Page 1 of 1

EBT v2 beta test

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:27 pm
by Nerzhul
Hi fellow trackers,

As you might know, we were very busy in the past months improving EBT and working on new features for the site. The necessary changes to the underlying code, database layout and the structure of the site have been big enough so that we were forced to take the development off the current site and work on a separate project that we were going to patch into EBT as a whole when we're ready.

That time has come now ... almost.

Before taking the last step we'd like to invite our users to try out the new site. Have a look at

Now, before you go there, let me drop off a few annotations...

The most important thing to keep in mind when browsing the beta site is that it's by far not finished yet. We've just reached a stable stage that allows us to patch our work into the live site, but the work on new features will of course continue. We've got many many cool ideas for the future of EBT and are looking forward to making them available to you at some time :-)

The data of the beta site is from Wednesday (2006-03-29) night some time and is not linked with the live site. So you're not only free but encouraged to enter tons of notes, create new users and fake hits (don't worry, no hitmails are being generated at the moment) on the test site, as long as you're aware that any data entered on test-ebt is non-permanent and will be wiped after the beta test.

So ... what new features are there?

The new site may not look like a big step, but it's a giant leap towards preparing EBT for the future.

The most significant change is the new menu structure. It's ordered in a much more logical way which allows us to easily add new features one by one in the future, without worrying where to put everything without breaking the design of the site.

The data of the site is now complete kept in Unicode. This new encoding has many many advantages for us but also means having to swallow the bitter pill of needing to convert the database once. Since the old data was encoded in mixed character sets this conversion may not have been entirely lossless. I'll adress this issue further soon.

Almost all commands got a directory shortcut. This means that you can access the "About" menu by, the form for entering new notes by and so on.

User profiles have been totally reworked. You can now not only share your maps and stats, but your hits, too. :-) The profile itself has been restructured into a tab-seperated page where you can have a look at the basic and shared data. We also created a private place for users to access their own data and statistics which is completely separate from the public profile.

You are now able to customize certain aspects of the site.

The link section has been redone and is actually quite useful now ;-)

And last but not least ... lots of new stats! :-)

When accessing these you'll probably notice another change, too. There is now a queuing mechanism working in the background, which handles requests that would take way too long for the user to wait for. This means that some stats won't always be readily accessible, atomically in sync or might be outdated at times.

We're looking forward to your opinions and ideas about the new site. Keep them coming ;-)


Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 4:21 pm
by Nerzhul
On May 14th (coming Sunday) we're going to release the new site. Data migration and the update of the software will begin around 9pm CET and will take up to 24 hours. In addition to that, the beta site will be shut down afterwards until there are new big features to try out.

EBT and the forum will be unavailable during this process. Feel free to join us at #ebt if you're feeling lonely ;-)

Edit: Changed plans from Saturday to Sunday. Sorry for the confusion.