a walk through history

Wednesday, March 20, 2002, at 11:33AM

By Eric Richardson

So last night I was looking around the eThreads site, and found a bunch of old code I didn't even know I still had. Apparently my source archives actually contain a few remenants of the mSQL days, plus a full complement of versions with the eThreadsII core. Click to read fun things I found...

To start off with, the ethreads code (original core... ethreads, then eThreadsII, current is eThreadsIII, next is eTevolution) is just as ridiculous as I thought it would be. The first snapshot I have is from June 9, 1998. That makes me 15, and the code a good three and three-quarter years old. In the code we find that the first RCS logs were added on April 21 of that year, meaning eThreads is easily four years old right now.

The original ethreads core uses syntax codes for navigation in a very BASIC goto sort of manner. Granted, that makes sense seeing that BASIC was my only other experience to date. All variables were global, and comments and all the thing was 2473 lines. Back then I wrote my name as E' instead of e;

Oddly enough, the ethreads code has a feature in it that modern-day eThreads doesn't. For a forum post with no children, the thread tree printed is the tree for the parent. Currently we just don't print a tree.

eThreadsII was a big transition. Work started in July of 1998. September 19 saw the advent of mysql support. The same day saw a switchover to strict, signaling a huge change in the cleanliness of code. On October 7 caching started. November 11 marked the first time searching actually worked.

And then I got fed up with the system. Yes, it was better, but it was creaking and bulging at the hinges. Things worked, but adding functionality was a bear. And so for the second time I scrapped everything and started a new core. This one, eThreadsIII, was to be the core to end all cores -- the super forum engine. And to a large extent, it has been. It weathered the transition to content engine largely intact, and despite a great deal of transition and refinement the basic features are still consistant today. eThreads 1.2.1, the last real release of this code, came out in August of 2000.

And in November of 2001, I forked the codebase to start work on the eTevolution core. This core is the core to finally complete the transition to content engine. All forum code is broken out into the module, and the core simply contains generic routines for thread-based data display. Work on this has gone really well to date, and hopefully a prerelease should be coming in the next month.

So that wraps up our little tour of eThreads history. Hope you enjoyed it, and we'll have to do it again in another four years or so.