Back during the 2019 to 2020 holidays, I started writing the new tsn9 plugin for phpBB that basically created a wholly new forum experience based on some of the interactions of Google Inbox, and using Google’s Material Design framework as a guide.
I also updated all the branding of the site later (as I no longer had access to Adobe Fireworks where the source files were created) for more modern, sharper, flatter logos.
I got pretty far into the My Spot page, but realized just how much of the phpBB code I was having to rewrite, and around that same time, the organization dropped phpBB 3.3, which was a major change to the 3.2 that the site is built on. It means I have to scrap everything I’ve done to that point, and start over. So I just set it aside.
For anyone curious, you can visit the tsn9 link on the splash page to see where things were going with the interactions and user experience. For example, this was planned just for the reading/posting experience:
- Infinite Scroll of Latest Posts on My Spot
- Open a post without leaving the page
- Create a post without leaving the page
- Collapsable/Expandable thread replies based on read/unread status
I was not entirely happy with the actual design of the site, but it was more of a proof of concept than anything. A UI that only relies on a card interface means very limited options for the rest of the decorative content on the page. If I ever get around to it (or need to flex some coding skills) I’d probably aim to restyle the PoC similarly to the new splash page for a softer feel.
I also updated the logo for The Pizzy in the same style to bring it current with the rest of the branding. I hadn’t actually bothered with that branding since 2015 or earlier, when I released tsn8.
I do not often have to compile solutions for problems I’m finding these days, like I had to in the past, so not much is happening over on the tech blog. It still ranks pretty well (usually first page, top 3 results for relevant articles).
As for [[Oracle]], she still resides in the tsn Discord Server, and runs on a Raspberry Pi sitting on my desk at home. Each new feature I add changes the architecture of the platform. Now it’s at the point where I hope to be able to setup cross-platform functionality so that a command from slack or discord can either work the same, or interact with another platform.
There is still more work to do on that front, and finding the time (or ideas) to implement is getting harder. However, there is one implementation that I intend to turn into a business, and it has spawned a new helper bot. I can’t say a whole lot on the project right now, because it’s top secret.
That’s all I’ve got for this year.