Website Transition Update
By jimgris on Mar 18, 2009
There will be content migration tests as well as a period of time when we actually transition to the new infrastructure. So, thousands of people around the world will have to be notified and engaged as we move. Should be an interesting exercise, eh? We'll do the heavy lifting by migrating the content and user data, but there will be some clean up issues along the way and some significant changes that everyone will have to get used to. There will be many cool new features we'll get, of course, and there will be some old features we'll not bring over initially or at all. It all depends on use patterns and the natural opportunities and restrictions of the new system (which is inherent in any system). Most of the user data migration challenges have been worked out, and we are finalizing the content migration and translation tools now. We have the ability to move all of the site's content now and translate it from TML Markup and/or HTML into XWiki Markup. This is cool because it will enable people to use the XWiki WYSIWYG editor instead of messing around with wiki markup tags or HTML. But we still have some formatting issues to work out and a bunch of skinning and information architecture things to do as well. More on all this later.
Development of the new opensolaris.org infrastructure has been going on for some time now, and we`ve been having conversations about it at various points on website-discuss as well. Currently, most of the core engineering work is complete, so we are starting to implement this thing in a series of steps. The immediately goal is to figure out the absolute minimum set of implementation requirements to enable us to transition to the new infrastructure as quickly as possible. This is a critical point. We grew well beyond the capabilities of current opensolaris.org website long ago, and we need to move to the new system to continuing growing (and also to stop crashing as we have been doing lately). But once that initial transition is complete and everyone in the community is working on XWiki, we will not be done. Far from it. That`s just the first step (albeit a big one). There are other applications supporting open development that will interact with the new authentication database under XWiki and they need work and migration, we have to solve the list/forum gateway problems, the site will need to be localized into many languages, there will be user education challenges to overcome, the new site will have to be evolved as any new application would, and the list grows. But you have to start somewhere, right?
Keep in mind we are changing the engines while plane is jetting thorough the sky, so this could be a tad complex from a technical, organizational, and social point of view. Please have patience. :) We will make mistakes. Things will break. But we'll fix them and move on as fast as we can. And in the end, we'll have a much more secure and flexible website. But remember, we are not just building a website here. If that were the case, we'd be done long go. Instead, we are building an entirely new platform to support open development for the OpenSolaris engineering operation -- and that's a distinction with a very big difference. Those open development bits will emerge over time as we move infrastructure outside, but all of this is designed to support the growth of a global engineering community. We are trying to think big and long term but also build things in small pieces over time.
Anyway, below are some documents outlining some of the aspects to this transition. Some of these documents have been around for a while, but the user data migration strategy is new as of this week. Give it a read to understand how we are pulling your user data from multiple locations to centralize it in the new system so it is expressed the same way across multiple applications.
- Restructuring opensolaris.org: The original plan to build the new infrastructure.
- Auth Beta Release: First release of the new authentication application.
- XWiki/Auth Preview Release: The first preview release of XWiki integrated with the new authentication application.
- XWiki Evaluation: How XWiki scored with our requirements.
- Migrating User Data Strategy: How user data will be migrated from multiple databases into one system.
- XWiki-Auth Integration: Overview of how
XWiki and the authentication application work together.
- Wiki Requirements: Original requirements document resulting from a community discussion.
- Wiki Evaluation Form: Original form to start evaluation process.
- JSPWiki Evaluation:
How JSPWiki scored compared to our requirements. We did not choose
JSPWiki, but it's important to see the process we used to evaluate the
- Many more docs to come ...
Working on this website transition project is
where I spend virtually all of my time now. Alan
Burlison is the tech lead. I'm serving as the program manager.
And the others doing the work include: Chris Phelan, Martin
Walsh, Bill Rushmore, Derek Cicero. We are part of Bonnie Corwin's Developer
Collaboration Engineering Team, so she'll be involved all along as well.
More info as we go. We're getting close.