• Tag Archives TRC
  • TRC 9.1: New Calendar

    I’ve started on my next project: Overhauling the TRC Calendar.

    The old Calendar is a homegrown PHP / MySQL script that I wrote well over a decade ago, and she’s starting to show her age.  It doesn’t have great functionality, the forms to submit & edit are clunky, and the back-end would give you a migraine.  Since moving TRC to WordPress, I’ve wanted to convert it over to use a proper WordPress Plugin.

    So far, so good!  The new plugin I’m using is working out GREAT! Here are some pics to compare the old vs. the new with my current progress.

    There is still quite a lot of work to do, including purging and vetting events, and figuring out how to do user submission.

    Community Calendar Page

    Homepage Calendar Widget

  • 20 Years of Fishing Derbies

    Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby

    Last night, I was in Milo to live-stream the Schoodic Lake Fishing Derby Prize Drawing for TRC.  I realized the night before, that this was the 20th year I’ve done it!

    The process has gone through quite some changes over the years.  The first year I streamed it was way back in 2002, and if I remember correctly we used a dial-up modem to get online.  It wasn’t even streaming video, it was a picture that updated every 10 seconds or so. We also had a page updating with the results as they were announced.

    That worked for a few years, then we switched to just text updates as the webcam didn’t really show much.  Eventually we moved up to live streaming video using some archaic software, and then upgraded to using Google Hangouts to stream.

    Hangouts got merged into YouTube, and we’ve streamed the last 8 years there. You can view all the previous videos in this playlist.

  • TRC 9.1: New Directory


    I spent the entire weekend working on a long-overdue project for TRC: a shiny new directory.

    The directory we had was written by yours truly, over a decade ago.  The code was custom PHP, had to shoe-horn it into WordPress, and it was just clunky.  I’ve invested in a great new plugin that lets us do the directory natively in WordPress instead, and its working out great!  I stated last week moving everything but the business directory into the new setup, and then spent ALL weekend entering the business directory.

    187 items got moved into the new setup, and 180 items are on hold until we can get more information or at least verify the places are still in operation.  The directory is quite old… I came across one business where I confirmed the guy retired a decade ago, and another where the guy had died 5 ago.  This purge really needed to happen.

    I went live with it last night, and so far it looks great.  I’m hoping to get some feedback on it, but its early.

    This is the first stage in what I am calling “Version 9.1” of TRC.  We’ve been running on WordPress for about 5 months now, and I felt it was time to go to the next step.  The oldest parts of the site still being used are my home-grown php scripts that run the directory, calendar, and memoriams.  Everything else from that era was phased out, and its time these parts got an upgrade.

    The Directory is now upgraded, and for my next trick I’m moving onto the Calendar.  I’m looking into a plugin that would also integrated it natively into WordPress, and make it much easier to manage. After that, I may even look into something to replace the Memoriams / Obituaries.  More to come later…

  • TRC: Big things are coming…

    I made some progress on TRC 9 this weekend. Finally settled on a WordPress theme and pulled the trigger on buying it.  I have a lot of configuration to do still, but the picture is a sneak peak.

    Its all uphill from here.  Need to get the layout/theme straightened out to where I like it, then start the arduous process of converting the bulk of the site.

    Expect more updates in the coming weeks 🙂

  • The Printening

    I spent this evening printing a ton of propaganda for TRC.  I actually ran out of the three color inks!  Luckily, the HP Instant Ink thing had already sent me more ink.

    Now that I’ve seen how it works, I’m not too impressed by it.  First off, it said I was going to get 8 free months.  Well that was a lie, the website says I got one free month.

    On top of that, the plan I chose (the smallest they offered) is like $2 a month for up to 50 pages.  Apparently if you go over 50 pages, it costs you $1 for every 10 pages. WTF.  On the upside, it gives you up to 100 pages that will rollover if you don’t use them.

    I’m still not sure I want to keep this plan.  We’ll have to see how it goes….

  • TRC Propaganda

    Tonight I began working on something I’ve managed to put off for quite some time.  Propaganda for TRC.  Its been quite some time since I put anything out in town to try to drum up interest in the website, and I think its time. I also have a shiny new printer and all kinds of free ink to play with!

    I started with updating our business card, and I’m hoping to get some friends to help me spread them around the local area.

    I’m now working on updating my tri-fold brochure.  Its a bit more intense, as it was last updated in 2009.  Like I said, its been some time.

  • TRC 9: Possible Breakthrough

    The last week, I’ve been on a roller-coaster with trying to plan out my upgrade for TRC.  I sat down to look at going from Drupal 7 to 8 yet again, and pretty much drove off a cliff.  Drupal 9 is due out in 2020.  And support for both 7 & 8 will be ending in 2021.  To get to 9, I’ll have to go through 8 to get there.  This gave me a splitting headache, so I decided to grudgingly look into WordPress again.

    And I think it MIGHT actually work out in the long run.  I’ve got a laundry list of testing to do before I can be certain, but the first important test actually worked!  I found a way that I can insert my custom PHP code and it WORKS!  I mean, its going to need a mountain of tweaking to get it to look right, but the actual code actually flipping works!

    This discovery was brought to me by my time spent fixing some broken parts of TRC the other day.  The Town Crier and Three Rivers News section on the historical society page had broken due to PHP upgrades.  I found a method to fix those, and it will miraculously work for TRC’s nefarious purposes as well.

    This really is just the first glimmer of a light at the end of the dark tunnel, but I’ll take it. Let’s just hope it isn’t another oncoming train.

  • TRC 9: More Setbacks

    Three Rivers Community – www.trcmaine.org

    I sat down today and dusted off my notes on the Drupal 7 to 8 migration process.  I went to run the handy Migration Tool again, and quickly discovered the website it uses is broken and doesn’t work. This means I’ve got to go through all the modules by hand and check compatibility. I liked it better when the plugin just gave me a list 🙁

    I set that aside for the time being, and looked into the more important features such as getting my custom built calendar and directory into the new version.  And then I hit a massive road-block.

    Drupal 8 does not support the PHP Filter I used to include my custom php scripts.  Apparently its a security hole to let php code run like that.  This poses a MAJOR issue for me, as the calendar, obituaries, directory, and tons of other little bits of the site all use custom php code.  I’m really not sure what to do about this…

    The approved method of doing such things now is to write your own Custom Module.  I’ve never done such a thing, and looking into it has given me a headache.  Its far more complex than what I want to deal with.  My only other option would be to find existing modules in Drupal 8 to replace the functionality of my custom-built stuff.  I’m just really torn on this!  I wrote these things YEARS ago and they’ve survived through 2-3 version of the site, ALREADY!  I love my calendar and I’ve never found a module that did it as well as mine.

    I guess for now I’m back to the drawing board.  I really don’t know how to move forward aside from just leaving the site running Drupal 7.  The problem there is they’ll eventually stop supporting it 🙁

    I’m open to thoughts and suggestions.  Anyone?

  • Setbacks with TRC 9 Plan

    After some extensive research, I’ve had to grudgingly rule out the idea of using WordPress for the new version of TRC.

    I was hoping to use a plugin called Multisite to use WordPress to replace the aging TRC website. I figured I could use it to more easily let different users have access to editing pages and what-not.  After setting up a dummy set of test websites, the overall concept worked.  I just ran into a major issue that blew up my plan: I can’t easily show posts on the sub-sites on the main news feed. I looked into several options, but it was going to get far too complex.

    I guess this means I’m back to the original scary plan of upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.  I mean, I love WordPress as I use it on ALL of my other sites, but Drupal just gives me so much more control over doing what I want to do.  I’m still not looking forward to the upgrade though…  I need to sit down and re-group.  My notes on the upgrade process are from the last time I looked into it – November 2018.

    At that point in time, I put the whole thing on hold as there were still several modules and things that weren’t going to work in the new version.  I need to go through it all again and see where we stand now on compatibility.

    Look for more updates in the future.