posted by Joe Siegler on July 13, 2005 at 12:02 PM | Permalink
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