The wind of change blows straight into the face of time... feeling different? Afraid? Scared? Disgusted? Or perhaps pleasantly suprised? For Parsis' sake, what happened to this site? Ah, nothing that I didn't want. And if I wanted it, it's been an attempt to improve it, performed in good faith.
What happened: put simply, the site became PART of its community. All its pages are now threads in the forums. All its ZIP archives are now parts of the community disk. No? You liked it more when it was a static HTML site? We lost the good old look and feel? The good old pages? Wait a minute before whining, pointing the finger, kicking me. What did we lose? We've lost a collection of html pages, replaced by other pages that are instead generated throught the PHP scripts of Postline.
I admit I've been making a revolution, but I don't feel guilty of anything. I'm writing this to calm the regulars down, not as some sort of excuse. It's, in short, a DON'T PANIC message. Want the old layout back? It can be restored, I always leave a bridge between NOW and YESTERDAY. But it took lots of effort to redesign the whole layout, reorganize the folders on the server, write the new pages for all the stuff...
The advantages of integration are many. It will be easier to update the site, not needing an FTP session anymore (at least for whatever is not VITAL to the workings of the site itself, like the webscripts and other strongly protected contents). The pages forming the site itself are now along with the rest of the community posts, bringing them nearer to the members and their comments and their stuff. It will be easier to update and manage new INBOXes for the Noctis archives, and we may even have a gallery written as a thread, or a sequence of threads, one per theme. Why not? It's easier and more flexible! It's also easier to find stuff, not needing anymore to surf throught the old and oversized "divisions" of the site, just a simple navigation bar, small and compact, to point at a few key-threads, where projects go on.
I don't know you, but I personally love this idea.
But now, there's to speak of one further change that was, at this point, necessary, and quite depressive, specially for me, because it's a defeat of my php scripts, and a pretty painful hit to my ego.
It's the search function's words indexing. The search function has been disabled, at the moment. I'll try to optimize it, but I don't know... it was fast in the beginning, but with the growing database of message IDs to associate with the various words, it became definitely pretty slow, and although it's quite well organized as an indexed database (split in exactly 200 files, each having an average size of 4-5 Kb), the functions performing filtering and adding or removing records from the words index are probably unefficient. To avoid overloading the server, I've so temporarily disabled words indexing and searchs. If I can manage to optimize those functions, they'll be back as they were left, though. You will note that Postline will post and edit messages in a fraction of a second, proving that 99% of the time was formerly taken by words indexing. The rest of the database structure is lightning fast, but search is a very, very, absolutely useful function. So I'll do whatever is possible to do.