Announcements Alien Soup Kitchen Update - Oct 2017


Code Monkey
Staff member
The kitchen here at Alien Soup has been quiet lately so here's a list of some of the things being worked on.... :smiley:

This week we welcomed the ScaryMinds team to the Soup! As much as I love the sci-fi & fantasy genres these guys & gals love the horror genre.

The forum software we use, XenForo, has a major new version in beta. Test installs are being created so we can test the new version as well as work on stuff like getting our custom theme ported to the new version. With the new version our site theme may be tweaked a little bit as we go to give it a lighter feel. If anybody is interested in checking out the new software please speak up and when the test installs are ready you'll be able to check it out.

It is due to the new imminent major software update that I'm also looking at what 3rd party add-ons we use and cutting back any that aren't really being used by the community. Stuff like the Media gallery is a first party add-on (meaning it comes from the same people who make the forum software) so that won't be going anywhere, and the creator of our chat room has already gotten a beta version of it working so that'll be good to go. We might replace the post ratings add-on with one from a different vendor when the time comes.

Speaking of the current post ratings, the icons (or "emoji") used for some of them may be changing a little bit and/or the smilies available may be changing. In short, the post ratings icons/emoji don't match their site wide smilies/emoji graphics so I'm working on getting them matching so that the same "thumbs up" or "like" emoji is the same everywhere.

... and all of the emoji will likely change again at some point. The new forum version uses EmojiOne images which offer some advantages such as SVG images. There are other emoji collections out there and we may switch to either EmojiOne or somebody else like Noto Emoji which are maintained by Google.

I'm trying to get the "10 Questions with..." articles restarted. It's been a bit since we've done one and I have some ideas in my head. If anybody knows a good candidate that we can reach out to and would be interested in being interviewed please let us know!

The Competitions (aka: "contests") area will be likely brought back as well. I'm trying to get a confirmation from that add-on creator that they're committed to updating the the add-on to work with the new version of the forum software that is coming; if they aren't then I'll need to look at other solutions.

Behind the scenes a lot of domains that were in the collection and were pointing to "" are being allowed to lapse and not get renewed. As a "forum" this site has been online going back to 2004 and so over the years there is a huge amount of domain names, and a few "sister sites", that have been gathering up. When we transitioned to the Alien Soup name most of those sister sites were merged into here and the various domains setup to redirect to here. For a hobby the costs of keeping those domains registered is pretty high (if my wife ever finds out how many domains I actually had at the high point I think she just might not be happy :angelic:) so most of them are being abandoned with all resources being directed to keeping "" going. This really shouldn't have any affect on anybody other helping to lower our yearly costs by a pretty big margin.
OK, I'm sure I missed something but that is the bulk of what's going on around here at the moment.
To me its all magic.
Perhaps you could put a DONATE button.
You may not need to depend on donations but wouldn't anything help?
There are plenty of us that value what you give us.
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