[theforum] history draft

Erika ekm at seastorm.com
Mon Oct 27 21:47:15 CDT 2008



Evolt was established December 13, 1998, as a breakoff group from 
Hotwired's Monkeyjukies mailing list.

In March 1999, after months of planning amongst the initial breakoff 
group, evolt.org launched its main mailing list, 
thelist at lists.evolt.org. Although the list started off small, word 
quickly spread, and hundreds of web developers from around the world 
were soon exchanging information about the web development industry on a 
daily basis.

Evolt's "the list" is fairly general as far as web development lists go, 
covering everything from server operating systems to nuances of 
designing with CSS.  The list has been historically characterized by its 
strong sense of community and its self-moderated style.

The list continues today as the heart of the evolt community.


The first iteration of the evolt.org site was pastel-colored, and 
launched in the spring of 1999.

On June 1st, 1999, evolt.org re-launched its website as a place where 
web developers could see up-to-date and relevant news content about the 
web industry in general. The most applauded feature however, was that 
anyone could post an article in one of several "centers" or sections of 
the site that related to a specific area of web development.

This 1999 site, generally known as "evolt 1.0," featured a distinctive 
dark blackground, with flat, bright, 8-bit fonts, and a "switch" button 
designed to pull up a reversed, printer-friendly page.  Influenced by 
late-90s "hotwired style," evolt.org provided a sleeker, geekier, and 
more accessible version.

(put something here about the browser archive)


In December 2000, evolt redesigned to a "skinnable" site featuring an 
all-black bar across the top of each page, different colors for each 
site section, and CSS used for visual design elements.  Site layout was 
still done in tables.  This design was created by Isaac Forman, with 
potential themes created by various evolt members.


In 2005 we decided to migrate our datebase and CMS to SQL/Drupal.  Once 
again, Isaac Forman provided the front end design, which evolt's front 
end team worked into Drupal templates.

Evolt is once again in the midst of an upgrade/redesign process.

Evolt CMS

Our original CMS was built in Cold Fusion over an Access database 
running on Window NT; later we migrated to MSSQL/Win2k and Oracle/Linux 
(which was first?).  Our home-rolled CMS was maintained by coders in 
different parts of the world, with the occasional community-building 
"code-fest" get-togethers (link to Matt Warden's article).

Eventually, concerns about the accessibility and longevity of our system 
led admin members to choose a more powerful open source system: Drupal. 
  We now host our site on Linux-based servers running drupal and an SQL 


Over the years, evolt has experimented with different ways to structure 
our admin process, from electing leaders, to establishing committees. 
Ultimately, movements toward a formal leadership process have given way 
to a more informal, consensus-based style, similar to that employed by 
sites like wikipedia, but on a smaller community-oriented scale.

Just as evolt's lists are self-moderated, the organization is self-led. 
Direction for the organization comes from the collective consciousness 
and is steered by credible individuals who are willing and able to step 
into leadership roles.  Some offices are held by single individuals (for 
example, the office of treasurer, currently held by David Kaufman) while 
other offices may be shared.  Evolt has had to remain flexible with 
leadership, seeking a balance that works for us.

Direction of the organization happens in theforum.  Those who have been 
involved for some time on the list or the site, and who are interested 
in taking a more active role in the organization may request a 
membership in theforum.

Evolt is only as strong as our members, and we are always open to having 
intelligent, energetic additions to our ranks.

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