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The last update on the old platform…

June 24, 2012, 8:07 PM

Boy, this is a weird feeling.  But it’s true – this Journal entry is the last update I’m doing on the old system.  The final conversion to WordPress happens in less than a week (12:01 AM on July 1, 2012, to be exact), and so at this point I feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth to continue to cross-post updates on Falcon and the production site.  I’ve been writing new Journal entries in Falcon and then converting them down to the old system for a few weeks now (vs. converting for Falcon), and so it will be nice to not have to do that anymore, since the conversion was entirely manual, and prone to mistakes.  And once beta testing began a week ago, that took the wraps off of Falcon, it got particularly annoying to do the extra work for a site where its days were numbered in the teens, and where the successor website was already publicly available (albeit in beta test form).

That said, if I do any Journal entries between now and July 1, I’m not cross-posting them to the old site.  I’m going to post them on Falcon only, and then they will come over when Falcon becomes the production site.

Meanwhile, beta testing is going quite well, thank you very much.  People have been combing through Falcon, and interestingly enough, not a single technical problem has been uncovered.  I figured I’d have a small list of errors that needed to be corrected after a week of testing.  Apparently I did my work fairly well.  The only mistakes that have turned up are minor factual errors in the Fire Alarm Collection pages, and a date error on the new James Madison University photo set that’s being released with the conversion.  Nothing technical at all – entirely “human” problems, i.e. I could be the biggest WordPress whiz in the world and still have made those mistakes because they had nothing to do with WordPress.

Otherwise, in the week before launch, I’m working on the project I was planning to work on after Falcon was finished.  Realize that right now, The Schumin Web Transit Center only goes as far as March 2008, when Big Mavica bit the dust.  I did that update in April 2010.  Now, Transit Center is getting a much-needed update to add about four years’ worth of photos to the site.  That’s definitely going to be a change from what I’ve been working on.  Transit Center’s current build dates from 2009, and is definitely a product of its time as far as my website-designing skills went.  It uses tables for its layout, the style sheet has only color information on it, and the black border on all of the images is hard-coded onto the images.  Thankfully, though, unlike regular Schumin Web, Transit Center has a complete set of image masters.  So to get rid of the borders, I just have to go back to those and size things down to where they belong, and then code new borders into that tiny little style sheet.  I estimate that whole conversion would take about an hour to do, but I don’t need to do it just yet.  I’ll do that a little further down the road.

Right now, the biggest thing is content.  I have all this new content, and it’s going to get sifted through, refined, and made to look pretty awesome.  I have to decide what’s going up, what needs to get cropped, rotated, or otherwise touched up, and I also have to, on an individual basis, determine whether the images replace an existing image or are an addition to the pool.  However, I’m optimistic that things will do well.  Here’s one photo from the new group:

Red Line train at the Glenmont platform at Forest Glen

That is a Red Line train to Glenmont, waiting at the platform at Forest Glen, taken on March 12, 2011.  I believe that they were single tracking further up the line towards Glenmont on this particular day, thus why the train held long enough for me to get a number of photos of it at varying exposures.  It’s too bad that I can’t use a tripod on Metro, but I totally understand why it’s not allowed.  If I could use a tripod, then I’d have some really awesome shots.

So there you go, I suppose.  See you after the proverbial ball drops on July 1 and The Schumin Web under WordPress becomes a reality.

Web site: Why Convert Your Website to WordPress?

Song: Video about The Rock-afire Explosion. I miss that show. That was very much a part of my childhood, and it's kind of sad that it's so rare anymore. The nearest Rock-afire Explosion installation to me that I know of is in Barboursville, West Virginia - six hours' driving time away. On the same note, this is kind of neat: Someone dressed as Mitzi Mozzarella for Halloween one year, and did a really good job! Now to see someone dress up as Billy Bob...

Quote: Eventually, by the way, I do want to convert Transit Center to a more standardized content management platform, similar to what I did with Schumin Web. Does anyone have any leads on what would be a good platform for a site like Transit Center? I figure it's either a WordPress installation with plugins more suited for Transit Center's specific needs, or an entirely different platform that I don't really know about yet. In any case, it's a ways down the road, but it's good to think about now since it is something know that I want to do.

Categories: Schumin Web meta