What's Next

Started by Arceus at May 28, 2019 9:27 am
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Arceus

codemancer
0
29Years Young
18 Posts

Stand up child, and turn towards the lightning, and the thunder; so I can see what I've known for all these years.


Now that Athens has been released (omg I'm here already, I really did expect it to take until July, you guys), the future of Gaia is a little more uncertain, as I don't have a planned pathway for what I'm doing after this. So this is kind of my road-map, so to say, intended to answer some questions of "What now?" that I'm sure everyone's got going on.

Updating

So the first concern is probably going to be, how are we going to be updating our installations of Gaia to the new version? Well, I'm going to be honest, you'll probably need to replace the files you have with a new set of files and maybe access an update.php URL, that one depends on whether the update of Gaia in question has any database changes that are necessary for the next version's operation.

Converters

The first order of business is going to be the conversion tools. These will take a database from either SMF or Jcink, and translate its information into Gaianese, so that you can keep your posts, members, and etc, from one software to another.

I do need to warn everyone that decides to wait for and use the converter tools: you will need to spend some time cleaning stuff up, as SMF does not directly translate to Gaia, and neither does Jcink. The password security handlers are also different across all three, and basically we can't decrypt people's passwords, just encrypt and compare, so everyone's password will be randomised, and you'll need to be able to give these randomised passwords to your players. You'll also need to redo permissions on member groups, and settings on all your forums, potentially set up the character groups because there's no very easy way of determining which ones are character groups and which are member groups when they're all the same thing... it's really just kind of a mess. So it's honestly possible that, topics, posts, members, and characters (IF it can figure out which ones are characters i.e. SubAccounts), will be moved over, and the rest just kind of ignored. It really depends on what turns out the easiest mess to fix from a user standpoint, because I promise, there will be a mess, whether you or I like it or not.

Theme System Improvements

Following this, the theme system is... it's pretty weak. It'd honestly have probably done me better to skip the admin panel controls of the themes and made it just auto-detect folder structure like it handles languages. PFFT. lol So I actually intend, before I mess with any new features, to sit down, and work on the theme system, and get it as rockin' as the rest of it. I will need to mess with a lot of stuff and add some new functionality for it, like the ability to alter theme variant settings and whatnot after making them... honestly, it's possible all of the theme management system will change in the next version of Athens, it depends on what I need to do in order to make it better. I'll also be adding installer options for themes, so that we can all start making premade themes and sharing them with each other (I really look forward to seeing everyone's theme creations!)

Tartarus

Some of you might have noticed there's a god in core called tartarus.php, and he does nothing. Nope, he does something! The Tartarus class was the start of a databases system. Those of you familiar with IPS should be wildly aware of what a database is, because it's part of IPS' pages system, but for those unfamiliar with this concept, a database is a custom-created collection of user-submitted records that gather the information and data that you ask it to. With a little creativity, you can create databases for wanted advertisements and requests, canon lists, plot information, shippers/plotters/player limits, factions and organisations, it's all only limited by your creativity.

I saw some real and tangible usages for this system, so I did start to put it in. Unfortunately, it was also at the tail end of a long, nonstop string of programming, and I was very sick of it, so it didn't make it into version 1. BUT, it will be making it into version.... 2? Idk.

Chaos

This is another core file that doesn't do anything. Unlike Tartarus, the Chaos class doesn't even have anything in it! Chaos will be the automated battle system; a long time ago, I created a 99% automated tabletop-styled battle system, complete with skill, creature, ability, spawner, quest, and shop/item, controllers, that were able to automate pretty much everything about a tabletop styled battle system on a forum RPG. This was for SMF only and called Arceus' Battle Suite. I also dabbled in making it capable of tracking actual battles and NPCs and whatnot, but I dropped it because the site I started making it for, and the staff running that site, stabbed me in the back and pissed me off. (I know you lied. Hope you're happy with Xenforo.)

Anyway. Saltiness aside, I did intend to write it as part of Gaia. Here's the thing, it is massive. I don't expect it to be complete upon its own release, and I may fork the Gaia project, where one version has Chaos and the other does not, and getting the version with Chaos in it costs a certain amount. I don't really know. I just know I'm making it happen, somehow.

Beyond

Beyond Chaos, I don't have any specific goals in mind. Most of the things that I want to do after I get these bigger things completed are all very tiny things, little quality of life improvements, like the ability to be in more than one member group, for instance, maybe some member control UX improvements, I don't know.

So, yeah, hope everyone looks forward to Gaia's future as much as I do! Geronimo? Lol


Arceus

codemancer
0
29Years Young
18 Posts

Stand up child, and turn towards the lightning, and the thunder; so I can see what I've known for all these years.


Just wanted to note that it is fully possible that Gaia will only be in Athens for a short time. I've found a way of doing what I want with the theme system, but this will require completely rewriting all of the templates. Essentially I'll have to recreate the default theme, and all themes in use on Gaia sites right now will be unusable after the release of Gaia SalernoHowever, this should give even PHP-incapable admins the ability to make template changes without imploding their entire site. (It looks {{ like.this }} when using variables. No more commas and apostrophes, as promised in beta.)

So, most likely what we'll do is just skip right past version 1, into version 2 (codename Salerno). All the little bug fixes and whatnot for version 1 that need to be done will be done in 2, and we'll go forward from there. (Sorry Athens, we hardly knew ye.)

So yes, I know it kind of doesn't look like it (I took a very long break after Athens was released), but I am still working on moving Gaia forward and improving it as we go. The features that were slated for version 1 and did not make it will be worked into version 2, most likely. I am also working on preparing this site for integration with PayPal and coding the basic structure of the sign-up form, to get yourself hosted with IP Tech for free. These free sign-ups will be ad-supported, and the mature content filter will be unable to be turned on. Upgrading to a paid plan will enable the mature filter, and turn ads off globally across any and all sites you have tied to your account.