Hello everyone, welcome to this week's Internet Office Report
NUMBER 100!!!!!!! This report marks the 100th week that I have been
the Internet Officer of the Emperor's Hammer - which calls for some
celebration! If you're reading the HTML version of this, you can
see I have a brand new report design for IO Reports - courtesy of
Major Xander Drax!
Let's get some of the weekly news out of the way first. I spent
some time this weekend reviewing all MinosNIC hosting accounts and
listed about 120 of the 245 accounts as requiring removal either
because they are: Empty, Outdated, or rDB. Once they are removed,
I will post a spreadsheet in case anyone wants to make use of an
account name that has been taken till now. We will be reviewing
the redirects similarly soon.
EHNet and related services (MinosNIC not included) had a bit of
troubles on the technical side (PHP Superglobal arrays weren't functioning
correctly) but it seems as though our faithful & reliable web
host, Koral of the BHG, has fixed it up. Thank you so much, K!
The EH Wargames preliminary database design has been reviewed by
the development team. We now hope to begin the coding of some of
the actual PHP classes. Stay tuned for more info!
Alex Foley has been hard at work on SquadFirst+, and has nearly
completed the new roster functions for the TC side of the application.
Of course, it won't be just TC this time - SF+ will support TC,
DB, IW and HF roster structures. We anticipate it's release in 1-2
weeks - and it will certainly complete the revolution in EH site
Speaking of site standards, it's come to my attention that some
TIE Corps sites are not adhering to the rules laid out in the Internet
Guidelines. I'd just like to remind you all that ALL squadrons,
wings, ships and battlegroups MUST have a current, up-to-date website.
Single-wing ships may use their wing site. All sites must contain
the mandatory pages and links set out in the TC Internet Guidelines
which are available at http://www.ehnet.org/guidelines.php#tcguides.
The IO will begin to conduct research on compliance. If your site
is found to be incompliant, you will be warned and you will have
one (1) week to update the site (if you are on leave, we may be
able to extend that). If by then you do not comply, you face removal
from your position (as per an agreement between myself and the FO).
The reason for such strict attention to compliance is part of an
effort to raise the bar in website standards within the EH and TC.
Please note the addition of a new Internet Guideline that applies
to the entire EH! Specifically, you should avoid hosting your
site on Geocities, Tripod, or any other free host that has pop-up
banners. The IO staff will notify people individually of this new
guideline with a leniency period of 2 weeks.
And now, time for a special feature unique to Report #100...a
trip down memory lane in the Internet Office!
First off, I'd like to start with saying that I've had some of
the most fun I've ever had as Internet Officer of the EH and hope
to be able to continue to serve you, the members of the EH, as well
as I have striven to till now. I've learned a lot from the people
in the EH, but such things I shall save for another long special
edition report, far, far off in the distant future (i.e. my eventual
resignation :P). I'd like to speak about something else though:
I'd like to speak about my vision of the Internet Office when I
first took the position, what I've accomplished with the help of
my team, and where the Internet Office is headed in the future.
Obviously, this is a historical sort of thing (if you just read
reports to know the news in the fleet, you can stop reading now
:P) but I think you might find some of it interesting. Well, that's
my own personal opinion.
I had started out in the IO as most staffies do - a lowly IOA,
along with FSEA, shortly after I had resigned my command as Commodore
of the ISD Colossus. AbsoluteK was kind enough to take me into his
(now rather familiar :P) staff. I later became his Command Attache,
serving a total of 9 months under his command. When AbK resigned
in August 2001, I applied and received the position of Internet
Officer. In my application (which can be seen in the EH.org news
archives at http://www.emperorshammer.org/news/august_2001.htm
under August 22), I started to describe a vision I had of the IO
becoming a central hub for EH operations, a vision that AbK had
already begun to materialize during his tenure. I consider this
"vision" to mark the beginning of a new era for the EH,
one of heightened awareness for all EHers of all aspects of our
club - not just being confined to one subgroup. Plus, since the
EH is an Internet-based club, I wanted to enhance all the features
and fun available to members.
We'll now look at some of the different things the IO has done
to reach this endeavor. I'd like to that IOA Alex Foley for taking
the time to look through all my previous reports and compiling a
list of IO Projects. This document includes the announce, release
and completion dates for 27 IO projects and can be viewed at http://www.ehnet.org/ioprojects.doc.
Let's start off with entertainment, which produced some of the
more widely-known IO Projects. The shining star to date though,
had to be Project Hawkeye (Reports 8-32) - a mission-based
project that accepted 22 "agents" to participate in 10
web-based missions over the course of 3 weeks. While Project Hawkeye
2 was started and a trailer produced, interest was not strong enough
among the developers to pursue completion. This remains something
that the IO hopes yet to complete. You can see details about Project
Hawkeye at http://hawkeye.ehnet.org
Then there was The Holonet Journals (reports 2-22), a collection
of humorous articles, images and other random spewings of the IO
staff. My former Command Attache, Darkfire, was largely responsible
for organizing THJ and did a great job keeping it humorous. There
are links to the two issues that were released in the "IO Links"
section of this report. What happens now, you say? I'm happy to
announce that my IOA, MAJ Xander Drax has volunteered to
organize THJ, Issue #3! We hope Drax will have it published soon!
Sabacc Online, my own personal project, has not only gained
tremendous support from the BHG, but numerous sources outside the
EH. A large portion of the Star Wars community have all taken interest
in my PHP rendition of the popular Star Wars card game. What happens
now though? Leeson and I are working on completing a multiplayer
client/server setup for all interested parties!
Alex Foley's EH Holonet Awards also attracted a lot of attention
- it was a competition in which people nominated their favorite
sites and voted on the best ones in different categories, sort of
like the Oscars. Winning webmasters received medals.
And now, we're on the verge of a new frontier in terms of entertainment
provided by the Internet Office. EH Wargames, an online web-based
Wargame simulation stands to be the most revolutionary IO project,
moreso than Project Hawkeye, and possibly equal or surpass GalaxyQuest
the numbers in terms of participation. With a solid coding team,
we hope to deliver this fine product with the highest of quality
Another section is "Internet Awareness" - part of which
was manifested by the IWATS courses written by IO Staff members.
Namely, the XML course by Keldorn, PHP course by former
Related to this have been various things oriented towards webmasters,
such as the EH
& TC Internet Guidelines, Coding
Archive (reports 43-48), EH
Code Collaboration (report 98), EH
Counters Service (reports 54-64).
And of course, the most notable tool for TC/IW webmasters has been
SquadFirst (Reports 71-80) - a Squadron Website Template
to facilitate with Internet Guidelines compliance. This has become
widely popular, and is currently at version 1.3.2. However, Alex
Foley is currently working on SquadFirst+, a new generation
of EH site templates, with streamlined code and enhanced functionality
for TC, IW, DB and HF subgroups.
In addition to that, IOA/AD Turtle has constantly supported us
with the creation of a brand new EHNet, EHNet version 3.0
along with the EHNet Login System (currently at version 1.6).
The ELS allows for webmasters to interface with the closest to an
EH-wide login system, based on the account handles at MinosNIC,
another service Turtle provides the EH with that allocates URL redirection,
web hosting & database space and a webring service all for EH
members. Turtle is currently investigating the possibility of an
enhanced level of service plus real domain names for a small monthly
fee, which shouldn't be too taxing on interested EHers.
My EHNet, also a project by Alex Foley, is a service we
provide to EHers to customize their own home page they can set,
with various news feed sources from around the fleet and around
the world. My EHNet is located at http://my.ehnet.org.
We've also remodeled the Emperor's Hammer Domain Site, and
now it looks much cleaner and professional than it previously did.
We are currently looking into the possibility of enhancing the TIE
Corps main site in PHP.
All the projects listed by no means are everything - the document
by Alex Foley would contain everything. So where is the Internet
Office headed now?
Well, there are several colossal prospective projects. First of
all, the completion of Multiplayer Sabacc Online is now finally
a feasibility through integration of PHP and Flash. EH Wargames
stands to revolutionize the roleplaying aspect of the EH, allowing
for greater interaction with players in teams with a motive to participate.
I'd also like to try to finish Project Hawkeye 2. And finally, I'd
like to complete an EH-wide central processing station which will
contain basic roster information for all subgroups, which will be
retrievable by SG sites via XML - very similar to Kawolski's EH
And as this milestone report draws to a close, I'd like to thank
the wonderful members of my Internet Office Staff, past and present,
who've struggled with understanding what my vision of the IO and
the EH is, but have come out of various projects all the more knowledgeable.
My Command Attaches: Leeson, Mutilator and Darkfire. My Internet
Office Assistants: Turtle, Alex Foley, Xander Drax, Drako, Kweeky,
AbsoluteK, Keldorn, and many others.
I hope for my tenure as Internet Officer to continue to be as successful
as it has to date.
But for now...IT'S PARTY TIME! DRINKS ARE ON THE INTERNET OFFICE!
:: [ Emperor's Hammer: Site of the Week ] ::
The Site of the Week this week, is appropriately
what has been the home of the Internet Office for many years,
and hopefully many more to come: EHNet. Many thanks go to AbsoluteK
for providing us with the domain, Koral for providing us with a server,
Turtle for coding most of the system, and Xander Drax for the current
design. Here's to http://www.ehnet.org,
unquestionably a 5 star site!