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Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)

Webmaster Updates

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This is a blog where updates to the website will be included.

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New Maps

Well team, I finally completed a big project on my backlog.  I wanted to redo our member maps product.  My original map tool was developed and scabbed together years ago.  In fact, it used Google Maps API v1.  Google does a major version release every three to five years.  So our map now supports V3.x.   My first version managed text files.  My most recent version used XML files.  XML files look something like this: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <document> <marker lat="Lat" long="Long" name="Name" category="Category"> <picture-pilot></picture-pilot> <picture-plane></picture-plane> <manuf></manuf> <type></type> <regis></regis> <airport></airport> <location></location> <designator></designator> <airport_website></airport_website> <e-mail></e-mail> <website></website> <notes></notes> </marker> <marker lat="26.2469" long="-80.111111" name="Ron Ackerman" category="member"> <picture-pilot></picture-pilot> <picture-plane></picture-plane> <manuf>Grob</manuf> <type>109B</type> <regis></regis> <airport>Pompano Beach Airpark</airport> <location>FL</location> <designator>KMPP</designator> <airport_website></airport_website> <e-mail>ronackerman@comcast.net</e-mail> <website></website> <notes></notes> </marker> <marker lat="43.1142699" long="-89.5315336" name="Ed Adib" category="member"> <picture-pilot>adib.jpg</picture-pilot> <picture-plane></picture-plane> <manuf>Phoenix</manuf> <type>U15</type> <regis></regis> <airport>Middletown Municipal</airport> <location>WI</location> <designator>C29</designator> <airport_website></airport_website> <e-mail>eeadib@meriter.com</e-mail> <website></website> <notes></notes> </marker> <marker lat="10.776389" long="123.015278" name="Roldolfo Z. Alvarez" category="member"> <picture-pilot></picture-pilot> <picture-plane></picture-plane> <manuf></manuf> <type></type> <regis></regis> <airport>Bacolod-Silay Int'l Apt</airport> <location>Philippines</location> <designator>RPVB</designator> <airport_website>en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacolod-Silay_International_Airport</airport_website> <e-mail>rza1224@yahoo.com</e-mail> <website></website> <notes></notes> </marker> <marker lat="40.0394297" long="-105.2258217" name="Norm Anderson" category="member"> <picture-pilot></picture-pilot> <picture-plane>N5014A.png</picture-plane> <manuf>Brditschka</manuf> <type>HB-23/2400</type> <regis>N5014A</regis> <airport>Boulder Municipal</airport> <location>Boulder CO</location> <designator>KBDU</designator> <airport_website></airport_website> <e-mail>norman.anderson@live.com</e-mail> <website></website> <notes></notes> </marker> <marker lat="-28.235072" long="29.106206" name="Barry Arnott" category="member"> <picture-pilot></picture-pilot> <picture-plane>ZS-GZT.jpg</picture-plane> <manuf></manuf> <type>Lambada</type> <regis>ZS-GZT</regis> <airport>Harrismith Airport</airport> <location>South Africa</location> <designator>FAHR-HRS</designator> <airport_website>www.airport-data.com/world-airports/FAHR-HRS/</airport_website> <e-mail>arnott.barry8@gmail.com</e-mail> <website></website> <notes></notes> </marker> Which is a pain.  Every time someone wanted to be added I need to go in and manually put the data in, sometimes in multiple place.  Plus the code for processing was complex and tricky to maintain.  I'd say it was about 1000 lines of code. So in this release: Filter commands added to the top of the map.  Once can downselect the markers by using the convenient menu on the top. The data is now sorted by last name.  Most tools sort by the first letter of the words. .  I will show the simple sort algorithm below. The data can be save in a google sheets, similar to our fly-in sign-up sheets.  In the future, I plan to let people add their own data rather than filtering through me. I hope you all enjoy it.  I estimate this upgrade at about 30 hours.  But it sure is sweet.  Probably only a couple hundred lines of code to manage, and we leverage google sheets.  I am leveraging the following packages: jQuery Tabletop.js Maplace.js Here is that clever function that gets added to the built-in sort to sort by last names: function compare(a, b) { var splitA = a.title.toLowerCase().split(" "); var splitB = b.title.toLowerCase().split(" "); var lastA = splitA[splitA.length - 1]; var lastB = splitB[splitB.length - 1]; if (lastA < lastB) return -1; if (lastA > lastB) return 1; return 0; }  

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

January Transmittal

Happy New Year from your friends at the Touring Motor Glider Association.  We hope that your plans for the upcoming year will allow you pursue your interests in touring motor gliders.  If you are an owner or pilot in the US, we hope that you will be able to attend on of our 3 fly-in events this year.  For the past 9 years we have hosted 1 event, generally on the west coast.  Last year we sponsored an event on the East coast as well as West coast.  This year we will be hosting/sponsoring 3 events.  One on the East coast, one in the Mid-West, and another on the West coast. If you think you might be able to attend one or more events, even if you aren't sure, please add your name to the sign-up sheet and indicate your estimated probability of attending.  Links to the three events follow: East Coast Fly-In
Mar 30 - Apr 2
Naples, FL [KAPF]
Info/Forum: link
Sign-Up: link Mid-West Fly-in
Aug 3 - 6
Ann Arbor, MI [KARB
Info/Forum: link
Sign-Up: link West Coast Fly-In
Aug 24 - 27
Camarillo, CA [KCMA]
Info/Forum: link
Sign-Up: link In case you missed, the most recent TMGA Newsletter is here:  link To become a formal dues-paying member, renew your membership, or make a donation:  memberships -or- donations As a reminder to newbies, the best way to start a conversation with members of the TMGA is to "Start New Topic" in a Forum.  The most general purpose forum is the one entitled Hangar Flying.  Just log into the website and navigate via the menus:  Community > Forums > Hangar Flying and then select "Start New Topic".  Here is a quick-link to that location:  link.  If you'd like to see a video tutorial on using the forums go to Support > Guides & Tutorials > Website Tutorials > 08 - Forums:  link If you are having trouble logging on to the website or need other help Contact us here:  link Best Regards, Steve Sliwa
Volunteer Webmaster
Touring Motor Glider Association

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

Touring Motor Glider Website - You Have Unread Content

This is a transmittal sent to those who have built-up unread content on the website: Hello {member}: Here is recent information about your registration on the Touring Motorglider Association (TMGA) website: Display Name: Date Registered: Last Website Login: Greater than 10 Unread Items:  Yes We have detected that it has been a long time since you logged in or that you have quite a bit of unread content accumulating on the website.  There are several reasons why this might be the case.  Let's see if we can't clear them and get you caught up with us. (1) - Forgot How to Logon to the TMGA Website We moved in December and not everyone has found the new location or perhaps some have forgotten how to log on.  Just navigate to www.motorgliders.org and click on the "Existing User? Sign In" link in the upper right corner as shown below.  You will need your Display Name (we listed it above for you) and your Password.  We recommend that you select "Remember Me" to make it easier to logon each time. If you want to go to a logon page NOW (hopefully after reading thorugh the content below) just click on this link -> Log-On Link (2) - Forgot Password Some members have forgotten their password.  We can't see it on our control panels (privacy concerns) but you can reset your password as often as you need.  Just click on the 'Forgot Password' link as show below inside the yellow circle.   You will need the e-mail address you used to register on the site, which by the way is the one to which this e-mail was transmitted.  After entering an e-mail, the software will send you an e-mail to that address.  You will click on a link within the e-mail to verify that it's you and that you want to reset your password.   The link will transport you back to the website to choose a new password.  If you want to follow this on a step-by-step basis check out this guide or this video tutorial. If you want to go to a page to reset your password NOW you can click on this link -> Reset Password Link Alternatively, you can just tell us you want us to set your password by using this link -> Contact Form - Ask Us to Set Your Password or email us at webmaster@motorgliders.org and we will manually do it, but we can't promise how fast our response will be. Incidentally, once you are logged on you can change your password by going to Account Settings by clicking on your Display Name. (3) - Unaware of New Content (Set Following/Notifications) Some members we queried told us they were unaware that new content has been added.  Presently the software technology uses an 'opt-in policy' system, which means that to be notified of new content you need to specify in advance which content areas are of interest.  This 'opt-in policy' may change in the future as the software evolves, but you should set your notifications.  It's easy though.  Just navigate to sections, pages, categories, and subcategories of interest.  Then near the top right of any such page you will see a "Follow this" box as show below:   Just click on the box to expose the options for how often you wanted to be notified by new content in this area (instantly, daily, weekly, or never) as shown below.  Never (Do not send notifications) is used if this is a subcategory of a parent category that is marked for notification but you really don't want to be notified about new content in this subcategory. There are other sections in the website that help you manage your notifications once you set some.  Just click on your name and select "Manage Followed Content'. (4) - Did Not Spot Unread Content on the Website Some members told us that they logged into the website and didn't spot the unread content.  First thing to notice is that the titles of all unread content are generally bold, making it easy to spot.   But even easier, at the top of nearly every page is a Quick Navigation Link to see all 'Unread Content' as shown below. After clicking on the link you will get a listing of unread content that you can peruse as shown below: (5) - Content of Interest has Already Been Read Some members told us that they read all of the content of interest but don't want to have to visit every page of unread content just to get it marked as read (no longer bold).  Fortunately there is a short-cut key link for this as well.  After reading all the content of interest, near the top of every page is a Quick Navigation Link to 'Mark Site Read'.  This means that after clicking this link all unread content contributed to the entire website as of that moment is marked as read.   Next time you log in only content that has been added since the time you clicked on this link will be marked as unread.  This feature was added to make it easy and time effective to scan a site for new content of interest. We are hoping this little primer will help you either get back engaged on the TMGA website or will help you get more out of it quicker and more effectively.  Please keep the feedback, suggestions, and website contributions coming. Regards, Steve Sliwa, TMGA
Volunteer Webmaster

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

February Update - Website & TMGA News

Our revered chairman, Richard Pearl, is on a vacation to Iceland in the middle of winter!?!  He forwarded a note asking me to send updates for the upcoming fly-in as well as association/website news.  If he returns with all extremities intact (no frostbite) he will author next month's update. East Coast Fly-In - The Fly-In is currently scheduled for April 7 thru April 8 in Melbourne FL.  The sign up sheet shows that we are sneaking up on a dozen attendees.  Most are coming with planes, but some are coming sans plane for a Florida spring break with their TMGA colleagues.  Now is the time to start firming up your intentions or plans.  Please check the following links for more information: Events Newsletter - General News - [ link ] Forum - Discussion About Upcoming Events - [ link ] Events Tab - Sign-Up Sheet - [ link ] General News - The TMGA now has over 900 members.  We are now incorporating in the US as non-profit, charitable organization so that US members might be able to get a tax deduction for any membership dues or contributions that might make (not required).  Our prime activities are sponsoring fly-ins, support events like the upcoming SSA convention, and developing our community with this website. Website Updates - The website has been successfully moved and had its software updated.  There are still growing pains and little bugs that are being worked.  For example, some of the notification e-mails that are sent to members have missing image links.  We are working with our vendor, IPS, to get these items fixed.  Occasionally there are some implementation issues on our side as well.  If you uncover any, please let us know.  In the meantime here are some updates of which you might not be aware. Gallery - We now have over 1500 images in our gallery.  Have contributed any of your favorite pictures yet.  Here are couple of nice ones contributed by Tim Dews in his album.    Forums -- New member Martin Stepanek from the Czech Republic has immediately jumped in and started contributions on the Phoenix forum.  He has some interesting ideas for the future.  In addition, he also added some nice YouTube videos.  Here is one he calls "Selfie":     Library -- Our online library is composed of our TMGwiki (articles) and File Exchange (uploads/downloads) and is continuing to grow.  This past month saw a number of items related to safety added.  Members are encouraged share content so our online resources continue to grow.  Website Help & Tutorials -- We started a section of guides (articles) and tutorials (youtube videos) showing how to use the website or add entries/content.  We also added a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section to help members learn the new site.  Please share suggestions on other topics that might be helpful, probably because you notice some things are tricky to use or hard to figure out.  If you are having problems, so are others.  The Help section is at this [ link ]. Lost Credentials - A heavily used section on the website is the help section, which describes how to recover lost credentials (password, display name, e-mail).  The article is here and the video tutorial is here for solving the problem on your own.  If these fail, just contact us and we'll help you out. [ contact ]    

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

Introducing the New Website

We hope you had a good holiday season and are positioned for health, peace, and prosperity in the New Year. We've been working hard at the TMGA (Touring Motor Glider Association) and as previously announced we have totally revamped our website.  We listened to issues people had with the previous website and based upon this feedback chose the Invision Power Suite community software package.  We have customized it for our purposes and we hope that you will find it powerful, flexible, attractive, and intuitive. We have the same features as in the previous website and additional ones.  Naturally, not all of the data from the previous site has been loaded yet (over 2,000 articles and files), but access to the legacy database is available until all of the data has been migrated and classified. The forums, which are the prime way to create conversations with members and to get your questions answered (in a crowdsource sense), are much more intuitive.  We are hopeful that the new website will make it conducive for our members to proactively participate in our online community. We have located the website at a new shortened URL:  www.motorgliders.org Click the link above and go there.  Your credentials from the previous website should work.  You need your Display Name (previously called User Name) and Password.  If you can't remember these but remember the e-mail you used to sign-in to the previous website, you can use the online Guide or Tutorial for Lost Passwords to recover it yourself (see Help > Guides & Tutorials).  If you don't remember your activation e-mail just use Help > Contact Us and we'll get you going. You will see that in the Guides and Tutorials section there are already 10 topics covered.  Guides include detailed screen shots and the Tutorials are short YouTube videos (about 5 minutes each) that explore various features on the website.   Early on you'll probably want to explore the website and click on areas that you want to 'Follow,' which will keep you up to date with new posts.  Hopefully it won't be long before you might be participating in topics, contribute files to share, uploading some of your best photos, or helping to add information to the TMGwiki in the Library. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.  (See Help > Website FAQ for suggestions on how to post these.) Regards, Steve Sliwa Volunteer Webmaster

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

Guides and Tutorials Sections Started

We are about to announce the website.  So a key feature on which I have been working is set of guides and tutorials for using the website.  This is a process that could last months and months as the software is big and complex.  I hope that the software is also fairly intuitive.  But, to help people good bootstrapped to start their exploration we decided to add a few such training/reference materials.  As of this entry here is the status: Table Showing Status of Training/Reference Materials
  Topic Guide Tutorial 01 - Registration X X 02 - Lost Passwords or other Credentials X X 03 - Adding or Editing Profile Information X X 04 - Navigating the Website X X 04b - Why Are My Menus Different? X X 05 - Website Overview X X 06 - Following Content & Managing Notifications X X 07 - Photo Gallery   X 08 - Forums   X 09 - Quoting Techniques in Forums   X 10 - File Exchange (Downloads)   X I also added a Website FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section at Help > Website FAQ (link).

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

Initial Move is Complete!

I originally estimated it was going to take about 20 hours to get the site-up and initial materials moved.  Well, that was a gross understatement.  Here we are about 120 hours later and finally got the initial loads moved to the new site. I am fairly happy with our new community software called Invision Power Suite.  It was first released in its current form (previously called IPB) in early 2015.  The documentation is weak, but the user community fairly strong.  I purchased the site migration services to move the forums, users and gallery from the old software (vBulletin). I hope you like the the menu structure we picked.  We can adapt it, but I think it melds well to be a partial adjustment from the old site to the new capabilities.   As mentioned we moved users & user credentials, forum posts, and gallery images.  I had to spend a fair amount of time reorganizing the galleries and make adjustments to the others.  I used the new software to implement some new capabilities: TMGwiki - This will replace our knowledgebase over time.  I was able to install the old knowledgebase software and it runs as a separate application on this new site like it ended up in the old site.  The TMGwiki is built within the current IPS software and I have it set that registered users can contribute or edit materials that aren't locked (completed).  We are working to move materials from the old knowledgebase, but ultimately anyone can add new materials.  This should allow us to build our resources even faster. Files - As part of the TMGwiki we designed a system to upload and share files. Classifieds - I used the IPS software to design a simple Classifieds database for people to post things they want to sell (or buy).  This was a popular part of the old site and I hope to make it valuable again.  Currently it's free.  To make this work I had to write some code to display multiple photos that are uploaded.  Interestingly I posted my code on the IPS Community Forum and have already gotten feedback that others have used it.  :-) Payments - I used the IPS Commerce package to design a store/shopping cart system for memberships, merchandise, and prepayment of event tickets.  It currently accepts PayPal or sending in checks.  I am waiting for "Admin" to get us permission to accept credit card payments. Events - The built-in calendar system lets anyone post events and it keeps track of those who might attend.  Our chairman, however,  wants more detailed sign-up sheets to optimize our events.  So rather than using the 'hand-coded' spreadsheets on the previous site, I found a way to embed 'Google Sheets' into webpages within our site.  This works fairly cleanly.  I hope to do some customization in the future so anyone can insert a Google Sheet into a page within the site. Newsletters - I converted the built-in blog system within IPS into a newsletter system.  We current support 3 newsletters (blogs).  One is called Chairman's Corner, Event News, and Webmaster Updates (this one). I did spend about 10 hours bringing the older Chairman's Corner and Event News over from the old site so we will have a historical record. My strategy is to continue upgrade the Library and work on Help Files and Tutorials so the website will get easier and easier for us to use.  I have a number of backed items I need to tune, but it won't be long before we will have a new community. Please keep suggestions coming on how we can do a better job of engaging. Cheers, Steve Sliwa
Volunteer Webmaster
TMGA

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

 

Hello World

Traditionally when a programmer starts working in a new environment the very first program he writes is "Hello World!" program that prints out "Hello World!" on the screen.  Sometimes this takes seconds, but it can take hours as you get all of the files properly configured.  I have been working with Invision Power on this conversion and it looks like we are ready to give it the old college try.  So here it goes:   Hello World!

Steve Sliwa

Steve Sliwa

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