22 January 2014

New website and project hosting!

The new AE Creations website is now live!


The recent and unexpected shut down of the Mozdev project hosting service was an opportunity to do a complete website redesign, moving away from the tired old look (which was really just to integrate with and slightly improve upon the default Mozdev website theme) and into something more modern -- with fresh colors, elegant fonts that are readable yet pleasing to the eye, and an improved organization of the website content.


Due to the presumed shut down of Mozdev, the previous project host for the website, source code repository and bug tracking for AE Creations extensions, I've been scrambling to find a new home for them.

I've settled on using GitHub for the source code repository and bug tracking.  Originally I was going to use SourceForge (I already have an existing account for a really old project), but I like GitHub's issue tracking features which organizes issue tickets (e.g. bugs, feature enhancement requests) based on repository; by comparison, SourceForge's issue tracking functionality isn't as good as what I found with GitHub.  Since I can organize the source code for each extension in separate repositories, the bugs would naturally be organized based on extension.  So that made GitHub the best choice.  (I'm still using SourceForge to host the source code for Clippings Editor, a stand-alone utility for Clippings users who want to create and organize clippings for distribution to multiple users.)

What remained is hosting the AE Creations website.  GitHub provides project website hosting with GitHub Pages -- however, it only handles static HTML pages; server-side scripting (e.g. PHP) isn't supported.  This would make maintenance a nightmare when I have to update content that appears in multiple web pages, like page headers, footers and navigation.  But SourceForge supports PHP, handles load balancing, and has some other powerful project web hosting features, described here.  I won't necessarily be using all the available features (like MySQL databases and basic HTTP authentication), but it's great that they are available if and when I need them.

The plain, bare-bones temporary website that previously appeared under the above URL can now be found at aecreations.github.io. This will be the fallback website in case the website on SourceForge ever goes down.

What's next

There are a few minor tweaks I want to make to the website, such as implementing a nicer 16x16 pixel favicon -- but for the most part, the major work on it is done.

My focus will soon turn to updating my extensions to work with the new Australis look that will be coming soon in a future Firefox release.