Although I had originally set the completion deadline for codename “Hakone” to March 2011, after one week and two days of development it’s close enough to final for an early deployment, hopefully before the end of the year.
This is the fifth website layout I’ve designed, now joining the list along with “Dorset0”, Dorset, Soradoc and Kalari — but Hakone is somewhat unusual in that its CSS was written from scratch rather than being based on a previous template, while less than 40% of the basic HTML structure was inherited from Kalari.
Hakone is also the first site layout in which I reset margins and padding attributes for all HTML elements and specify them manually instead of allowing the web browser to use its internal defaults. This technique appears to work much better across browsers than my previous selective overrides. Consequently, Hakone looks very good and usable on IE 6 and 7, despite the usage of CSS 2/2.1 and 3 features in some places.
To get an idea of how much Hakone has changed since its first incarnation, take a look at this ’shot:
Besides the renewed appearance for 2011, Hakone is also intended to bring some functionality improvements and administrative changes around the place. For starters, the front page will pull feeds from a local blog which will be deployed using Blosxom for simplicity, in which we’ll dump any important updates we deem appropriate to share. Interestingly, we used to have a blog at the Wesnoth-UMC-Dev website at the beginning, but the lack of interest from the other admins doomed it to death.
I also intend to add XML feeds support to the Registry Service frontend in order to announce newly added users and projects. I don’t know yet how that’ll be achieved, though — but bet on an update here as soon as I have a plan for it.
By adding more documentation to the Wesnoth-UMC-Dev 2011 website we should also be able to drop most of the contents of the official forum thread, which is currently unmaintained and redundant.
Finally, with all these changes we hope to attract more add-on authors and maintainers to our project. Despite a few administrative issues, we have already hosted large and popular add-ons such as Ageless Era, and campaigns which are currently part of Wesnoth’s mainline, including Legend of Wesmere and Delfador’s Memoirs. We don’t know yet where the community will take us next year, but I expect some amazing work to come out of the repository soon.