Wednesday, July 20, 2016

T-Rank website note

Over the past few days I've been transitioning the T-Rank website (at over to a different server on the backend. Short story: everything should work the same and all the old links (well, most of them) should forward automatically to the new corresponding page. So please let me know if you run into any problems.

Long story:

Previously, I used a nifty service called Site44 which turns a folder in your dropbox into a web server. So I would just create all the team pages, conference pages, date pages, etc., every time I ran the T-Rank program, save all the files to a local folder, and they'd magically appear on the web.

The only real problem with this was that some bad people use the Site44 service for nefarious purposes, apparently. So Site44's server IP address was getting banned by some aggressive firewalls. I finally decided to bite the bullet and and set up my own hosted web server on the Amazon cloud service (EC2).

The only problem with this is that my old way of doing things -- creating hundreds of small html files and uploading them every time I made a change -- was no longer practicable, because getting the files to my server in the cloud would take a half-hour or more every time. Instead, I had to learn a new programming language (php) so that I could set up a few template pages which will dynamically create the actual webpages when called. Now I'll just upload a few data files whenever I make changes, and the server takes care of the rest.

Anyhow, we can now add php to python, javascript, jquery, css, and html on the list of programming I've (sort of) learned in bringing T-Rank to the web. Next on the list is SQL. In theory I could potentially turn this new knowledge into something practical someday!