Site Release 2.0
The biggest difference in 2.0 version is invisible. It's the switch from using
a rather unstructured form of programming that didn't even have many functions, to
using object oriented techniques (Based loosely on Jacobson et al,
'Object-Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case Driven Approach', 1992.)
The main advantages of this are that it makes
the code easier to understand and modify (and hopefully debug).
The previous code was too much of mess.
We added several new objects to the project. These include email lists,
networks, speakers, and speaker topics. A network is a special type of group that
can have groups that belong to it (And since networks are also groups they can belong to
a network too, and thus you can have an infinite regress which is scary...).
A speaker is a person who can add topics to our
site that they are able to speak on. Email lists get their own object.
We also now allow for several new relations between previously existing objects.
Most notably these changes affect events.
Now events can be related to issues, networks or groups, email lists (for instance
a conference or day of action organizers email list) and can also be searched for
by type (conference, protest, day of action, etc).
We added geographical scope for groups, networks, and events. Thus you can choose
what the constituency is for your organization or event - whether it is
local, citywide (aka metro), state, regional, national, or international.
Our figures for how many times a file/resource had been downloaded will be
much closer to the truth. The previous figures were unintentionally inflated
(blame strange browser behavior), perhaps by a factor of five.
We changed our dropdown lists that let you affiliate a person with a group or school
(or any object that has a location with another object that has a location).
Now it limits the dropdown list to groups and schools that are near the person, whereas
previously we limited it to the entire state (which gave too many results and was bad
for people living on the border of states).
To improve our security, we moved away from having a password for each object to
user system so that you could login and have one username and password control
multiple objects. In addition, we moved towards a more strict form of moderation.
Now user-submitted data will have to be approved by a moderator before it will
be widely publicly available. This will considerably reduce the probability of a
virus being spread through our site, of a malicious hacker attack, or of people
getting away with submitting silly things like a Fascists club (yeah someone did it
before). In addition, we added links to many pages where users may suggest
that we moderate or edit entries so that our site maintains the highest quality of
For graphics, we changed our dropdown menu and redid everything. Notably we made the
forms for adding, editing and searching for data look considerably better.
For the user interface, we now display results (for searches or browsing) in page
sets of twenty records. Navigation is much easier as you can sort records alphabetically
or reverse alphabetically by clicking once or twice on the title that you wish to sort on.
You can also skip to a different page of results using the numbers or next or
For Canadians we bought a database of postal codes so we can now convert postal
codes into longitudes and latitudes. Thus Canadians (and Americans who live near
the border) will be able to find groups, people, events, and schools that are
within a specified radius of a postal code.
For American high school students, we added a database of 12,000 high schools. We
deeply hope that high school students will use our website!
You can subscribe to receive regular emails from our site. You choose how often
you get them, and you choose what they contain! They can include information about
new people, new groups, new resources, and upcoming events. This information can
be limited by issue and/or location. This feature will make it easier to keep up
to date with what's coming into our website without having to sift through old
information to get at the good new stuff.