Polla Brasileira 2014

polla_logo_600The World Cup fever keeps increasing, and I’m about to make it better:

Announcing Polla Brasileira 2014. I have run other successful pollas (note: under definition #5) before. What made them so much fun is that instead of using some manual management tool such as paper, email, or Excel spreadsheets, I went through the trouble of developing a full online system from scratch which made everything very real-time and interactive. Back then I wrote the system using PHP and stored all the data in plain text files – no database. It was simple and limited, but it worked.

They were a huge success:

It wasn’t all fun and games though. The Polla is known to cause health issues on some of the participants:

I will never join the Polla… if I end up winning I’m going to use all the money to fix the ulcer I’m developing due to the anxiety.

When I decided to cancel the Europolla 2008, soccer fans were disappointed:

It is as if your normally trusted dealer, suddenly refuses to sell you any more dope… I don’t know how I’m going to make it.

Today is a sad day for soccer fans all over the world…

This time, Polla Brasileira is back with a vengeance and it is better than ever. I’ve been making some massive improvements to the system, working through nights (as I said, the Polla is known to cause health issues). Amongst them:

  • A proper login/account system. You can now stay logged in to the system, change your information, use Gravatar, email verification, captcha… This is a huge improvement over what I had. I’m using code from The PHP-LOGIN project and they will get a donation.
  • Security enhancement: Passwords are stored only in hashed/salted form – nobody, not even I can retrieve them.
  • Security enhancement: We are using SSL so all the information is transmitted securely. You may not care about the NSA knowing what you predict for Croatia VS Cameroon, but your passwords are transmitted too.
  • Responsive layout. When we last did the polla, there were no iPhones – Blackberrys ruled the world and they were only useful for texting. Now the website should scale and display nicely across all your devices. Try it out!
  • New and improved look.
  • Full use of MySQL. No more plain text junk, we now have a proper database system. This is a gigantic back-end overhaul and has been worth it so far. I’m using code from ezSQL and they will get a donation.
  • Facebook page replaces the forum and news sections. Last time we did the polla, Facebook was not popular… Go and Like it!
  • And many other enhancements across the board.

Doing the polla is a lot of work for me, but it would not be possible without the support of my friends helping out:

  • Moi, CSS guru
  • Eva, treasurer
  • José Antonio, SQL consultant
  • Shlomit, proofreader and hasn’t divorced me
  • And everyone else who’s helped in one way or another…

You can register now!

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