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ScuderiaCiriani.com/rx7 - Web Site Help Wanted

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Old 02-28-05, 06:08 PM
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ScuderiaCiriani.com/rx7 - Web Site Help Wanted

I sort of started this a while ago, but didn't have time to follow through, so I am starting a new thread. I also needed some time to think through how to do this.

In terms of priority, it looks like we should do:

1. Get the existing web site into some sort of database-driven or content management system so it would be easier to update and allow more people to collaborate on it.

2. Snazz up the graphics to go with ythe new domain name (FD3S.net).

3. Get volunteers for duty as a SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) for categories such as engine, suspension, etc. sort of like the forum moderator idea.

At this point I need a few good people with deep web skills (i.e.- J2EE, PHP, Javascript, MySQL, etc.). I mean like hard-core developer and infrastructure people.

And we could start on the graphics too.

Let me know if you can help...

Cheers,

Steve
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Old 02-28-05, 06:25 PM
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count me in..
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Old 02-28-05, 06:44 PM
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I'd like to help with number 3.
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Old 02-28-05, 08:56 PM
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I responded to the other thread at nopistons. I wanted to mention though that I love the "lighting in a world of thunder" You gotta keep that in there somewhere. Thats great.
Best of luck.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:05 PM
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i can help, i am an expert in many things, mostly on the MS side though, so asp/ms sql, but i have coded major application in c++, Java, smalltak, et. Obviously i can do graphics too, as that is what i am publicly known for :-) ...although much of my time is spent coding.

My company (its me and my biz partner) build enterprise class content/data management sites/applications so you can use me in any capacity you use fit (architect it, implement it, make graphics for it, whatever). For the last 7 years we have built systems (public side being a website) like you are describing so I architect projects like this in my sleep :-)\

My architecture/coding style is pretty hard core though since we usually have major functional requirements from our bigger clients (uptime, redundancy, error checking, blah blah,) so I may be overkill.

I will be flying around in the next few weeks for a large video project for a client, but after that i can help with whatever you need me to.
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Old 02-28-05, 10:12 PM
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I would just like to put my 2 cents in on my opinion on your site. It's F*CKIN great!!!!!!!! Ok, now that I have that off my chest.. good luck finding help in making the site look even better than it already does!

Jeremy
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Old 02-28-05, 10:37 PM
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I would be happy to help in any way I can. Due to my ISP background I have a lot of experience with this type of thing.
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Old 02-28-05, 11:31 PM
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Man I've used your site sooo many times, It's a great resource!

I can help with anything that needs a nail gun or a backhoe.
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Old 03-01-05, 01:45 AM
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i can help once work calms down. check out my website for a sample of my work
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Old 03-01-05, 10:21 AM
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I can help with the develpoment too. I haven't used php much, but I'm quite versed in jsp, j2ee and the db world. Heck, it's what I do all day -- every day.

Let me know what I can do.

Dave
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Old 03-01-05, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for all of the kind words. We may need the backhoe - FD3S.net is about 500MB not including the vids. And that is in spite of the fact that there are not that many graphics? Can you say content? Good, I knew you could

Cheers,

Steve
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Old 03-01-05, 04:56 PM
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So what are the thoughts for the first item - what kind of Content Management or web site generating system should we go with? Jon is creating his own, Damian has experience with these, and there is the vBulletin option.

Or as Jxy nyc suggested, we could also leave it as-is, have the SMEs work directly on individual pages and upload when ready, and then add a more graphical interface, such as the cut-away car drawings that are the second level deep (see FD3S.net and go to: Upgrades or How-to to see what I mean. here is one of those:



And once you get to that level, the next level deep currently has image maps for some of the topics, e.g.-



That last one looks a LOT better on a black background.

Cheers,

Steve
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Old 03-01-05, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MilesBFree
So what are the thoughts for the first item - what kind of Content Management or web site generating system should we go with? Jon is creating his own, Damian has experience with these, and there is the vBulletin option.
I think jsplit said he was working on one so maybe we'll wait and see what he comes up with?

Mambo is pretty good and stable.

PHP-Nuke has some good features but one has to keep up with the patches b/c it gets hacked regularly (like nopistons.com did).

VBulletin makes it a bitch to organize any information. You wind up having this random mess of mostly useless posts to sift through.

www.opensourcecms.org is a good source to see the various open source CMS systems installed and in action.

Originally Posted by MilesBFree
Or as Jxy nyc suggested, we could also leave it as-is, have the SMEs work directly on individual pages and upload when ready, and then add a more graphical interface, such as the cut-away car drawings that are the second level deep (see FD3S.net and go to: Upgrades or How-to to see what I mean. here is one of those:



And once you get to that level, the next level deep currently has image maps for some of the topics, e.g.-

I'd recommend staying away from any related to image maps. You might be attached to the look of them (they are kinda cool) but they seriously limit any growth you could possibly make to categories and make it harder to maintain and manage overall. Plus using a link based system it is easier to search via an integrated Google search box using something that a search engine can spider.

You are stuck in this position of having to recruit people to update the site b/c the underlying platform (or lack thereof) restricts your site's ability to grow/expand.

You don't want to have recruit people to write code. You want people to contribute content. That is what makes your site a success.


I offer my time and knowledge again as a business analyst (UML), project manager (PMI cert), information architect, and database(SQL, mySQL, Oracle)/developer (Java) guy. Although I don't have time to write code for this for the next few months. I run a few commercial sites as well so I can offer some input along those lines if desired.
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Old 03-01-05, 11:17 PM
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agreed...

my concept would be that you make the shell, then no one codes anymore, they just help move content from old sit to new site via the back end admin.

architec the database schema so its just recursive 'article' style data so that searches would be very easy and comprehensive, then have a grpahics guy remake the main selection graphics (i have some ideas there), make sure the graphics match the new design of the site, et ,et. once the foundation is in place then getting in dta would be wasy, and it would be a very 'small' site since the data base would handle content much better than static pages.
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Old 03-01-05, 11:35 PM
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let me elaborate a bit on what i would do from a tech perspective:

basicaly al the data can be shown in an 'article' format.

so here is your datastructure for an article:

catagory [subcategory]
date
author
content
parents (ill explain below)
children (ill explain below)

The admin screen woudl have a simple page to add new 'articles' very easily.

Now, the more complexs parts...

Categories:

This would be a recursive datastructure, that way you can have categories with unlimited sub categories, all using the same datastructure.

So, for example, at teh top level you may have 'Turbos' as a category, the under turbos you could add sub-categories 'twin' and 'single' or whatever else you needed.

Now articles could be added to the main cat 'turbos' or any sub-cat of turbos.

The categories could also be added cia the admin pages so the entire structure would be dynamic.

Now, let me explain the 'parenting' and 'children' to it, so what i mean by that is in that every articel could contain 'parent' or 'childern' articles (just ids in the database), this would allow you to tie articles to each other, for example: if somewone is looking at how to do the silicone hose job, you can show them that the 'parent' to what they are seeing would be the 'how to take off the uim' article, and as a child it may be 'how to simplify the system' article... basically it allows you to make relashionships between the articles.

ofcource you can get crazy with it, like adding the following:

rate the article (so users can rate the articles)
comment on the article (so they can add comments like a blog/forum)
et, et, et.

basically this runs the entire site except pages like the main home page, contact page, or the pages with the car graphics to 'click' into the section you want, but i would suggest also having a dynamically driven tree nav that pulls from the categories in the database.

blah blah blah....
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Old 03-01-05, 11:38 PM
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by the way, .. i wanted to mention, you guys are kinda crossing 2 different things here, ....things like vBulletin, or other forum type application do not really fit what the current site is like. If you want to change the paradigm to forum style then you would want to use those, but if its gonna stay like and 'article' style format, then dont use a forum/blog style app and try to shoehorn it in there, it will get ugly :-) just my 2 cents :-)
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Old 03-02-05, 12:13 AM
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I want to strongly agree with what Damian has said above.

The forums here are a great place to ask questions, talk through modifications, share quick ideas etc.

What is needed is more of a reference manual. Something that has moderated/edited infomation from long time owners about all of the different things that have tried over the years. I'm sure many owners have done this on their own already.

Here's an example: I know that people have tried many ways to install a water temp sensor. There's lots of pros and cons to various locations etc. However all that information is spread across 10's of threads and 100's of posts, and even if you read it once, it's not easy to find it again later. This is the sort of thing that would work very well in a topical reference manual like Damian is talking about. There's no need to duplicate the forum already available here (and nopistons)

The only thing I'd add is some sort of 'related article' table. That way you can say, link together the body/appearance mod of a MS GTC nose with the additional cooling capacity afforded by the airflow of the same part. Or show how modding the radiator may necessitate a intercooler change due to fitment issues. That would help people stage upgrades better.
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Old 03-02-05, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by damian
by the way, .. i wanted to mention, you guys are kinda crossing 2 different things here, ....things like vBulletin, or other forum type application do not really fit what the current site is like. If you want to change the paradigm to forum style then you would want to use those, but if its gonna stay like and 'article' style format, then dont use a forum/blog style app and try to shoehorn it in there, it will get ugly :-) just my 2 cents :-)
I agree with you damian, vb just doesn't fit or seem logical in my mind. I'm coding all my stuff by hand just so I can make it exactly as I want. For the howto section I'm going to be doing a article type setup with something similar to blogging for comments. All the comments will be moderated strictly to filter so I can make sure that only the "good" info is actually displayed.
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Old 03-02-05, 09:05 AM
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Damian - That sounds exactly like what I had in mind, and is not too far off of how the site is currently structured - it is hierarchical and relational and coulkd be pulled into a database pretty easily, albeit most likely manually.

GooRoo - I agree on the not wanting it to be a "regular" forum where all sorts of junk would be allowed to be posted by whomever. I was thinking of using vBulletin simply as an easy way to jump start the technology process. I didn't want to get too bogged down in the "how" so I could concentrate on the "what", i.e.- content. However, I am leaning away from that now that I have considered it more - it would be easier but not as nice as something like Jon is working on.

Jon - are you working on something along the lines of what Damian had suggested in terms of database-driven system? Are you using mySQL? Would you like to do a combined effort, and merge my content with your technology? Should we use the FD3S.net domain for the permanent home?

Cheers,

Steve
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Old 03-02-05, 09:07 AM
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As I said on ye ol' forum of the west...

Check out www.mkiv.com. The way they grid everything is just right. Professional, easy to look through, etc.

Not to copy, per se, but to get an inspiration/idea....
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Old 03-02-05, 12:52 PM
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Let me just mention that Damian and his partner created and continue to upgrade a pretty large commercial site for me unrelated to car stuff and they do an impressive job.
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Old 03-02-05, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MilesBFree
Jon - are you working on something along the lines of what Damian had suggested in terms of database-driven system? Are you using mySQL? Would you like to do a combined effort, and merge my content with your technology? Should we use the FD3S.net domain for the permanent home?

Cheers,

Steve
Steve, Yeah I am. The whole registry site right now is php + mysql backend. That's all I've coded with since php actually became stable ;p
If we do a combined effort then merging things is quite easy, developing the technology or code to drive any other ideas you may have can also be done.
Also if the sites do merge than the site can be both domain names, its the simplest thing in the world to point two domain names to one server / site.

I replied back to your email with my IM address, but it's in my profile on here as well if for some reason you didn't get it. Shoot me a email or PM to discuss further when you have some free time. I'm usually always around.

Jon
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Old 03-02-05, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevin T. Wyum
Let me just mention that Damian and his partner created and continue to upgrade a pretty large commercial site for me unrelated to car stuff and they do an impressive job.

Thanks Kevin :-)
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Old 03-02-05, 02:25 PM
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it sounds like you (Steve) and Jon have it worked out from a technology/platform perspective. I dont know the logistics but it sounds like your merging sites or somthing.

let me know if you need help with the graphics.
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Old 03-02-05, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by damian
it sounds like you (Steve) and Jon have it worked out from a technology/platform perspective. I dont know the logistics but it sounds like your merging sites or somthing.

let me know if you need help with the graphics.
Design stuff is always something I could use help with. It takes me entirely too long to come up with anything I even remotely am satisfied with much less like :\
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