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Big milestone reached in site redesign; Weather still blah.

Sunday, December 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


A significant milestone in the development of the redesigned JSF site was reached this morning: all 2,868 daily blogs (June 11, 2003 – December 18, 2010) have been successfully ported over to WordPress! There are a few loose ends to tie up with with some of the posts, but 98% of the work was automated thanks to the efforts of forum member “Hatter” (Tim). Looking through the thousands of posts and all the little (and not so little) things that had to be altered really drives home the scope of the project and what an incredible job Tim did. Tim, I know I speak for everyone who regularly visits this site (which, in its current state is looking really long in the tooth) when I say “Thank you!”. 🙂

While Tim was toiling over the blog conversion, I’ve been working on the integration of the forums with the redesigned JSF main site. The redesigned site will be powered by WordPress (heavily modified), but I didn’t want forum users to have to re-register. There is an existing WordPress plugin that is supposed to accomplish this task, but it’s no longer supported and has a lot of bugs. After a couple of days of almost getting the plugin to work, I saw some posts from other users who said that after running it for a period of time the plugin would begin to malfunction. No one has been able to figure out why, and the developer has apparently abandoned the project. I don’t want the new site to be unstable, so on Friday night I made the decision to close the curtain on that solution…

So Friday night I was on Facebook, in a crappy mood and whining about the above-mentioned plugin. Forum member jk0 (Josh) linked to a modest plugin that had escaped my attention. This plugin is much less ambitious than the other plugin I was attempting to get working, but the core functionality was precisely what I needed: WordPress authorization from an external database (in this case, a vBulletin database). The plugin supported MD5, but vBulletin uses salted MD5 hashes; a few quick modifications to the source code did the trick! There are a few other issues I’m working on to complete the integration, but I’m confident this solution will work. In other words, you’ll be able to log in to the new JSF web site (allowing you to comment on articles, blog, photos and so on) using your forum account. Thanks, Josh – good find!

The weather is still pretty crappy: it’s foggy, very cloudy and in the 40s. It rained all day yesterday, so I have a feeling the trails are not going to be in very good shape this morning. That’s OK – I could use a little break. Lisa is still coughing and stuffed up from the cold she got almost two weeks ago, and I have a touch of it. It’s nothing serious, I’m not coughing or stuffy, but I have slight sore throat and feel a little “off”. Rest will do me good and let my body finish fighting this off.

Registration for the January 2011 “100 Challenge” is now underway! Your Official Challenge post must be made by 9:00 AM (EDT) on January 1, 2011 if you plan to participate–NO EXCEPTIONS! To participate, you must be a member of the forum. If you are not a member, simply create a free account. It can take up to 24 hours for your account to be activated, so don’t wait until the last minute to register! For all the details, official rules and sample entry data, just head over to the January 2011 “100 Challenge” thread on the forum. If you are ready to work hard and want to challenge yourself in a fun and competitive environment, then please take part!

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