Matt Barton's blog

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News Aggregator

BTW, I put some feeds into the news aggreggator just to try it out. I'll make some categories so we can better organize them.

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Site Layouts and Templates for Neo

I spoke recently to Charlie Lowe, doc director for the Drupal Project, about customizing the look and layout of this site. There is a bit of confusion here because of upcoming Drupal developments. Apparently, 4.6 uses something called xtemplate engine, but the new version (4.7) will use PHPTemplate. Apparently, PHPTemplate is much more powerful and will let us do some pretty wild things, such as easily grab stuff out of the databases for use with the theme. I looked at some of these new templates, and they are definitely more visually impressive than the one we have now.

One cool thing I thought about would be creating a module that would show us all the high scores from those flash games. We could also use this tool for displaying the matrix.

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AA Neo: The Basics

Greetings, everyone. I'd like to start a discussion here about the direction we'd like to take AA Neo and hopefully form a coherent and exciting long-term vision for Armchair Arcade. Significantly, Drupal allows us some exciting possibilities for building a new and stronger community, but also a better means of creating, sorting, and distributing the high quality articles and news postings of the old site. Let me discuss some of the changes I'm personally most exicted about proposing.

First, Bill and I have been discussing the possibility of evolving from an issue-based format (like a print magazine) to an article-based format (like most web publications). Fortunately, this doesn't have to be an either/or decision. I submit that we take the best of both worlds. We write and publish articles on a "just-in-time" strategy that attempts to (a) strike critical issues when the timing is ripe, and (b) offers enough time for the editors to tweak and revise articles. This will allow us to keep up a steady stream of new features without suffering the dreaded "bottleneck" problems of issue-length publication. However, we don't have to give up on issues--far from it. Indeed, this method will allow us to create a backlog of features that can, at regular intervals, be compiled (and revised in light of reader feedback if necessary) into a downloadable PDF magazine. The "value add" of that magazine will be (a) cover art, (b) graphical layouts, and (c) print design. In short, the content on the site will be more focused on timeliness than design; we'll make up for that in the PDF magazines. My dream is that these PDF magazines will approach the design sophistication of online mags like The Escapist.

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