A Change is in the Wind



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Faulkner
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A Change is in the Wind

Post by Faulkner » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:30 pm

Folks,

This post is going to get a little technical. For those whose eyes will glaze over, here's the bottom line:

1) I'm upgrading the Forum on Friday to a new version of software.
2) This will enable me to add new features in the future.
3) One immediate improvement folks will notice, is the ability to upload multiple files at a time.

And now, the gory details...

I have long been stymied my my inability to keep the website current with the tools I've used in the past. Adding new members to the Showcase, adding new content to Ephemera, even just noting "What's New" has been a chore. Ron and I both thought that the Gallery we added to the site would help, but the lack of integration with the rest of the site also made it difficult. I imagined that if I could move all of the content outside of the Forum (the Showcase, Ephemera, etc.) into the Forum, and put a new Portal around the whole thing - that would allow me (and others) to easily add content without the burden of web development.

And it seems, the new version of phpBB (the software the Forum is written in) would allow us to do just that! Except... For videos.

There's a mix of Windows Media, Quicktime, and Flash movies on the website. These are all in proprietary format (Microsoft, Apple and Adobe respectively) that require special players be built in to the software of your computer. Some of you may have noticed, you can't play some videos depending on your computer, tablet or phone.

HTML5 to the rescue! It's a brand new language for the web, that is supported by all modern web browsers. And it also supports playing standard, non-proprietary video formats without a special player. If you have a modern browser, you can play the video. These are "mp4", "webm" (sponsored by Google, soon to replace YouTube videos) and "ogv" (many cell phones produce these).

However, while the new version of phpBB is written with HTML5 in mind - phpBB does not take into account the fact that it can play these standard formats natively. This has kept me from upgrading the Forum to the new version of phpBB. I've asked for an "extension" - a special enhancement to the software that permits you to add a feature - but in the meantime...


I hacked it! I found a way to edit the new version of phpBB in such a way that will permit it to play the standard video types. Now that I've removed that obstacle, I plan to upgrade to the newest version of phpBB this Friday, and then start the laborious process of converting all old proprietary video formats to the new standard formats. That in itself will take some time, but once it's complete, it will be on to bigger and better things.

Thanks for hanging in there,
Dan
"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

User avatar
Faulkner
Posts: 3715
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: Upper Darby, PA
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Re: A Change is in the Wind

Post by Faulkner » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:04 pm

The board is back - upgraded to the latest version! A couple bugs to fix, but it seems functional.

You'll notice that the "rotating '59" pic in the upper left corner is missing - I have to fix a bug to address that, as well as add the chat back. But new video formats are now supported:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2675&p=18323#p18323

Also, for those who like to upload stuff - you'll see that it's now a lot easier, because you can add multiple files at once.

Things should settle down soon, and then I can go about making improvements.

Dan
"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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Faulkner
Posts: 3715
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: Upper Darby, PA
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Re: A Change is in the Wind

Post by Faulkner » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:14 pm

OK, the rotating '59 Plymouth pic is back. And I've added a chat - although, it's an experimental version. The archive and the popup feature don't work yet, but are promised for the next release.

Dan
"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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Faulkner
Posts: 3715
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: Upper Darby, PA
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Re: A Change is in the Wind

Post by Faulkner » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:52 pm

Faulkner wrote:... I found a way to edit the new version of phpBB in such a way that will permit it to play the standard video types. Now that I've removed that obstacle, I plan to upgrade to the newest version of phpBB this Friday, and then start the laborious process of converting all old proprietary video formats to the new standard formats. That in itself will take some time, but once it's complete, it will be on to bigger and better things.

Thanks for hanging in there,
Dan
Wow! that was a while ago, wasn't it. Well, while I was able to make standard video types play fine on the desktop, I have been frustrated by the inability for iPads and iPhones to play them on the Forum. For those who might be in the gory technical details, you can read about it here and here.

But for those who aren't - suffice it to say, I've gotten smarter about how web content delivery works, and in particular how it works with phpBB (the software our Forum is written in). And I've fixed the problem. And now that I have gotten past this nagging, stubborn problem - I'm ready to move on to some of the other issues with the Board. Like, how to move the Showcase, Ephemera, etc. into it.

Promises, promises! I may be TWSWM (The World's Slowest Web Master), but I am nothing if not persistent.

Stay Tuned!
Dan
"If it's new, Image Plymouth's got it!"

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