Upcoming website relaunch

After a long time of development and testing we're ready to relaunch our website!

The new site will feature a new design that's much improved over the current more than 10-year-old set of pages. The current Einstein@Home website is neither visually appealing by today's standards, nor is it particularly accessible because of the current structuring of information. First time visitors and potential new volunteers can be confused and we want to avoid that of course. We want to release a fully revamped website with an entirely new modern design as well as a complete overhaul of how we present information - all with an improved user-experience in mind.

Secondly, the current Einstein@Home website maintenance has always been cumbersome. Many content changes require a change of code! That's not the best way to get scientists to add or update content, like blogging about their current work or providing additional scientific content. We needed a way to facilitate that to expand the range of information we provide to our volunteer community, increasing their insight into what's going on behind the scenes. We chose to use Drupal, a true content management system, that allows us to do just that. But there's more: it's possible to extend Drupal's functionality in a way that it can fully include the functionality of BOINC's stock webpages. Other projects separated their content/science pages from their project management/community website, effectively providing two websites for a single BOINC project. That's something we wanted to avoid. We want a fully integrated, coherent solution and Drupal allows us to do that. However, the downside of this is a relatively complex implementation which is why it took us some time to develop it with our limited resources. Now we think it's time to release it.

We know that major changes like these will never please everyone, whether it's the visual design or the modernized site structure. We tried to minimize such negative effects by running a public test phase over at albertathome.org. That test phase started two years ago where we first invited our top 100 community power-users and our moderators. After that we fully migrated our test project and invited the whole community to give it a spin. We gathered your feedback and incorporated it into the now to be released version. Please note though that the new site still isn't 100% complete. It's going to be just the beginning - we upgrade its foundation to be able to build new offerings on top of it over the next months and years.

Long story short, here's the current release plan:

  • July 20th: first public announcement
  • July 25th: release plan update / heads-up
  • July 29th: final heads-up
  • August 1st-5th: website downtime / data migration / relaunch

Please note that during the first week of August the project's website will be shut down as we need to migrate all the existing community content in a coherent way. We try to keep the project itself running such that workunit distribution shouldn't be affected.

The Einstein@Home Team

Comments

krankie
krankie
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Upcoming website relaunch

Very well done.

I'm familiar with Joomla which is similar to Drupal so I understand what you are doing and why. It should be a great evolution for the site and set you up for years to come. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

I have one question though regarding the 5 day downtime. Normally I only keep one days worth of tasks as I don't think it's fair on my wingmen to keep them waiting by loading up for say ten days ahead. I appreciate you have said you will try to keep distribution running, however would it be prudent to load up with a weeks worth of tasks just before 1st August so I can keep crunching, just in case there needs to be some downtime there?

Shawn Kwang
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Introductions: My name is

Introductions: My name is Shawn and I am the new E@H admin at UWM. I have mostly been lurking here in the forums. Soon, I will be helping Oliver with the transition to the new drupal-based E@H Web site.

I will repeat what Oliver has already said, you can see a preview of the new Web site design if you visit albertathome.org. We certainly hope you like it!

Einstein@Home Project

Tomas Brada
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As long as there is a button

As long as there is a button that takes you to boinc user pages (preferences, messages, tasks) it is fine.
From the usability point of view number of clicks counts!
Login, email password login, view account, preferences, project.
Increase contrast to the YES|NO checkboxes.
I like the computers listing on the dashboard.
Navigation is easier on the new version.
Take caution the added load of Durpal not crash your servers.
Good job!

MAGIC Quantum Mechanic
MAGIC Quantum M...
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Yes I have looked at that

Yes I have looked at that http://albertathome.org once in a while since I first heard about that quite a while ago.

The main thing I like to use is the project settings (preferences)

But thanks for letting us know when the site will be down since I always like to plan ahead here to be ready for things like this.

I am one of the few that have been here 24/7 for almost 12 years now.

(in fact I just did a preferences change just to add some Gamma-ray tasks)

Thanks for the news Oliver.....and lurking Shawn

 

tullio
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I am here since January 22

I am here since January 22 2005 and was with Albert since January 25 2005. But I left it when its website changed to Drupal, I found it confusing. I would be sorry to leave Einstein since it gives me lots of credits after I had installed a Geforce GTX 750 OC on my Windows 10 PC. I am crunching SETI@home and SETI beta on my old Linux box with its HD 7770 board where Einstein@home tasks take a long time.
Tullio

Rapture
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I took a peek at the preview

I took a peek at the preview for the first time and it looks good. Einstein is one of the best astronomy projects.

poppageek
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RE: Introductions: My name

Quote:

Introductions: My name is Shawn and I am the new E@H admin at UWM. I have mostly been lurking here in the forums. Soon, I will be helping Oliver with the transition to the new drupal-based E@H Web site.

I will repeat what Oliver has already said, you can see a preview of the new Web site design if you visit albertathome.org. We certainly hope you like it!

Greetings Shawn. Welcome to E@H. :-)

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Yep, Hi Shawn ! :-) The

Yep, Hi Shawn ! :-)

The Albert site looks and is great, but clearly hides alot of back-end burrowing. A long gestation but hopefully a short delivery. Well done all ! :_)))

Cheers, Mike.

pascal_sig.jpg

Daniels_Parents
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So what is Drupal ? Certainly

So what is Drupal ? Certainly more than a small drop :-)

I rummaged for a while in the web and tried to pick out some essentials ...

Drupal is a Open Source Content Management System/Framework (CMS/CMF).
It is really just a modular system with a huge kit of features and options.
Stunning professional Websites are possible !

Drupal differs from other CMS primarily through a differentiated roles and rights system.

This makes it particularly usefull in supporting development of communities:
- collaborating on content
- exchanging ideas on issues
- informing about news and facts
- Structuring and managing large amounts of different data categories

The realization of a popular user interfaces is not least a matter of experience.
The Backend is customizable but not so easy to adjust, especially in case of integrating new functions.
Could end up with security problems !
Server setup and maintenance needs attention.

Perhaps we may say: Drupal is a sophisticated version of a CMS like Joomla ?

I know I am a part of a story that starts long before I can remember and continues long beyond when anyone will remember me [Danny Hillis, Long Now]

astro-marwil
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Hallo Tullio! RE: I

Hallo Tullio!

Quote:
I would be sorry to leave Einstein ...

I would feel very much sorry, if our senior chruncher - he is astonishing 80 years old or close to this - would leave E@H because of this changing of clothings only. I´m sure, by time you´ll become familiar with this new shape and the scientific purpose of this project let you stay as part of this community.

Kind regards and happy crunching
Martin

Alex Plantema
Alex Plantema
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My only problem with this

My only problem with this site is that colours are manipulated: I cannot see if link has been visited.

tullio
tullio
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RE: Hallo Tullio!RE: I

Quote:
Hallo Tullio!
Quote:
I would be sorry to leave Einstein ...

I would feel very much sorry, if our senior chruncher - he is astonishing 80 years old or close to this - would leave E@H because of this changing of clothings only. I´m sure, by time you´ll become familiar with this new shape and the scientific purpose of this project let you stay as part of this community.

Kind regards and happy crunching
Martin


Thanks Martin, I am 81 now. My friend and brother-in-law Giuseppe "Pino" Furlan, a noted theoretical physicist in Trieste has just died after 5 years of SLA agony. I remember him as my rope companion on Monte Antelao, 3270 meters, 60 years ago. I shall continue crunching also in cooperation with CERN.
Tullio

Oliver Bock
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RE: My only problem with

Quote:

My only problem with this site is that colours are manipulated: I cannot see if link has been visited.


Rest assured that we will fine-tune such things over time. Again, the site's relaunch will give us a new foundation for our ideas. We'll continuously try to improve upon it. We already have the next big move sketched out and it will make the new site even more accessible, in particular on mobile devices.

Cheers,
Oliver

 


Einstein@Home Project

aybiss
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Looks good, good luck with

Looks good, good luck with your migration!

cliff
cliff
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Hi Oliver, RE: Rest

Hi Oliver,

Quote:

Rest assured that we will fine-tune such things over time. Again, the site's relaunch will give us a new foundation for our ideas. We'll continuously try to improve upon it. We already have the next big move sketched out and it will make the new site even more accessible, in particular on mobile devices.

Cheers,
Oliver

What concerns me is that with the website down any problems with the servers cannot be notified via forum, and setting a cache to cover the downtime isn't always possible:-/

Is there some other way of reporting problems with the site down?

Regards,

Cliff,

Been there, Done that, Still no damm T Shirt.

Bernd Machenschalk
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The website (forums) will be

The website (forums) will be down, but the scheduler will continue to run, so there is no need to adjust your "work cache".

Quote:
We try to keep the project itself running such that workunit distribution shouldn't be affected.

Albert@Home will be kept running, including the forums. We should probably create a thread there to report problems on Einstein@Home.

BM

BM

Oliver Bock
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You can always reach us via

You can always reach us via Twitter as well: @EinsteinAtHome

Best,
Oliver

 


Einstein@Home Project

archae86
archae86
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A question for those running

A question for those running this place:

Would it be improper for one to start a thread at Albert@Home to continue a topic of current interest here at Einstein@home during the downtime? To be specific, two topics of current interest to me at least one of which will have new news during the expected downtime are the Einstein performance of new GPU cards (in particular my GTX 1060 will likely have some useful results during the blackout) and the Nvidia card/Windows 10/GRP6 memory leak problem.

I have in mind starting a thread at Albert for the "new cards" topic and posting a pointer to it at the end of the primary thread here at Einstein though which of the few current forums would suit is a bit of a problem.

New posts on the memory leak issue may not be needed, and it seems obviously to fit in the Problems and Bug Reports seciont.

Shawn Kwang
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RE: Albert@Home will be

Quote:
Albert@Home will be kept running, including the forums. We should probably create a thread there to report problems on Einstein@Home.

I've gone ahead and created such a E@H problems thread over at Albert@Home's Problems and Bug Reports forum:
https://albertathome.org/en-us/content/einsteinhome-problem-thread-use-during-web-site-transition

@archae86: IMO, if users want to create threads at Albert@Home to discuss topics such as GFX card, go right ahead. But keep in mind after the drupal transition the old thread here at the E@H forums will (should) be here.

Einstein@Home Project

Oliver Bock
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RE: Would it be improper

Quote:

Would it be improper for one to start a thread at Albert@Home to continue a topic of current interest here at Einstein@home during the downtime?

It's of course ok to do that but I recommend you try to avoid it because otherwise the thread will be split across two separate sites which doesn't make it easy to follow it. So, unless it super-urgent I wouldn't do it.

Best,
Oliver

 


Einstein@Home Project

archae86
archae86
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Could you estimate the impact

Could you estimate the impact of the down time on publication of the files from Einstein which are relied on by external websites such as Boincstats to provide user statistics?

To a limited degree, people who are accustomed to rely on your website to monitor the health of their systems may be able to get a little help from the external sites if there is a period when those files are published despite the website here being down.

Separately, I was able to get my first report on GTX 1060 behavior posted sooner than I expected, and currently intend to refrain from attempting any temporary thread continuation over at Albert, as Oliver advised.

Christian Beer
Christian Beer
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RE: Could you estimate the

Quote:
Could you estimate the impact of the down time on publication of the files from Einstein which are relied on by external websites such as Boincstats to provide user statistics?

The download of the statistics files is not impacted by the downtime. I'm going to check if the download still works once we go into maintenance mode. We will also still publish those files every 12h as we do now.

Wedge009
Wedge009
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Looks like it's back up -

Looks like it's back up - congratulations.

Some constructive feedback, if I may: I know everyone seems to think that fixed-width site designs are good for readability - my opinion to the contrary aside, there's one area where I really find it unhelpful and that's with regards to the account-related pages. Some examples are the hosts and tasks list pages - being constrained to a narrow table where the information would actually be easier to read if it was able to use the full screen width is a step backwards for me. Especially when columns such as CPU/GPU strings and application names can make a single row of data take up several lines of difficult-to-read text.

Suggestion/request: is it possible to revert to a full-width design on accounts pages, please?

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Oliver Bock
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We'll consider all these

We'll consider all these suggestions but a site design has to be coherent and consistent. However, as I said above, this relaunch is just the basis for new developments. The new design won't be the final answer and will most likely be revisited when we move to a newer CMS version for improved mobile use. In the meantime we'll gather your feedback and let it guide our future plans.

Thanks

 


Einstein@Home Project

Wedge009
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Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I support design coherency as a general principle, but not at the cost of usability. My understanding is that Windows 8 and 10 are attempts to unify all Windows-based systems under a consistent and coherent design, and like them or hate them, no-one would say that their implementations have not been controversial. I appreciate that big changes like these require a transitional period for everyone and there may be future refinements incoming.


In the mean time I'm manually removing the measly 960px width specification on #main-wrapper and #content within my browser. I suppose I'll have to learn about how to implement this permanently on my system.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tiers Jean-Francois
Tiers Jean-Francois
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What a nice job you performed

What a nice job you performed !

The new site is easier to use (but some practice is necessary at the beginning, as usual, and maybe some others do not like changes, as usual again ! But they do have the right to contest. That's democracy)

From my side, what I like the much is the possibility to get the history of posts that are linked together.

As an example when I read some of my old (or recent) messages, I get the complete list of conversations related to them. This is a tremendous progress compared to the time when it was necessary to "surf" on various threads and not being sure to find the related topic, just because I did not remembered where I had posted a message !

The overall presentation is quite clear and it is much more easy to get the right topic one wishes to look at.

Thanks to all the team who did this job !

Just a small remark/wish : when in a thread, it would be usefull to know if the contacts we see in the left side of the page are "administrators", "regulators", "volunteers", "project directors", etc. and not only their name and picture/photo.

I am quite sure this will be improved in the near future. This is just the beginning...

Anyway, thanks for the work you did. Congratulations to all.

Cheers

JF Tiers

albertso
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Nice job to all of you!  As

Nice job to all of you!  As an IT guy, I know the horrors of changing code "on the fly."  Great effort on all of your parts in creating a new environment that will reduce the burden AND facilitate our use of the site.

Great Day,

Fred

Fred,
Broadway, VA

Tomas Brada
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Bugs

Bugs found:

  • Favicon/"shortcut icon"/"tab icon" is the default durpal, change it to einstein favicon.
  • date on forum listing is not shown, instead "@pred" string is shown (on sk locale)
  • I suspect wrong sorting of threads due to above
  • breadcrumps are missing on forum thread view
  • missing friend names on "my account" page only avatars are shown, which majority of users don't set
  • number of friends on "my account" page missing, instead "@počet" string is shown (on sk locale)
  • cannot upload avatar: javascript alert pops up "An HTTP error 0 occurred. /sk/filefield/ahah/profile/field_image/0"
  • site is ridiculously slow

Bruce Allen
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tullio wrote:I am here since

tullio wrote:
I am here since January 22 2005 and was with Albert since January 25 2005. But I left it when its website changed to Drupal, I found it confusing. I would be sorry to leave Einstein since it gives me lots of credits...

Dear Tullio, please don't leave Einstein@Home! If you have problems or difficulties, just let us know and we will help you to sort things out. Cheers, Bruce

 

Director, Einstein@Home

Oliver Bock
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Tomas Brada

Tomas Brada wrote:
  • Favicon/"shortcut icon"/"tab icon" is the default durpal, change it to einstein favicon.
  • date on forum listing is not shown, instead "@pred" string is shown (on sk locale)
  • I suspect wrong sorting of threads due to above
  • breadcrumps are missing on forum thread view
  • missing friend names on "my account" page only avatars are shown, which majority of users don't set
  • number of friends on "my account" page missing, instead "@počet" string is shown (on sk locale)
  • cannot upload avatar: javascript alert pops up "An HTTP error 0 occurred. /sk/filefield/ahah/profile/field_image/0"
  • site is ridiculously slow

  • Favicon is fixed
  • The site translation is crowd-sourced and the SK translation was flawed in various places. I fixed what I could find.
  • Sorting seems to work with the fixed translations
  • Breadcrumbs are right above the forum's topic list
  • Friend names: not showing them because of space constraints. They'll show up as a tooltip over each avatar (on mouse hover)
  • Image upload is a known issue and will be fixed soon
  • We're looking into the general performance as it seems to vary quite a bit.

 

Thanks for your feedback,
Oliver 

 


Einstein@Home Project

Tomas Brada
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Oliver Bock wrote:Favicon is

Oliver Bock wrote:
  • Favicon is fixed
  • The site translation is crowd-sourced and the SK translation was flawed in various places. I fixed what I could find.
  • Sorting seems to work with the fixed translations
  • Breadcrumbs are right above the forum's topic list
  • Friend names: not showing them because of space constraints. They'll show up as a tooltip over each avatar (on mouse hover)
  • Image upload is a known issue and will be fixed soon
  • We're looking into the general performance as it seems to vary quite a bit.

Good job on fixing those issues :)

Breadcrumbs: i see them in the topic list, but not while browsing thread. How do I know in what forum this thread is in?

Locale: English is easier to understand than incomplete and sometimes nonsensical translation to native language. I have inglish selected in preferences but the page is still in SK (from Accept-language header?) Changing it to DE and then back to EN put the site to english but it is confusing.

Oliver Bock
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Tomas Brada

Tomas Brada wrote:

Breadcrumbs: i see them in the topic list, but not while browsing thread. How do I know in what forum this thread is in?

They are visible in regular forum threads. Just have a look again. Please note, though, that this isn't a forum thread, it's a news item. Have a look at the main menu, news and community sections (forums) are separated.

 


Einstein@Home Project