E Comp Jeff Penfold PGStdB, Project Leader, provides an introduction to Porchway’s replacement.
We are all aware that Porchway has been around a long time and is no longer at the ‘cutting edge’ of web design. At the request of the Metropolitan Executive, a number of London Masons who had specialist experience in developing Information Portals were recruited to assist in specifying and overseeing the delivery of the replacement system.
Automated User Management
The Rosetta Registration is automated, drawing its data from the UGLE / SGC Adelphi database. Providing the data entered by a new User matches their Adelphi record, the process is almost instantaneous. The sophisticated registration software is able to distinguish between every Mason, including twins living at the same address.
User Friendly Navigation
The user-friendly navigation system relies on a pictorial / spatial design with "radio" buttons that can be used to navigate through a maximum of three levels to reach the requisite page, embedded form or downloadable document. Thus, it is easier and more intuitive for the user to quickly find the topic that he wishes to explore and then drill down to the specific subject matter that he needs. The user also has a new facility to save “favourites” to rapidly access frequently used pages. The “radio” buttons are colour coded blue for Craft, red for Royal Arch and blue / red for items which are common to both. Where a user is not entitled to view a particular topic, the level below will not open.
The Rosetta Homepage (above) shows the general principles for the sites’ navigation:
• The top banner contains tools for Using Rosetta
• The Primary Function Buttons are the most significant areas concerning the administration of Metropolitan Grand Lodge / Grand Chapter.
• The Roles Buttons lead to the source material for each of the specified offices.
• Activity Links” lead to the relevant pages and assets.
The Rosetta Calendar deals with Craft, Royal Arch and UGLE / SGC meetings as well as Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter Events and Training.
Comprehensive Search facility
The Rosetta search facility is more comprehensive than Porchway’s, providing the user with a rapid and much-enhanced experience.
Up To Date Data
Prior to its launch, all the pages and assets contained in Rosetta have been groomed and any redundant Porchway pages withdrawn and replaced by current versions. A document control system has been added so that such documents can be periodically reviewed and kept up to date. Uploads from Adelphi will also be made on a weekly basis. The News Items, Regalia Shop and Special Interest Groups such as the Kent Club and Connaught Clubs have been transferred to the Public Web Site at https://www.londonmasons.org.uk.
You are no doubt wondering where Rosetta is and when it will be launched. The Test System was received by Metropolitan Grand Lodge on 16 April 2020 and is currently undergoing Alpha and Beta Testing by some sixty volunteers, representing all levels of Metropolitan Grand Lodge / Chapter. The system will go live on 29th July and will be rolled out successively to the various User groups and all members over the following month.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 41 July 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 41.