Earlier this year I made the decision to stop updating the BMTG site as-and-when and more formally as packages. Yesterday I launched the 4th such package – Deoxys.
Unlike some of my other packages which have had more visible changes, this is more “back end”. Having said that, to me, it’s exciting stuff. The site is performing more caching and I’ve completely re-written most of the MySQL – it’s more efficient and protected against SQL injection (I hope).
There’s also detection of MySQL failures – when this happens a message bar appears at the top of each page indicating that a problem is occuring and that the site may be affected. The site pages are then designed to degrade gracefully – in other words, either cope with the lack of database access (easier for some pages) or simply display an appropriate message to indicate that no information is currently unavailable. In the past any database problems have simply lead to the site erroring and generally looking shabby.
Additionally, I’ve added some flags to the back-end database. These indicate either a major problem or that the site is undergoing maintenace – I can then flick these flags on when required and a message will appear on the site. The maintenance is particularly handy to turn on whilst I’m upgrading the site.
Lastly, and one of the few visible changes, I updated the member profiles – they’re a bit plainer than before but I think they work a lot more effectively now, as they’re less “fussy”.
Now I’ve started work on the Eevee package – I’ve already written the maintenance changes (including the width of the pages being increased, whilst still ensuring that a horizontal scrollbar doesn’t appear on 800 pixel wide monitors), but the main changes is to the online shop, which helps to generate some much-needed cash for the society.
Meantime, if you can guess (no looking on Wikipedia!) the naming convention I’m using then… you’re sad. Ok, that makes me sad too. And Catherine Furber, who also knew it.