CFC to launch new website

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  • CFC to launch new website

    We have been working to clear malware warnings from our website since they first appeared on July 3. Not all web browsers display the warning, for example Microsoft Edge. Initial efforts to clean up the problem proved unsuccessful. After a more thorough investigation, we can expect further security breaches in our future and hiring expensive talent to maintain the system. The problem is with the Drupal content management system. Hackers have been able to exploit security weaknesses not known when our site was built.

    Don Parakin of the Willowdale Chess Club has generously offered his time to build us a new website. We are targeting July 24 as our launch date. At that time the basic functions: tournament listings, members lookup for expiry dates and ratings, etc. will all be there. More complex features like your tournament history will follow over the next 2 months. We should have a fully functioning website in time for the return of OTB chess.

    Until the new web site is launched, Microsoft Edge can be used to access the old site, and after the launch of the new site we will have a mechanism to access the old site until all of the features are implemented.

  • #2
    Okay good I need to look at tournaments I played in to remember my glory days (like when I drew all 7 games at the 2009 B.C. Closed)

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    • #3
      Bumping ... so I don't forget to check it out on July 24...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kerry Liles View Post
        Bumping ... so I don't forget to check it out on July 24...
        Thanks, Kerry. Here's a preview if you can't wait: https://chess-ca.netlify.app/ (warning: still has some small bugs to fix before launching as chess.ca).

        Note that this is an emergency rewrite of the website. It's an emergency because the old site is blocked to most users due to viruses. Launching the new site even though many parts will be "under construction" is better than the nothing we have now with the blocked website. The parts will be built and launched by priority over the next weeks & months. The first priority was Upcoming Events, so players can know about tournaments, and Ratings, so organizers can look up ratings and CFC expiry dates (this is based on the tdlist.txt data; coming eventually will be full rating & crosstable histories).

        Because the old Drupal-based chess.ca website suffered from many virus attacks, security is a high priority for the new chess.ca website. The new website will be a "static site" which means at run-time it has only pre-built static files, no complex executing code (like Drupal), and no database (like MySQL). So with (almost) no code and no database there's nothing for hackers to hack. For the technically curious, the new design is based on the JAMstack in general and Hugo, Netlify, Gitlab, and NetlifyCMS specifically. This approach was not as readily available 10+ years ago when the CFC chose Drupal.
        Last edited by Don Parakin; Tuesday, 21st July, 2020, 06:37 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Don Parakin View Post

          and no database (like MySQL). So with (almost) no code and no database there's nothing for hackers to hack..
          for using a MySQL database, if access is done through a "read only" mechanism (e.g. set up an account with only "SELECT" priviliges) wouldn't that be a simple and rock solid approach? You should of course sanitize all user input for your SQL commands but with those permissions, it wouldn't even matter if you forgot.

          All of the likely user requests can be done using only SELECT statements.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Don Parakin View Post

            Thanks, Kerry. Here's a preview if you can't wait: https://chess-ca.netlify.app/ (warning: still has some small bugs to fix before launching as chess.ca).

            Note that this is an emergency rewrite of the website. It's an emergency because the old site is blocked to most users due to viruses. Launching the new site even though many parts will be "under construction" is better than the nothing we have now with the blocked website. The parts will be built and launched by priority over the next weeks & months. The first priority was Upcoming Events, so players can know about tournaments, and Ratings, so organizers can look up ratings and CFC expiry dates (this is based on the tdlist.txt data; coming eventually will be full rating & crosstable histories).

            Because the old Drupal-based chess.ca website suffered from many virus attacks, security is a high priority for the new chess.ca website. The new website will be a "static site" which means at run-time it has only pre-built static files, no complex executing code (like Drupal), and no database (like MySQL). So with (almost) no code and no database there's nothing for hackers to hack. For the technically curious, the new design is based on the JAMstack in general and Hugo, Netlify, Gitlab, and NetlifyCMS specifically. This approach was not as readily available 10+ years ago when the CFC chose Drupal.
            Thanks (!) for the sneak peak Don. Yes, Drupal was a bit of overkill but at the time I guess it was felt that you spend $X and get a site that can be maintained forever... haha.
            Many people (me included) were skeptical but so it goes... I've always wondered why it couldn't just be a static web site - the only information updating daily would be ratings and upcoming tournaments etc. Drop new files every night or twice a day or whatever. SQL database is easy to use (in read only mode as Roger points out - of course) but no need to make life that complicated.

            I am disappointed there are no scrolling banners with blinking text...lol

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kerry Liles View Post

              Thanks (!) for the sneak peak Don. Yes, Drupal was a bit of overkill but at the time I guess it was felt that you spend $X and get a site that can be maintained forever... haha.
              Many people (me included) were skeptical but so it goes... I've always wondered why it couldn't just be a static web site - the only information updating daily would be ratings and upcoming tournaments etc. Drop new files every night or twice a day or whatever. SQL database is easy to use (in read only mode as Roger points out - of course) but no need to make life that complicated.

              I am disappointed there are no scrolling banners with blinking text...lol
              Kerry, that's spooky similar to what I was saying back then too lol

              But HUGE THANKS TO DON for stepping in to save it for all of us!

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              • #8
                Eventually that's a great news for us!
                cpstest.org
                Last edited by Margaret P Rodgers; Thursday, 23rd July, 2020, 12:51 AM.

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                • #9
                  FYI, the launch of the new website has begun! There is a somewhat complex set of processes and servers that help your browser locate chess.ca on the internet. As it is configured now, these only need to re-check every 24 hours to see if chess.ca has moved or not. I started the launch last night at about 8pm ET. That means sometime today your browser will learn that chess.ca has moved to a new location (exactly when depends on when your particular servers are due for their 24 hour re-check).

                  What'll happen when your browser has finally learned of chess.ca's new location? Unfortunately, chess.ca will still be blocked. That's because the thing doing the blocking (StopBadware.org and Google) won't yet know that we've fixed the problem. At about 8pm tonight, after the 24 hour relocation is complete, I will submit a request to Google to review our website (again, the first review failed because we couldn't find & remove all the viruses in the old website). Google may take a few hours or a few days to respond. We'll get there.

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                  • #10
                    Hi Don:

                    The new site looks good. I know there's a lot of work still to be done. I like that the link to the CFC discussion board is near the top of the page in the "Quick Links" section. The board is not visited much and I always felt one of the reasons was that on the CFC website main page the link was at the very bottom and was "learn more" which I thought was kind-of obscure.

                    I have a couple of suggestions regarding the tournament history and the crosstables when you get to them:

                    1. The old website was poorly designed for displaying crosstables for events with a lot of rounds. The previous website was better. The problem comes from the site breaking the game results into two (or potentially) more lines which then a) makes it harder to read; b) decreases the number of players on the screen because of the doubling of lines. Additionally it would be nice if the results were aligned so that rounds lined up in a column.

                    For example, my game results from last year's Easter Sections shows as:

                    +12 =3 =11 -16 +19 -4 =7
                    =8 +20

                    The next player in the standings has their results as:

                    =23 -22 +14 -6 +17 +11
                    +8 -2 =15

                    Looking at the two together you get:

                    +12 =3 =11 -16 +19 -4 =7
                    =8 +20

                    =23 -22 +14 -6 +17 +11
                    +8 -2 =15

                    If you remove the line breaks it would look like:

                    +12 =3 =11 -16 +19 -4 =7 =8 +20

                    =23 -22 +14 -6 +17 +11 +8 -2 =15

                    which in my opinion is easier to read and you get more results on the page/screen.

                    Formatting using a fixed-space font to make things line up would yield:

                    Code:
                    +12  =3 =11 -16 +19  -4  =7  =8 +20
                    
                    =23 -22 +14  -6 +17 +11  +8  -2 =15
                    which in my opinion is better, (Obviously some formatting adjustments would have to be made for sections that had more than 99 players for example.)

                    Additionally you get additional lines in cross-tables coming from having to break players' names onto more than one line.

                    2. A similar problem comes up in a player's tournament history on the old site. The column for the tournament name isn't wide enough and you again get the line-wrapping/doubling problem. If you look at my tournament history on the old site and scroll down just a bit, you' ll get to a point where the information being presented on-screen is taking up less than half the screen on a widescreen monitor with just about all of the tournaments listed taking up two lines because of formatting. It's ridiculous that more than half the screen is whitespace in general and this is compounded by the fact that within the list itself there is twice the whitespace that there needs to be.Steve

                    P.S. Grrr. The fixed-space formatting in the one section disappeared upon posting. I'll try to correct it later.
                    Last edited by Steve Douglas; Thursday, 23rd July, 2020, 04:21 PM. Reason: Whoops! Put the code tags around the wrong section.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Douglas View Post
                      Hi Don:


                      P.S. Grrr. The fixed-space formatting in the one section disappeared upon posting. I'll try to correct it later.
                      I am not sure this forum supports ANYTHING other than {CODE} for specifying any sort of fixed font or pre-formatted display.
                      It would be nice to not have the header "CODE:" in front of the fixed format 'box' - or at least a way to change that word to
                      something else...

                      Code:
                      This  sentence  has  two  spaces  between  adjacent  words

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for your work, Don, and for Magnus retirement joke.

                        Just wondering, is it possible to use historical tables to generate rating progression or opponent statistics? When OTB opens again, playing up will be a huge issue for juniors that went professional for a few months. I would be interested if section mainstays actually lose rating points against opponents who play up?

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                        • #13
                          WOO-HOO! FYI, the launch of the new website should be pretty much finished by now. If you do need to see something on the old website, use the "OLD chess.ca" button on the home page.

                          Steve Douglas: Yes, columns will be aligned. When it comes out, I hope you'll comment again.

                          Tony Li: I likely won't get into statistical analysis of ratings for some time as there's so much still to do already. I'll see if there is a way to make the raw data available so anyone could do it.

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                          • #14
                            The page looks refreshed indeed. Well done.

                            Several remarks:

                            CFC forum should link to the top of the forum - http://www.chesscanada.info/forum/forum.php

                            In the players rating page the FIDE ID is not shown (I checked mine LOL) . While this is not critical at this moment, it was very useful information checking players #. Even a link to the FIDE was great to double check #.

                            The page icon could be the logo of the CFC.

                            The organization names in a banner should have articles "The .." "La..." as they are in official names.

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                            • #15
                              Egis: Fixed link to CFC forums. Fixed missing FIDE ids.

                              Re logo: I guess I'm proposing this as a new CFC logo. It's more colourful, Canadian, and modern. It would look better, I believe, on team t-shirts: y'all know what it is even from a distance. The old logo was designed in the 1970's (or earlier?) so didn't take into consideration smartphones, tablets, and other small factor media. The old logo doesn't scale down in size without the words becoming unreadable. And it doesn't scale up in size without the words becoming blurry (it could but I don't have a high-resolution version of the old logo to do it).

                              Re The/La: Web devs like to preserve horizontal space (for phones, tablets, etc). fide.com doesn't do it either.

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