Upcoming site change

Added by jcw over 3 years ago

Redmine has been around for a while, and seems to be evolving nicely with each new release.
Which is why I’m quite happy with it. The only issue, is that I do need to update this setup from time to time.
So this note is a pre-announcement about doing just just that in the next few weeks.

But I also would like to switch the entire site to use Markdown instead of Textile as text formatting mode.
This is an all-or-nothing decision, alas. So my idea is to flip the big switch one day. It’s long overdue.

This has several consequences:

  • if the current forum and wiki pages are not converted, they’ll look a bit (very?) odd
  • you will need to enter posts in markdown style once the mode is changed to Markdown

I may have a brief go at converting the important parts of this site in one big sweep using pandoc, but this will probably require quite a bit of sleuthing, and my MySQL skills aren’t so great. The conversion of each page, article, comment, post can be sent through a tool called PanDoc - which should be quite good at it, actually. It’s more the steps to get each of those pieces out, send it through, and put it back into the database which seem a bit tricky to me.

Anaway - just wanted to let people know that this change is likely to happen in the near future.

The good news, is that links and contents won’t change. This won’t affect the structure of the site in any way - just how it looks, and how you add and edit text from then on.

If anyone has tips which can help make this a smooth process, please do let me know.

-jcw, your friendly sysadmin

PS. I’ll probably also increase the default font size of this site a bit. It’s really too cramped right now…

Replies (13)

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by tve over 3 years ago

Cool. This is a bit of a tangent, but the biggest issue I have with the JeeLabs sites is that they’re disconnected. I can’t form a mental map of where the wiki sits, the blog, the shop, the forums, the documentation. They all use different styles and none of them have any coherent top-level nav. I don’t really know what “Cafe” means in this context and I don’t know how it relates to projects. The Cafe has an “overview” link at the top, which doesn’t go anywhere useful that I can tell. I don’t know how to get to the blog from the cafe. Etc. Sorry, this sounds like a rant, I didn’t intend that, I only wanted to provide some input if you’re getting ready to do some fall cleaning ;-).

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by jcw over 3 years ago

Three domains:,,
Café == community? (forum & wiki)
My go-to site is, it has all the other places linked at the top.

I know it’s not coherent, but that’s because WordPress and Redmine are two different tools, with different theming.
Agree that it’s not optimal. Suggestions on how to improve this, and help also, always welcome!


RE: Upcoming site change - Added by Mars over 3 years ago

Hmmmm, is down due to site change?

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by jcw over 3 years ago

Not yet :) - the WordPress VM ran out of memory (I think it’s MySQL). Restarted.

-jcw, your friendly sysadmin

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by Mars over 3 years ago


Too many visiters or too many blogs!

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by jcw over 3 years ago

The first part of the jeelabs.* site changes is now complete - the weblog is now running as a 100% static site.

I’m probably also going to switch to a new static website generator soon, for future posts and articles. There’s no point having a LAMP stack involved, when nginx + static files can do the job, as is the case here with the publish-only weblog.

A test version of Redmine, with all wiki and forum content converted from Textile to Markdown is also working here at JeeLabs, but it’s still work-in-progress for now. This forum will continue to run as is until final checks and a fresh conversion works as expected.

One effect of all this, is that a small Linux single-board computer is going to replace the Mac Mini and its three VM’s here. Cheaper, lower power, but most important of all for me: simpler. Besides, I want to re-purpose that machine.

We tend to keep piling up stuff, because we can - how silly…

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by jcw over 3 years ago

The next 2 weeks are going to be a bit painful here at JeeLabs, as I juggle different web site & server configurations. Updating the weblog for example, is a bit manual right now: the old setup is not quite gone, and the new one is not quite ready… but not to worry: new posts should all resolve themselves within a day, if not hours.

Likewise for this forum. I’ll be flipping the switch somewhere later this week. Same url, same site, same content, same logins, but using Markdown as markup style instead of Textile, and running on a different server.

I’m looking forward to the day when this will all be over - “reculer pour mieux sauter”, as they say!

To be continued…

RE: site change - Added by jcw over 3 years ago

Ok - if all is well (and if you have enabled notifications on your account page), this message will reach you as email.
This means that the JeeLabs Café and the other project areas at are all online again.

So what has changed? Nothing of substance, really, though it was all long overdue:

  • the forum and wiki now use Markdown text formatting instead of Textile (like GitHub and many other sites)
  • it's all running 24/7 on a new Odroid XU4 server - see the details in this weblog post
  • the server draws just 4W of power and sits on a fast FTTH connection in Houten, NL

All in all, some 7500 posts, comments, and pages have been converted, using Pandoc and some custom scripting. While not perfect, the conversion has turned out surprisingly effective. Most text formatting styles and links have been accurately translated from Textile to Markdown. In the remaining cases, the original intent and content should still be intact. Feel free to point out any errors, or better still: to adjust the text where needed (if you don't have edit access, just ask).

Cheers - and onwards!

-jcw, your friendly sysadmin

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by JohnO over 3 years ago

Looking good, email received.

RE: Site change complete - Added by jcw about 3 years ago

After 50 days of uninterrupted operation, it seems fair to say that the transition from 3 VM's on the Mac Mini to the Odroid XU4 has been a success. Everything appears to be running smoothly. The server is still sitting on my desk right now, I've yet to move it next to the WiFi router - will probably do so soon.

One slight regression seems to be the time to add a new post or comment on this forum, which suspends the browser for several (5..10) seconds before returning the updated page. I suspect that this is caused by the fairly large number of emails being generated, as change notifications to everyone watching that forum or forum topic. Oh well, no big deal.

Onwards! :)

-jcw, your friendly sysadmin

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by JohnO about 3 years ago

There is a tool button with "pre"  on the toolbar for this edit window. It produces three tilde symbols.

Is this still correct in the new regime or should it now produce three ticks ("`").

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by JohnO about 3 years ago

Test text using 3x 'ticks'
more using 3x tilde

RE: Upcoming site change - Added by jcw about 3 years ago

Interesting - might be a bug in Redmine's renderer. I think the back-ticks are the Markdown convention. Maybe the tildes are older or Textile?