5+ Years Late(r):
TLDR: I had some spare time. New site navigation software installed on several resources.
Mac did a lot of work designing and implementing our "WikiCMS," which allows us to dynamically create website pages on the main site. It extracts its page content from our wiki (Wikimedia). The site pages have a standard header, with banner and menu, and a footer with the content in between. But requirements to frequently update each new version of the wiki and forum software created arduous tasks of reintegrating our customizations into them. That got really old, really fast and was contrary to our original goal to keep things easily updated and secure. We ultimately stopped updating the wiki and forums for a long while.
I found a barely-supported phpBB extension last year or the year before, named "navbar" by vipaka, that works. It has a masthead, or banner, and a menu just like we had before, although it is now changeable instead of static. The ease of its integration was a big plus as we move from version to version. The new look - at the time - and function of the banner and menu, also with the Cavern Status bar under it, was pleasant and took less space. I took the generated code and ported it to WikiCMS, which was fairly easy, to at least standardize between the main site and the forums. The phpBB software is perhaps the most challenging to wrap, so it is very much the case that the look of the forum would determin the look of the entire site.
Meanwhile, our wiki software was getting very old and I was becoming concerned about security and staying current. But Mediawiki with each new version was making it increasing difficult to modify their skins with our banner and menu. So I had to pull Mac's work out of the wiki during an upgrade, losing easy navigation from the wiki to the rest of the site.
Some packages, such as Hesk, our support software, make it ridiculously easy with which to wrap a site. Other packages seem to go out of their way to make it as difficult as possible to wrap a consistent site navigation around them. I'm looking at you, phpBB, Mediawiki, and probably Wordpress, which force us to make changes to core code. It's as if in these days of diversity and cooperation, they're doing their best to not let others incorporate their packages into an integrated site of diverse software.
Mediawiki version 1.25 or 1.27 made a big, maybe huge, change to how their skins work. It resulted in being able to make small, direct mods to just two files in their Vector skin. It's still changing core files, but not much, and it's sustainable - at least for now. So I was able recently to reintroduce the new WikiCMS header and menu.
That made me happy enough to looking keep going with our other resources. So I wrapped Hesk, which was, as I mentioned, quick and easy.
Hesk was so much fun that I have targeted the Foundry this week. As part of that, I have introduced some improvements that you won't see, mostly aimed at making the site navigation code more portable to be able to work here and on the Foundry. But you also may notice some obvious things: we can display multiple shard statuses under the menu, and our mascot, Mini, will be appearing in more places. I'm not sure if that's a feature for everyone, but I like her. Mac wrote all the code for the Foundry's home page with Minkata account creation and password reset system. I have gone through all of it to wrap our standard standard look around the Foundry site. You'll see it after rarified approves and installs it. Note that this does not include JIRA and those resources - just the Foundry home page utilities.
These changes have been long in coming. The amount of development activity and use of the site has greatly diminished since we first proudly released the Cyan Worlds Engine as open source for Cyan Worlds right here on OpenUru.org. The goal, as always, regardless of how active things are now, is to create a unified, consistent and familiar way for you to find your way around when you need it. I hope you enjoy the site.
Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions here.
Perfect speed is being there.