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Discussion > > Redesign


cruise (November 6th, 2002, 1:29 am)

Well, I changed stuff around to more or less as suggested by Narainsbrain....I couldn't sleep, so I figured I'd do something useful.



Hellkeepa (November 6th, 2002, 2:08 am)


Semirrahge (November 6th, 2002, 6:15 pm)

Whatever Hellkeepa did... :)

Anyhow, I like it, though it threw me for a bit of a loop when I logged in this morning. :P

I hate to have to tell you this, but...

Narainsbrain (November 7th, 2002, 2:08 pm)

...this isn't exactly what I suggested :p

What I said was "current issue / archived issues / oeuvres". Divided into fiction and non-fiction under each category. And since we don't have the first two categories right now, you could just comment out those links :)

Wait, I may be extremely stupid for asking this, but is the redesign merely the bunching of editorials, tuturials and reviews together? I haven't had time to explore, and my dial-up connection is agonisingly intermittent, so I'd like an explicit lowdown.

I know....

cruise (November 7th, 2002, 6:44 pm)

Since when have I actually done stuff /exactly/ as you intended? :P

How exactly do you suggest splitting the oeuvres up? Currently, I've simply substituted the members page for the oeuvres page, which now has links to each members oeuvre (which is a seperate page itself, now).

So swap "members" for "oeuvres" and I've almost got your layout :P

The front page is moved to be as close to your suggestion as I can get without a current or archived issue...ditto the top menu...we have no current issue nor archive, so it's very hard to have links for 'em... :P

Links section

cruise (December 12th, 2002, 1:18 pm)

I think it's pretty definate that we want links to other sites...any suggestions on how to do it?

A seperate "links" page will never get clicked on, to be honest...we really need a little section with a load of buttons or links tucked in somewhere...

Maybe on the front page?

And probably would want two sections for it for related links (like dA, contemplicity, etc.) and one for cool stuff (like thinkgeek, megatokyo, etc. etc.) that we just like.

Front page, I guess.

Narainsbrain (December 13th, 2002, 4:27 am)

Unless we want to have the links section to stubbornly appear on each and every page, the front page sounds like the best place for it. Right at the bottom, perhaps, in a separate section ([div])... That idea seems pretty easy to get right.

Another idea that occurred to me was to have one random link on each page. What I mean is, pick out a link at random from the list and place it just after (or before) the header section. Just one link means it's very small, and we can afford a short description of it as well, to encourage clicks. =)


cruise (December 13th, 2002, 10:05 am)

At the bottom? Sounds good...I guess people will scroll down that far at least once... :P

I like the idea of having a random one at the top on each page...maybe two, one from "related sites" and one from "cool" sites...or shall we not bother making the distinction?

Would be cool to have a little description to go with them too...

*edit* Right, I've implemented the "random link at top" thingy, just left it in HTML a view source and you'll see looks kinda ugly currently, so I'll wait for NB to work his magic before I make it visible :P


Narainsbrain (December 14th, 2002, 7:36 am)

'kay, I'll save this page and work on the HTML. But here's a tip, Cruise: all text has to have some wrapper. Generic text goes in a [p], else CSS font formatting doesn't get applied, and it looks ugly. The 'No comments yet' default text in the view pages also needs a [p] around it.

The two categories of links is a cool idea, Cruise, don't lose it! Tough to make it fit with the one-link-in-header scheme though... One from each category makes for a smaller sample space to draw from, so I have a certain dislike for that (gut feeling, don't ask...) Instead, we could draw the random link from both categories pooled together, but with the link also display which category it came from: "Related Link: Epilogue - A site dedicated to sci-fi and fantasy art, ..."


cruise (December 14th, 2002, 12:43 pm)

I'll fix that quickly...good idea on the link types...I'll play with that when I have more time.

Narainsbrain (December 15th, 2002, 5:34 am)

I tried some fiddling with the links HTML, but I found it surprisingly hard to make it look good... I hadn't designed my CSS with tiny, one-line text in mind. =)

The best I could come up with is on the way to your mailbox.


cruise (December 17th, 2002, 5:07 pm)

How's it look?

Memebrs can add new links from the bottom of the member's page...some more related links would be cool...there is others than deviantART in the "related" category, I promise...I have no idea why the DB seems to prefer it so much...


Eldritch (December 17th, 2002, 9:58 pm)

If you wanna put the links somewhere, make it the sides, not the bottom. People are careless :P And btw, I haven't seen out news item out on DA.

Ben (December 17th, 2002, 11:55 pm)

It moved off the front page a couple days ago. (The links look good, btw.)


Narainsbrain (December 18th, 2002, 8:46 am)

Why do I have the feeling Eldritch didn't see the two random links at the top? =)

Anyway, I'd make 'Links' bold using an em tag, if I were you (though I've forgotten how that would look in the other styles, so you'd need to test it a little).

Eldritch, putting links on the side is a good idea. I wanted to do that myself. =) But it's hard to get right. Some tomfoolery in CSS is required (though perfectly within legal bounds, of course), but I'm up to that. The main problem is that it would throw the site design very much off balance. Nah, I don't think I want to do that.

And one last thing, Cruise - make the links open in new windows! We don't want to drive our readers away with our links =)

As for our news item, it's very old news by now - with the rate at which more news is posted at dA, it dropped out of the front page in less than two days. In fact, it isn't even in 'Older news' anymore. But if you really want to see it, it's still there at (I left the 'http://' in just to spite the tag converter :p)

Edit: Hey, the url tag does the Right Thing now! Thanks for listening, Cruise! :D

Keep up yourself :P

cruise (December 18th, 2002, 11:42 am)

I fixed the URL parser ages ago...

Huh? Links?

Wanderer (December 18th, 2002, 3:01 pm)

Since when does the header has links in it? (my fault for not stopping by in a while i guess)

Anyway, can i get linked please? :P

Does nobody see the links, goddammit? ;)

Narainsbrain (December 19th, 2002, 4:16 am)

Links were added by "Cruise (December 17th, 2002, 10:37 pm)" Indian Standard Time. Just look at the post where he says "So...?" =p

Okay, Wanderer, your link goes under 'Cool', where Cruise's homepage is. Good to have a precedent for these things. =) And how about linking us too?

Cruise, are you sure there are links other than dA under 'Related'? I've seen Casual Tempest, MegaTokyo and ThinkGeek under 'Cool', but 'Related' never changes! If there are others in that section, there's obviously a bug in the code.

And it would be useful to have the full contents of the links DB somewhere. Two birds with one div: Anybody actually interested in seeing the links (impossible situation?) gets them all in one place, and more importantly it stops members from adding links that are already in the DB.

One last point: the Admin footer in the submissions page will look better in one line: "Add News Item / Add New Link".

cruise (December 21st, 2002, 9:35 pm)

I've seen Epilogue turn up there a couple of times...and the code is exqactly the same for the two of them...straight copy and paste...I'm very confused...

Here's the actual PHP:


mysql_query("select Name,URL,Description from Links where Type='Related' order by rand() limit 1")



mysql_query("select Name,URL,Description from Links where Type='Cool' order by rand() limit 1")


I'll add the current links thingy to the links page....good idea.

That's strange!

Narainsbrain (December 22nd, 2002, 8:32 am)

Very, very strange... And not just because I don't know a word of SQL. =)

Say, here's a thought: Are you intialising the random number generator before you call this? Because as far as I know, all randGens, if not inited properly, show unpredictably non-random behaviour. Hey, irony: unpredictable by NOT being random. :D

Oh, one more thing:

Narainsbrain (December 22nd, 2002, 8:43 am)

What's going on with the new thread highlighting? When I come in today, the forum board was totally plain - no highlighting at all, as if there haven't been any posts for days.

Now, it was working fine before, when you'd changed the code so it would update automatically when I reply to the thread or something like that. But for a couple of days now, the fora have been blank.

So either I've been doing something the wrong way, or there's a very annoying bug in the system. How does the updating function work, anyway? It'd be nice to know, so I can keep that in mind when I'm browsing the fora.

Oh, one more thing:

Eldritch (December 22nd, 2002, 11:28 am)

Narain :P Idid see the links. I see them every day. Believe me, I'm on vacation, I have NOTHING ELSE TO DO. I believe I put my post before they appeared. If not, It's still a good idea.


Narainsbrain (December 23rd, 2002, 4:07 am)

Sorry. =)

cruise (December 23rd, 2002, 6:45 pm)

Haven't changed anything in the updating code at all.

It works by storing two times...last time you logged in, and this time you logged in.

When you go to it reads the "ThisVisit" cookie, which is left over from last time you visited, and so becomes "LastVisit". It then sets "ThisVisit" to the current time.

Then, on all the pages that check if something is new, it compares that time to the value stored in "LastVisit".

If I could bothered to figure out sessions, there wouldn't be any need for the two seperate cookies, 'cos I'd know (roughly) when you stopped looking at the site last...

And no, the random generation is done by MySQL itself, not by I don't have to do any seeding.

*edit* See! It does work :P *edit*

Oh yeah

Narainsbrain (December 26th, 2002, 9:31 am)

I saw Epilogue once or twice to, after I had posted that... Contemplicity never appears, though. Are you sure you don't have to tell MySQL to seed the random generation?

If nothing works, you could scrap the randomness idea and try just keeping a counter and displaying links based on that, like this pseudocode:

related = relLinks[n mod #relLinks];
cool = coolLinks[n mod #coolLinks];

As for the updating thing, *nod* I guess that's a good way to do it. (I had used that system once myself in a small forum.) Maybe I've been refreshing the home page, which would wipe out all new markers.

And how about Edit?

Narainsbrain (December 26th, 2002, 9:45 am)

The thing I love most about this site (apart from the people, of course, and the writing, and the, um... oh, forget it) is that I'm allowed to edit almost anything I've written after posting... The links need that functionality, too.

Knew It

cruise (December 27th, 2002, 4:38 pm)

I /knew/ someone was going to ask for that ability :P

I'll get round to it sometime...keep bugging me 'bout it...


Semirrahge (December 28th, 2002, 11:55 am)

When do I get my Comment Tracker? I also want new filters in my Oeuvre: Views and Comments.

So there. :)

Oh, yeah - I was thinking... If we DID start up a ranking system, we could have the site list works in order from LEAST to MOST popular. I figure it works like this: The most popular ones get stuck on DA's "Current Fave" thing, and then the item that was a flash in the pan gets MAJOR coverage. Nothing else happens. SO. We stay away from that altogether, but in the ranking of stories and whatnot, we put the ones that are ranked highest on the very bottom of the list. If your story is popular, people will scroll down to find it.

It's not important to me, but I thought I'd let you know that I think it's not impossible to do rankings properly.

Comment Tracker has been done for ages...

cruise (December 29th, 2002, 1:34 pm)

Haven't you noticed? Any new comments on your stuff will show up at the top of the main members page...

But I like the order of sorting in reverse order of comments (or views? or some combination of both).

All the information is there to do it, and it's a minor change...

Interesting idea!

Narainsbrain (January 2nd, 2003, 10:56 am)

Now why didn't I think of that... =) It sounds cool! Then we could have one page listing the whole shebang - /everything/ on the site - and all our neglected works would get recognition as well, and it would be so cool! :) Great suggestion there, Semi.

Btw, Cruise, the link editing thing isn't done. You /said/ to bug you ;)

Oh Yeah :P

cruise (January 2nd, 2003, 10:29 pm)

I did Semi's thing...the front page is now ordered by gviews within the groups...I guess I ought to change the fixtion/non-fiction pages too, didn't I? :P

But yeah, forgot about the editing links...might get a chance to do that tomorrow evening...

Yeah, you ought to.

Narainsbrain (January 3rd, 2003, 11:41 am)


Btw, don't ever order by comments. Equality of opportunity, not equality of conditions (Irving Kristol).


Semirrahge (January 3rd, 2003, 6:39 pm)

I _wondered_ why "Beloved" went to the bottom all of a sudden. :) I wonder, though (And this may be worth all the funky recoding) If "Beloved has the most views because it's truly the most popular, or merely the first to be clicked on?

We'll find out

cruise (January 3rd, 2003, 7:54 pm)

Now the ordering is reversed, I guess we'll discover :P

Discussion > > Redesign

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