Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Testing, testing... ECHO, Echo...

Television Test Pattern with Chuck Pharis as Indian Head. OITP. Site maintained by DSC Labs.

Check Out Our New Commenting System: ECHO

Haloscan has passed away. *mourns (briefly)*

ECHO is here. Long live Echo.

Echo is brought to us by a company called (or was called, I can't keep track) JS-Kit. They bought out Haloscan about a year ago. They also ran a commenting system which was much more sophisticated than Haloscan, called JS-Kit.

Haloscan was, essentially, a one-person shop. It kept getting bigger and bigger, and the code base got more and more patched. Now patches on a code base are good. That means bugs are being found and fixed. Every patch represents some weird problem solved. What wasn't happening -- I assume; I wasn't in any way in on any of the conversations, but I'm basing this on both the public conversations I have seen, and what I know from my own experience about how this works -- is that what was missing, given it was more or less a one-person shop or at least, a shop which was massively understaffed for the work-load it had, what was missing was documentation of the bug-fixes.

Therefore when JS-Kit came along and bought out Haloscan, then had a working product with LOTS of customers. And thousands and thousands of patches. None or almost none of which were documented. Which meant that each time someone wanted to hack the code, they had to figure out, from scratch -- with no real grasp of how the base code worked as they weren't the people who built it -- how the new patch interacted with all of the other patches in the section of code they were now re-patching.

Eventually it became more cost-effective for JS-Kit to force all of there Haloscan customers to either convert to their new product, Echo -- which is JS-Kit with some new bells and whistles plus a new name AND they charge for us for it -- or say, "thanks for the memories; here's your comment data; buh-bye." Even if that meant losing a good chunk of their Haloscan investment in the customer base. If even a third of the Haloscan customers came over as paying customers to the new venture, and a third of those upgraded to the more expensive version, it'll be a good deal for JS-Kit.

(Yes, GNB is doing both. We have already paid our yearly fee for the base Echo package, and a month from now when I can afford to upgrade, I'll pay for that as well. Anyone who wants to contribute to GNB, the contribute button is in the top right corner. *smiles* And yes, we absolutely could use your help. GNB has over $300 in expenses this month, ranging from the PO Box, to Echo, to dealing with licensing authorities. I'm not planning on running a full-fledged fundraising drive, but I do need a bit over $300 bucks if there's anyone out there who can help out. Donate now: $100, $75, $50, $25. Totally up to you, and thank you no matter what you choose. *smiles*)

So... we have a new commenting system. I don't quite understand it yet myself.

Please... play around in it. I'm told it will do some new and interesting things, such as let you insert YouTubes and photos into your comments. THE RULES have not changed however. NO BLOG PIMPING. If you want to mention your blog, put it on the same line with your name: Jesse Wendel www.groupnewsblog.net

I'm not sure what else is possible with the new system. It seems you can put your photo in with your comments, but I'm not quite sure how. Perhaps someone can figure it out and tell us all?

Anyway, this is a TEST POST and y'all should feel free to TEST AWAY in the comments. Put up as many test comments as you wish, till you get the hang of the thing. Put up test YouTubes, test photos, test comments, test links, test whatever the hell you wants. This thread is for testing.

Have fun.