The development of version 5.0 of this site is progressing rapidly, with a launch date of the end of May now firmly penciled in. A roadmap is now in place in terms of the phased implementation of all of the planned feature enhancements of this site, the features contained in these planned releases break down under the following headings:
V 5.0: the supporting MVC framework & the publishing system (target May 2006). V 5.1: the user article commenting system. V 5.2: the user discussion forum. V 5.3: introduce a front controller & RSS news feed. V 5.4: book review system. V 5.5: testing/refactoring & code review. V 5.6: spam filter. V 5.7: advanced database features. V 5.8: reporting & analysis.
What this all means is that the upgrade to this site will in fact take place over a number of phases rather than in one large upfront delivery. This approach will ensure that the development work involved in all of this new functionality will not act as a large break on the project.
Most of the work involved in version 5.0 is now complete and is being tested, with the bulk of the outstanding work involved in actually migrating over all of the site content from the old static pages to the new database-driven Markdown format. As there are scores of articles on this site, this work will take time but hopefully it will be completed by the end of the month.
Initially the user accounts will be pretty limited when you set one up, as it will only allow you to set some configuration options on the site front-end. This situation will only remain for one month while version 5.1 is being prepared, which will allow you to use your account on here to post comments below the articles on the main site, and also to cast a vote on an article to provide a score. Afterwards in version 5.2 the forum will be launched.
I won't be allowing anonymous posting on any of these systems to help to try to minimize spam, so if you want to post a comment or a question on an article or to avail of the discussion forum to post a question, then you will need to set up a user account on this site. Doing so will be easy as you will only have to provide the following information:
Email address (will be hidden on the main site) Forum name (will be displayed on the main site) URL (your website URL, optional)
So as you can see you only have to provide a minimum amount of detail to create an account, so I hope that the barrier to entry will be low enough to encourage strong membership figures.
Updated 2021 : note that the above post is out-of-date, given this post was originally published in 2006, but is left here for archival purposes.