What’s this about?
The NAFLM Milestone 1.0 is a major update to the OBBLM code, carried out under the NAF banner by a international team of volunteers. The project launched in June 2015 at github.com/thenaf/naflm and the first major update of the software will see general release on June 30.
What’s included in this release?
The launch will take the form of two download packages for public distribution and inherits all permissions of the terms of the original OBBLM user agreement. Those files will be separate install and update zip packages, hosted at thenaf.net/leagues/using-obblm, and include extensive release and instructions to help users get to grip with rolling out the software to their own league.
The software itself will be instantly recognisable to anyone who’s used obblm before, with the majority of changes focussed on improving the administrator and commissioner experience, moving all but the most advanced administrator tasks to the front end (such as changing the messages on the site, organising the tables on a league’s front page, and choosing the league colour scheme) – it’s no longer necessary to be confident with changing code to get your league set up the way you want it. That said there are a number of simplifications and improvements for the general user, including improvements to the match result sheet, the introduction of a new mobile interface, and in how teams are created. We’ve also moved a number of permissions from tasks previously associated with admins to the commissioner permission set, giving local commissioners access to a much greater set of fluff and league background tools than before.
Delivering against that brief has relied heavily on the work of Ian ‘Doubleskulls’ Williams, whose own modules have formed a key part of the move of back-end tasks to user friendly, front-end interfaces; to the team of volunteers who contributed code, issues or translations to the project over the last year; to all the commissioners of NAF hosted leagues who’ve patiently reported issues and faults in the beta over the last six to nine months; and most of all, to the original OBBLM team, whose brilliant software we’ve merely augmented with this batch of changes.
What does this mean for the NAF hosted OBBLM site?
Commissioners of current sites will be sent a copy of the documentation as soon as it’s finalised along with instructions for preparing for the upgrade. In essence, the current hosting will still be supported, and now gain a raft of enhancements as the new software will be rolled out to the existing install at thenaf.obblm.com on the launch date, 30 June. At that time the site will become a direct copy of thenafdev.obblm.com (though images attached to teams, stadiums, coaches etc will be retained from the current naf obblm site).
What comes next for the NAFLM project?
The NAFLM project will continue to operate at thenafdev.obblm.com, with periodic milestone releases, until there are no more volunteers to work on it. Submissions to the project can be made by anyone with a [free] github account. To get involved, visit the project’s repository at github.com/thenaf/naflm to contribute issues, ideas, or code of your own.
Note that the github is for code, bugs within the system itself, new feature requests etc – assistance with setting up or managing your league would be better sought out through alternate channels. The NAF forum and talkfantastyfootball are both good sources of assistance (and it’s now easier than ever to assist you thanks to the new /troubleshoot.php page included as standard in this release) in the event that support is needed for config or non-standard requests.
Final note of thanks
While the work in this milestone obviously owes a huge debt to the original OBBLM authors Nicholas Mossor Rathmann, William Leonard and Niels Orsleff Justesen, and all else who contributed to progress before the NAFLM was even a concept; this version is the product of hundreds, if not thousands, of additional volunteer hours, across 252 updates and over a hundred issues and requests. So to everyone who contributed code, ideas, translations, hosting, troubleshooting, user testing and advice – huge credit, and thanks, are due 🙂
Particular thanks go on my part to Ian ‘Doubleskulls’ Williams, for developing many of the components we built this release around, and for digging out the sql functions and table structures that helped us adapt them for the NAF; William ‘funnyfingers’ Leonard (again) for his ridiculous reserves of patience in teaching me basics I needed to get started; to Craig ‘rythos42’ Fleming for taking over the development at a point where I’d pushed beyond the limit of my abilities, and bringing an order and fresh ambition that’s really shaped the release we see here; and to Scott ‘thefloppy1’ Bartel for his incredible timesink and dedication in creating the user guides and release documentation that will accompany the final release.
Last but not least, a special thanks goes to the guys at FUMBBL for generously allowing the NAF to use their original artwork as icon sets in the updated roster images. The new icons are a big improvement on the previous iterations and it’s great to finally see teams like Nurgle, Slann and Chaos Pact get their own images, as well as the three optional league rosters included in the release.
A full changelist will follow closer to release.