Update: Sat., Aug 11
We've rolled out the responsive design, and also added a link to the popular forum tags to the left sidebar. To try out the responsive design, simply resize your browser or visit the site on a phone or tablet device. Please note that there will likely be some areas that need improvement with behavior on various devices, so if you run into any issues, please let us know!
It's hard to believe, but I've been helping keep the Gamers With Jobs site running and functional for over five years now. In that time, we've rolled out new features, made improvements to the server and application architecture, and fixed lots of bugs. We usually keep discussion about changes to the site relegated to a thread in the forums, and we don't make a big deal about changes we roll out. But, it's been a while since we've told the community as a whole what we're up to, and tonight's new feature release provides a good opporunity to do some looking back.
First, a quick run-down of what we're rolling out tonight. No matter the site, finding the content you care about on a highly active, large community forum like ours can be really challenging. A long-standing request to help with this problem has been that we provide some sort of thread tagging mechanism. Tonight, with some help from Pyroman[FO] we're doing just that.
Below every thread in the forums, you'll see an area that allows you to tag the thread with a comma-delimited list of tags. Click on one of those tags, and you can see all posts tagged with that same term. Are you looking at a thread about Baldur's Gate?, tag it with "RPG" so that anyone browsing RPGs can find it. We've seeded the site by tagging existing "Catch-all" threads with the term, so that you can easily find the catch-all thread about the game you're looking for. There's also a tag cloud that allows you to see the top tags on the site. We think that over time this functionality will help you find new content that you otherwise may not have stumbled upon.
Next, I've got to call out a few community members who have helped grow the site's functionality over the past year. These folks have donated their time to fixing up and improving our home here, and they've done so without much recognition for their efforts. Late last year, we rolled out the Favorites functionality, built by Kosars. This has been an invaluable tool in my personal day-to-day use of the site and I'm so thankful we have it. If you haven't tried it out yet, give it a shot by simply clicking "add to favorites" while you're reading a forum thread. Kosars also provided some bug fixes to quoting behavior. We've also had help from Bonus_Eruptus, who provided a YouTube button for while you're composing a post, and provided other nice improvements to YouTube video handling (e.g. support for timecodes). Finally, trueheart78 provided improvements to spoiler tag handling and other YouTube improvements (HD and fullscreen playback). Buy these guys a beer and / or gift them a game during the next Steam sale!
I'm missing here a whole slew of folks who have participated in our issues and features thread, reporting bugs and giving us great ideas for what to do next. Please swing by that thread and give props or help us discuss what we're doing next.
Finally, I wanted to talk a little bit about what's coming next for the GWJ site. In the short term, I'm working on creating a responsive stylesheet for the site. This will mean that GWJ looks great no matter what device you're reading it from. I've been testing on my iPhone and iPad, in both portrait and landscape modes, and it's really great to read the site in a fluid format. This work is nearly done, and should be ready for Certis to review any day now.
In the long-term, we're working on upgrading the site's platform from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7. This is a big undertaking, requiring rebuilding many site features from scratch, migrating data, and all the fun stuff that goes with that process. However, it provides us the opportunity to do some amazingly cool things with the site, as well as address some long-standing feature requests. You can expect to see far better site performance and stability; a powerful site search; cool user points functionality; and better profiles, spam control, and much more. We're aiming for the initial Drupal 7 migration to maintain feature parity with what we have now on the site, but it will open the door to all kinds of cool potential features for our writers and community members.
I hope you all really enjoy the tagging functionality, and look forward to our responsive design and Drupal 7 migration!