Busy, Busy, Busy: TJP 3.0 Coming Soon

I haven’t posted much here, because… we are upgrading TJP (again).

Back in January (of 2008) we completed an ‘upgrade’ of The Japanese Page. We are working hard on doing another upgrade now.

Some people have asked why I would want to essentially make a TJP 3.0 so soon after TJP 2.0. The January update was easier to manage from an administrative point of view, but frankly it was ugly, disorganized, and I hadn’t a clue about how Drupal (the backbone software) really worked. I am pretty sure for the end user, the old site was far superior.

A few months ago, a few of the site admins and myself decided it was best to start over–literally. We have taken every single page (hundreds and hundreds of them!), polished them, fixed broken links, added content & images & audio, and literally rebuilt the entire site page by single page.

Now that I know a little about Drupal, I spent an incredible amount of time setting it up so that everything is organized precisely how I want it. Now whenever an article is created, I simply choose the corresponding categories and–shazam!–the title and teaser appear in the correct categories page(s).

Drupal is very powerful and flexible–both of which mean there is a huuuuuuge learning curve. I wouldn’t recommend Drupal for someone new to it unless you don’t mind investing a lot of time learning its ins and outs–still it is an amazing CMS.

New TJP

(Click for larger image)

  • The three column layout is only on the front page. All other pages drop the third column and expand the middle column
  • Hundreds of broken links were fixed (恥)
  • Forum is much more integrated now including new posts listed on every page
  • Wagawiki, our in-house wiki, will be integrated too by launch
  • Video, Audio, and other media is also all integrated–before we had links here and there and required separate logins…
  • Every article has been graded as fit for beginner, upper beginner, lower intermediate, and intermediate and above
  • Photo Gallery has been upgraded to the newest version
  • We will be working on the Groups to help people find study partners
  • Dozens of brand new videos, podcasts, and audio lessons
  • It’s all free! (except links to the store and friends of course…)

That’s what we’ve been working on. It is still a work in progress and we still don’t have a solid date for the upgrade, but it should be very soon.

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