In an effort to make things on the development end of the site more known, we're going to be making one or two dev blogs every month. This will give a BTS look into what's actually being done to help our site become more modern, useful and safe for our community to use.
In short, this year has been eventful to say the least. We've went from an old server with a lot of bells and whistles that we didn't need, to a newer server that offers some better DDOS protection and more modern security over the old one.
During this transition, however, some unforeseen issues arose that took a good 15 days to resolve and get things running. To be honest, we're still recovering from this on the back end of things in regards to getting everything working properly the way it did with the old server. Running a newer php version tends to break things, but we had no choice but to move servers in a quick manner. We wanted new servers and wanted to take our time, but sometimes things get out of your control... and this is one of them.
The new forums was also a development decision. While we never wanted to make our community restart, there were so many custom things on the old forums that... just didn't work with the newest version of the software that had enhanced features and better security - not to mention the bugs, oh the bugs, associated with the old forums. This wasn't a decision made light-heatedly, but the feedback on the sleeker and improved forums makes us feel we made the correct decision.
Server down time, this has been an issue since we moved to the new server... and as of this last server hardening and configuration changes, we are hopeful that this won't happen again. We've removed the code that was causing the crashes and hardened the way our code interacts with the server and database so that things load faster and more reliably than ever.
Finally, onto what's been happening code wise, since the past four or five announcements in the dev area has just be server or database related (which doesn't leave much to fixing, improving or adding features to the existing site)... because isn't that what the main concern of the Dev team is?
Yes, this assumption is correct. However, our developer admin whose doing most of the code work has been preoccupied with server and database maintenance, as well as working with all the other teams on improving our staff practices and community engagement.
After the coming holidays, the development team will begin focusing their work on "RuneHQ 2.0". This project is starting the RHQ site fresh. Which means new and improved features. Making things less clunky. Using newer, more modern technologies and, of course, redesigning the layout a bit and taking a new approach in the way things are laid out and displayed. With the emergence of RS Mobile, our team is also beginning work on making the site mobile friendly so that everyone can easily access, view and use our content.
We're hopeful that we'll have a beta for the new site ready for testing during 2019, but there's still quite a bit of work left to do.
This sums up our first ever, and last of 2018, dev blog.
RuneHQ Development Team