The Unified Republic of Stars website has been, unfortunately, kind of abandoned for a little while. Part of it is time, part of it stems from life issues, and part of it comes from, honestly, a lack of interest on my part.
In case people haven’t noticed, this is a big site! Which meant that when I needed to upgrade the server for some of the other sites that run here, it unfortunately and accidentally had the side effect of taking down the wiki installation that wasn’t exactly… eh… current with the latest versions. And this was because MediaWiki (the platform that drives not just our reference section but also a little site called Wikipedia) had been evolving faster than I could keep up.
You see, the neat features on URS that make it special, things like the monetary value conversions, the timeline, the travel times, the story generator, and the baseball records, are all custom plugins, written by me to do those things. They were all added one at a time, so it didn’t seem like a lot of work as they were being built. But when MediaWiki went and changed the core way in which plugins worked and all of the features had to be updated to work that way, it suddenly seemed like a lot of work.
So… rather than keeping MediaWiki up to date… I kind of let it slide.
Then I needed to upgrade the PHP version on the server for another project. And… that’s when my delay killed the reference section. See, the old version of MediaWiki on which everything had been working didn’t work with the new version of the programming language and so it died.
I’ve known about the problem since it happened. But… around the same time I started dating a girl from Germany and found myself flying back and forth a lot. Then I married her and moved to Germany. Then I had to learn German. So… there were more than a few other things on my plate.
Fortunately, work was slow this week which enabled me to finally take a look at it again. And, it turns out, I was able to blow through the upgrades in about two days. Which is why I’m writing this now and announcing that it’s back!
So… where does this leave the URS?
Fixing the site and seeing all the content has me actually pretty inspired again. I’d like to take a look at where I left the podcast and perhaps even get that sucker off the ground again. Honestly, the downloads even though it hasn’t been updated in a long while are pretty great! So I’d like to see what I can do about restarting that. Also, I have a couple of new stories that might get published here soon. So… if this is in your RSS feed or whatever, do check back soon because there will be more coming.
Sorry for the delay in fixing the reference section. But things in the URS sphere are looking bright once more!