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Phillyman

Retromags 2.0 is almost here!

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For the past 4 months I have been working on reimagining the Retromags website. Many of you will remember that Retromags started off back in 2007 as a PHPBB forum with a single HTML homepage. When I started the Retromags 2.0 project, I took a step back and looked at how Retromags is currently set up. I wanted to see what was broken, what was confusing, what was difficult....and finally what we could do to improve the overall experience of our members. Now if I am to be honest, this project started back in 2010. But it was not until recently that we had the software to do everything that we wanted.

Retromags is well known for preserving over 1100 video game magazines. But the digital preservation of magazines is only one aspect of what makes this site so great. We also try to provide everyone with information about these magazines. A few years back we had our own Retromags Wiki that users could contribute information to. The wiki was actually hosted on Retromags.net, and was a seperate site all together. This meant that you had to have a username and password for Retromags.com to use our forums, Gallery, blogs and download section.....but you also had to have a username and password for Retromags.net to contribute to the wiki. There was no easy way to tie the two systems together and use the same credentials, nor was there a way to bring the functionality of the wiki to the download section.....or vice versa!

Well that is all about to change! With Retromags 2.0 our members will have 1 system that does everything! The download section will allow you to edit information just like a wiki, but it will also provide the links to all 1100+ magazines that our great community has scanned. All of this information is going to be stored within a custom database, and once the data is entered.....we can change the way it is displayed very easily!

So to recap....

Old Download Manager

  • Did not function like a wiki, we could only give you guys full or no access to change items
  • Was very rigid with displaying data, we had little control over how information was presented

Old Wiki

  • Did not allow us to control how you guys entered data
  • Wiki had a totally different look than this site, and was very had to change
  • Could not easily use the credentials from the forum software we use
  • Really didn't tie into this system over here, so most people never used it
  • You were presented with a blank page to edit, and you had to learn wiki code to make entries
  • Was very rigid with displaying data, we had little control over how information was presented

New RM 2.0 System

  • Works off of the credentials you already have!
  • Ties into everything we are already running (forum, Gallery, blogs, etc)
  • Works off of a custom database, we have total control over how information is formatted
  • Very easy to use, when you edit a page you are presented with a form to fill out
  • We can control which fields our members are able to edit, and which fields that only Staff may edit
  • The database records work off of the theme you have selected, giving our members a choice of how they wish to view the data

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