a few more orbits before firing Stage 3

…in which we scrub the ccHost launch and look for a new window.

shhhhh! ccHost is installed and running on wikiGong!

In many ways, the last month has been a blast: hacking php and java scripts; wrestling with a new and pretty complex tool set; posting, reloading, making mistakes — I’ve completely hidden or blown up the ccHost homepage half a dozen times — and generally learning by exploration. Here’s where we’ve tumbled to.

There’s a pretty obvious link trail to follow on our wiki pages. Get to the wiki, and you’ll see a link to wikiGong sounds. That will allow you to bounce back and forth between the wikiGong wiki and the new ccHost pages. The site may go in and out of phase every once in a while; expect the unexpected as we button things up for the launch.

There are things that work well. The file sharing functions are very solid, which of course is why ccHost is so exciting in the first place. This is where the founders focused their energy and it shows. We’ve opened up support for uploading wav files in addition to aiff and mp3, among others. And we have the whole site halfway harmonized by applying common fonts, close-enough color themes, and a couple of graphic elements. Though it still looks like a house designed by three or four architects (with some hacker apprentices) it shouldn’t set your teeth on edge unless you’re a graphic (or web) designer.

There are things unexplored and pretty exciting. For example, in addition to file sharing we now have a forum feature! So it’s not just for wiki folks any more, and the mixters among us will hopefully appreciate the familiarity. Plus one forum is “bugs.” You can tell us what’s broken on your browser; maybe we can even fix it! And of course you can chat about almost anything.

There are others that don’t work so well. The login form doesn’t consistently appear, especially if you forget to log out, which is going to flummox new users if not everyone unless we fix it. The UI look and feel on the ccHost pages themselves is somewhat inconsistent. And there are some font display issues that get in the way; for example, “browse remixes” has some really ugly font handling artifacts, especially in IE7. The admin functions don’t look so hot either, but that’s OK; they’re not for everyone, so we’ve put tuning those up at low priority.

There are a few integration challenges we’ll handle over time. For example, we now have two different user pools and two discrete search functions. A wikiGong wiki member is not necessarily a wikiGong sounds member and vice versa. Your login name and password are not harmonized unless you make it so. And you’ll want to log in to each site to make changes, upload files, etc. Search? Well, there are two: one searches the wiki, the other the ccHost pages. There’s a little scripting in our future to get this glue in place.

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, check it out!