After many years of delays and restructuring, we finally managed to make ourselves a brand new website in a total span of about five weeks. Not only is it more modern, responsive and functional, but we've added some new features, and changed up some existing ones. Read on to find out more!
We're using Ghost for this wonderful blog you're reading right now, and Discourse for our new forum, which you can find in the nav-bar as usual. We've deliberately chosen platforms that are popular and production-ready, while still under heavy development, to maximise the practical life of our system. With luck, we shouldn't need to do this again for a long time.
As a fun fact, our old forums gathered a total of 1667 individual threads, with 16294 posts across them! Those are some pretty impressive numbers, and we hope we can continue to see at least the same level of activity from you guys in the future as well!
So, what's changed?
There are no more 'theovermare.com' accounts - only forum accounts. Your forum posts made with an 'Overmare' account have been saved, however; if you interacted with the forum at all, in any way, your account has been transferred and you can log in with your username or email address.
We were not able to transfer passwords, though, so you will need to reset your password before logging in. You'll also need to set your avatar again if you had one.
In addition, if you had an Overmare account but never used the forum, it will unfortunately be gone. There probably wasn't much data associated with it, but we do have backups just in case.
Sign in with Google
New users can sign in with their Google account, so now there's no excuse to join in the forum discussion! In future we may enable other third-party authentication, like Facebook or Twitter.
Previously, our comment system was pretty basic, making it difficult to track replies or format text. We made the decision to unify the blog comments and the forum - so now when you open a blog post, the comments will be taken directly from an auto-generated forum thread. To join in, simply click the 'start discussion' or 'reply' links.
We hope that this change will help to unify and grow our community, and bring more people into the shared discussion, as well as allowing us to more easily communicate with you guys.
However, this does mean that we weren't able to transfer our old comments. It might be possible, and if I get a spare weekend I'll give it a shot, but no promises.
We now have a very shiny new application system that, in addition to being more pleasant to use, is much more flexible on our end, allowing us to quickly change whether a department is accepting applications, and easily configure the fields provided in each application.
Since each application is linked to a forum account, we can use the forum's PM system to allow prospective applicants to communicate with the heads of department and vice-versa (this will also send an email by default).
The team list now takes data from the forum groups, so it should always be up-to-date!
This entire website is being run on a single DigitalOcean instance, using open-source software, and costing much less than we were paying before.
But then aren't your servers not in Canada anymore?
Well spotted! We've got some news about that, actually. Stay tuned!
Finally, we'd like to say farewell to our previous sysadmin Airplay. He's been with the project for many years, and his efforts and expertise have been invaluable. A heartfelt thanks from all of us here, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.