Sci-Fi Storm

A new Storm is brewing…

by on Nov.20, 2003, under General News

One of these days I intend on doing a MAJOR revamp of Sci-Fi Storm, and I’m talking from the ground up – starting first with dumping Slashcode (which is way too bulky for this) and writing my own software, with the eventual goal of a complete integrated site with both blog-style news and forums and other areas. It’s a way off (I have to steal my wife’s iBook and get it set up for programming), but I’m planning now.

So, speak up! What features should Storm 2.0 have? What should I toss? And how can I get you guys to submit more stories? 🙂

Update 11/20: just bringing back to the front for more comments.

5 Comments for this entry

  • dugh

    improvement ideas

    it’s hard to think of improvements… i think if you’re planning on writing your own code you’ve got quite a task ahead of you! in that sense you might want to look at a few premade and open source systems like blosxom that are small, quick, and very hackable. (disclaimer: i use blosxom; written entirely in perl, very small, and extensible with plugins). start with the main site and move on to more ambitious things (forums, for example) further down the road.

    for the site itself i’d recomment changing the colors; the pastel doesn’t feel very sci-fi or stormy to me. i’d move the “submit story” link somewhere more blatant so regular visitors will see it, and (if you were willing) get one or two other people involved in actively scavenging for links. i do that with a friend for this site.

    i’ll have to give it more thought for other ideas…

    • Doc

      Re:improvement ideas

      Pastel was not my aim, readability was, which I’m a stickler for. When I was adjusting the theme to be something unique from the default Slashcode theme, those were the colors I was using at the time that seemed to work well.

      The theme will definitely be changing, but I have to do some testing to make sure that readability is not affected.

      As far as new software, 1) I am a programmer. The fact that I used Slashcode instead of my own stuff intially spoke towards my laziness at the time. 2) The software will be XML-based at a certain level. XML will be used for the article and box descriptions, and XSLT used for theming. The database layer will be abstracted so that any number of back ends can be written.

      I have looked at a few other systems – is Postnuke and was previously Movable Type, but will probably be my testbed for the new software.

      • tchansen

        Re:improvement ideas

        I use Movable Type at my site, also for the lazy factor.

        One thing that bothers me a bit is that comments are so far down the page (apparently due to the sidebars) that I usually miss them.

        I enjoy the email story summaries, but I’d rather have a RSS feed. I read my personal email once or twice a day, but I review my news sites three or four times a day and it makes it easier to see what has changed.

        If you need help with any of it or want someone to test out a preview site, let me know – I’d be glad to help.

    • iamsheridan

      Re:improvement ideas

      Not a technical matter, but I think it is fun with polls, so more polls!
      /I am Sheridan

  • Anonymous Coward

    Remember stylesheets

    Whatever you do, please remember the stylesheets – too many people abuse them and use ABSOLUTE font sizes, this means that Internet Explorer won’t scale them, and usually this means that the letters on a page are so small I (and others) can’t read them. That’s a good way to drive people away.

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