Archive for April, 2008

News moves to PHP, Blog takes over Site News

Friday, April 4th, 2008

This post delivers our aim of giving more to the blog in two ways: firstly I’m updating you about site development, and secondly, more regular updates are guaranteed with the new integration.

Firstly, the move to PHP. For years now most of AAG has been powered by PHP with our lovely MySQL database sitting in the background. An exception to this has been the discussion board, powered by a combination of Perl and CGI that Dave has been hacking away at for years. While he’s not a fan of PHP, it makes sense to integrate with the rest of the site, and indeed we’ve wanted to change for a while. But the old tech has been serving its purpose and has also been powering our news and site news sections. Well, we’ve just made a big step away from the 2002 technology with the move of the news section to our main database, and it’s now also in PHP. You will likely not notice the difference – the posts and the index look pretty much the same, aside from a few minor tweaks which are nothing to do with the change of technology. The URL now works in the same way as the rest of the site as a result, too.

Complementing this is the integration of Site News into the Blog. We’ve always intended to post about site developments on here anyway, and so it makes sense to incorporate the announcements here too. As a result of this merge, we’ve freed up space on the front page which is duly taken over by a list of the latest blog entries. This mean you’ll also still see the latest site announcements in the same place. The integration again removes a tie to the old discussion board.

So what does this mean for its future? Well, we’ll discuss that in a future blog entry, but ultimately it will close in its current form, and the last of the old and nasty code from the aagV3 days will finally be gone.

AAG Redesign Teaser #1

Friday, April 4th, 2008

It’s now been a few years since we launched AAGv5, with a slight improvement over the (frankly very bad) colours that it launched with midway through its life. Now, whilst AAGv5 is certainly, in our opinion at least, an improvement over its predecessor in both design and underlying code, it’s still not the most modern looking design in the world. However, we have since enlisted external help, and as such, I’m pleased to reveal the first teaser for how we’ll hopefully look before too long:

AAGv6 Teaser #1

…OK, the logo’s not final, and none of this has actually been coded yet – it’s just an image. However, hopefully it gives you an idea of the direction in which we’re going with our new look, and I hope you like it.

The Recent Downtime

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Well, I promised more updates to the blog, and then we disappear for a while. Sorry about that, but we really will now get on with giving you more details on here! With the integration of site news into the blog (to be explained in a post later today), I thought I’d re-post the recent site news item explaining our downtime below:


If you’ve been following the “AAG Temp Blog” that was up on over the past couple of weeks you’ll be aware of why we went away. The main site was down for about two and a half weeks, and was the result of unexpected consequences of a server move, which have left the site out of action. With little notice the server needed to be physically moved, but problems were encountered at its new location, and thus prevented it from being set up again. The uncertainty over what would happen next meant it took a while for us to set up the temporary blog to provide you with some content until the full site was restored.

The new location is – as you can see from the restoration of the site – now fully set up and ready to bring you a full range of coverage once more. Further bad luck delayed this stage too – the server itself was actually damaged in transit, but thankfully the HDDs were intact, and we were able to eventually the restore the site on new hardware.

We apologise for the lengthy downtime, and we hope you will continue to visit in the future – a future where we hopefully won’t experience anything like this again!

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