[theforum] history draft

Elfur Logadóttir elfur at elfur.is
Tue Oct 28 16:57:40 CDT 2008

See comments within

.:| 1998-2000
.:| Evolt was established December 13, 1998, as a breakoff group from
.:| Hotwired's Monkeyjukies mailing list.

December 14!

.:| In March 1999, after months of planning amongst the initial breakoff
.:| group, evolt.org launched its main mailing list,
.:| thelist at lists.evolt.org. 

iirc it was thelist at evolt.org at first - if it matters.

.:| 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.

(am reading through first time ... but i'm missing a <tip> discussion re the
list, perhaps it's mentioned below)

.:| 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.

If you want to know, the design was, like everything else in the evolt.org
world at the time ... a great collaboration between the founders. We were
all throwing our ideas in the mix and Marlene setup an overview page with
links to her suggestions. That overview page used very similar colors with a
black background. So I took that and mixed it with a structure that someone
else had suggested and threw it in as a suggestion. A few commented and made
suggestions and changes and in that way, with a collaboration of at least 8
people evolt.org 1.0 came to life. The first version was with a black
background. Later it became #333 and even later the stripes were added.

.:| (put something here about the browser archive)
.:| 2001-2004
.:| 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.

(still reading first time through, you might mention this below) The black
bar was meant to be a link between evolt.org 1.0 and 2.0 - plus, we agreed
that the logo worked much better on a dark background.

.:| Site layout was
.:| still done in tables.  This design was created by Isaac Forman, with
.:| potential themes created by various evolt members.
.:| 2005-2008
.:| 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.

I agree with John, not sure he'd want the credit for the current layout :)
He provided the front end draft, collaborative work made it what it is.

.:| 2008
.:| 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?).

Oracle was first. Dan worked at a company named Oracular and it was hosted
there. We changed DB when he changed jobs, iirc.

.:|  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
.:| MySQL database.
.:| Process
.:| 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.

We started extremely anarchistic, then evolved to a formal leadership, which
btw never really was put to work. We soon went back to caotic :)

.:| 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.

Hmm. Is theforum a closed subscription? I thought that everyone could join.
It's content and sysadmin that are closed, right?

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

I'm missing a comment about (barely?) surviving the changes in the web
designing/developing world, putting us where we are today. But perhaps you
want to have that in a different place.

This reads well, btw.


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