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Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

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don

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:02 pm

Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

Hey All,

Just wanted to throw a quick note out there updating you on what we've been thinking behind-the-scenes and what's coming.

In a nutshell, we have some needs, desires, deadlines on support and service, and much more on our plate. All of this and more is prompting us to look at migrating EH-Net from it's current platform to something new. We're hot on keeping this community based on LAMP, but other than that, anything goes! We've been pretty much open to any platform, open source, free or commercial, that best fits our needs. Unfortunately, I'm not finding a single solution for everything, but I'm doing my best.

As you know, we currently run Joomla CMS and Simple Machines Forum (SMF) and connect them with a bridge. This allows us to have single-sign on (SSO), integrated discussions for our articles, calendar, private messaging... all within a single look and feel. I'm doing everything I can to keep it that way. It's proving harder than you would think. Argh!!

This is a short list of the larger items we'd like to tackle:

1. Move to a faster dedicated server.
2. Implement our recently purchased SSL certificate
3. Create a better backend for our advertisers
4. In addition to our Columns and Articles, setup Blogs (less formal publications with no editing process) for interested EH-Netters (PM me if you'd like to be considered)
5. Better SPAM prevention
6. Upgrade everything!!

We have a number of small items as well, but those can always be done later and/or added as we move along. The big things need to be baked in from the get-go.

With that in mind, I also want everyone to know that no project of this magnitude goes off without a hitch. There will be sacrifices on my end and yours. In the end it should set us up for big, long-term growth. Here's what I may have to sacrifice:

1. Changing the look and feel of EH-Net.
2. Taking an initial hit in the search engines as we transition to new, friendlier URLs
3. We may lose some members as they may not like new stuff. 3h!t happens.

What might happen to you:

1. Might lose functionality or have to adjust to the way old things are accomplished in the new system
2. Might lose password and have to reset it (not always a bad thing)

In the end, this process has really helped the creative juices start to flow. It slows things down on outward appearances, but it's been a lot of work that no-one sees. All in all, I'm happy and excited for the future of EH-Net.

So I have a few questions for you:

1. Are you on-board with what we may have to do?
2. How extensively do you use PMs through our forums?
3. who's interested in Blogging for EH-Net?
4. Who's willing to help test?
5. Who's willing to possibily help moderate the forums?
6. Anyone willing to lend a hand who has expertise in PHP, MySQL, design?
7. Should we implement OpenID, login with Twitter?

This should be plenty to get the conversation rolling.

Thanks in advance for always being there,
Don

PS- Please keep in mind, that I have already been at this a while and have narrowed down some decisions. Things will hopefully move very quickly.
Last edited by don on Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ziggy_567

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

Personally, I'm excited to see the new EH-Net!

To answer your specific questions:

1) Absolutely. A few growing pains that I may or may not feel are not going to drive me away from such a helpful community! Its worth the pain for me to stick around.
2) I like having the PM available, but I really don't use PM's that often.
3) Depending on the time commitment (I have 3 kids under the age of 6 and travel about 25%), I would be interested in blogging for EH-Net from time to time.
4) *raises his hand*
5) *twiddles his thumbs*
6) I'm sure someone has useful expertise on PHP, MySQL, and design, but it ain't me!
7) I don't have a strong feeling toward OpenID one way or another, but I will tell you that I typically do not link my GMail credentials (I don't use Twitter or Facebook) to very many other sites through OpenID.

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this site, Don! I'm always willing to give back where I can and am looking forward to all the changes you have in store!
--
Ziggy


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unicityd

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:50 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1. Are you on-board with what we may have to do?

I trust you to make whatever changes are necessary.  It's not like other sites don't change.

2. How extensively do you use PMs through our forums?

Not very.  I probably haven't sent a PM in six months.

3. who's interested in Blogging for EH-Net?

Maybe.  I've been blogging on my own site for a while.  I just can't say if I'd want to move things over or not. 

4. Who's willing to help test?

I'd be happy to provide feedback, but I work full-time and am in school so I couldn't devote any serious time to testing.

5. Who's willing to possibily help moderate the forums?

I'd be really happy if I could just delete spam when I see it.

6. Anyone willing to lend a hand who has expertise in PHP, MySQL, design?

Not my area :(

7. Shold we implement OpenID, login with Twitter?

I'd be willing to log in with Twitter.  Would there be any way to associate with our current usernames or would we lose those?
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YuckTheFankees

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1. Definitely.
2. I send a PM maybe once or twice a month?
3. I would be interested. I know you have a lot of experience security professionals writing for you but what if you took another approach…a newbie in security, working his way up the ranks professionally and academically (certs/security related schooling). I think having a “green” security professional blogger will help a lot of the new-comers relate.
4. I would be willing to help test in any way I can.
5. I would be happy to help moderate as well.
6. I don’t think I can help in this department.
7. I do not use Twitter, so I have no opinion.
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m0wgli

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1. 100%.

2. Infrequently.

3. In the future, but not for now.

4. I am.

5. Possibly, you know I don't like SPAM, although hopefully this won't be so much of a problem in the future.

6. Not my area either.

7. Personally I wouldn't use it, but that's no reason not to offer it to others.

EH-Net has helped me alot, so I would be more than happy to help where I can.
Last edited by m0wgli on Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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hayabusa

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

Willing to help any way I can, don.

I might use PM on here, more than many, but it's nothing crucial.

Happy to help moderate.  I know I'm generally in, looking at posts, more than 'most', due to my availability, so happy to help where I can, there. 

Would consider blogging, as well, although I've never been one to keep the world up on my day-to-day thoughts / activities, and as security / penesting are only my side / part-time gig (always willing to change THAT), I might not have as much to share, in a blog.

I'm not much for writing website code (unless I'm looking to break it, it's been yeas since I developed websites / pages), so my skills won't be much help, there.

Testing, sure. Glad to help.  OpenID / Twitter logins, again, sure, although I generally don't use that feature.

Let me know if I can assist.
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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caissyd

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:27 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

First of all, I am 100% behind the proposed changes Don. So go for it!

My answers:
1) 100%
2) About once a month. I don't see this to be a critical thing to keep. Sometime useful, but nothing more than this...
3) I don't have much time these days, but I can definitively see myself blogging in the future.
4) I will be happy to help you test Don
5) Like Hayabusa, I am on the forum very often. I wouldn't mind at all being a moderator
6) I know MySQL very well, so I can help on this side. I don't know PHP much, but I know a very good designer who is also an ethical hacker. Let me talk to him... ;)
7) I don't care about OpenID or login with Twitter. Whatever you want to do!

Also:
- SSL is a great idea !!
- I would be very happy with a faster server, I have noticed some important delays in the past year or so
- A new design wouldn't hurt, so feel free to change it!  ;)
- Don't worry about us losing some functionalities. We spend 99% of our time on the forum anyways!

So that's good news Don! I can't wait to see the new site! :)
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KrisTeason

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:48 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1. With EH-NET all the way!
2. Not too extensively. Less than a handful of times a year am I messaging users.
3. Possible
4. I could also help you test.
5. Like a couple of the other members, I've been a consistent long-term member. I would love a moderator opportunity as long as we do not discount moderators winning the fabulous prizes.
6. Not my expertise but I've taken a couple PHP and Web Dev Classes in College. Could be a possibility of me helping.
7. Open to the idea of implementing these. I do not use them personally.

Excited about the new changes. The new spam measures will prove effective. We get bots signing up here occasionally. Looking forward to it.
eCPPT (Silver/Gold), eWPT, GSEC, GISP, GCIH, OSCP, OSWP
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azmatt

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1. Absolutely
2. A decent amount to ask questions
3. I couldn't offer much except for reviews of the courses I take but I would absolutely do that.
4. I'm game
5. A report as spam button would be awesome
6. Not much help here
7. No opinion
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superkojiman

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:04 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

This is exciting news. To answer your questions:

1. Definitely. Looking forward to it.

2. Not very much at all.

3. Unsure.

4. I'd be willing to help test.

5. If it means less spam, then yes, I'd be willing to help moderate. I work full time but I'm on EH pretty much everyday, so sure.

6. Not me forte.

7. Doesn't matter to me.
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venom77

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:11 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1) Onboard with changes? Certainly
2) Use of PMs? Every now and then
3) Blogging? It's a good idea, will help expand content
4) Test? Sure
5) Moderate? Sure
6) Develop? Well since there weren't many other replies for this one guess I'll raise my hand. It's been a while since I messed with Joomla but if you need some custom modules built or modifications made to underlying code I'm sure I can help
7) OpenID? Impartial but I think it could be useful

Oh and, of course, we all appreciate your work and efforts in building this community, Don. Great job over the years! Glad to be here and happy to help out where possible.
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r2s

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:28 pm

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

1. Definitely.
2. Once or twice a month.
3. I'm down to toss something in every now and then once I gain more experience in my new role.
4. I am pending free time post engagements.
5. Can't at the moment due to time constraints but would definitely look into it in the future if offered.
6. Not my area of expertise
7. I don't use it but it would be cool to see that option available to those who do.
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dynamik

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:18 am

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

don wrote:2. Implement our recently purchased SSL certificate
...
5. Better SPAM prevention


Nice!

don wrote:2. Taking an initial hit in the search engines as we transition to new, friendlier URLs


Depending on how things change, it may be possible to script 302 redirects for the existing content. I've done this before. Then you're not having people lose bookmarks, etc. as well. Your rankings will probably skyrocket with the descriptive URLs, so it will certainly be worth whatever the initial hit is.

don wrote:3. We may lose some members as they may not like new stuff. 3h!t happens.


Then they were not worthy in the first place. Deal with it.

don wrote:1. Might lose functionality or have to adjust to the way old things are accomplished in the new system


I'm curious what functionality may be lost. This version of SMF seems rudimentary compared to other current platforms. Any changes should be fairly intuitive to this crowd.

don wrote:1. Are you on-board with what we may have to do?


Yes.

don wrote:2. How extensively do you use PMs through our forums?


I guess I'm in the minority as I use them fairly often. Granted, I usually switch to some form of IM once I build up a rapport with someone and start exchanging messages frequently. I'd be most concerned about losing the PMs I have stored (17 pages). I could script a download of those easily enough, but less active members may miss notice that they'll be disappearing if it's not possible to carry them over. Maybe you could keep a legacy read-only copy of the current forums available if nothing else.

don wrote:3. who's interested in Blogging for EH-Net?


I'm going to sound like a snob, but if I'm putting something custom together for EH, I'd rather have that go as one of the featured pieces, such as the reviews I've done, as opposed to a blog article. I'd typically post something less formal on my own blog.

don wrote:4. Who's willing to help test?


Sure.

don wrote:5. Who's willing to possibily help moderate the forums?


Probably nothing extensive due to time constraints, but I could remove any spam that makes it through the filter, as I come across it.

don wrote:6. Anyone willing to lend a hand who has expertise in PHP, MySQL, design?


Again, depends on how much time would be required. I could help out with bits and pieces.

don wrote:7. Should we implement OpenID, login with Twitter?


I'm personally not big on using social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to authenticate to other sites, but it might be beneficial to provide them as optional authentication methods for those that want them. I don't use OpenID either, but again, it might be a nice compliment to the built-in authentication mechanism for those that want it.
The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete.
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Jamie.R

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:15 am

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

I use this site alot in the past few months I have not been about as been buying house and getting married and all the other wonderful things about life.However here is what I think..


1. Are you on-board with what we may have to do?
Yes as in the long run it will benefit the end user.

2. How extensively do you use PMs through our forums?
I hardly ever use PM's I think they are more used by people spamming me.

3. who's interested in Blogging for EH-Net?
I could maybe do some stuff depending on topics so on.

4. Who's willing to help test?
I am more than happy to test/break the new site.

5. Who's willing to possibily help moderate the forums?
This would depend on how it was done and if there were certain times but again I could possible help.

6. Anyone willing to lend a hand who has expertise in PHP, MySQL, design?
My PHP, MYSQL are a little rusty but I dont mind getting involved and helping in anyway I can.

7. Should we implement OpenID, login with Twitter?
I am not too sure on this I mean it would make it easy to log on but I like to have different username and password and just reset them when I get them rather than using same one.
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caissyd

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:57 am

Re: Change is Coming to EH-Net!!

4. Who's willing to help test?

Don, if you are talking about Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Tests, I think you will get a lot of cheap labor form us!  ;D
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