In Spring 2013, the Internet Task Force is completing work on the Members Area as well as 2013 Convention resources such as registration and video/webcasting planning.

We are looking for volunteers with PHP/MySQL and basic IT skills to help build out the Members Area and assist with managing our MDRS websites, also helping to move older content and offline content to more modern platforms.

If you are interested in joining the Internet Task Force, please email the webmaster with your interest and any relevant experience.  We use Skype as our primary method of communication, so please provide your Skype ID as well.



Previous Update (October 2012)

Here are some current tasks & projects (large &small) being undertaken by the Internet Task Force.  Please contact James Burk if you would like to assist with one of these.  These are in rough order of importance & priority.

1. Members Area (major project) – Building out new Members Area to allow individual current Mars Society members to login and edit their information (name, address, email), as well as connect with local chapters and earn achievement badges.  We are hoping to build out a new Drupal 7 – based application with Mozilla Open Badges.  Relevant skills needed: Drupal 7 + Views module, MySQL database skills, badge designs, descriptions of member/chapter tasks & activities.  Status: we are still very early in this project but aiming for a November 2012 launch.
2. 2013 Convention – sponsorship page (small project) – we have an immediate need to create a page similar to this one done by NSS. [example:http://isdc.nss.org/2012/PDF/ISDC_SponsorOpport2012-Rev4-1-12.pdf ]  This will be for the 2013 Mars Society convention which was just announced. Relevant skills needed: Graphics design, standard HTML.  We will host this on Google Sites.  Status: not started.
3. Political Action Website (major project) – we need to build out the new website for this task force, based on previous versions done by The Mars Society.  Features could include email/fax your congressman, volunteer/coordinate congressional outreach activities.  Relevant skills needed: Google Sites, PHP/MySQL, knowledge of USA politics.  Status: Just getting started; some research on previous iterations.
4. Chapter wordpress template (small project) – need to create a wordpress template which can be used by chapters.  We are trying to standardize on WordPress as the platform for new chapters.  James worked with Bryan Guzman to build the new LA chapter website using WordPress:http://losangeles.marssociety.org  Relevant skills needed: Graphics design, WordPress themes (standard HTML + CSS in a specific format).  Status: not started.
5. Support for MDRS website / crews (ongoing operations) – The MDRS field season will be starting soon (see countdown on mdrs.marssociety.org ) – the remote science team and mission support teams need help building out their websites & documentation.  Relevant skills needed: Google Sites, copyediting & writing, technical writing.  Status: new MDRS site created & being fleshed out.
6. NewMars.com site & forums (major project) – we need to build out the new New Mars Journal site, and continue to improve the forums there.  We are recruiting folks for a new editorial board and eventually could have this be another content site for the Mars Society (as it used to be).  At a minimum, just getting ITF folks to visit & post in the Newmars.com forums would be great.  Relevant skills needed: community management, forums security / spam prevention, FluxBB. Status: underway, no fixed deadlines.
 — 6b. Recovery of Newmars.com forums data (small project but extremely technical) – See bottom of this page for more details, also within the New Mars forums (thread: The Great Crash)
7. Fix Marspedia (major project) – we are working with the Moon Society to secure and upgrade Marspedia.org.    Relevant skills needed: MediaWiki, knowledge of standard web security.  Status: underway, weekly meetings on ASI MOO.
Other investigation areas (non-project):
 – creation of a BOINC application (BOINC is the successor to Seti@home), we have ideas for this and can provide some high level details, but it would be for the programmer to flesh out.  We have support from Project Constellation which is an open platform for distributed computing and aerospace related numerical problems.” http://aerospaceresearch.net/constellation/
 – use of Twitter Bootstrap + Font Awesome as official mars society UI toolkit / create official Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) document.
 – integration with Github, so we can open source & share any custom code.

– Single sign on across mars society sites.  (this is a hard problem, I have already spent several hours on it but not much in the way of a good solution.  Drupal + Facebook for example dont play well without a lot of custom code.)


Previous Update (09.09.2012) 

nextgen.marssociety.org – open for creating your login via Google or native Drupal (select “nextgen.mars” button)

education.marssociety.org – new education blog & page.

desert.marssociety.org – refresh of home page completed.

Investigation Areas:

Drupal: Views module and BaseBuildingBlocks theme

Twitter Bootstrap UI + Font Awesome for members area and future Mars Society ‘human interface guidelines’/hig

WordPress: Mars Society chapters stock theme

GitHub integration

Single-Sign On
– – goal is to have all Mars Society websites working with either OpenID or Google.  Facebook likely ruled out due to complexity.  Investigating Firefox Persona product also.

Comparison of: Drupal vs. Drupal Commons vs. Acquia Drupal
— this is needed for the new Members Area as well as MDRS teams

Recovery of MySQL database files from crashed server
— high priority but extremely hard technical problem. We have files in mysql-bin.0000 format and need to build a new mysql dump file “filename.sql” which can be imported into a fresh mysql DB.  We need to reconstruct the original schema of the database from those files.  There are 90GB worth of mysql-bin.* files, with no original *.sql dump file.