To borrow a phrase from a certain spirit of chaos and disharmony, "listen closely; this is important.
As you may have noticed, despite my earlier estimates of a June update to the website, it's now August and we're honestly no closer to it than we were in April. This is due to a lot of things, but chief amongst them is my lack of time and necessary PHP wizardry skills, as well as my lack of familiarity with the back-end operations of Invision Board 3.x. The complexity of the task at hand has been the number one stumbling block in trying to manage this upgrade since the very beginning, and I've finally concluded that there's just no way to effectively handle it before the heat death of the universe.
So. What does that mean for the site? Well, a few things:
First, DPWR.NET will not be upgraded to Invision Board 3.x as originally intended. Instead, this site will become a locked archive of itself, in order to provide ongoing content availability to all of the existing links to this site from around the web. More details about what this means for the various bits of site content will be outlined below.
Second, we're going to be moving. I haven't decided on a domain name yet, but it'll definitely be something easier to remember than "DPWR". We've been at this address for ten years, and I can't tell you how often I still see the site's name misspelled
. I'm leaning toward "guildofarchivists.org" in keeping with the guild theme being used by other groups in the community, but am willing to entertain other suggestions that might be more newcomer-friendly. For the sake of convenience, from here on out, the new site will be referred to as "GoArch".
Third, I intend to redouble the site's focus as a resource for historical information about the D'ni civilization and the ongoing "extended universe" creations of the rest of the community. There are enough general-purpose Myst/Uru community websites out there already, and I don't need DPWR/GoArch to try – and fail – at being another one. With things like OpenURU and the Unwritten RPG on their way (or sort of already here, kinda), giving people new and old a clean, modern, and informative place to learn about the D'niverse is my biggest priority.
To that end, this move will also be an almost total fresh start. The Archive will be starting from scratch, because the time needed to rebuild and modernize its content is ultimately less than the time it would take to try and build a tool to do so programmatically (which I've been trying and failing to accomplish for years now). I'll be doing my best to pre-load the new Archive with the most important stuff (Atrus, Yeesha, the Bahro, D'ni, Myst Island, that sort of thing) before GoArch goes live, but there will be a short period of time during which the new site's Archive will be less extensive than this one's.
The Gallery will be getting a major overhaul and be starting from a clean slate. As I said, all of the existing content will remain accessible here on DPWR.NET, but if there's anything you want to see on the new GoArch site, you'll need to move it yourself.
The Library will be restructured and refocused on serving as a resource for storytellers interested in playing in Cyan's sandbox. All MRD fanfics will be ported to the new site (if I can manage it; this is a far less complex operation than moving the Archive, at least) and remain accessible there. The non-MRD fanfic section of the Library will not
be moved to GoArch. Again, it will remain accessible here on DPWR, but if there's a story in there that you really like, I suggest you back it up.
Due to my effort to refocus the site on filling a specific niche within the community, the forums will be getting severely truncated and be starting from scratch, since the only threads with any activity in them over the past year are basically the "sorry I haven't upgraded the site yet!" posts I've been making every few months. I'll be providing a smaller collection of forums for community participation that are more closely targeted toward advancing the purpose of the site. When it comes to wide-ranging topics of discussion, though, the MOUL forums have sort of eaten everyone else's lunch, and I have no intention or desire to compete with them on that front. Besides that, forums are less of an essential resource these days than they used to be, and I'd rather not have a huge, China-style ghost town laying around to look after.
With everything that's going away or being rebooted, what's actually being kept? Well, the user database will be sticking around, so if you have an account here on DPWR, you won't need to re-register on GoArch (and registration will be re-opening for the first time in years, yay!). We'll also be migrating your private messages, so they'll be waiting for you on GoArch too. Aaaaand, that's pretty much it. GoArch will be launching on September 30th
. I'm giving myself a hard deadline, because I work better against those than wishy-washy "in the near future", "soon", and "sometime in June" estimations.
If you're coming to Mysterium in Seattle this weekend, I will be there to discuss this news, listen to your input, and hopefully not be on the receiving end of any face-punches over it
. If you can't make it to Mysterium, DPWR/GoArch is also available on Google+ and Twitter. Please feel free to contact me there with feedback, questions, or concerns. Links are below:
[ Guild of Archivists on Google+
[ Guild of Archivists on Twitter