Even though I’m not nearly finished with it, and I didn’t get all the stuff in that I wanted, I decided earlier this week to do a feature freeze and push the site live as soon as I could, just to give myself a break. So, without further ado, znurt.org is now live. :)
You may or may not know, but Znurt is the name of another Gentoo mascot of ours — he’s the little UFO / whatever flying around that you can see on Gentoo’s homepage.
I’m not real sure what else to say about the site, other than it’s been a lot of work, and I’m really proud of it. If I had any idea of how many hours it’d take to put together, I never would have started on it, that’s for sure. I think it’s safe to say I’ve put in at least 200 hours working on it in the past 2 months or so. I think it’s turned out really well, though. It’s a far better improvement over my old packages site which was thrown together quite hastily, and the code was pretty nasty. This time around, everything is object-oriented which made it really go by quickly.
I’ve tried to put in some of the best features for launch as possible, but some just had to make the cut due to constraints. The ones I really wanted was a page for new ebuilds, and a chance to have a feed of those, and customized by arch. Same for new packages as well — a view for each arch. The new packages section almost got cut completely, though, because of some issues I ran into at the last minute, but fortunately that one made it.
I’ll still be adding more stuff, but probably not at such a clipped pace as I have been for the past month. You can track the planned features I already want to implement here. If there’s other ideas you have, let me know, and I’ll see if I can get them in.
Which reminds me, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to all the beta-testers that helped out with the site development. Every single person that got involved had a unique idea or perspective that I hadn’t even considered, and it really helped clean things up quite a bit. Thanks, guys, I owe you one. :)
I hope you all enjoy the new site. Please contact me about any bugs you find — hopefully I didn’t miss any obvious glaring ones. Also, if there are any XML wizards out there, I’d really appreciate some feedback on the Atom and RSS feeds, in case I missed something. Not really a strong point of mine.
The thing I like the most about working on the site is it really revitalized my interest in Gentoo, and working on the project as a whole. I had been losing interest in it for a while, but I realize now that that was partly fueled by my slip-shod attempts at user websites (planet included). Taking a weak thing and making it strong, though, has really helped to push me in the opposite direction, though. Not to say I’m going to make a career out of Gentoo development or anything, but it sure does help fuel my passion when you have some work you can be really proud of. :)
In fact, working on this has inspired me to do a rewrite of Planet Larry as well. Writing the XML feeds wasn’t nearly as difficult as I imagined, and though I don’t understand them too well, it’s definitely something I’d like to learn more about. So, I’m going to ditch the planet software we are using and write my own, and finally give Planet Larry some features and love that it really needs.
Oh, also, there’s a twitter feed that I use just for the website development, if you want to see what I’m working on, there. Have fun. :)