From the category archives: Website
Posts related to the Avian Waves website
Today the new Avian Waves website is now online! I'm now using DotNetNuke for CMS. The blog is now using SunBlogNuke and the forums system is still YAF.Net. If you had previously created a forums account, that account no longer exists since the authentication systems were not compatible. You will need to create a new account. If you create an account with the same username and email address, your previous settings should still be available. Enjoy!
If you tried to visit the Avian Waves website in the last 24 hours, you may have noticed that a spam page (with an embedded virus download) came up instead. My site, itself, was not hacked. No, it was much worse. The DNS provider at Enom (the company the registrar I use, Arbor Domains, is a reseller for) was hacked. A very large number of sites had their DNS redirected.
Time to switch to GoDaddy. They are cheaper anyway. Enom has proven they cannot be trusted with security. Sorry, Arbor. It's been a great ten plus year run. But your DNS and registration tools haven't been updated since the early 2000s. Plus, I need DNS service I can trust to not be hacked. And if it is hacked, it needs to be fixed ASAP.
Apparently the hardware that my web server's VPS lives on completely died. I mean died so bad that VPSLand didn't have any way to restore it! Luckily I take nightly backups of everything important, so the website is back with no loss of content. Unfortunately, SQL Server 2008 Express's installer has a serious amount of bugs that took me about 6 hours of debugging to figure out. The entire site is driven off SQL 2008, so I had no way to get the site back without it. It seems something that was in VPSLand's standard deployment image made SQL 2008's installer unhappy. It took a lot of registry deletions to get it to work. More about that later (if I remember).
Anyway. The site is finally back up! Hooray!
Apparently there was a bug in my website forums that was preventing new users from registering. OOPS! Sorry about that. All fixed now!
I decided having multiple blogs (Music and Tech) was pretty confusing, so I introduced topics (a.k.a. "tags") to my blog. The two previous blogs were unified and then the topics were applied (among others) so that they are actually still sorted basically the same. You can see in the upper left hand corner the various topics you can filter by, in case you aren't interested in all the wonderful things I have to say. Any old links to previous music/tech blog entries should still work. Please let me know if they don't!
CDs are finally in the process of getting pressed. Late 2007, I think I said, right? So late that it's 2008 now, apparently. ;-) All singles will be for sale shortly after I get the CDs in retail outlets (like CD Baby).
Next step... I need to start writing new tracks and get back to work on RD Tabs and XS BAP.
I have upgraded the forums from YAF 1.9.0 to YAF 1.9.1. They do great work for free forums! If you run an ASP.Net website, I highly recommend it.
Here's the website.
Let me know if you run into any problems!
Anybody who has been using the Avian Waves Forums has noticed that it was not integrated into the main website. This is due to the code being from another author, who makes the amazing open source YetAnotherForum.Net. it's C#, so I can't integrate it directly into the main Avian Waves website since I write primarily in VB.Net. However, I found a clever way to integrate it by exporting the main website's current "skin" (even if I change it) and retrieving this through the skinnable features of YAF. The advantage is now it looks like the rest of the website, but can be easily upgraded since it is still technically a separate web application. Fun stuff! Enjoy!
The new URL is www.avianwaves.com/Forums but the old URL forums.avianwaves.com will still work.
I am currently in the process of converting the Avian Waves website from ASP to ASP.Net. In addition, the thoughts/links page has been transformed into a full-fledged blog (what you are looking at right now). Over the coming weeks, new features will gradually be added, and a new look (including the new Avian Waves logo) will start to appear. This is a large transition for me and Avian Waves, but will lay the foundation for the future of this website, my music, and the "business" side of Avian Waves.
News and notes will continue to be posted to this blog, comments can be posted by anybody, and an RSS feed is now available!
In order to keep an ongoing interest in my music, rants, tech tools, and everything else, I'm hoping this site can stay dynamic and compelling. Before you know it, I'll finally be done geeking out and I can get back into the studio and write music again. :-) It's been too long, but will be worth the wait.
The new Avian Waves website is combining together several of my personal projects into one: The music stuff, tech stuff, and anything else I can dream up!
The old website was table-based, using all the old techniques I learned in the 90s to format graphics and text for old browsers. I adopted CSS only when it was a convenient way to make things look "right." With the new website I am striving for 100% XHTML 2.0 compliance. The main portions of the site will be compliant very soon (most already are). The blog software (a customized version of Presstopia that I modified) will take longer to make compliant. It is currently 100% XHTML 1.1/Transitional compliant (I think).
Well that's all fine and dandy, but why go through the trouble?
I want the site to be styled completely using CSS so that the site's data can quickly and easily be "skinned." Eventually, I will check how the site is being accessed and offer an optimized view depending on the device. Increasingly, websites are being visited by phones and pocket devices, which can only implement a subset of layouts features that IE, Firefox, and Opera can. Since the substance of the site will just be XHTML tags styled using CSS classes, reformatting the website for other devices is as simple as referencing a different style-sheet. The easiest way for me to be flexible in the future is to strictly adopt XHTML 2.0 now.
It is very interesting balancing the way styles are used to make things look "right" under all the different browsers. I thought CSS replacing table-based layout was supposed to make that concern go away? I suppose that's another rant for another day!
Avian Waves is also moving from an ASP site to an ASP.Net 2.0 site. The reasons for this are pretty obvious: ASP.Net is faster, more robust, easier to code, and easier to debug!
Master pages are awesome...