- The Army Rumour Service
name = ARRSE
url = http://www.arrse.co.uk
commercial = Yes
type = Community
registration = Free
owner = The COs
author = The COs
"The Army Rumour Service" (ARRSE) is an unofficial
British Army websiteand forum. Known colloquially as ARRSE - a moniker derived from the British ARmy Rumour SErvice - the site styles itself as the unofficial voice of the British Army. It gets more than 5 million page hits per month; is regularly mentioned and quoted [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk_politics/4654736.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | Unease over Afghan duty ] ] in the national press; [ [http://timesonline.typepad.com/mick_smith/ Mick Smith - Times Online - WBLG ] ] a significant contributor to a debate on service voting in the House of Lords; [ [http://www.tgarden.demon.co.uk/writings/articles/2005/050526hol.html Debate ] ] supporter of various charities [http://www.ssafa.org.uk/links2_Serving.html] and read by the full spectrum of the British Army from the most junior to extremely senior.
The official view and concept
The site has never had any official communication with the Ministry of Defence. [ [http://www.mod.uk/defenceinternet/home Ministry of Defence | home ] ] Reactions have been mixed to the sudden limelight given by the web presence and open discussion as this was completely new to a traditional and by nature cautious organisation. The site was certainly the first time the British Forces had a high profile web presence. The success of the site has led to it doubling in size every eight months or so. The content is interesting - despite the inevitable soldiers' griping (all soldiers complain - it's almost a duty) the site certainly illustrates a huge pride and interest in the British Army. The chance to voice these feelings publicly and in a slightly 'rebellious' way, was and is very attractive.
The aim of ARRSE (insofar that it has one) is to provide a useful, informative and amusing site for people with an interest in the
British Army. Users can expect to find both reasoned argument and general chatter within the site.
The site is divided into several sections
* An image gallery
* Chat rooms
* An Instant Message facility.
* A Military equipment online shop
* A list of members
* The ARRSEPedia. [ [http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/index.php Main Page - ARRSEpedia ] ] A somewhat irreverent military encyclopedia using
Mediawiki. In their own words "The content is humorous, serious, sensible, stupid, decent and just occasionally a touch offensive."
ARRSE came into being in January
2002and was created using MS Frontpage. It soon became apparent that this was not up to the task and this was soon replaced by YaBB (Yet Another Bulletin Board). This was a significant improvement and supported the rapid expansion of the site. Unfortunately it was based on a flat file structure which created vast numbers of individual files that soon made backing up a nightmare.
The next upgrade to the site in saw it move to a fully fledged
content management systemnamed PHP-Nuke. This operated on a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP system and gave a significant improvement in functionality, reliability and speed. Unfortunately PHPNuke also had a reputation for poor security and this led to the site being hacked by some Brazilian hackers in May 2004. After almost a week of downtime the site was restored and since then security has been the number one priority of the site administrators. The drive for increased security led to a further change of software to CPGNuke, an offshoot of PHPNuke.
The latest version of ARRSE operates using [http://www.dragonflycms.org DragonflyCMS] version 9.6.1 and also uses the following Open Source projects for other parts of the site:
* [http://www.mediawiki.org Media Wiki]
* [http://www.otrs.org OTRS] Ticket Response System
* [http://www.sql-ledger.net SQL-Ledger] Accountancy Software
* [http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/index.php The ARRSE site]
* [http://www.rearparty.co.uk/cpgn2/index.php Rear Party] - the site for spouses, partners and 'significant others' of serving British servicemen and women
* [http://www.rumration.co.uk/cpgn2/index.php Rum Ration] - the sister site to
ARRSEfor members of the Royal Navyand Royal Marines
* [https://www.armynet.mod.uk/index.php?action=logout ArmyNET] - the
British Army's official secure online information exchange service
* [http://www.e-goat.co.uk/ E Goat] - the
RAF's unofficial online community
* [http://www.modoracle.com/ MODoracle] Ministry of Defence/British forces unofficial online community
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