[AAVSO-DIS] Web Site Migration Plan for This Weekend

aaron price aaronp at aavso.org
Thu Jul 22 22:14:43 EDT 2010

Hi, all. As mentioned in my post on Tuesday, we are about to begin the
migration to a new AAVSO web site. The migration will begin at 10am
eastern (14:00 UT) on July 23 and last through the end of Sunday, July
25. We expect the site to be completely down for a couple of hours at
the beginning. Then it should be mostly online for the rest of the
weekend. However, bits and pieces of the site may not be working or
may be missing. We will be slowly addressing these items over the

Important Quick Notes
The new site does not have a "Blue and Gold" section. Instead, WebObs
and other Blue/Gold tools are now embedded in the regular site. You
will login to the full web site, not just to a section. If you already
had a BlueGold username and password, it should work automatically
with the new site. You don't have to do anything. If you did not, then
you can register on the site and get instant access. As before, the
vast majority of the web site is available to the public. Registration
is only required for data submission and some other similar tools.

Reporting Bugs
After you have visited the new web site, feel free to send us bug
reports and suggestions. However, consult our known bugs blog on the
home page of the new site. This will be a blog entry where staff will
record bugs as they are reported. We will also update the blog as bugs
are fixed over the weekend. First check that page so you don't report
a bug that is already known.  Report bugs and suggestions by e-mailing
aavso at aavso.org or using the "Contact Us" form on the web site. AAVSO
staff is scheduled to monitor both channels from 5am-3am until Monday
morning. So we will be able to respond quickly to your reports. Please
do not use the AAVSO Discussion Group to report technical bugs, broken
links, etc. However, feel free to use it discuss other aspects of the
web site.

Live Chat All Day Next Monday!
Next Monday, AAVSO staff will be logged into our Chat Room all day to
answer your questions about the web site. Feel free to stop in to get
answers, provide us with suggestions, comments, complaints, etc.
Throughout the workday, various staff will drop in and out. However,
we have set aside a window from 3-4pm eastern as a time when everyone
(who is not on vacation or otherwise occupied) will be in the chat
room at the same time. So you can be sure to get a specific person

Background on the New Site
As many of you know from Arne's announcement last month, our webmaster
Kate Davis left the AAVSO in mid-June. At that point, 90% of the web
site was completed. Most of the site technical structure is due to
Kate's hard work and she put in many weekends in April-May to get it
done. She has continued to assist us from home, even after she left
for a new position. Rebecca Turner is responsible for organizing staff
content and also for much of the information layout of the site.
Rebecca and Kate worked together on the design.

Since it will take a long time to find the right person to take over
the web site, we decided to hire a contractor to finish the loose
ends. This contractor has done much work already and will be
officially in charge of the technical aspect of the migration.
Afterward, he will continue to assist us in fixing bugs and adding new
features over the next month such as a new, modern chat room, an
expanded Data Download Tool, an observing session planner, and more.

The new AAVSO web site is based on the open source Drupal content
management system. This allows the site to be more dynamic and it has
a powerful user access system. The AAVSO web site is now so large,
active and idiosyncratic that it is beyond what a single webmaster can
maintain. In the new web site, various staff members will be
responsible for maintaining various sections of the web site (usually
ones that relate to their personal expertise).

We hope you like the new site, our first since at least 2003. Of
course, it is a major change so expect some bumps along the way.
However, please be patient with us and give us your thoughts so we can
tweak and adjust things. My personal recommendation is to visit the
web site for the first time when you have a good 20 minutes to spend.
Have a cup of coffee, cocoa, tea or your drink of choice and just surf
around. Get a feel for how things are organized and the tone of the
new site. But do it when you have some time and aren't in a hurry.

I will continue to post updates over the weekend when needed. And I
hope to see many of you in the chat room next Monday!

Aaron Price
Assistant Director
American Association of Variable Star Observers

More information about the Aavso-discussion mailing list