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Church Website and Other Things

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So, I promised an update on the church website that I volunteered for.

Last Friday, the group had its formative meeting. As is typical for volunteer groups, about half of the folks who signed up showed (nothing against anybody here, often people volunteer for things and then find out that they really don't have the time to effectively be a member of the group, and really its better just not to show then to show up for the first meeting, and then have some sporadic attendance).

If you quickly want to take a look at what the current website looks like, here it is. As you can see, it has several problems. Too much glitz, a somewhat "slapped together" look, and a quality that I describe as "very 1998". I do not mean to putting down on the folks who worked very hard to make this website, but the current site is also a maintenance nightmare.

One of the church staff members in the group had made up a little mock-page that looks clean, professional, and friendly. We decided to work with that, and for now just "fake it" with static HTML until we can get the "real" site up around the beginnning of next year.

Other members of the group consist of the IT Guy for the church, the guy who knows HTML and has done some static html type sites, a business owner who didn't really say much, and a lady who is taking computer science classes. Oh, yeah, and me.

My job is to make life easier for the content generators, just as it has been the other times I have worked on sites. You may or may not know this, but I rewrote the system that delivers articles to you in the article system, a front end which you all see, and a back end that makes it relatively easy for the content generators to do their jobs. I just checked, and at least some version of my original system remains, as the ArticleXXXX.asp thing was my doing.

Also, at least early on in gamedev.net history, the article system was modified to do books, jobs, and a number of other systems. It's all a basic "group into categories" database scripts, and so optimal for many problems, and easily adaptable.

The most recent system I wrote for gamedev.net was the current Game Dictionary system.

So, guess what I'm doing for the church site? Much the same sort of script, but with an even easier back end interface (who are, for the most part "normal people", and I cannot (and should not) rely on any technical expertise like I did when writing the back ends for the gamedev.net systems. Plus, I'm leveraging all of the techniques I've learned over the years.

Currently, I'm working on the Events system. A church, like any large organization, has a lot of events, from weekly services to choir practice to holiday celebrations. I've even come up with a page that looks like a weekly calendar. It's going to be good.

I've been putting in two hours a day working on the church website, and so the "MakeDeez Games" project (the "I have made over 50 games" thing) will be taking a slight hit in the time I spend on it, but it is not forgotten and will not be abandoned(I will still do my best to get one or two new assignments out per week). Once I get the church site into a state where it can go live, then I'll be able to spend more time on it.
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