GVNext

I finished up another fun project at work a few weeks ago – a ground-up rebuild of the GVSU news site – https://www.gvsu.edu/gvnext. The previous site wasn’t built to showcase photography very well and the new version highlights that to allow for more or a storytelling feel than just an information dump. Here are a few of the details on some of the fun parts as well as some of the challenges.

Another React Editor

Like the GVMagazine site, I created a while ago this site utilized React for the “article builder” – where content is actually added to stories by the authors. While getting React to play well without infrastructure can be a hassle, in cases like this it is really worth the effort. The editor ended up sharing so much with the GVMagazine that I am thinking of abstracting away some of the differences and writing a react library to use in both of them. With the Fall semester starting soon I probably won’t have time to work on it anytime soon, but I think it would be an interesting problem to solve and also cut down on ongoing maintenance of the two systems – maybe I could even open-source it.

Migration

One of the requirements for this project was that all of the old content be imported into the new system. While migrations are rarely fun, this was going to be taking content that was written in all the way back to 1999! The content had been imported into several versions of the site since then so mapping all of the images, tags and article content to the new system took some time.

Overall it was a fun project, it was on a but of a tight timeline and it integrates with so many projects at GVSU it was a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s also one of the most visited sites on gvsu.edu, and it’s always fun working on things that really get used a lot.

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