Welcome to yet another new version of EOFFTV! Change was long overdue and while the process has been a long one behind the scenes, it’s far from complete and these are just a few notes to fill you in on some of the changes, some of the outstanding issues and what’s going to be happening next.

Why has EOFFTV changed?
The site was had previously being run on Mediawiki for many years, the software that powers Wikipedia and many other similar sites. And for most of those years it was the perfect platform for EOFFTV but unfortunately, an upgrade to PHP, one of the core requirements for running Mediawiki, caused all kinds of problems with the site. Upgrading Mediawiki to catch up is no mean feat and could easily have led to the site disappearing altogether so the decision was taken to move the site to a new platform, WordPress. In the year or so that the new site has been undergoing development several updates to WordPress have been released and they’ve all be handled seamlessly in the background and without any need for my intervention – this bodes very well for the future and hopefully all future upgrades will go ahead just as smoothly.

So what’s changed?
There are a number of differences between this version of EOFFTV and its predecessor and the key one is that, for now, it’s much smaller. The process of transferring the data from MediaWiki to WordPress in a format that suits me best requires me to transfer everything by hand. As you might imagine, this Is a time-consuming process and is far from finished. To make the process a little easier, I’ve taken the decision to temporarily restrict what EOFFTV covers to film and television made prior to 2000 – so, as the new subheading says, from 1892 to 1999. This doesn’t mean that post-millennial film and TV will never be covered – it certainly will, but for the sake of what’s left of my sanity I need to limit things to a far more manageable data set. Given the unprecedented boom in film production since 2000, it’s hard work keeping up with everything new that gets released so I’m saving all that for another day. A few stray pot-2000 entries have made it through but not many and the bulk of that work will happen another day.

What happens next?
There’s a huge amount of work still to do and this is the planned order I’ll be doing it in:

  • Continue to transfer the remaining pre-2000 records to the new system going one genre at a time. To begin with, I’ll be adding all the horror films to the site, going more or less chronologically. I’ll move on, in order, to science fiction, then fantasy and eventually animation, the latter only being saved until last as there are so many of them.
  • Most links between pages haven’t been made yet – this includes links out to The EOFFTV Review (I’ll probably do these first) and connections between internal pages.
  • Title card images, where available, will be added to everything on the site, replacing the generic placeholder that you’ll find on most entries at the moment.
  • I need to deal with the problem of entries not being in strict alphabetical order in searches, categories and tags – some of this can be automated but definite articles are still a problem and will need to be reordered manually.

There will be other things that need doing along the way, but these are the priorities for now.

Anything else?
There may be some stray code left over from the Mediawiki incarnation – if you spot any do let me know (there’s a new contact form in place linked at the top of each page).

In future, plans are in place for all sorts of new features – “born on this day” and “released on this day” features, for example – but they’re low down the priority list at the moment

I’ll also be looking at some point to bring the review site “in house” – it’s currently hosted on wordpress.com which only allows for very limited functionality unless I spend money I don’t have to upgrade it. Moving it in-house will give me much more control over the site and allow me to do far more interesting things with it, but that really is for a much later date.

You may also find that some features, like the related posts and most popular pages are a bit wonky to start with. It’ll take some time for these to get going. The more pages that are added, the more useful they’ll become.

How can I keep up to date with progress?
You can find us on social media where I post links to new reviews and will be posting news on how things are going at EOFFTV. You can find us on:

Above all else…
…please bear in mind that there’s only one of me running this thing and so it takes time to get everything done. I’m going as fast as I can but please bear with me! There will be mistakes, duplicate entries, and other errors but I’ll trap them all eventually. If you see anything that’s amiss on your travels around the site, do please let me know and I’ll get it fixed ASAP.

Kevin Lyons