Some General Updates

It's been a while since I posted anything on SWAG, the future of SWAG, the present of SWAG... any SWAG really. Seeing as how I actually AM doing stuff, I figure I should let the community in general know what's going on, and where we're going next. I talk a lot about Drupal, because it's so important to making SWAG function day in and day out, so for those of you NOT in the know, a quick run down of what's going on on that front.

SWAG runs on Drupal 5 currently. Drupal 6 has been out for a few months now (9ish I think). SWAG hasn't been upgraded yet for a number of reasons:

  1. I dislike some things about the current implementation, I'd like very much for these things to change. Based on the changes I'd like to make, this is not going to be a small upgrade.
  2. I never 100% finished the migration from pmachine... that's not to say there's old pmachine code lying around... there's not, it's just there are quite a few images that are still not associated with the person who made them (the sabacc deck anyone?). That said it's like... 97% finished, I'd just like to eliminate those loose ends in this next upgrade.
  3. Finally, Drupal 6 lacked some of the contribution code I WANTED to run on (see item 1). Because this code was lacking, and I didn't want to do yet ANOTHER upgrade after a... pre-upgrade... I chose to wait. The time has come.

With that said, let's talk UPGRADE! I've never claimed to be the best designer in the world. The design of SWAG is actually a bit of a testament to that. It's not bad... it's just not great. The problem is actually 2 fold:

  1. No one ever wireframed it
  2. I did the design for it :-)

So, we're going to remedy (hopefully) both of those situations. First, I've started wireframing the layout for SWAG. I will have something up for the general community to see soon. I will want feedback on this. Does it feel right, what's wrong with it, might another layout work better for the content.

I'll be doing content placement for at least the front page, individual image pages, user galleries, blog pages, and probably a few other things, if not the actual content of some of the more static pages themselves. I will need the communities help to make these pages as clear, concise and user-friendly as possible.

Once we've got a set of wireframes that I think will suit us in an on-going capacity, we'll use these wireframes to place a design around... and again I need community interaction. We're a community of artists, not designers, and I see the difference clearly, but some of are both, or have always wanted to try their hand at the dark arts of design, and this is your chance. ONCE we finish the wireframes, I would very much like to open up the design side of things, and see if we can come up with at least one really great design to implement for SWAG.

Seeing how long this post has become, I'll switch gears and be quick about my last bit of news. Looks like SWAG may get another server upgrade in the near future. We'll see exactly what happens here, but it could be REALLY huge for us and a really big improvement in general. Keep bringing the art in! and Keep on Swagging!