We've been due a little facelift for a while..
Post by Webmaster (Keith)
After nine years since I set up this web site and forum for the information, consultation and use of residents, it is time to pass on those functions to a new webmaster. This has been some time coming, as deteriorating joints and painful hands have made keyboard time problematic. It has been plain to see that I have been able to devote far less time than previously to servicing information flows on this site. The recent decision by hosting service 1 & 1 to stop supporting older versions of the coding language PHP has precipitated the decision (the site is custom coded by me and the forum is a customised version of an early Simple Machines application; the latter is now buggy following the 1&1 decision)
Fortunately new webmasters Mark and Damian (who set up the Thames Ditton High St website) have volunteered to take this on and are setting up a new site and forum. The site will use the open-source free application Joomla. It's not clear what forum application will be chosen. However, it will not be possible to migrate the existing forum member database to a new application (I've stuck to the old Simple Machines app because newer versions use a different password hash function which would have meant that members would have had to re-register all over again anyway).
Using Joomla will mean that there is less scope for customising the app to suit all aspects of the current web site but on the other hand it offers a wide range of functions and is updated by the open-source development teams behind it.
Circumstances have changed since I first set up the current site in 2005 to cater for a wide range of content including ephemeral community news and quite a lot of 'local portal' content. The new site is likely to focus more closely on Residents' Association matters and local administration. RA officers and councillors will be able to edit their own news and information items on the website without using a webmaster as intermediary. As for the forum, its precise scope is still under discussion.
At some point in the near future, when the new site is ready, I'll switch you over to it and Mark and Damian will do the rest.