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Sumea site update news

Posted by souri on Tue, 13/06/06 - 5:26 PM

A bit of boring site updates in case anyone is interested in what's going on.

I've been doing a tonne of things around the site, fitting in the new design, fixing small css IE/Firefox anomalies here and there, upgrading Sumea maps to use the v2.0 api, to *finally* getting Sumea wiki to show up properly on the rest of the site. Previously, any page that drew it's information from the wiki wasn't showing any html tags or link breaks/carriage returns (so no clickable links etc were shhowing up). So it wasn't being displayed correctly and wasn't as functional as it should be. I'd gone into the wiki code to dissect how it was transforming the xml, then gave up because it was a bit complicated with all the crazy includes going on. I pondered on other ways on how to get it to display properly, even thinking about doing an include with the stink'n wiki page into the page that was drawing information from it. That would have been a laugh.

So I scratched my head a bit, looked at what I had done (drew the xml from the wiki and did a simple xml transform with an xsl style sheet) and did a tonne of web searching on how to make it show properly, then gave up after finding a few results saying that html tags will always be ignored. Finally, a few weeks later, I gave the net a bit more searching, and luckily found a solution which only required a few *tiny* changes in my XSL stylesheet, and now it works exactly as it should. Pages like the IGDA Brisbane Student Chapter render perfectly, and even pictures from the wiki show up as well (check out Krome or Atari Melbourne House's page). Thank god that's sorted, it was bugging me, big time.

Another big problem was the site occasionally going down, and it was getting pretty bad a few weeks ago. I had found what I thought was the culprit (I didn't close a recordset before a page redirected after people clicked on related links in news, developer profiles etc). I fixed that up, but the site was still going down, so I went through the entire site and got rid of as many database connections as I could, and it seems to have helped quite a bit. Anyway, that was a tonne of work which no one will really notice.

What I'm currently working on at the moment is even more work that no one will notice, but it's something that needs to be done. I'm sorta dreading doing it, but basically it involves putting all the news items into the Sumea comments xml. All the comments written in Sumea news, articles, profiles, gallery, votes etc are saved as seperate xml files. The idea is to include the actual news item, or gallery description etc as well into that xml. That way I don't have to have it stored in the database. I know most sites usually have their content stored as text files (or more recently, as xml files) as it keeps the database much less bloated, less database access etc, and I've been meaning to do this ages ago. The problem is that there are thousands of sumea comment xml files I have to make adjustments to (some xml files are missing certain nodes), and then there's the backend changes I need to make so that people can edit xml files in all those different areas (news, profile, gallery etc).

Once that is done, I can finish off the gallery update - you can get a glimpse of it here. Basically, the new gallery uses an Ajax framework, so when you click on a thumbnail, it won't reload the entire page again to show the pic. There's functionality in that framework to include slideshow abilities and other special effects, so the gallery section will be muchly improved. You can make it something like Flickr if you like, with scrolling thumbnails. Also with that framework, I could implement the Sumea Newstation idea which I had a while back, but I'll get onto that much later.

Finally, I'll be getting onto Sumea Creative, which will be a muchly needed overhauled section for Sumea members and will offer creative news and that stuff. It'll be like a new subsection of Sumea, and there'll be other small things I'm planning there like finally finishing Sumea Concepts and including that as part of Sumea Creative, and a special jobs section so members that are looking for work are listed on the page etc

I'm also planning on something before Summer, it's nothing too big but I've wanted to do this with the Sumea label for ages now.

Anyway, if it looks like there's nothing much happening around the site, just know that I'm slaving away making it better!Souri2006-09-20 14:25:53

Submitted by Brain on Tue, 13/06/06 - 7:34 PM Permalink

Unfortunately the dev pages are turning up all over each other, like so (IE6):

Not to put a spoiler on your efforts though. @:-)Souri2006-09-20 14:26:40

Submitted by souri on Wed, 14/06/06 - 5:56 PM Permalink

Ah right, that was a little boo-boo. It's fixed now.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 22/06/06 - 6:23 PM Permalink

Finally finished a big part the conversion previously. All of Sumea's news is now stored in xml files which are added or can be edited / deleted by news administrators via Sumea admin. I just checked the database and can see that it's about a third the size it was before. Good stuff [:)] I'll be able to get it down even further when I do the same thing to Sumea Member news.

Submitted by souri on Mon, 26/06/06 - 8:17 PM Permalink

Yes, another update on Sumea stuff. I've finally finshed all the datebase->xml stuff, along with all the corresponding changes to the admin and the rest of the site to read/write/append to xml files. Total size of the database is 1/5th of the original size, which can only mean good things for server load and speed. Less interactions with the database also means that I have less work to do with the access -> mysql database change, which I will get on to at a much later date (got so much other stuff I want to get done first).

Redwyre has done some muchly needed stuff to Sumea maps, so if you haven't checked that area out, it all works properly now.

The next step now is a few other miscallaneous changes needed around the site to make adminstrating a bit easier (things like deleting specific comments from news items etc). But once that stuff is finished, it's on to Sumea Gallery and Sumea Creative.

I know I've been neglecting Sumea profile members for a while now, but all the future updates on Sumea are going to be all about you. Fixing up a few things, making things clearer with Journal styles and providing some extra skins myself. I'll even make a rating system so people can see the quality skinds are available. Other huge things planned are better gallery functionality, and Sumea Creative, which will be a hub into all your profiles and will be promoting all the fantastic work you're uploading. I'll also be adding new categories for members, so along with mapper, modeller, programmer, 2D artist, we'll have animators, musicians and designers (graphic). Of course, Sumea can't host animations and mp3's (don't have the space [:(]), but with the growing popularity of YouTube and Google videos, that should be sorted easily. You can hotlink to YouTube videos as well, so they can show up in your journal.

I've also got some major plans for new sections that will give Sumea journal members a reason to log in more and make more use of their Sumea profile. I know it's pretty telling when I have a profile and yet I haven't written much in it for ages. I won't reveal too much about it yet, but I think it'll be great! So if you have a Sumea profile/journal, hang in there for some major changes real soon!

I think Sumea is, without a doubt, the best developer resource in Australasia, and we could easily take the crown for the best creative hub in Australasia with the planned new changes.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 11/07/06 - 3:51 AM Permalink

Another update on the site.

I've been fixing up a bit of stuff for Sumea members.

I've cleaned up the Journal Styles, and made it a little bit less "lame" when creating your own journal styles. It should make a tiny bit more sense now. Help links are made easier to notice, and members styles are ranked for other members to see and use if they like. You can also see if anyone else is using your journal style if you made one.

I've removed about 40 or more members. I've mainly been targetting members who've only logged in once or twice in 2 or 3 years, and have never actually made a journal post. Also, members who logged in a few times, removed all their details (their profile description for example), and then left it at that were also removed.

Fixed a little bit of css problems in the page that serves everyone's journal pages. It should look much better now. I've also implemented a new gallery service, which isn't complete yet but you can try it out. If you have a gallery or if you visit anyone's gallery, there's a small link under your/their name where you can try out the new gallery. To save you some time, check out Bumskee's gallery here:

You can click on the pic to view the next pic (which it preloads) and there's some fancy javascript effects happening as well. It's not looking right at the moment with those links, but I'm heading off in ten minutes so I'll fix it later. Galleries will sorta be like an area where you can discover other members work, which is why all those links are there.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 20/07/06 - 5:13 PM Permalink

More site updates...

Sumea Creative is pretty much finished and very usable. It just needs some small fixes here and there (avatar, recent posters links don't work correctly). It also needs a new design, but I'll leave it clean and bare for the time being until I get onto that. It's got some funky ajax happening for the memberlist too. I sorta had some elaborate ideas for Sumea Creative, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the news gathering and maintenance would really be the end of me. I'm not sure if people would really be interested in software news, version updates, and other artist related news anyway. So for the moment, it'll stay as it is, as a gateway to all the member art, journals, and jobs on Sumea.

I've also put back some functionality which I took out a while ago when Sumea comments got overhauled to xml. If you log into Sumea admin, and then post in the comment areas around the site while still logged in, your posts will be coloured differently to the regular anonymous posters, and it'll also link to your journal page. Another neat thing is that all your posts you make (whether it be in news, commenting on gallery pics, votes etc) will be listed on your journal under a heading called "My Sumea Comments" where people can click and head straight to the comment you made. You can see an example on my journal.

So make sure you're logged in before you post comments, but also remember to eventually log out for security reasons!

Now, the next step is to start on the new Sumea Game section and other initiatives. I'll write briefly about two problems I think concern Sumea.

1. Making decent art/work takes time, members don't need to log in frequently to post something in their journals. So we have quite a large amount of member journals that are barely used often enough. The site needs to give members other reasons to log in.

2. Regular Sumea visitors are probably bored. There's a lot of game developer content and information, but if you're visiting frequently, you're not hitting up on developer information on every visit. You'll come check the news and latest comments, the forum, maybe the odd new gallery picture, and that's it. What this means is that we need more new forms of content on the site.

Sumea Game will pretty much be a game blog section on Sumea which Sumea members can contribute to if they like. I know from time to time there are a few things I'd like to post about certain games or game related issues, and I'm sure by many others do as well, since the common thing we all have here are games. What this also means is that I'll be opening up the journals to regular gamers as well, not just for creative people. Sumea Game won't be just a member contributed blog though, there's this other huge part which I'll work on adding. I'm not certain exactly sure how I'll implement it just yet, but it'll be another cool thing for Sumea members.

I have a few other ideas, but more about them down the track!

Submitted by souri on Sun, 23/07/06 - 2:18 AM Permalink

Oh, I also should have mentioned, if you log in to Sumea admin, and then you go off making posts in the comment areas on the site, your posts won't get filtered in any way. So if you want to post a website link or profanity (within limits, of course), that's fine.

I know some regulars are concerned about comment posters faking poster names to confuse readers of the thread, and since I'll be opening up journals for pretty much everyone soon, you can just apply for a Sumea profile and post under that.

Submitted by souri on Mon, 11/09/06 - 10:07 AM Permalink

Some brief Sumea website news for anyone interested. There haven't been much updates in the past few weeks. I just finished some freelance work, and I think that'll be the end of any more freelance graphic design work I do. I think reached the point where I only enjoy doing design work when I'm doing it for myself. So I'm back on track updating the site from now on and working on various projects, some of which will hopefully bring some revenue in. One of those ideas is that I'll be getting back into designing some Sumea and game related shirts so they'll be available sometime before Summer hits. More about that later!

The website still hangs and it peeves me off. It usually fixes itself after a few minutes though, but that's not good enough. I've gone through optimizing the site more and reducing database connections when I can get away with it. I've been monitoring the site when it does go down, and then I discovered that it's not of my doing at all. It's the forum that's hanging the site. >:(

I'm reworking the games profiles on the site and Sumea games. I'm leaving the game blogging functionality in there, unfortunately members haven't jumped on the idea so far and I wasn't expecting to be filling that section up myself all the time. Sumea Games will encompass the newstation idea I had, and I'm still up on ideas how I'm approaching that. I was even looking into learning C# to program a rss reader which posts onto Sumea when it finds relevant links. Visual C# 2005 Express Edition seems pretty cool, and some of the simple tutorials seem way too easy to get stuff working. The OOP stuff makes my head swim though, but everything else seems like what I've been doing with asp or working with Dreamweaver.Souri2006-09-20 14:25:14

Submitted by souri on Thu, 21/09/06 - 9:26 PM Permalink

The problem with Snitz (another website updates rant) and why, out of nowhere, the forum was shut down and migrated over...

In the midst of redesigning Sumea Creative and Sumea Game, I visited some small art site and noticed that they had thumbnails of pics uploaded to the forum. It's not a new idea, but it's definately a cool feature. It was suggested ages ago by J.I.Styles for Sumea forum, and I probably said something like it being too much of a pain to implement.

I had a look at and their forums have it as well, and as I thought about implementing it on Sumea forum, it highlighted the major flaws that the forum software Sumea was using (Snitz).

Basically, not much development has happened with Snitz since I first got it and put it up in 2002. Back then it was *great*. Now, it's terribly dated. It's still spitting out html code and grabbing table colours, font sizes, and tonnes of other customised appearance options from the database everytime the page drew, where as most forums sensibly use CSS and therefore offer skinning possibilities. All the features that I've had to modify into the forum, some of which have long been standard in most other forum software, are still not in the latest version of Snitz. Features painfully implemented include: Who's online, member avatars, file attachments, quoting text, jump to latest msg post, members birthdays, alternating background colours for posts, private messages, and more over the years. And adding each feature got harder and harder because the code got messier and things had the likely chance of breaking. And when the forum got a security update, you either had to find what exactly they changed (usually a lot of snippets here and there) and modify them all into the forum, or start a fresh install and modify all those features you implemented back in again. Then you do this all over again when the next update came, which was usually nothing more than another security update. Needless to say, I didn't update the forum through a few updates.

So even though I had a rough idea on how to implement a thumbnail gallery on the previous forum, I didn't want to waste my time implementing it. Couple that with the fact that the Snitz was hanging the site, and that some spammers got through a while ago and emailed hundreds of people the 419 scam in the memberlist, I was off looking for a better replacement.

I found Web Wiz Forum, and I was stunned. This forum software did all the things that I had implemented in the Sumea forum, and it did them miles better too. It's got tonnes of more features as well, and it also has captcha and other good measures so that spammers can't abuse the forum.

I looked into how a thumbnail gallery could be implemented in the new forum, and on paper it should be a breeze compared to what I'd have to do with the previous forum. The new forum has has a table column in the database for attached images, and you can just match and display all the recent threads that have image attachments. Simple. The previous forum didn't store attached filenames in the database, and it searched for them via the file system object. What this means in implementing a thumbnail gallery is that I'd have to search the uploaded images on the server for the latest images, but I still didn't have info on where the thread that the pic has been posted actually is. So I would have to do some other complicated procedure to store that somwhere after members upload. With the new forum, it's a simple database query.

So, to sum up, new forum = good. Old forum = bad. Thumbnails of uploaded images = coming soon!!

Submitted by souri on Tue, 26/09/06 - 10:33 PM Permalink

So last week, we were using Snitz forum and I was facing the dilemma of putting in some really bad hack to have a "recent uploaded thumbnails" for the forum. Trust me, it would've been ugly.

Here we are, a week later, transitioned to an entirely new forum, and I've already written that functionality into the new forum. You can't see it yet as only pics uploaded into the exhibition section - finsihed workds will get thumbnails, and since there aren't any works in there yet, there's no thumbnails to show. Once we get a few pics uploaded, I'll enabled the thumbnails to show up on the top of the forum where the banner ad is.

Speaking of banner ad, I've just registered for a paypal account last week, and I'm waiting on the some funds sent from my bank account to paypal to pay for the forum, so those ads will be gone real soon now!

Submitted by J I Styles on Wed, 27/09/06 - 4:08 AM Permalink

Awesome :) I always love this feature over at zbrush central and cgtalk etc. Encourages people to view threads and also post new works, so it's good all around. Question though, Is it limited to one thumbnail per thread? Could get cluttered if people are posting multiple images in succession? Not to mention spamtastic if abused.

Submitted by Makk on Wed, 27/09/06 - 12:05 PM Permalink

thumbnails are good.
Not so sure of the two seperate sections for posting work though. Is there really enough regular posts to justify having them seperate since there is only a small amount of posts every few days.

Anyway loving the new forums and look.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 28/09/06 - 7:06 AM Permalink

It's limited to one thumbnail per new topic post, and only in the exhibition - finished worked section. Any replies with uploaded images won't get thumbnails, and if you upload more than one image in a new topic, it'll only thumbnail the first one. So hopefully there shouldn't be any problems with spamming.

As for the two sections for posting work - we'll see how it goes. I just didn't want the forum thumbnails to be dominated by a lot of unfinished work. Of course, those who post unfinished work and then finish it later on can always post it again in the finished work section.

Submitted by souri on Fri, 29/09/06 - 1:14 PM Permalink

Forum has been paid and all the ad banners should be gone!

Submitted by souri on Wed, 11/10/06 - 4:01 PM Permalink

Sumea Creative is nearly complete functionality wise. You can search all the jobs posted on Sumea in their categories (programmer, 2d artist, QA etc). Spent all yesterday night going through 2000+ news items to categories all the job posts . All that needs to be done now for that section is for the musicians and designers to be able to sign up for journals, for members to show that they're looking for work, and for the design to be tightened up a little bit, but overall it's almost done.

Submitted by souri on Mon, 13/11/06 - 10:03 PM Permalink

Some website updates, I've put up an incomplete but functional update to the Sumea Game section. I've decided to put it up because it needs some testing which I can check while other people make use of it. If anyone remembers my plan which I mentioned ages ago on Sumea Newstation, this is pretty much it. It's sorta like GameTab but it's focussing on local game news and blog content. It'll periodically grab the latest rss feeds from a list of news sites and display it, and you can customize the page to show which feeds you want.

It sorta looks ugly at the moment, but it should be working ok. I have two other ideas for the Sumea Game section which I'll be working on the meantime.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 19/12/06 - 4:30 PM Permalink

Just some more website updates. If it looks like nothing much is happening on the development side of the site for the last month, then you're very much mistaken!

Sumea hangs. I'm sure we've all noticed it now and then. It's a database issue, and I'm terribly embarrassed to mention the name of said database, but this has been a priority of mine to fix for a while now. Unfortunately, it's not a small problem, and I've had to do some major things to get on the right path to fixing it.

So a database upgrade was in order, and I've successfully upsized the Sumea database to SQL Server 2005, and that mostly went ok. Now, I was changing all the asp code on Sumea to use the new database, and it was all progressing fine, until I really needed some more control of the new SQL Server database. I needed to easily backup and restore it in case I messed something up, and I managed to back it up using the database management tools, but I did not have access to the backup file. After an email to my webhost later, they directed me to their sales apartment where I found out that they would charge me something around $130 for them each time to copy that particular file into my ftp directory so that I can download it. Yeh, that's $130 to copy a file over.

After getting over that bit of shock, I went hunting around for another webhost to migrate Sumea to. I found a place called Lunarpages, and joined up and started migrating Sumea over there. Oh, and backing up and restoring the SQL server database? I can do it myself easily and for no cost at all. The new webhost service is great, and I've managed to get most of Sumea up and running with the new database and a tonne of asp code changes. You can't see it yet, but it's being tested at (some of you may have noticed that the GCAP footage files are hosted there).

So here is where it's at. Everything works, except file uploading, thumbnails creation, and emailing. The new webhost does not have any asp components installed, but they do support the 2.0 framework which has functionality to upload images, resize them etc

I've been messing a bit with 2.0, and I'm liking it very much. In fact, I'm planning to completely rewrite Sumea and it's content management system (which I developed since four and a half years ago) using the 2.0 framework. So this is what I'm planning to do for the next few months.

Also, I've mentioned it in some other threads, but I want to get two art activities happening again on Sumea. We have so many creative talent around these parts, and it's just a shame that we're not doing as much fun art related stuff anymore. So starting soon, we're doing a 3D Sumea Town. We're going to use a special application for this, so keep an eye out for the details soon.

Also, we're having a monthly Sumea Paint activity. Just something simple and fun. At the end of the month, I'll be collecting all the submissions and putting them in a nice gallery for viewing and commenting. Anyway, it'll be fun! I'll be hunting for a new graphics tablet to join in as well.

Submitted by oco on Wed, 20/12/06 - 4:38 AM Permalink

Bloody good work Souri. Good to have you leading the way. alot of hard work! Its much appreciated. Looking forward to the new sumea, If you need any help organising painting activities Im more then happy in any way

Submitted by souri on Wed, 20/12/06 - 8:04 PM Permalink

I might call you on that . Although, apart from building the pages to display those submitted pictures and enabling the comments system, there really isn't much else needed.

Submitted by oco on Thu, 21/12/06 - 6:19 PM Permalink

I mean more so in the concepts, topics and oraganisation of the painting activities rather then the programing side of things. Just an offer, you seem busy enough.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 01/03/07 - 6:22 PM Permalink

Ok, time for some website updates. I know things seem to be a bit quiet these days on Sumea and I haven't particularly been posting much in the forums, but it's been a real sh*tty last two months for me. I don't mind mentioning it now, but my dad passed away a few weeks ago. He was battling lung cancer and so it's been a hard time to even concentrate on the site for the last two months.

So what has been happening? I've been quietly doing a few things here and there around the site. The first thing you may have noticed is that the forum and the wiki is at our new domain at They've both been migrated to the sql server database, and they're blistering fast.

Second of all, I've been secretly working on will be the sister site to Sumea and will cover general gaming news in Australia and New Zealand. It's not finished yet and there's quite a lot of work left to do, but at the moment, a third of it is complete. So what you'll see there is the news aggregator part of which looks remarkably like the Sumea game section. If you want to check it out, visit, but just remember that it's in development stage and I'll be deleting any comments and wiping the database records sometime in the future before launch.

Submitted by Jackydablunt on Thu, 05/04/07 - 5:47 AM Permalink

Sorry to hear about your father man, my sympathies, and it's pretty understandable that you've not been feeling up to the task. Hope you're able to get through it.

Looking forward to seeing the new site

Submitted by souri on Tue, 14/08/07 - 8:43 PM Permalink

Just posting some site news...

It seems like the forum issues have finally been resolved. The forum hasn't gone down for me since the webhost moved the database to a new server which is good. It's been frustrating with all the back and forth with their support about all of this, especially since I knew it wasn't a problem cause by our end.

So I've been thinking a lot about the future of Sumea recently and what more it could do to cater our creative members, and there are a few things that I think would be great to add to the site. Most of them include all the usual social networking stuff / web 2.0 (tagging, friends list etc) everyone seems to be excited about, and while I could implement that in classic asp, it's probably the right time now to redo the site in Of course, this means that I have to learn a bit of C# and visual studio as well, but having looked through some books and source, it doesn't seem too scary yet.

Now, this is where content management system packages come in handy, and using / modifying them instead of rewriting everything from scratch seems to be a wiser choice, but having looked around at what's available for, there really isn't much on offer. On the php platform, you have plenty of options such as joomla and mambo, but on, you have either dotnetnuke and community server. Dotnetnuke seems to be a bit of a mess and a resource hog, and community server is expensive. I enquired about a license that Sumea needs (we have around 600 members so need the license for unlimited blogs and unlimited galleries), and holy crap, I could buy a really nice new car for the price quoted to me. Plus, I'd imagine it would need to be run on a dedicated server as well because the resources it needs (server memory) would be pretty high. So it looks like I'll be hitting and C# to see how we go.

Oh, and I've also updated this forum to the latest v9 release. It probably doesn't seem much different to most of you, but there are over 200 fixes in this release and a tiny bit of ajax and other enhancements.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 16/08/07 - 11:00 PM Permalink

Ok, you know, I can't be screwed making a simple cms in from scratch, so I've been looking at the only solution (not counting Community Server) which is Dotnetnuke, and there are problems everywhere. The blog module that comes with it wasn't made for a lot of blogs (maximum of probably a hundred), the forum that comes with it is crap, dotnetnuke sites seem to be painfully slow ( caching times out after 5 to 10 minutes if the site isn't hit, so people have been using online services to schedule visit pages on their site every ten minutes), it's a server resource hog that requires lots of memory and many windows hosts bawk at it, good modules cost money, pain in the ass to set up on my current host, and the list goes on.

Submitted by souri on Fri, 07/08/09 - 1:48 PM Permalink

Hi there, haven't written an update here in a while.

I've been working through the night the last couple of days to get get some major updates and patches done on tsumea, and have hit a major snag in the process. Hopefully I can sort it out and completed within the next week. The new upgrade means I can implement some new features I have been thinking about for a while now.

Hopefully things will be getting back on track with regular posts on the site once this is all done.

Just got a note from our webhost that we're getting some major dos attacks and what looks like brute force password attacks - I'm guessing it's the spammers hitting the anon comments and Scoop news submissions. The new upgrade will be getting rid of Scoop since I'm pretty tired of dealing with all that.

Submitted by souri on Tue, 11/08/09 - 2:28 PM Permalink

Ok, had enough of the spammers. Posting Scoops by anyone logged in is disabled. Got tired of deleting their spam and blocking their accounts. Will be putting an alternative way for people to post news on here once we update the site.

Submitted by designerwatts on Tue, 11/08/09 - 3:16 PM Permalink

Understandable. :)

To throw out a suggestion you could either:

a) Have a time based waiting period before people can post scoops. So if they become a member they have to wait a week before they can post scoops. Most spammers wouldn't bother with it.

b) Have all scoops go through a review process through yourself before they are made publicly posted. There's not a huge posting of scoops so it would be a manageable task.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 15/07/10 - 1:42 AM Permalink

Reading this thread brings back some memories of the frustrations and triumphs I've experienced through the years of development on Sumea / tsumea so it's great to read back on it. While a lot of the updates I've been implementing on the site in recent times hasn't warranted any new posts in here lately (and I'm not sure if people are curious about it anyway), I feel like writing a few things about how things are currently going and what the new goals are for tsumea.

First of all, spamming has been an enduring problem on the site. I have the commonly used re-captcha system implemented, and that works great, but of course, it won't prevent spam that is put in by real people. 3 or 4 spam posts were slipping through a day, and I got pretty sick of having to remove them. Sure, it only takes 2 clicks to delete each spam post, but as a daily ritual, it is darn annoying. Well, I'm happy to say that I've implemented some triggers to capture most of the remaining spam that manages to slip through, so I've only had to delete two or so spam posts for the last couple of weeks now.

Just checking back, in mid 2007 I decided to get rid of my custom built CMS and migrate everything to another CMS. It was a painful task full of massive headaches and a whole lot of SQL queries, but I'm glad it was completed successfully. The new tsumea was up in early 2008 and I mentioned then that the foundations were in place for when we wanted to expand on what tsumea was all about. Now is the right time to step up to that challenge.

Visitor numbers and readership is still very high, and all the new features implemented (a better categorised and searchable jobs page, a more user friendly game developers listings section, media section, twitter connectivity, news aggregating to other sites) has drawn a lot more visitors. The news items and job ads posted are reaching more people than ever, and I still get some great feedback on the overwhelming response that job posts get on here. However, visitors are not commenting as much to news items and are preferring to lurk instead.

Currently, there are a few issues that I want to tackle head on:

The forum - the forum remains pretty much silent these days
Creatives uploading their work - it has slowed down to a trickle

The issues are mainly community related, and the new work that's being done right now will be aiming to solve all of that. The idea is to open up tsumea to cater international visitors to bring more activity and conversation here, and revitalise the community aspect of tsumea, however, this will mean more than simply creating new forum categories to cater other regions. A whole lot more. I have a plan, and it's a *big* project but I'm working hard on it, and hopefully I'll have something to announce within the next few months.