April 09, 2007

New Server

We have a new PlayChess server! I am currently configuring the new machine to prepare our move to this server.

This new machine is [b]much[/b] faster than the current one:
- dual core
- 2 GHz
- 2 GB RAM
(our current machine is an old Pentium with 800 MHz and 250 MB)

I *love* this machine! It will restore PlayChess to the fast and reliable chess server it once has been. So I would rather activate it as quickly as possible. However, this requires some careful consideration...

The PlayChess core system is working. This means, playing chess on the new server is already possible. Tournaments, games, variant explorer and the like work identical to the old server (which you are using just now).

Nevertheless, there are still some open tasks:
- we need a new forum
- we need a new blog system (do we really?)
- all player / game / tournament data must be transferred
- the playchess.de domain must be connected to the new server
- automatic emails must be enabled

The current forum is based on outdated software, is not very elegant and requires too much administration. We need something that can be adapted and extended to provide some "community features".
Probably the best forum system available is *phpBB*, which will probably be used in the future (any better proposals?). However, this system is PHP based and runs on an independent database. Consequently, we would no longer have a "single sign on" for PlayChess and the forum. You would have to register and login for the forum completely independently. Furthermore, the login names of the forum would not necessarily be identical with the player names. The forum names would not be linked to the player info pages.
Is this a problem? Any solutions?

The current blog system is useful in many respects:
- public announcements of the webmaster (me)
- articles on very different topics by PlayChess members
The blog system is tightly integrated in PlayChess. It is based on an older version of Movable Type, extended with several nice plugins, all tailored for the needs of PlayChess.
Nevertheless, that system has its weaknesses:
- it is flooded with spam (time consuming for me)
- it prevents authors from using plain HTML
- comments are (nearly) unusable because of the spam problems
I am still unsure if we should use this blog system any longer. Even more, I even consider to give up using a blog system altogether.
Any opinions or proposals?

The timeline for our move to the new server depends very much on the forum and blog "problem". I would like to discuss this with you in the (old) forum. This blog article has comments switched off (for reasons explained above).

Post Scriptum
The new server is already available through the web. But I do not publish its address (URL) here to avoid the misconception that you can play there, already.

Posted by Thomas Stahl at April 9, 2007 04:54 PM

Version 3.3 ©2000-2003 by linkTh. Stahl
Powered by Movable Type 2.64