The SharperIron RFP

As of January 2020, SharperIron is fifteen years old. I’ve been involved to some degree for about fourteen of those years, and “in charge” for about a dozen. It’s time—maybe well past time—to seriously explore big changes for SI.

Hence, this Request for Proposals (RFP)—specifically, proposals for taking the site off my hands and into a new future.

Why now?

SharperIron has always needed more time than I could give it and more expertise than I possessed. True, “needed” is a relative term. My time and skills have been what the site “needed” to keep going and arrive at what it is today. But I’ve always seen SI with a kind of Island of Unrealized Potential on the horizon that I could sometimes steer it a little bit toward, but could never really reach.

Concerning time, changes in my family, personal, and vocational life have resulted in an increasingly attractive body of other projects I should consider taking on. I’m pretty interested in writing a book or two. I’ve long been interested in another degree or two. There are some barriers to these pursuits that aren’t at all SharperIron-related, but SI is one substantial barrier—because running it on the cheap means lots of time at DIY work.

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A SharperIron Design Update this Weekend

If my notes are correct, SI’s last design update was about three years ago. That would make us way overdue for a face lift! It turns out one has been in the making behind the scenes for several months, and the site will go offline for much of the weekend to transition.

The underlying framework, for those interested, is still Drupal 7, but theming for Drupal — and for websites in general — has improved a good bit in the last couple of years. There are some powerful tools available now for themers … and I don’t how to use any of them!

But the good folks at More Than (Just) Themes provided a great starting design and excellent support along the way so, Lord willing, an updated look will be operational and about 90% actually “finished” before Monday morning October 30. Most of you probably won’t notice the 10% that will still be under construction.

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A General Call for Volunteers

If my calculations are correct, SharperIron is now in its 12th year. That would put me in my 11th year of involvement and, as of sometime this month, my 9th year at the lead.

It’s been a ride, and sometimes I think it’s time I stepped aside. But no, we’re not there  yet. However, life changes have resulted in my having less time to be involved in the same ways I used to be. There is a need for new volunteers and some changes in the division of labor.

So I’m looking for volunteers, with three goals in mind.

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Blogroll Reboot

Coming soon: updates to the blogroll. Your help is needed in a couple of ways.

1. Whys & wherefores

First, I’d like to hear your thoughts on some concept questions. What is a blogroll for? Should blogs/sites listed there be seen as “endorsed” in some way? If so, by whom—SI users in general? The admins/moderators? And if these sites are selected because we want to commend their content in some way, how far should that commendation be seen as extending and how do we communicate where it ends?

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SharperIron is Back Online

As you can see, we’re back!

Our regular content schedule will resume shortly.

Some things to be aware of

  • If you have registered at SI, your old password will no longer work. If we had a valid email address for you, you have probably already received notification of this, but in my tests, the automatic email link won’t work. Regardless, you can launch the reset process here.
  • For any problems logging in, please send a message using the site contact form (category: technical problems or account/password)
  • A few parts of the site haven’t been completely restyled yet. So we’ll be under construction for another week or two.
  • Feel free to post question, missing features, error messages, etc. in this thread.
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"Reads" Counter

The reads counters are currently not working correctly, sometimes even counting backwards! We’re looking into what broke. The counters may disappear entirely for a while.

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Post Editor Changes

Some updates to the side post editor (the tool most of you use for writing and formatting comment posts) went in a little while ago. If you’re experiencing any difficulty (for example, if the buttons look basically like they’ve been put through a blender), clearing your browser cache will fix the problem.

How to clear your browser cache in a few of the latest browsers …

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