[Smaug] Web site maintenance (was: scruz.org re-design)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 17 00:01:54 PST 2005

Quoting Jay Campbell (jay at got.net):

> You can edit anyone's posts and dink with the sidebar.

I'm not sure I can get to (edit) that sidebar.  Of the existing site
content, I can open for editing "Welcome to Smaug", "Driving
Directions", "The History of Smaug" (all under Content), and various
menu settings (under Menus).  But I see no way my user account can
adjust sidebar contents.  (I might be mssing something.)

["Next Meeting" indicators:]

> The one in the sidebar is PHP. This is bad in the event there's not a
> meeting on a given Monday, so a human-updated list is best. I like the
> idea of a 'Next Meetings' sidebar box with 4 upcoming dates, a little 
> map, and a link for 'more info and directions'.

By "in PHP", I infer that you mean a PHP snippet that does calendar
calculations to determine and display whatever's the upcoming Monday's
date.  Right.  Agreed that four manually edited dates would be fine.  
There are times when less automation, oddly enough, leads to better

For a "little map" to work well displayed _within_ that sort of sidebar,
I guess it would have to be really simplified, tiny streetmap?  (Again,
I might be misinterpreting what you mean.)   I'm having a hard time 
envisioning something that small that would be useful.  I'd be tempted
to just have the sidebar say:

    Next Meeting: Monday, November 21 2005 @ 8pm
    Monday, Nov. 28, 2005.
    Monday, Dec. 5, 2005.
    Monday, Dec. 12, 2005.
    Monday, Dec. 19, 2005.`

...with the parenthetical stuff being link anchor to the Meeting
Directions node.

Reminds me:  One of the guiding principles I followed with the old site
is to reserve most prominence and best placement for the most vital 
information.  Thus, the most vital stuff on the front page went
top-centre, with <em></em> tags on "every Monday".  The meeting
date-formula & address sentence was way up top, introduced by
<strong>Announcement:</strong>, and whitespace under the sentence, to
make it stand out more.

The assumption is that people glance more than they actually _read_: 
So, you want to highlight the several most vital data, through placement
and markup emphasis.

If nobody minds, I'll probably do a similar adjustment to the new front

[Meeting Notes page:]

> You could enter those meeting notes as individual blog posts with
> correct dates, then continuing the tradition later should be easy.

Might try that, and see how it comes out.

I'm unclear on how that (individual blog posts) would be made accessible
properly from the sidebar where, basically we have the site menu.
If/when you have time to elaborate, that would be appreciated.

> I had set up scruz.org, but not www.* - done now.

OK, I've implemented the changeover in the scruz.org zonefile:
"www.scruz.org" now calls up the Drupal site via a CNAME entry --
one taking the place of the prior CNAME entry that pointed to
vhost.sourceforge.net.  (http://smaug-web.sourceforge.net/ reaches
the legacy SF.net virthost, as always.)

Note:  As always, even though I've cut over the DNS _already_ (a few
minutes ago), the change will take some hours or (variously) even days
to propagate, because of cached DNS information elsewhere.  If we'd
planned this more carefully, we'd have shortened TTL (cached
information's Time To Live in seconds) in anticipation of the
changeover, but we didn't, so we have to put up with that delay.

[new member confirm messages:]

> I can set it to whatever scruz.org address is likely to be answered.

At your discretion, then.  I can make [whatever]@[whatever].scruz.org
point to wherever it's needed.

Currently, www.scruz.org and scruz.org are valid SMTP destinations,
mapped at the moment to my MTA.  {abuse|postmaster}@[www.]scruz.org 
are valid mailboxes.  Others can be made valid as needed.

On reflection, I'm going to drop www.scruz.org as an SMTP destination
FQDN:  That CNAME should be a Web identity, only.

At minimum, I suppose we should start having a maintainer e-mail address
that is displayed in the footer of non-personal pages, e.g.,
webmaster at scruz.org.  This is something I always _meant_ to implement on
the old site, along with last-updated timestamps on the pages.

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