(scroll down for an update!)
Almost a year has passed since I took over and I wanted to give a brief overview about what happened since then, and what I plan to do in the future.
After moving the sites to my server, I started off by fixing rct2.com, which got broken over the years. I also restored several pages that were cut in the past for being outdated - as the whole rct2.com is a time capsule of the early-to-mid-2000s, cutting old content doesn’t make much sense. I also managed to get into contact with MidWestBoyInLA, the owner of RCT*Mart and started restoring that site too (the forums are still to be done, but the self-checkout works). I also added several others, mostly from the Internet Archive (which unfortunately did not always archive everything). All of these sites are accessible via HTTPS and have their encoding issues fixed, so they should work as well as they did in their heyday. You can visit the landing page for the archive at https://archive.rctspace.com/ . As always, if you have a backup of any relevant site, content, or something like that, please get in touch.
That leaves the forums. These run on IPBoard 3.4, which is outdated, not safe, and require the end-of-life PHP 5.6. The fact that it’s outdated is quite easy to notice if you ever tried registering in the recent past - it tries to use ReCaptcha v1, which has been unavailable for a few years. Uploading files to the Ride Exchange has also been broken for quite some time. There are basically two possible paths to update: I can buy a licence for a newer version of IPBoard and try to upgrade, or I can switch to other forum software. The latter is more involved, but avoids the large fees that come with licensing IPBoard. I also find IPBoard quite finicky to work with, and since I have to maintain it...
Anyway, whatever path I choose, it’s going to take quite some time. I might even write separate web applications that make the content that is currently available in the Downloads and Ride Exchange section available outside of the forum software. That would also allow me to add content from other archived sites (like ToonTowner, Amazing Earl), making it easy to download everything instead of having to hunt around several sites. There is also the possibility of cooperation with OpenRCT2 (for which I am a team member), as having a “Store” with rides, scenery, track designs etcetera there is a long-fostered wish.
Finally I should stress that, for the users, this forum will remain as much the same as possible, even if the code behind it all is massively changed. All old posts and topic will continue to work, you will be able to log in, it will look (mostly) the same. But I hope to end up with a much more secure codebase that also allows for extra features and functionality, and which fixes the stuff that is currently broken. We might never be as active again as we were in the 2000s, but I’m not willing to let it rot away.
To another 20 years of RCTSpace!