State of DP Development - January 2019
Forum Upgrade to phpBB 3.2.5
We were in the testing phase with version 3.2.2 when version 3.2.3, 3.2.4, and then 3.2.5 were released. We have now decided to move forward with the newer 3.2.5 version and will install it in our test environment sometime in January or early February.
It is important to keep our environments up-to-date. This change is expected to have little to no user impact.
Once testing is complete, we will roll out this update to production sometime in the following months.
We are still in a very early investigative phase of this item though some initial coding and discussion has occurred. This is a very major change and cannot be moved into lightly. We hope to do some design this year.
We have done some basic analysis of this issue, the most recent being cpeel's document on the challenges and decisions needed in order to do this change: https://www.pgdp.net/wiki/DP_Code_-_Unicode
Continued analysis and discussion is required here.
The primary development/testing stages are complete and the online workbench tools are fully useable in their present location on our test sever. We have created a wiki page
to describe the individual tools and have been updating the PP FAQ to highlight the availability of these important tools.
At some point, the Workbench tools will be reviewed and finalized and placed on the Production server.
We're working on ways to make it easier for PPers to test their projects before uploading to PPV or PG especially if they have a difficult time installing some of the test programs. To that end, we have been pulling together, customizing and creating a set of such tools that can be accessed on the DP server.
Once reviewed and finalized this will be rolled out to production.
We will continue to make smaller code changes such as updates to the Preview feature.
Operating System Update to Ubuntu 16.04
In Production 22 April 2018
This change required new major versions of PHP and MySQL. We had to install code updates to production to support those newer versions.
Our previous version of Ubuntu was under support until April 2019. This upgrade increased that window to April 2021. The Internet Archive which houses our development/test server had requested that we upgrade the test environment to 16.04. Because it's important to keep our production and development environments in sync, we decided to upgrade both environments.
This list includes the major changes made. For a more complete look at all the additions to the site please visit this thread
Updates to the Project Manager and Search Pages
In Production 9 November 2017
The Project Management site page had not been updated in many years. Changes such as useful links, various sorts, addition of News Item capabilyty and additional project information were added. In addition, the Search Page was updated to work on narrow and wide screens and allow users much more control over which columns to display and how to sort.
Code Markup Modernization
Completed. Although we will always work to improve and modernize our code, this item was essentially completed with the HTML5/CSS3 update.
This work involves updating markup such as updating to HTML5/CSS3 and instructing the browser re: MIME type, what scope to use when applying cookies, etc. We have made a good start with this -- building a foundation we can continue to build upon. It will involve standardizing some of our pages. This work is fundamental to enacting configuration changes that help increase our security.
CSS Standardization and HTML5 Support
In Production 16 July 2017
The DP code has grown organically over the past 17 years, with each developer styling pages in different ways. This update improved the consistency of pages across the site, enabled better accessibility, and allowed for more customization by users. It standardized our use of cascading stylesheets (CSS) and made our code (largely) HTML5 compliant. For more detailed information please read this forum entry
In Production 16 July 2017
This was a major roll-out that moved the code from the deprecated mysql PHP extension to the supported mysqli PHP extension. This behind-the-scenes change should have zero user-visible impact, but allows our code to run on PHP 7.x and later. Like the removal of magic quotes, this change is an important part of keeping our site running on supported technologies and operating systems.
In Production 22 June 2017
Our forum software, phpBB 3.0, went out of support at the end of 2016. This upgrade was dependent on our Operating System/php update which has now been completed. phpBB 3.2 brought us under support until the end of 2018. This change helps future-proof our forum platform since it supports php 7.0 which is included with Ubuntu 16.04.
Completed 22 June 2017
In line with our efforts to keep our systems in supported software versions, we upgraded our wiki software from LTS release 1.23.15, which goes out of support in May 2017,to LTS release 1.27 which will be supported through June 2019. This upgrade required the newer version of PHP that the OS upgraded provided. It also supports PHP versions included in Ubuntu 16.04 for more future-proofing.
Site Implementation in the French Language
In Production 27 April 2017
Several years ago, considerable work was done to make it possible for our DP site to work in multiple languages. Over the past year, cpeel made the final code changes needed make this capability work. The translation work was completed by hdmtrad and olive and coordinated by srjfoo.
The quiz presentation framework (the instructions and hints, etc.) portion remains to be done but will be translated in a later release.
Operating System/php Version Upgrade
Complete and in production as of 5 March 2017 (with a server and hosting service change)
Our production environment was running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, which stopped receiving updates in April 2015. This change to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was necessary to enable other upgrades such as our php version which in turn were required for required updates to our forums and wiki. The new php version is 5.5.9.
In Production 9 January 2017
This change was timely since modern browsers have begun to highlight non-SSL sites that prompt for user input.
Making our code "Magic Quote" Independent
Completed effective 5 November 2016
This change involved Cleanup work to modernize our code and remove our dependence on the discontinued "Magic Quotes" feature. It was required before we could update our Operating System to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
Decided Late 2016
We have made the decision to develop primarily for modern browsers. As we update our code and develop new functions, we will continue to follow this guideline.
(Discussion of this document is here