Yet another rebuild (

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Brian Racer

Apr 7, 2009, 3:38:12 PM4/7/09

Hey all,

I have yet another HOTU rebuild( My feature
set and
goals seem to be very similar to those of Walter's which he posted

My version is specifically designed to not only clone the features of
the old
site, but be open enough where it is easily to add new features.

The current layout leaves something to be desired, but I have top men
working on
an awesome useable design. Top men.

* i18n, l8n support
* SEO friendly URLs
* Lightning fast fulltext search based on Sphinx(currently only games are
indexed, but adding other models and fields is trivial)
* Build on a standardized, well known framework, with specific coding
conventions. This will make finding new developers easier if need be.
* Games have unlimited number of 'attachables'. Currently those include
screenshots, game files, music, and manuals.
* Already running in a cluster of appliation servers
* Powered by nginx, ruby, mysql, memcache, sphinx
* Currently porting a pretty cool recommendation system I did in python for
another social site(this wont be useful until there is more downloads and
favorites data)
* Script is setup to mirror all attachments to S3, other storage mediums
be added
* Already easily deployable to multiple servers
* Unit and functional tested -> necessary to make sure developers don't
things when adding functionality in the future
* Assets being served transparently through a content server
* Page content being cached in memcache, among a few other things

Functional but not deployed live yet
* User comments
* User reviews
* OpenID support
* Versioned review edits
* User favorites(these play into the recommendation system)
* Basic user roles and approval system
* Games can have unlimited links, themes, collections, related games

I have also scrapped all company info and images, I will be uploading that
information to the google group soon.

A quick bit about me - I have been doing web development for the past 7
and currently much of my time is consulting for large websites doing
full stack
performance tuning(primarily LAMP).

I know there are a number of these rebuilds appearing, here are some
issues I
have with current sites:
Myself, along with a number of others are very nervous about Joomla. I have
working with a few sites that used Joomla/Mambo and have also used it
myself in
the past.

Joomla has given a good amount of forward momentum to get the site
out there quickly, but I see problems once we want features that joomla and
plug-ins don't already exist for. Finding good PHP developers is hard,
ones that want to deal with joomla is harder. The internals are very
messy and
inefficient. Certain plugins are incredibly memory hungry. The times I have
encountered issues with it, we basically just hacked around the problems
to get
it to perform well rather than fixing those problems.

This is more of a rant about Joomla than your efforts, the site you have
together is great.

From what I can tell from the urls another custom PHP site. Currently
all of
these sites are pretty much just a frontend to a relational database.
No need to reinvent the wheel badly with custom PHP scripts to pull out
there are already some great frameworks that make this process easier, less
error prone, and enforce better development practices. Symfony(PHP),
Django(Python), and Rails(Ruby) are all great choices in my opinion.

From what I read on Walters email this one is probably the closest to my
vision(feature wise). My main gripe is how the frontend is displayed, I
think it should be powered fully by javascript and ajax. That is easy
enough to
change though.

So anyway,

We already have a ton of the data, and right now we are just building a
for that. This should be the simplest and quickest part(my site is has a
lot of
great features, and has only taken me a few days). If we start
complicating what
should be easy, the hard stuff is going to be really hard.

I own a number of servers, and already have deployment and backup
strategies in
place for them. My servers are also connection to a SAN where much data
mirrored to.

Currently I have most game covers and screenshots, company logos, gamebook
files, and some game files. Anyone looking to help just send me an email!

Thanks for your time :)

Brian Racer a.k.a. anveo


Apr 7, 2009, 8:30:53 PM4/7/09
to Home of the Underdogs Revival Project
It seems that and will share
all/part of downloads technology. So, if anyone is willing to help one
of the sites with uploading games it is highly encouraged since your
effort won't be used by one site only but by two of them!

I really hope that there will be people willing to help with the game
uploads/retrieval/sorting task :)


Apr 7, 2009, 9:21:25 PM4/7/09


I like your approach and agree with much
of what you're saying...

However, I do think that it will be difficult to
replicate the functionality of the platform I'm
using at a similar speed.

In particular, providing true internationalisation
means solving issues with translation
management, content delineation (if just
for priorities), and a large number of libraries
must be upgraded (anything to do with
dates/calendars), plus absolutely all
content that is output... which may include
images, as well as simple text strings,
or complex auto-generated document
templates (eg: for automated emails).

I am skeptical that your approach has
pre-built solutions to these issues, but
it's great to see someone else getting stuck
in.  When we run in to issues in this
area, hopefully we can share solutions,
since nobody else seems to be thinking
about translations :)

PS: Sorry no updates today, wasted the
      evening playiing Ironman Super Offroad
      and 'Mine Bomber' on a big screen
      TV with gamepads. :)  Mine Bomber
      rocks!  It reminds me of nibbles.bas
      after we hacked it to have weapons.

- Walter
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