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Alex of...
28th Dec 2018


house it built?


ok, where to start?

changes to this site go back to some old conversations. make sense to start there before anything else can even be framed. there's quite the trail.. or maze, so i've grabbed a few snippets with links to draw from for an initial outline. not everything is in perfect chronological order, just laid out for a snapshot.



"I haven't been privy to the discussions that led to the decision to create our own system rather than adopt an existing system such as Drupal or Tiki Wiki and adapt it to our needs. I also don't know if there is a document laying down the functional requirements for the IOPS website that underlie the present design."

"The current setup we use is Assembla and SVN for version control."




"We do need major changes and additions to the functionality offered by our website. Continuing on the present path with paid developers using a proprietary and idiosyncratic framework appears sub-optimal and even ultimately likely non-viable. Better to switch now than to keep spending resources on a dead-end course. I believe that we can develop a website that has everything we need in a participatory project using a free and open-source CMS.

I don't have specific expertise or knowledge about the respective capabilities of the major CMSs (Drupal, Joomla, WordPress) for realizing all our needs for a new IOPS website. There appears to be general agreement, though, that WordPress is easier to use. So I'm happy to defer the choice to people with more expertise in the area, but it seems that if WP can accommodate everything we need (which is something I can't judge), it is the best option."

"think i mentioned that some of the web team conversations have been private, as have been some of the requests submitted. as such, there has never been a very good process for compiling this information to be available, and creating a method for decision-making that balances with the technical and financial challenges."

"part of my reason for joining the webteam was to understand how it was built, as i didn’t understand why, after requests for tags and polls, say, it would be much of a problem or need funding. if using Drupal, for one, i could just activate the built-in polls function or install a more extensive plugin. takes minutes, and maybe some other hours for how one wants it integrated. but not months or years or even money if one wants to contribute. not much more involved than those more inclined to write blogs."

"If «we want a new website», we can discuss here. To answer «[w]hat doesn't work about the one we have» you can refer to all the things mentioned in this blog and outlined in the IOPS website improvements document, or simply to all the e-mails you sent me in this regard. «How could those problems be addressed short of a new website?» I don't really know. We could keep paying the initial programers but I find that less sustainable and costly. Anyone other than those programers cannot really do it (certainly not as cheap as they can) because the code is so specific. And I don't think they'll do it for free. The internet is a rather fast medium, meaning that websites get old very quickly. I'm afraid the problems we currently have with this website will only get worse and more costly as new hardware and software emerges. I'd rather have a transition to a new website sooner than later. If there are any better alternatives, I'm all ears though. «What are the costs associated with each alternative?» can only be answered if you tell me what those alternatives are. We are trying to outline one way forward right now in the Website Team. When we've done that we can talk about costs, but not before."

"The current website was not designed and created in a terribly well thought-out process. The process for developing a replacement will proceed in stages. The first stage is to decide what we want. A primary requirement is that any new website should at least have the capabilities that we have now and are reasonably happy with. If that was all, then obviously there would be no point in creating a new website, but there are many things that are not working properly but are hard to fix, as well as other things that we need but are almost impossible to add to the current version."



Financial status

Currently the little money we have left is still with Jason Chaplin. Based on an update of six months ago, we will have until the 2nd of April until we have run out of sufficient funds. There will then be around 44 dollars left. We will need around 41 dollars extra to cover expenses for the rest of April (monthly payments for the hosting is 84,64 dollars).

iopsociety.org domain

Last month I also got an e-mail from Jason Chrysostomou that he got an invoice for the iopsociety.org domain name. I wasn't aware of these costs but it's 16,10 GBP per year (around 20 dollars). I've included this amount in the above calculation. I asked Jason Chaplin to pay the costs, but got no response so paid it myself for now. I think we should have the ownership of the domain transferred to the newly setup association once we have the donation thing running.

6. Donate button on the homepage.

On http://dev.iopsociety.org/ (our test environment) a test donate button was added by Rod

...and somethin-somethin about a Constitution, Newsletter, Collection of Dues



"For the sake of clarity: I think it will be wise to keep a distinction between the entity holding the main account (to be created according to Proposal 14) and IOPS itself. In the draft constitution I wrote, the “Association” is not the same as IOPS. "


"Proposal 14, accepted in the September poll, reads, “Establish a legal non-profit entity that is the formal owner of the main IOPS financial account.” The remarks on this proposal further state, “Some research will be needed to find the best jurisdiction for the legal entity. The most likely form is a not-for-profit foundation with a small pro-forma board, in which the positions are mandated roles.”

"I think Rod's "bulletin board" idea is a good one. I had no idea this forum conversation was happening because I normally just glance at the Home Page for recent activity."



"Anyone interested in taking up this role? I can help too, but I'd appreciate some help."


OK THEN!!! everything is clear now :)

• old question about making changes to site was if it would be better to rebuild and migrate site from original framework.

• reasoning: long-term cost effectiveness, potentially more flexible or easier to contribute to

• leads to other questions about financing and decision-making structures (some has been approached)

• adding some notes and my current/initial questions in comments...