Slow Progress – A Message Board Project

7 Jun

So over a year since my last post, I’m going to reduce the quality threshold on what I post and see if I can post more regularly.
One of the posts has actually been useful to me to come back and remember what I was doing, so as long as it’s ocasionally useful to me then it’s worth doing.

So my current home programming project is converting the message board that I’ve set up for a couple of running clubs, e.g. Wrekin Road Runners, currently hosted here, , from a crappy php application, to a crappy Java one (although it will be allowing ajax posting of messages and logging in) once I’ve done that and got it up on line I’m going to treat myself to an underwater housing for my camera

So far I’ve got a Java app running on tomcat on a Memset virtual server ( ) using mysql that roughly does what I need. I went with Memset partly because of there claim to be green and a vague desire to support a UK company. Linode ( ) seems to be the default choice for this sort of thing at the moment, and I might try them for a comparison at somepoint.

Remaining tasks before I consider myself eligible for the underwater housing treat are:

  • Switch to use the live DB currently being used by the PHP app.
  • Make links automatically out of URLs in messages
  • Clean up html so it looks presentable (this could be a big one)
  • Either set up email notifications, or some alternative, e.g. posts to twitter
  • Once I’ve done that, there’s loads I could do, but think it might be a usefull base project for trying out different web frameworks, got a plan to learn ruby on rails, so maybe writing it as a ruby on rails project will come. Also from point of view of making the message board useful, allowing logons from Facebook, twitter , openid etc. would be good, and an rss feed is pretty much essential I think.

    I’m undecided as to whether there is really any point running clubs having message boards instead of just using something free like facebook, or a google group. There does seem to be something in not having to force people to create another logon for a little message board for people who all know each other (currently everyone posting uses the same shared password) , and also for not forcing people to sign up to something like facebook if they don’t want to. (Plus I don’t really like facebook). Also as it’s dedicated to just providing a simple message board it can be less cluttered and I don’t intend on having adverts. (I don’t really like adverts). Anyway, as long as it is useful as a practical learning project for me it being of any use to anyone else is a bonus.

    Right, now I’ve blogged about it, maybe I’ll do some work on it.


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