IO Report # 5 (2021-12-06)

This report was submitted by IO/FA Turtle Jerrar/CS-4/VSD Stalwart


Internet Officer Report #5

5 December, 2021

Happy Holidays to members of the fleet. In this report, I will provide you an update with the recent activities of the Internet Office, especially those involving development of the new web site (Project Minos Relevancy).

Internet Office Activity

Project Minos Relevancy Update

The Internet Office team has been hard at work on multiple projects throughout the fleet. The biggest of these, Minos Relevancy, has been the primary focus during the past several months. What started as a refactor last year generally became a recode in order to meet our overall objectives for the project. Refer back to my first report for some of the original project information. We’re now at the point where we’d like to put out some more information about the project as a whole.

Rollout of the new site code will occur in a series of phased releases. The first of these, phase 1, is dubbed the initial operational capability (IOC) release. The focus of the phase 1 release is launching the new code and site design to tc.emperorshammer.org. This release will “replace” the existing TIE Corps web site by updating and converting the existing database content to work with our new code. Phase 1 has focused on the conversion of existing features on the TC site. While feature parity for the daily used aspects of the site has been the focus of this phase, expect to see multiple usability enhancements as we deploy this release. We’ve also spent a lot of time on improving data quality and consistency for both existing and new data.

Contingent on the results of our final coding work and testing, we hope to have the phase 1 release deployed by the end of the year. The main emperorshammer.org site will continue to operate for Dark Brotherhood and Imperial University operations.

Additional phased releases will follow as we move into 2022. The specific list of items per phase is subject to some adjustments, but here is a general outline. Phase 2 will largely focus on transition of the Imperial University to the new site, with improvements to the overall course taking experience. Phase 3 will revolve around transition of member profiles and information to be retained from the emperorshammer.org site. This includes the transition of Dark Brotherhood profiles and unit structures to the new site. The existing emperorshammer.org site will then be decommissioned, and replaced by the new site which will then be supporting the EH as a whole. Phase 4+ will incorporate various changes and upgrades that we have identified during the development process, but elected to defer in order to focus on the more near-term essential functionality.

Various command offices should expect to see information in 2-3 weeks with information on beta testing the new code on a development sandbox site.

Reminder: TTT3 Certificate-Related Problem

Following some changes to the Let’s Encrypt certification authority on 30 September, a few users started experiencing problems with TTT3. This problem manifests as a 'No Internet Connection' warning in TTT3. We’re still working to understand a little better why the library used in TTT3 has trouble with the new certificate chaining on certain people’s systems. As a workaround, members experiencing this problem should download and install the Let's Encrypt R3 certificate from https://letsencrypt.org/certs/lets-encrypt-r3.der. After downloading the certificate, right click it, select Install Certificate, and proceed through the dialogs. Windows will automatically place the cert into the correct store.

From Around the Internet Office

  • CPT SkyShadow and CM Jaxx “Hijacker” Nassin have been working on a project to bring customized X-wing style helmets into TTT3 for our Infiltrator squadrons. We’ve also made some other improvements relating to squadron colors which will integrate with the new site release. Expect to see these new features, as well some bugfixes and other tweaks, in a TTT3 release in the January timeframe.

  • Following some internal coordination and discussions, MAJ Kalve Ryder has been working on customizable lightsaber components (3D assets). Our intent is to build custom lightsaber functionality into TTT3. You’ll see more news on this in the coming months as we refine the project in conjunction with updated policies coming out of the Dark Brotherhood.

Commendation of Excellence Awards

The Commendation of Excellence may be awarded to any member for consistent support, maintenance, or creation of official Emperor’s Hammer web pages/sites and internet-enabled applications.

  • MAJ Kalve Ryder: 'Presented in recognition of your efforts to develop the Emperor's Hammer wiki theme 'ImperialAcademy' that is now used as the standard theme on the EH Encyclopedia Imperia. Through your own initiative, you took on the task of improving the appearance and functionality of the EH's wiki. This resource is valuable but often under-utilized, in large part due to its generic and utilitarian appearance over the years. This task entailed establishing a local development environment, navigating the convoluted and sometimes broken MediaWiki theming system, and establishing the visual appearance and layout for the new theme. The end result improved both the visual appearance of the wiki as well as its functionality through a clean and easy to follow interface, and contributed to renewed member excitement over the wiki site. These achievements reflect great credit upon yourself, Tempest Squadron of Wing X, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Challenge, and the Emperor’s Hammer TIE Corps.' 07/23/2021

Emperor's Hammer Wiki

If you haven't been over to our Wiki (Encyclopaedia Imperia) recently, I encourage you to have a look. With the redesign implemented several months ago, the Wiki has received a great facelift and boost in ease of use.

All Emperor's Hammer unit pages will automatically have a link to the unit's associated Wiki page on the new site. If your unit (e.g., squadron) page on the Wiki is out of date, you are highly encouraged to update it. I have noticed a theme of needlessly reproducing information contained on the TIE Corps database, for example current unit rosters, on unit Wiki pages. This is duplictive and almost certain to lead to the article being immediately out of date. Instead, I would encourage units to capture information unique to their organization, such as unit history, traditions, honors/awards, historical graphics, and so forth.

I also highly encourage everybody to use the Wiki for guides and reference information that has frequently been placed in a shared Google Doc. While these shared documents can have their place, the Wiki provides significant advantages for accessibility and retention of said material. New to Wiki editing? The Imperial University course Wiki Editing for Dummies is a great place to get started on the right path. Completing the course provides credit on your Emperor's Hammer profile as well!

Other Internet Office Activity

  • Upgraded to current MediaWiki long-term support version. Implemented the ImperialArchive theme developed by Kalve Ryder which overhauls the appearance of the Wiki.
  • Established the official Emperor’s Hammer YouTube channel. Please contact me if you would like access to be able to post content. Also... subscribe, and all of that fun stuff.
  • Updated APIs to support Raise the Flag 2021.
  • Maintenance and small improvements for the Gonk utility.
  • Various updates to production site code on tc.emperorshammer.org. A few of these included: implemention of new mailer system; ability to view recently processed MP PvE matches; match processing improvements for COO staff; and others. A public changelog for the production site is available at https://tc.emperorshammer.org/CHANGELOG.md.txt which has a more comprehensive list of changes.
  • Completed profile restorations and searches of archived materials.
  • Updates to various Internet Office steering documents including Lines of Effort, Minos Relevancy Plan of Action & Milestones, Minos Relevancy Tracker, and assorted policy drafts.

Other

  • Work and coordination in support of IO projects including TTT3 development, 3D asset creation, APIs, and a handful of other stuff.
  • Internal discussion of some future IO project concepts.
  • Continual coordination with various leaders regarding EH operations (daily and strategic).
  • Coding... coding... coding... in support of Minos Relevancy. This has unfortunately led to my lack of presence in any of our gaming platforms. I hope to fly with all of you again soon.

Internet Office Priorities and Lines of Effort

LOE 1: Modernize and Unify Emperor’s Hammer Database

Objectives: Unify the main Emperor's Hammer and TIE Corps web sites and databases, implementing full support for the Dark Brotherhood and any potential future Groups, as well as cross-group functions such as the Imperial University. Modernize the codebase and database backend. Refactor and/or recode as necessary to implement modern techniques and standards that supports the continued maintenance of existing features, and eases implementation of new features and changes. Update the front end web site to present a user experience more consistent with modern sites, while maintaining and improving on core functionality unique to our organization and critical to its operation.

LOE 2: Audit Emperor’s Hammer Web Properties

Objectives: Conduct continuous audit and improvement of Emperor’s Hammer hosted resources to validate clarity, accuracy, and relevance. Links to defunct EH sites are removed or updated as appropriate. The Internet Office will update documents or resources within our purview, and identify proponents of other documents/resources. Key policy documents and manuals are reviewed and validated at least annually. Command intent is that the EH presents a uniform web presence that is as easy and intuitive as possible for new members to navigate.

LOE 3: Support Emperor’s Hammer Operations Through Automation

Objectives: Continually seek and implement innovative solutions to common Emperor’s Hammer functions through automation. Support each Group’s daily operations by improving processes for activity tracking and member recognition. Leverage data and automation to improve daily operations, and support long term Group efforts.

Suggestions and Issues

To request feature enhancements or report bugs for any Internet Office-supported project, please use the IO issues incoming queue on GitHub. This provides our office with a structured process to review, comment on, and refer issues as appropriate.

We are always interested in members that would like to assist with Emperor’s Hammer projects. We’re especially interested in people with experience in PHP, JavaScript, Python, graphics design, and 3D modeling. Please send me a message if you have any skills and time you would like to share with the EH.

Internet Office Staff

Information regarding current Internet Office projects and policy issuances can be found at ehnet.org.

Closing

I can be reached as needed by way of e-mail (linked from my TIE Corps profile), or Discord at turtlexiv#5752.

TURTLE JERRAR
Fleet Admiral, Emperor's Hammer
Internet Officer
IO/FA Turtle Jerrar/CS-4/VSD Stalwart
GOE/GS/SS/BSx3/PCx3/ISMx9/IAR/MoI/MoC-1goc-1soc-11boc/MUA-Rx1/IS-2GW-2SW-7BW-1CW-1PR- 4GR-3SR-3BR-2CR/LoC-RSx2-CSx4-Rx3/LoS-CSx3-Rx4/DFC-Rx1/CoE/CoLx6/CoB/LoAx9/OV-24E