Another update to the sandbox site
For a recap of changes, read my previous post. Since then I've refreshed the database, worked on the side rail, and put considerable energy into making the mobile and tablet versions work right. There are still adjustments to make, but it definitely is useable on Android and iOS devices now and a much better experience than what we have now.
Hey! Check out the Maple Oatmeal Bread recipe featured on the sandbox homepage. I am using a new module called Recipe that provides a more structured recipe format. It has some neat features like being able to scale the recipe up and down. If you try it, let me know what you think. In the past I've steered away from recipe organizers because I didn't want this site to become "just another recipe archive", but at this point our community is well enough established that it won't be threatened by having a section where people can quickly store or look up recipes. The community will still be front and center.
Also, thank you to the folks who gave me feedback on the previous revision of the sandbox site. It was very helpful. What items I couldn't act on have still be noted and I still hope to address them.
The timeline for the migration to the new version of the site remains unchanged: next week we're heading to Poland to visit my wife's family, so I won't be able to move this foward further until after Easter. It is getting pretty close to ready though, I think, so I'm hopeful that a week or two after I get back I'll be able to port the site over. I have a new, faster server with more memory all set up waiting for it.
There are certain to be some bumps in the switch over, things I didn't think to test before hand, but the sooner we're over to the new version the sooner I can focus all of my attention on the same tool everyone else here is using. I'm looking forward to being responsive to your needs again rather than responding to feature requests with something like "Yeah, well... Uh... that'll be fixed in the next version." ;^)
Finally, the softest sell ever.
This migration is a lot of work. I've been turning down client work to carve out the time to work on it. I think it is going to be really good and, after the initial suprises, folks here will really like it. I know that today I prefer working on that version of the site to this one.
In the past, folks here have mentioned that they'd be happy to pay for a membership to The Fresh Loaf or have some other way of making donations to support the site. So when I started work on this redesign, I looked into various website membership models. I also thought about a very-leaky paywall, something like "if you view more than 100 posts in a day, you get a little nag message that says "Wow, you really like this site! Would you consider supporting it?" Ultimately I wasn't happy with the dynamic either one would set up here, either "members vs. non-members" or "Floyd as the administrator who gets to decide how much access to content everyone gets." Neither felt right. So rather than impose a new funding/membership model, I simply set up a donation page on WePay and would gladly accept your support. You can get to it here.
I will pass the hat again later, perhaps after the new version of the site is live, so if you'd prefer to wait and see what we end up with before deciding whether you want to chip in, I totally understand. As I said, this is intended to be a very soft sell, not a full blown pledge drive.
Regardless, thanks for making this a great community to work for. I hope the upgrade will bring the technology up to a level of usefulness and simplicity the community deserves!