Hey folks, some of you know me, some of you hate me, and some of you don’t know me at all.
What you may not definitely know is that there have been some major changes to Eclipse very recently, behind the scenes. One large change is why I’m making this update.
I took over web development for Eclipse over the weekend. We had a long discussion about expectations, features, style, etc. I can’t post any screenshots of development work, but I can walk you through the tech stack, and some of the major features to expect.
One thing that’s important to note is that this is a ground-up write; we’re not using some silly php forum and then building on top of it. As it currently goes, the stack looks like:
If you ask, “well what Node framework are you using? Express?”, the answer is none. In order to ensure that we can quickly integrate new features, I decided that a ground-up approach would allow me to navigate the codebase a lot faster.
So why Node.js? Well, we all know that Eclipse has been struggling, and if we continue to wait long periods of time without any progress, it will simply just fade away. I’m pretty good with Node, and can write and prototype very quickly in it; because of that, I’m going to be able to finish this a lot faster.
Another reason is web sockets. Sure, php has them as well, but they’re a hell of a lot easier to work with in Node.
Why web sockets? Well, forums, like email, I consider to be dated forms of communication. We all know how popular chat software is again; slack, gitter, etc. One thing I’d like to see is threads that update in real-time. A reply came in? No need to refresh the page, just scroll down further. This does add a layer of complexity to the app, like when/how to paginate, but I’m confident we’ll get a good experience in the end.
Because we’re not tied to a pre-made forum software, we’re not tied to the half-baked CMS solutions that they provide. We can add any features, and pages, etc, without having to fight the forum or the database to get it to work. This allows for a lot more freedom and flexibility, should we choose to add community features that extend outside of a forum.
If you have any issues with this, or if you’d like to offer suggestions, I’m more than willing to hear you out.