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Mania Exchange 2.0: What is it? When will it arrive? Why?
Mania Exchange 2.0: What is it? When will it arriv...18 Feb, 2013
 Forzyy (7 comments, 2313 views)  
I've been dropping hints about the next ManiaExchange update lately; the how, the why, the when, etc. It's well overdue, but it's much needed. I guess the biggest hint I dropped was when I admitted the current site and code was 'crap' due to lack of consistency.

... says:
The current application framework is killing the site. The DAL is atrocious and performs extremely poorly. Over the years I've been building MX (3 this year), nothing has been consistent; everything was practically half-arsed until I thought "hey, let's try a different approach to this!" Sure, those second approaches worked, but everything before that was never updated or brought to a production standard.

I've been spending the last few weeks rebuilding (and updating) Mania Exchange. It'll be a long time before it's near production worthy.

To conclude: MX is practically broken and I've only recently come to that conclusion. It's not something I'm proud of, but I can't keep dragging the current code along forever. It'll never last as long as TMX has. It needs to be restructured and kept consistent.

It's big and it's fast.

I don't know what many of you would define as 'big', but when I say big, I mean: it boasts 100% rewritten code, it's now built on top of .NET 4.5 and MVC 4 (C# 5.0) and at the centre of it all is a new modern design with HTML5 standards.

As a web developer, I always have the need for speed. While we don't have the fastest environment or set up, we make do with what we can afford and tailor the application to execute as fast as it can with the resources allocated to it. The DAL (data access layer) was rewritten and database operations improved by 50% (i.e execution time was halved).

The design is quite bright, but a darker contrast can be introduced.

Every bit of the site (speaking from the UX) is the exact same - just improved - and a few little things here and there will be introduced to enhance the map-sharing experience.

Goodbye 'tracks'. Hello 'maps'.

The naming scheme used on this site created a bit of a conundrum when working with a code base that must be able to be deployed for three sites (TM2, SM and QM). It's too difficult and non efficient to use two naming schemes in a production environment, so it's time to say goodbye to 'tracks' and say hello to 'maps'. It even coincides with the naming ManiaPlanet uses. It's great and all works out. :) *

* Links will not be affected.

What about that prototype you blogged about not too long ago?

They're called prototypes for a reason! :p For a site like Mania Exchange (or even TMX), change is hard - very hard. The prototype would not have been a welcome change as it broke many of the sharing principals (the layout, the flow of content, ease of use) established over the years.

Can we expect it any time soon?

I'm working my absolute gluteus maximus off trying to get this thing into a production environment. Every single feature needs to be rewritten and backwards compatibility (e.g links) must be accounted for. It will get done, but it won't be done in a few days (even though that'd be awesome!). ;)

There's 49 controllers and ~100 or so actions to be rewritten (MX uses MVC).

Where can I experience this new 'update'?

A live development site is available at the following address: http://beta.mania-exchange.com/.

You're welcome to try out the things that work. You can use your current ManiaExchange account to login. ;)


I expect a lot of criticism while I develop the new site. You're not doing it right if no one critiques it! Please share what you like so far and what you don't like. :)

I will say this though: I've pretty much settled on this design and colour scheme. I'm not sure if much will change between now and when it's released. Primary colours (grey, white and blue) have been preserved/used. The site has also been widened by approximately 40px.

Special thanks to:
- Bootstrap
- Boot Metro
- Font Awesome
- ManiaExchange specific assets, design and structure © Mania Exchange 2013.
7 comment(s).
 XT»Marti writes ... 22, Feb, 2013  
agreed, I like the present font more for the same reason. Great job on the rest though :)
 Space writes ... 22, Feb, 2013  
font is hardly readable...
 TheM writes ... 18, Feb, 2013  
I understand what an horror it might be to have different ways of handling the same thing.
It must be hard to recode the whole site, especially while it's so big!

Forzyy says:
There's 49 controllers and ~100 or so actions to be rewritten (MX uses MVC).

Awwhh... it can't be that bad, can it? :p
Well, while I'd love to code on MX (^^), I surely wouldn't want to have to rewrite that amount of code :d

I quite like the initial design on the beta MX (BMX :d). I do hope you are planning on adding a image background for the body and a one-colored background for the container div. The Bootstrap-appeal is quite nice, really a keeper :)

So: please keep working on the beta-site :) Ow, and: good luck! ;)

P.S. Is there a good reason for not letting me use <.body.> here ...? :p
Furthermore, I can only see a preview of a post once, afterwards it won't update while pressing Preview again.
Ow, and I don't think your blogpost is named {ENTRY_NAME}, is it? ^^
 Voyager006 writes ... 18, Feb, 2013  
They should've renamed it to MapMania now :p
  Tuta writes ... 18, Feb, 2013  
Also, it looks a lot better with rounded corners on the boxes like it is now but not on beta site.

And I hope you keep the screesnot in background like we haver now, cause it just looks so amazing with it.
 md writes ... 18, Feb, 2013  
sounds really cool! beta page looks good to me actually, thumbs up!
  Tuta writes ... 18, Feb, 2013  
Sounds amazing forzy! :d (Though the beta page doesnt looks so amazing atm hehe ;) just the grey background like on this site added and it would be much better I think )

It's gonna be weird for me to think of tracks as maps but it's a non-issue I guess
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