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January Missive

Greetings from your Kingdom Webminister!

I wanted to share some information about the kingdom website. We have all come to rely on it for many things, from the event calendar, to award recommendations, to officer reporting, and more. It has been up and running since before Northshield was a Kingdom without significant software upgrades, around 15 years give or take. That’s forever in technology terms. In short, the website is starting to show its age. Some of you may have noticed that it has become a bit unreliable in recent months, giving out errors and causing all manner of headaches for users.

Here’s what is happening: A few months ago, our web host upgraded some of their software. This created an incompatibility in a piece of our website that tries to email you a confirmation or a copy of something you submit. This incompatibility prevents the website from being able to send that email to you, which produces a big yellow and white, scary error box. In almost all cases whatever you submit is still being correctly recorded in the database. This means your award recommendations are going through, your officer reports are going through, your event calendar submission is going through, etc. If you are concerned, feel free to contact the person to whom you were submitting the information and they can check. We are trying to turn off that function where we come across it as we have upgraded that software on our end as far as we can with the current technology of the website and replace it with a popup box confirmation, but that email feature is individually tied in all over the website so it keeps coming up in various places. This issue DOES NOT affect sending an email directly to a kingdom email address. So, in summary, we know about the error and what causes it and submitted information is going to where it is supposed to go.

The other common issue in the website also involves submitting information. Many sections where this is done involve a form with a submit button (or something that does that function). The website is a touch slower than many more modern sites which means it takes a little bit longer to run through its instructions when you click submit. It may feel like it is hung up, but it is not. Be patient. Clicking the button multiple times will create a conflict in the software and will crash the website. Yes, that’s right, the whole thing. The web team needs to go out and manually reset it when this happens, which can take a little while depending on time of day and who is available. Make sure you give the website time to complete the task before clicking again. I’m not talking minutes but maybe a few extra seconds to be sure. Patience is a virtue.

What are we doing about this? We are currently working on building the next version of the website. This is not fast work and, like many activities in the Society, is being worked on by a few unpaid volunteers in their spare time. When completed, I’m sure it will be as awesome as the current website was when it was shiny and new. It will just take us some time to get there. In the meantime, we work with what we have.

Iohannes

Other missives from the Kingdom Webminister (KLO)
Posted by: Iohannes Glenfidanus Kingdom Webminister (KLO) on 12/13/2022

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