I’ve begun working on a major update of RocketReviews.com. The main goal of the upgrade is very general – to make things work better.
I’ve adopted the Invision Power Services Community Suite (IPS) as the basis for the new version of RocketReviews.com. The IPS architecture is similar to the one I developed for the existing RocketReviews.com web site. Like the architecture I developed, IPS makes it easy to expand the site by adding new features (IPS calls them “applications” and “modules”) on top of the existing framework. IPS’s architecture, though is more robust and capable than the one I developed.
In addition to providing a framework for custom functionality, IPS ships with a number of full-feature applications including a discussion forum, an image gallery, a blog, and a chat application. IPS implements hooks allowing the existing application and custom ones added later to work together.
I’ve installed IPS at Community.RocketReviews.com. You can log into the new site using the email address and password that you use on the current site. Or, you can log in using Facebook and “link” your new account with the current site later.
The beta version of RocketReviews.com at Community.RocketReviews.com is called the “RocketReviews.com Community” because one of the ways that I want to make the site work better is to foster the idea of communities. While all members of RocketReviews.com are part of an overall community and the site is designed to allow the members to interact by sharing reviews, flight descriptions, comments, and more, the new site will also be designed to support smaller communities of people with more specific interests, such as members of a local club or people who like to build and fly scale models.
Most of the functionality of the current site will eventually be ported to the new site. But, in an effort to not rush things, both sites will exist together for some time. As functionality is moved from the older site to the new site, links in the older site will be changed to take you to the new site. And you may be able to do some of same kinds of things on both sites. But, information between the sites will be shared, so, as long as you are logged into both sites, moving between them will be almost transparent.
One of the first things I want to move into the new site is the form for entering a flight into the Flight Log. The current “wizard” works pretty well, but I can take advantage of more modern web techniques to create a much friendlier interface on the beta web site. I’ve also had many requests to add various types of data to the information which you can record for each flight. I hope to design a form that makes it much quicker and easier to enter your flight while giving you the option of storing more types of information.
I’ve created forums for discussions of all the major features of RocketReviews.com at Community.RocketReviews.com. These forums are intended as the place to ask for help using a feature, suggest enhancements to a feature, or report bugs that you find when using a feature. The forums aren’t intended for general rocketry discussions like you will find at Ye Old Rocketry Forum or The Rocketry Forum. The Community.RocketReviews.com forums are just for discussion of the RocketReviews.com web site.
I’ve started a discussion of the future version of the Flight Log in the Flight Log Forum. The more feedback I get, the better the new site will be. Please feel free to log into the new site and join the discussion. Let me know what how you think I can improve the Flight Log feature.