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Exciting News Inside - Comics UK V3 
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Sir!
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The development of the Comics UK website has remained idle for many years and is not something that I am proud of. Older members may recollect that there was a lot more to Comics UK back in the day, with its Family-Tree Section, Comic titles overviews, Page-By-Page section, Quiz Section and Character Overviews. But an erroneous change to a new hosting company back in April 2011 took place and I discovered that it did not support the coding language that every section of the Website was written in. So a rewriting of the whole Website began in earnest, but it didn't fully materialise into what it once was or what I had envisaged for it.

However, that is all about to change and I intend to dedicate 2015 to Comics UK Version 3.

INITIAL PLAN

I’d like Comics UK V3 to use a Content Management System (CMS). The reason that I’ve decided to use a CMS is so that members can update the website in a similar fashion to Wikipedia (not that I have ever done that), and not have me write new code, content and databases in the old-fashioned way. It will also mean that Comics UK will live on after I pay a visit to that great comic shop in the sky. Who knows, maybe by that time they will have invented ‘Soul-Net’ and I’ll still be in touch with the real-world.

The CMS that I have in mind is called Drupal and its latest incarnation is Drupal 8 (beta). I’ve dabbled with Drupal in the distant past, but have never actually used it to build a website. I hope it can do what I want it to do. My intention is to allocate 3 months (Jan – Mar) to learn as much about it as I can and then start work on Comics UK V3 for the rest of the year. I need ideas from everyone here as to what to include in it. So please use this Topic as a kind of brain-storming, blue-skying, ideas platform.

Below, I have listed some ideas of my own. So I’ll use these to kick-start the whole 'inclusion' process. These may be kept, added to, developed, ridiculed or deleted up until Go-Live date, which I hope will be 1st January 2016 (Mmmmm….we’ll see).

Comics - Overview of Comics and Story-Papers. Title-by-title.

Gallery of covers of Comics, Specials, Annuals - Submitted by Members-only.

Books - Books about Comics and Story-Papers

Artist/Writers/Editors Overviews - Overviews can be submitted in either written, video or audio form.

Interviews with people from world of Comics - These people can include Artists, Writers, Editors, Publishers

Timeline - Allow Members to add to the comic-related timeline. This will be a scrollable section that starts from the year ‘dot’ right up to the current day. (i.e. 400 – Quedlinburg Itala gospel book of Samuel – the oldest strip on paper (Rome); 1878 – George Cavendish dies; 1937 – Dandy #1 published; 1930 – Leo Baxendale born)

Characters from the Comics - Overview of characters from the world of Comics and Story-Papers

Quiz - Members can submit questions with 1 correct and 3 wrong answers, for other people to answer.

Beginnings and Endings Of stories and characters - This will display scanned pages of these events.

Jokes Section - Contains jokes from the Jokes pages of Comics and Story-Papers throughout history.

Advert Section - Contains classic adverts from the past

Christmas Covers - Christmas cover images submitted by Members

Newspaper strip section - Overviews of Newspaper strips throughout history.

Publishers - Details about all the publishers throughout Comic and Story-Paper history.

Look-alikes - Where an image of a comic character and a real-life person are placed side-by-side. There has to be a physical resemblance between the two.

Page-by-Page - Detailing the content of individual pages of Comics, Specials and Annuals. Details like storylines, starring characters and details of artists and writers when known.

Free-Gift List - Will detail the free-gifts that came with comics before the days when gifts came with free comics. Will include images of the actual gifts or scans of the gift from the comic cover.

Features - This section will detail all the features that have appeared in Comic and Story-Papers over its history. (i.e. Eagle cutaways)

Current Undertakings - Will detail what is currently going-on within Comics UK.

Family Tree - Will detail the Family-Tree of all the Comics and Story-Papers throughout history. (i.e. Battle Picture Weekly incorporated Valiant; Valiant incorporated Lion; Lion incorporated Thunder) in a Family-Tree-type display.

History of Comics - Detailing the history of British comics from the earliest times to now.

Guestbook - An olde feature that may worth be re-introducing. Visitors can post comments about the website. Is open to abuse, so will need to be monitored and openly include IP Addresses.

Memory Lane - Similar to Guestbook, where visitors can post reminisces about comics and story-papers. Is open to abuse, so will need to monitored and openly include IP Addresses.

Readers’ Letters, Jokes and Drawings - Detailing the names, locations and comic details of all the readers that have submitted Letters, Jokes and Drawings to Comics and Story-Papers throughout history.

Links - Will detail other websites that are dedicated to British Comics and Story-papers.

Forum - No change (for now).


So there you have it. I look forward to receiving your site-suggestions or even Drupal 8 guidance if you have it. And I fully intend to give this ambition of mine for the website, one final effort.

Happy New Year all.

Al


Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:07 pm
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It all sounds great, Al...........and a Happy. New Year to you, too !

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Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:45 pm
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Al, there are a lot of people who thank you for all your hard work over the years. I look forward to seeing what you do next old boy! As for 'Soul-net' no thanks, I for one don't want the burden of updating my blogs and website after death :-)


Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:47 pm
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Sounds great Happy New Year Al

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Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:52 pm
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Sounds good, although the Christmas Covers section sounds redundant, as surely those would also be in the Gallery section?

For Family Tree, maybe include a link to the relevant section of the gallery? The original version didn't do this.

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:24 am
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Sir!
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UPDATE: Drupal 8 beta is proving to be a non-starter at this moment in time. It is currently fraught with many problems to the point where it cannot be properly installed without lots of frigging of the code and databases. I know they will resolve these issues over time but that doesn't help me now. So, I have decided to use Drupal 7.32, which is the previous stable version, and see how that goes.

Al


Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:58 pm
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This looks exciting, Al. :cheers:

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Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:52 pm
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Al wrote:
I have decided to use Drupal 7.32, which is the previous stable version, and see how that goes.
Could you possibly update us on this please, Al.


Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:04 pm
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Sir!
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It never took off, I'm afraid. In a nutshell, too many other things took precedence.

As soon as I got going, something else came along that meant this Comics UK project was pushed further back. I've still got 3 other projects to do before I can even contemplate this one. I keep adding to the list of things that I would like to see included in the Comics UK project, but not a lot of coding takes place. I still want it done, but I just don't seem to get the free time that I used to have. #annoyed!


Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:17 pm
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Thanks for the update, Al. I can certainly empathise regarding the projects-piling-up scenario.


Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:23 pm
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