As most people know I am one of 2 developers for Buzzen. I started volunteering my services about 5 years ago I think. Initially I was asked if I would create a new room bot for Espressobar. A previous staff member of Buzzen had quit and apparently took the RoomBot with him. I was only semi familar with Buzzen's irc functionality but within a couple of days I had Bot_Tenacity up and running. That started my new "job" with Buzzen. I had been asked to work for Buzzen before, but had turned down the request because I had little interest in working with a chat still using the MSN OCX. I thought it was a poor business decision and at some point OCX would be a thing of the past and any network still using it would need to find something different. Buzzen had released Buzzen v2 ( Code Name Armageddon lol ). Those around in those days will remember the transistion did not go well. The fault was not in deciding to get away from the OCX and embracing a better system, but rather in the preperation for the release. As I am told very little testing went into the website change. After I took over the website I found many areas that were left unfinished by the previous development team. ( They were actually paid very good money for their shoddy work ). The webchat was still in beta so to speak and buzzen was it's first real test. I can't find any real fault on that side of things. Most of hte issues were because of the website.
After creating the bot I agreed that I would take a look at the website coding and fix a few issues. It took a couple of days of just looking through the code to understand the system that was created for V2. For a year or so I patched holes and updated things all the while knowing what was needed was a 100% overhaul. I played with the layout several times but really never fully changed the functionality of the site other than minor updates. Jay finally came to the same conclusion that I did. Buzzen needed to be rewritten from scratch. I had been working on that very thing for months and was happy when it was finally approved. If the Buzzen website was on it's own it would be a very easy project to work on. However when you throw chat into the mix and two different OS's things begin to get complicated rather quickly. We have spent a lot of time and effort making the two things into one and still have a lot of work left to get to where we want to go with this project. It really has taken the full 5 years to get Buzzen to where it is as far as functionality. Within the last year or so I took over development of the webchat gui. I've made a lot of design changes as well as some functionality upgrades. This has allowed the chat developer more time to focus on the actual chat functionality. It was a lot for one person to deal with. Plus I have more time for development.
While Buzzen is no where near as big as it once was in regards of member numbers, there is no doubt the website/chat work better now than it ever has. The next big step is a non flash version of webchat. It is a ton of work and much of it is unknown and even at times unappreciated. Without only 2 developers it takes time to get things done.Alot goes into what we do.
More to come. Long live Buzzen!