Posted on July 3, 2016
CASSA Website VII: A retrospective
How many sites has CASSA had, well the internet archive goes back to 2005. I do not know of any SCISSA sites that existed before then. So for the sake of it we will start with the first from 2005.
The first site, seen bellow was a simple WordPress website and that lasted the club from 2005 to 2008 when it was replaced with a new install of WordPress. All previous post were lost in this event.
The second this website lasted from October of 2008 to October of 2009 shortly after SCISSA was dissolved and CASSA was born.
The third website, made use of vBulletin and it lasted from some time in 2010 to July 2011, unfortunately I can not get a good screenshot of this site from archive.org
The forth site brought CASSA back to WordPress and lasted from July 2011 until Early 2013.
The fifth Site lasted from 2013 until the start of 2015. This is when CASSA made the jump to Inivision Power Board, a non-free solution that you host yourself. CASSA was paying a fee to use this software. It is in September of 2014 I show up and became the tech Admin. No one in CASSA showed any desire to post to the forums or use the website during my first year as Tech Admin.
I wanted to replace the site with something else, it was was going to be WordPress or Drupal, I had used both in the past and was leaning more towards WordPress. But JamesT the web admin at the time went to Drupal Con. James was was super excited for Drupal 8, and I thought it looked cool. However it was not ready, so I decided to start playing with Drupal 7. I was working on a replacement site using Drupal and LDAP that was due to be released in early 2015. However a server malfunction and my desire to leave the locked down ECU infrastructure gave me the opportunity to host the new site on digital ocean.
The sixth site was the one I setup running Drupal. To be honest the Drupal site worked great for a while, we had signal sign on using Drupal and OpenLDAP. Signal sign on was great, at the peak of its use it was linked to ZNC, Redmine and owncloud.
However it had one issue, Drupal is a pain to use and as the number of services increased maintenance became a worry as well. Not only that I kept having to add more and more stuff to the Drupal install to make it usable for our needs. For various reasons by early 2016 it was time to do something else. I was no longer Tech admin the roll was handed off to Damion Brown. However we worked together to try and figure out what would be best.
One solution involved using GIT , Jekyll and Markdown. This is a great solution, however you need to know how to use GIT, Jekyll and Markdown. It would prevent some our less skilled members from posting, and simply make it hard to post on the go. This is when WordPress came back on the table, late one night at ECU around 4A.M. the crew and I started working on this site.
The seventh site is up now running WordPress and old posts from sites 1 through 6 are being restored. So to all future tech admins, learn a lesson. Work as a team and if you mess with the website you are going to have a bad time.