Remaking the (community) website?

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Remaking the (community) website?

Postby jboer on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:08 pm

See the original idea thread.

I'm a Java (web) programmer and I'd like to take a shot at rewriting community.linuxmint.com in Java.

My reasoning is as follows:
  • The current incarnation of the website is written in PHP. From experience I know that Java is a lot more stable than PHP, so I believe the rewrite is going to be a positive change.
  • I think I can stand to learn something from this, since (I hope) I'll be receiving a lot of feedback from the community.
  • AFAIK the creator of the current website is clem, and he seems a pretty busy guy! This might take the work load off.
  • I'd like to get more acquainted with the community, and I think this project might allow me to do just that.
  • It doesn't hurt to try. Worst case scenario: you stick with what there is now. Best case scenario: a cool new website.

Another reason is (as the original idea thread says) to have a look at the functionality of the website and expand it with my own ideas.

My long-term vision is that this new Java website would come to replace pretty much everything Mint-related on the linuxmint.com domain (including this forum, the blog/main site, etc.). I think this is feasible if the new website is released in parts.

Naturally I'm willing to share the source-code with the Mint team (and if required/desired I can make it open-source altogether).


However as I wrote in my comment on the original idea thread I have no idea what you people think about this. I don't want to end up creating something that no-one is going to even want to look at, so I'd like to know that I have a chance of success.

I also don't have any idea when the community.linuxmint.com website was made, and who made it (AFAIK it's clem but it might be someone else). My intention is not to insult someone else's work so if I've offended someone by my suggestion I'd like to know and clear it up.

I'm finally starting to get my Mint installation under control and I'm hoping to have a functioning Eclipse installation soon. I'm prepared to work on the website & take input from the community about it... so long as I have a chance that it's actually going to be used. I'd like to know the communities' stance on my proposal so I can be motivated to work on this. So... what do you think?
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby xenopeek on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:10 am

Good suggestion to help out, I think that is appreciated. I'm not to happy about suggestion of Java however. There are a lot more people with PHP knowledge than with Java knowledge, and you have a lot more attack vectors on Java than on PHP. And where a website under stress is usually just a few database tweaks away with PHP, or some rewrite of your code, with Java the effort to make it perform under heavy load and not have memory leaks can quickly run into weeks of work. Don't get me wrong, Java has a lot going for it, but if you run it on the Internet or breach 100 concurrent users you need to know what you are doing...

At the IT company I work, I've worked with multiple crack Java teams (we even flew in experts from divisions in other countries) on various enterprise scale applications; to hammer down security, to hunt memory leaks and to get it tweaked to perform. It can be done, but it takes expertise to do it right. We even had a team called SWAT :lol:
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby Elisa on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:25 am

I think Php,&python would be enough. Or combined with some ajax apps, it'd be good improvements, IMHO.
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby jboer on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:08 pm

Vincent Vermeulen wrote:you have a lot more attack vectors on Java than on PHP.


I'm curious; what more can you attack with Java that you can't already do with PHP?

Vincent Vermeulen wrote:And where a website under stress is usually just a few database tweaks away with PHP, or some rewrite of your code, with Java the effort to make it perform under heavy load and not have memory leaks can quickly run into weeks of work. Don't get me wrong, Java has a lot going for it, but if you run it on the Internet or breach 100 concurrent users you need to know what you are doing...


I haven't experienced this at all. From what I've seen so far Java is much more stable than PHP. There's also a whole bunch of things that Java can do way better (PHP can't even handle longs well!). I work for a company that has numerous Java web applications running on the internet and I haven't been aware of any problems so far.

Vincent Vermeulen wrote:At the IT company I work, I've worked with multiple crack Java teams (we even flew in experts from divisions in other countries) on various enterprise scale applications; to hammer down security, to hunt memory leaks and to get it tweaked to perform. It can be done, but it takes expertise to do it right. We even had a team called SWAT :lol:


I don't want to sound rude, but it sounds to me that your company has a problem with the way the code has been written over time, not the language itself. I mean, if you need a SWAT team to sort out the mess... :P

In the work I've done so far I've come across numerous things that make Java better than PHP IMO:
  • A new process has to be spawned every single time someone visits a PHP page. It has to reinitialize everything, send some output, and then everything is destroyed. With Java & Tomcat visiting a page is just going to be calling functions in your Java code instead of making new processes. This also makes it easier to synchronize actions, whereas with PHP you have to work with locks and may be prone to a deadlock situation.
  • AFAIK both Tomcat and the Spring Framework provide security at a much lower level than PHP can provide. You can block users from going to specific URL's and even from executing certain methods in your code.
  • PHP bug: Longs aren't handled properly. In order to properly handle really large numbers you have to use a shady method to convert it to a "long": $x = $x + 0.
  • PHP has no concept of multi-threading so you can't feasibly offload work like sending an e-mail. The only way to do it is to use a cron job which involves a delay and any number of things can go wrong with this.
  • PHP is interpreted on-the-spot so it becomes more difficult for a developer to spot errors in their code. With Java errors are immediately pointed out during the compilation process and there are tools that help you to make your application more robust (like FindBugs). AFAIK PHP lacks any such functionality: you can't see the errors as you're typing the code (exception: syntax errors) and there aren't any tools that will scan your whole application to look for common mistakes.

Am I wrong?
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby xenopeek on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:22 pm

jboer wrote:Am I wrong?

There is a plus and minus to each language, and it depends on your experience which ones you see :wink: I'm colored by my experience, so I think are you. Who is right and wrong, I don't know. Perhaps my experience is less relevant; we work on J2EE projects with multiple million lines of code, servicing hundreds of concurrent users, with a high risk profile for attacks. Not really reflects the community website I guess :oops: :D

I don't have that kind of exposure to PHP, so I'll give you that you know more about the problems with that.
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby alexbarnes26 on Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:59 am

jboer wrote:See the original idea thread.

I'm a Java (web) programmer and I'd like to take a shot at rewriting community.linuxmint.com in Java.

My reasoning is as follows:
  • The current incarnation of the website is written in PHP. From experience I know that Java is a lot more stable than PHP, so I believe the rewrite is going to be a positive change.
  • I think I can stand to learn something from this, since (I hope) I'll be receiving a lot of feedback from the top web designers.
  • AFAIK the creator of the current website is clem, and he seems a pretty busy guy! This might take the work load off.
  • I'd like to get more acquainted with the community, and I think this project might allow me to do just that.
  • It doesn't hurt to try. Worst case scenario: you stick with what there is now. Best case scenario: a cool new website.

Another reason is (as the original idea thread says) to have a look at the functionality of the website and expand it with my own ideas.

My long-term vision is that this new Java website would come to replace pretty much everything Mint-related on the linuxmint.com domain (including this forum, the blog/main site, etc.). I think this is feasible if the new website is released in parts.

Naturally I'm willing to share the source-code with the Mint team (and if required/desired I can make it open-source altogether).


However as I wrote in my comment on the original idea thread I have no idea what you people think about this. I don't want to end up creating something that no-one is going to even want to look at, so I'd like to know that I have a chance of success.

I also don't have any idea when the community.linuxmint.com website was made, and who made it (AFAIK it's clem but it might be someone else). My intention is not to insult someone else's work so if I've offended someone by my suggestion I'd like to know and clear it up.

I'm finally starting to get my Mint installation under control and I'm hoping to have a functioning Eclipse installation soon. I'm prepared to work on the website & take input from the community about it... so long as I have a chance that it's actually going to be used. I'd like to know the communities' stance on my proposal so I can be motivated to work on this. So... what do you think?


Well, whatever you guys decided on.. the website design is fantastic!
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby AlbertP on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:11 am

Java would need the JRE to be installed on users' PC's, which is not always the case on Linux and also causes problems at times. PHP just works, but of course there are other programming languages that also work well.
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Remaking the (community) website?

Postby animaguy on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 pm

I think the best way to go about is to "take the pepsi challenge"

Produce a java based prototype for personal portfolio reasons...

...try to convince the Mint management to give you a page with a community-esque design...

...and see which site the community members gravitaye towards.

I have recently started to utilize the features of the community web pages. I do not have anything specific to complain about, but I believe that there is a lot of room for improvement.
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby Mozenrath on Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:20 am

At first I assumed this was a troll post, but after seeing the responses...

I'm guessing the OP is talking about some kind of server-side Java? I wasn't aware that such a thing was really in use, but anything's possible. However, I don't see any real advantage; wouldn't that require a lot more custom coding? That's a huge project, and I'm not sure that would be necessary to attain some hypothetical level of security. Since Java is more C-like(to my understanding), that's going to involve even more lines of code than PHP, and since Java creates a virtual environment, that means more memory being used. It's possible that the same task could be accomplished faster with Java but not without some cost.

If he's talking about client-side Java, well, that's just crazy. :lol:
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Re: Remaking the (community) website?

Postby steveking9174 on Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:14 am

Java is a pretty solid language in my opinion but maybe not so much for a website, what you could use java for on the other hand is to have a linux mint forum app for android etc? I dont know about you but I would love to be able to tap into the forums whilst out and about! xda have a cool little app that lets you use the forum from your android, and im sure all you filthy ios users have some alternative ;) the website as it is (imho) is good, basic but good. But as a forum user you dont want too much jazzy jeff thrown in your face, you want a nice easy to use forum where you can post/talk or whatever. the community site is good for its purpose too, why over complicate or try and improve something that works so well?

I would much rather see progress heading in the mobile device/tablet area than confuse myself and have to learn how to use the forum/community again :D

Not saying a cool fresh look wouldnt be a bad thing, throw in some cool features and some flashy stuff. Because that would be amazing. But the sites as they are work, and work well.
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