[theforum] history draft (1st revision)

Erika ekm at seastorm.com
Thu Oct 30 00:28:42 CDT 2008

  NOTE: I need help filling in names of admins... I think it would be 
nice to run a fairly comprehensive list of current and alum admins.

I also didn't have a lot to say about the Drupal transition... I wasn't 
around, and visits to the archives have not been very informative except 
that it seems to have been a fairly stressful time for some... I think 
that we have yet to realize the potential of Drupal or even feel 
comfortable with it.  Hopefully that will change.  E




evolt.org was established December 14, 1998, as a breakoff group from
Hotwired's Monkeyjunkies mailing list.  (Read more links)

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.

"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.  (Read more list 

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


Admin are a nebulous but tightly-knit group of individuals who 
contribute time, energy, and skills to evolt.org.

Current admin include:

Alumni include:


The first iteration of the evolt.org site (aka "w.e.o." for web 
evolt.org in evolt-speak) 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 embodied late 20th century geek 


In December 2000, evolt.org redesigned w.e.o. 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.  "Centers" were 
renamed, more intuitively, "Categories."

Original evolter and long-time admin Adrian "aardvark" Roselli wrote 
in-depth about processes and concepts behind w.e.o 1.0 and 2.0 designs 
in the book <link><cite>Usability: The Site Speaks For Itself</cite> 
(glasshaus, 2002. Holzschlag and Lawson, Ed.)</link>.


In 2005 we decided to migrate our database and CMS to SQL/Drupal.  (link 
to martin's article)

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


Our original content management system was built in Cold Fusion over an 
Access database running on Window NT; later we migrated to 
Linux/Oracle/Cold Fusion, and then to  Win2k/MSSQL/Cold Fusion.  The 
evolt.org CMS was developed and 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 over SQL.


Original admin Adrian Roselli's obsession with cross-browser testing led 
him to collect an archive of browsers, which he donated to evolt.org. 
Featuring goodies from Lynx and Mosaic to iCab and Opera to standalone 
versions of Internet Explorer, browsers.evolt.org (aka b.e.o.) has been 
an a popular destination place for web developers and curiousity seekers 
since the evolt.org 1.0.  Enjoy, and download and install at your own 


Over the years, evolt.org has experimented with different ways to structure
our admin process, from electing leaders, to establishing committees.
Ultimately, attempts 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 our lists are self-moderated, the organization is self-led.
While some offices are held by single individuals (for example, the 
office of treasurer, currently held by David Kaufman) other offices may 
be shared. We have had to remain flexible with leadership, seeking a 
balance that works for us.

theforum at lists.evolt.org is where we discuss the direction of the 
organization. This list is open to all evolt.org members.

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

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