Hello! Let me be the first to welcome you to evolt.org 3.0! We present an all-new site, whose development combined the best of evolution, revolution and not a few sparks of voltage — as you'd expect from people who are passionately commmitted to what they do.
For the last 6 years, this site has lived on a custom built CMS, migrating from MS Access and Windows NT, to Oracle and Linux to MSSQL and Windows 2000 along the way. The previous evolution was launched in December 2000 (yes, really), and has served evolt.org extremely well.
However, over the last couple of years, we've increasingly wanted a few things that our previous systemcouldn't do without much more developer time than we had available, particularly:
and it occurred to us that we'd be better off standing on the shoulders of non-evolters in producing new functionality, so we didn't always have to code everything ourselves from scratch. We also felt a desire to use free tools that were within the reach of every evolter, rather than the (no less capable) proprietory and pricey software we'd previously used.
The solution was obvious: move from our home-grown CMS to a packaged Open Source one, and that's exactly what we've done — this site now runs on Drupal. Ah, but that's not all, oh no.
..great things are accomplished by small groups of people who are driven, who have unity of purpose
When we first launched evolt.org, CMSs cost US$100k and more, so we took the revolutionary step of building our own (and later Open Sourcing it). Now of course, there are lots, many with large developer communities whose knowledge, expertise and code we can make use of without having to do all the work ourselves. Now we're running on Drupal, we benefit from security updates, fixes and new functionality, leaving us to concentrate on evolt-specific bits. Finding time to work on the evolt site is often hard for our all-volunteer workforce, so this is obviously tremendously helpful, and as evolt.org is all about exchanging skills and experiences with our fellow web developers, this very much feels right, as well as useful.
Along the way, we've put a few things in place that'll make our future development much more robust:
Unsubmitfunctionality for those
This site was made possible through the hard work of:
Full credit also goes to the heroes who worked on our old site for all the hours they put in over the years, including:
and in particular, Jeff Howden who has largely borne the developmenteffort alone recently and hosted the site for the last 2 years.
We've worked hard to make sure there are no absolute killer bugs left. However, as in any project this size, there are some niggly problems that we've decided to postpone fixing until post-launch in the interests of actually taking the great leap forward. We also expect there'll be things that we've not yet found as we haven't been using the site as our day-to-day evolting experience.
If you find anything that's not as it should (or could) be, we'd be very grateful if you could add bug reports and feature requests to our shiny issues tracker. Particularly, we'd like to know about problems with any articles or comments you've written and your user page.
With our larger developer community, we'll be fixing the outstanding bugs and any new ones. With Drupal's well documented API and an extensive 3rd party developer community, we'll be able to improve the site's usability and add new features. We very much hope to be able to feed our own improvements and suggestions back into Drupal, to benefit the wider community.
Our theme-based, CSS-built front end also opens the door for new designs based on any one of several Theme and Template Engines known, loved and used by many web developers.
As well as reporting any outstanding bugs, we'd very much welcome anyone with Drupal, PHP, HTML or CSS skills to join our development team, especially if there's something you think the site could or should be doing and isn't. By far the fastest way to make it happen is to volunteer to do it yourself.
And, as before, we very much welcome article contributions from evolters. If you're not currently a member, sign up today!