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Discussion > > [-GDT-] (General Design Thingies!)

[-GDT-] (General Design Thingies!)

Semirrahge (May 27th, 2002, 12:39 am)

Um. Oh.

Semirrahge (May 27th, 2002, 1:21 am)

Heh. So THAT's why there's a text box for making a new forum. :)

Anyhow, I have a few things on top of my head:

1) On my computer, the submissions page is very cool - but it's a bit hacky (to use a Cruise-ology). The labels for the Classifications don't fit in the room you have for them and are hard to read. I like the small green lines around the checkboxes though. And I like the ability to check "Science Fiction" and "Fantasy" at the same time.

2) Also, we need more Classifications: "Romantic"; "Steampunk"; "Hard" (um, just so you know, the text box split the "D" off the end of "Hard" and won't wrap it); "Genetics"; "Time Travel" -etc. Those are just off the top of my head. Perhaps we should make a list of the some topics, and vote on the ones to include. We want a good selection without having millions.

3) The logo needs to be resized to fit the size of the current box. I know it will have to be thicker, but that's ok by me. The logo loses too much of it's fantastic detail at this current size.

4) The submissions page needs some indicator that the work has been uploaded. ;) It's so much faster than DA that I did not know it had done it's job. Maybe have a list of "Recent Submissions" at the bottom, each with a timestamp, so you'd know that it had been uploaded.

5) Narian, can you tweak the CSS so that this site is purple instead of teal? Or tweak the logo so that the background color is not such a clashing color? Or SOMETHING!? :) Maybe if you moved the teal into a stronger green... I don't really know. But it's starting to bug me. :)

That's it. I think. :)

Um. Oh.

cruise (May 27th, 2002, 9:20 am)

I'm thinking of changing the submissions page a little anyway...

The main change would be repalcing the "file upload" with a large text box...I think it gives a lot more functionality, and it means you can edit your story from any computer you log in automatically restricts uploads to text.

More classifications is not a problem...but as you say, we don't want too many, or it'll get nasty...

hmm, i should get to work

Narainsbrain (May 27th, 2002, 9:49 am)

in reverse order, for some reason:

5) you want purple, eh? hmm, not easy to make that look good, but ill try. ive wanted to make a grape-ish design for a long time.

but what clashing bg colour? do you mean the black bg of the image? i think i need to redo the image completely to make it fit in with this design.

um, do you really want to change the teal, btw, or is it just the image thats bugging you? id like some clarity on this. and im narain, not narian. :)

4. "I did not know it had done it's job." darn, our site is too fast! =D

but youre right, the submission page should actually take you to the actual details page of the uploaded file, maybe with an 'edit' form below.

hey, the huge textbox thing is a great idea. 'paste the submission here!' it'll say. and edit it anywhere from... cool!

3. the box isnt fixed, it's variable in size. resize the browser window and see. (unfortunately the pages dont resize very well right now.)

that box should be removed altogether, after i tweak the logo some.

2. we really should have a vote on these classifications. i'll go start a new thread.

1. the small green lines... entirely accidental. i just wanted to outline the text input fields. un(?)fortunately the checkboxes are also input fields... :)

the table columns really should be wider. just three columns should do.

0. point zero, ie my own suggestion ;) cruise, try putting the 'post:' text at the top of the reply form into a h1. i think it would look much better.

hmm, i should get to work

cruise (May 27th, 2002, 11:23 am)

4) I'll add a "Submission Completed" heading to the upload page :P

Thanks - And here's more...

Semirrahge (May 27th, 2002, 11:19 pm)

When you buttonized the update timestamp link, it ceased to work for me. :(

Also, why is there a limit on opening comments and no notice of such? I just lost over half of what I wrote!

Thanks - And here's more... and more...

Semirrahge (May 28th, 2002, 2:34 am)

In the archival prompt, the "Whoops" button does not work, and there is a teeny white line between the two buttons. Also, the buttons are not centered. Are you writing for Opera again?

Can you make the login prompts with capital letters? :) Sorry, but it just bugs me. We all have our quirks, right?

BTW, just so I make sure you know - I really like this site. MY site. :)

Thanks - And here's more... and more... x2

Semirrahge (May 28th, 2002, 2:38 am)

Narain, is there a way to use a monospaced font for the navbar? I know this font (Verdana?) is really easy to read... But I think a lowercase monospace font would look better on the bar. Maybe Lucida Console Bold, or... can you use Terminal?

Don't worry, I'm shutting up for real now. :)

whew, he's finally stopped! ;)

Narainsbrain (May 28th, 2002, 9:17 am)

archival prompt? whoops button? where? damn, i feel so stupid...

and hey, i know how much the ansi thing means to you =D... i'll work on a separate fully-monospaced layout soon. then you'll be able to switch to it in the style dropdown.

shouldve gone to members page sooner...

Narainsbrain (May 28th, 2002, 9:22 am)

okay, ive seen those buttons now. now i feel even stupider.

*smacks forehead*

so is the archive section different? all of semi's stuff is piled up in the main page, and i see no link to the archive section. but it could be me being stupid again.

the update timestamp button

Narainsbrain (May 28th, 2002, 9:40 am)

three posts in a row... omg, ive become like semi! nooooooo!

j/k =D

anyway, like he said, the update button doesnt work, and i know why. cruise, either keep it as a simple link, else make a form with the link as the action, and put just a submit button in it. youre not supposed to wrap buttons in links, that doesnt work.

"no hacky html", indeed. ;)

the update timestamp button

cruise (May 28th, 2002, 2:22 pm)

Actually, that's perfectly valid under the latest HTML standard :D

Silly IE...guess I should have fine under Opera :P

You'll have to put up with text links was Semi that wanted them buttonised...

the update timestamp button

Narainsbrain (May 29th, 2002, 8:50 am)

just make a form, and the button will work!

Other browser stuffages...

Semirrahge (May 29th, 2002, 12:19 pm)

I was at a friend's house yesterday... He uses Opera, so I checked out TSFE. I noticed that the buttons, and the text-entry boxes, both look like windows features. The buttons were the grey, 3D buttons, and the text boxes had 3D grey borders with white backgrounds. I know that those colors are determined by the user settings, but I think you get my point.

Also, he wants an account here. I don't know that he'd write (although he has in the past), but he has HTML and CSS knowledge, as well as some art skills.

And Cruise - Yeah! Make a form! ;P

Other browser stuffages...

cruise (May 29th, 2002, 8:49 pm)

Yeah, Opera still uses the standard windows buttons, whatever you specify in the style-sheet. But it obeys background/foreground colours, and font stuff...

Tell whoever to mail me with username and password, and I'll put him in...

even more stuffages

Narainsbrain (May 31st, 2002, 10:09 am)

as i recall, semi really wanted a javascript-based navigation system for the site. are we going to try that? i dont really think it's needed, but i just thought i'd bring it up for discussion.

also, the page titles really should have some indication of what the page is about. it's a pain to check a history that's filled with identically-named pages. something like "-GDT- (General Design Thingies!) : / discussion /" would be a whole lot better.

even more stuffages

cruise (May 31st, 2002, 4:46 pm)

Yep, that's easy...I set it to the same thignfor now because I couldn't think fo what else to use...

Well, see...

Semirrahge (May 31st, 2002, 6:24 pm)

Crusie (err, heheh) hates JS with a passion. So, my JS idea is dead. :( Maybe I can find some other sucker to develop my idea.

While we are on the subject of my ideas - It's not really that big of a deal if we do/don't go ANSI. I only mentioned the monospaced font because the lowercase/irregularities bug me.

Could it have to do with growing up on DOS?

And yes, Narain, I like that.

Well, see...

cruise (May 31st, 2002, 6:42 pm)

We don't have enough options to make a jsscript menu worthwhile, for starters...the way we have it now, almost the entire site will work in any browser you like, including Lynx...and functionality isn't suffering really, is it? :P

Well, see...

Semirrahge (June 4th, 2002, 3:25 pm)

I gotcha, Cruise... It's really not that big a deal.

I have one other thing to note: Why do the news items not show up on the member page?

And when are we gonna get the rest of this site operational?

Well, see...

cruise (June 4th, 2002, 9:20 pm)

Only your own news posts show up under the members page...don't want people editing and deleting others' news now, do we? :P

The site will go live once it's "good enough" for public the very least, I'd like to make sure no one has any further bug reports on quibbles with the layout and design and at least a choice of two colour schemes.

The first issues worth of articles released would be nice too...but I think the writing is coming along too slowly to be more than a dream... :P

Well, see...

Eldritch (June 4th, 2002, 11:45 pm)

Well, I think everyone's still a bit uncomfortable Cruise. Maybe it'll be better when we get settled. Besides, now with the new Tiers on DA, we can submit news about the site and recruit some more writers. And besides, not all of the members are active in the site.

*slaps forehead*

Narainsbrain (June 5th, 2002, 12:39 pm)

im lagging behind in the writing department... damn...

i dont know anything about being uncomfortable. personally i love this place.

its just that im way too lazy.

more colour schemes... thats easy for me to do. except then the top logo wont match the rest of the site, so we need a way to change the images along with the stylesheet.

btw, semi, even if you dont mind not having an ansi style, now i want one. i just cant seem to make a good colour scheme to go with it. any ideas?

*slaps forehead*

cruise (June 5th, 2002, 5:41 pm)

The top logo will automatically change with the Style Sheet...way ahead of you there :P

Once we have a matching logo, of course...I guess we can just tint it to hell and back in the meantime :P

*chuckle* TrANSIference, anyone?

Semirrahge (June 5th, 2002, 7:02 pm)

Narain, did you play TradeWars 2002? It uses a color scheme that relies heavily on purple, green, and some other unlikely colors that I can't remember ATM... It all combines into something that is surprisingly good-looking and easy on the eyes for those hours and hours of early morning monospaced text-gazing. :)

I'm going to make a new thread where we can discuss this exact thing, and I've found some screenshots (finally), for you do look at, of which I'll be posting the links there.

As for the logo - I say go monochrome, with the "grey" color being the major color for the scheme. I don't know how to do this, or I'd do it myself. Maybe I can figure it out.

A few more design suggestions:

Semirrahge (June 5th, 2002, 7:43 pm)

Can we have a usage tracker, like DA has? I'd like to be able to see and sort my stuff by Most Viewed, Most Commented, Most Recent, etc. Also, why do you delete the author intro from the submission when Archiving it? And, can you give me an option for uploading something straight to the Oeuvre, or whatever it's called?

I also would like to see an option to upload download-to-view files, like DOC, ZIP, and RTF files. I like to edit the layouts of my stories extensively, and that all goes to pot when I paste stuff into the text box. I suggest the ZIP so that I could create HTML versions, with attendant images and needed fonts included in the package. Can I have a vote on this?

A few more design suggestions:

cruise (June 6th, 2002, 10:46 am)

I can add a view tracker, easy you want unique views (only one for each user), or just total number of views?

How and where do you want to do the arranging? A global option in your settings that changes the order of any list of articles/stories are shown in, or an option on any listing page saying "sort by..." ?

I will eventually add an option to save the stories to disk in .zip...but likely just using the HTML formatting from the site, and the users selected colour scheme.

How many books have you read that needed greater control over the text than you have currently? Chapter headings, and text, maybe quotes, that's pretty much it...and you have bold, underline and italic for those...

Maybe it's just me, and we'll have to see what others think, but I dislike "gimmicky" text that relies on layour or special effects for impact...the point should the writing, nothing else. Call me a purist, I guess :P

usage tracker?

Narainsbrain (June 6th, 2002, 11:04 am)

i dont know about sorting by views or comments -- obviously the stories which have gone through more draft versions will have more of those. chronol order is good enough for me.

but i suggest extending the 'new' markers from the forum to the submission area, so i can see which of my submissions have got new comments, and which submissions by other people are new. i think it would be pretty useful.

i dont know about the archiving things bit, ive never tried it myself. so your questions are cruise's dept. =)

personally im against download-to-view files. i think, as a writer, your main work is the text itself, and all layout and formatting is inessential. all you really need are bold and italics, and cruise has allowed them, so i for one am satisfied.


Semirrahge (June 6th, 2002, 6:34 pm)

Coup de Main, being my "baby" (though currently orphaned), has title logos, chapter imagery, etc. Another thing that goes under formatting is tabbing. I miss my tabs. :)

I dunno... I just like to go through the whole work - setting up tabs, fonts, page/line breaks... That sort of thing when writing my stuff. But, yeah, I can see that not everyone would need or even want that.

As for usage trackers, I think we need to add a new submission type for Rough Drafts. Since the author has the power to delete his submissions (and easily, I might add), then we could submit the rough draft, let it get packed full of revisions, comments, etc, then delete it and resubmit the polished work as a story. Just a thought.

Or, conversely, are we to follow thecruisewd's example and post our rough drafts in the forums and not as stories? But... then don't you have problems with editing?

Oh, and for the sorting options: I think like DA does it in "View All Deviations", where it shows you the columns for views and comments, etc.


Narainsbrain (June 7th, 2002, 7:17 am)

i think the rough draft thing is a great idea. would be better than posting whole text in the forums.

and well, about the sorting options, okay, it doesnt hurt to have more features. =)


cruise (June 7th, 2002, 10:11 am)


I added views tracking yesterday anyway, 'cos it's pretty easy...but I still don't get where you want the option to sort by views...

And I'll add a "Rough Drafts" type for submissions if you want...I thought the idea however was that anything not published is inherently a "rough draft"...if you want to clear out the comments, then you can delete/resubmit anyway...

The rough drafts forum is for stuff not appearing on this site, or stuff to formative to be a story...

Is that clearer?


Narainsbrain (June 10th, 2002, 7:04 am)

well yeah, i guess youre right about the rough drafts. i was just thinking it may be hard to tell if a submission is completed or not. maybe it should be up to the author to make it clear, either in the title - "The Wire Mill (completed)" - or at the end of the prose - "in progress"/"to be continued" vs "(end)". any such changes could be easily removed just before publishing.

what exactly do you mean about tabbing, semi? i didnt really get that.

one thing i miss though is to be able to put a larger 'gap' in between two paras, to indicate, say, a section break. i tried two consecutive linebreaks, but that translates to

, and the extra empty para is ignored by the browser. any workaround?

hey, new bug!

Narainsbrain (June 10th, 2002, 7:09 am)

ouch, i had entered two p tags together. you really should convert htmlspecialchars() in the posts.

but then how come if p tags arent converted, comes out fine?

hey, new bug!

Narainsbrain (June 10th, 2002, 7:10 am)

oh, b isnt converted either. what happened?

hey, new bug!

Narainsbrain (June 10th, 2002, 7:11 am)

i should close the tag that i left open.

hey, new bug!

Narainsbrain (June 10th, 2002, 7:11 am)

stupid me with /i instead of this.

hey, new bug!

cruise (June 10th, 2002, 10:57 am)

Having fun? :P

Admins can use HTML characters in their posts (after special request), so HTML bits will be interpreted as HTML bits...

bah, old bug.

Narainsbrain (June 11th, 2002, 4:28 am)

damn you cruise, you couldve at least let us poor admins know. :p

i bet it was semi who wanted html allowed, wasnt it?

now, whoever's been laughing at this whole fiasco better go up and read what i said in the last post before i got caught up in all this. oh heck, let me just quote:

submission is completed or not. maybe it should be up to the author to make it clear, either in the title - "The Wire Mill (completed)" - or at the end of the prose - "in progress"/"to be continued" vs "(end)". any such changes could be easily removed just before publishing.

what exactly do you mean about tabbing, semi? i didnt really get that.

one thing i miss though is to be able to put a larger 'gap' in between two paras, to indicate, say, a section break. i tried two consecutive linebreaks, but that translates to [p][p], and the extra empty para is ignored by the browser. any workaround?

and another thing, cruise, how are you going to handle unclosed tags, and other stuff that can potentially render the rest of the page completely unreadable?

grrr... >:(

Narainsbrain (June 11th, 2002, 4:29 am)

> translates to <p><p>,...

and at this point i dont care if the entities come out literal.


cruise (June 11th, 2002, 9:14 am)


each newline is replaced with <br> so multiple newlines should come out as multiple lines, presuming your browser treats them properly...

And unclosed tags and stuff is exactly why I restricted HTML to admins...hopefully, we can at least trust them not to do nasty stuff deliberately...and most accidental stuff shouldn't affect more than their post.

Good Grief!

Semirrahge (June 11th, 2002, 6:38 pm)

You're an HTML guy and look at the mess you're making! Yarrrgh! No, Narain, Cruise did HTML on his own, and he instituted bracket syntax for you.

As for tabbing, I really can't explain it very well. Well, maybe I can. In any book, you'll have indents on every paragraph. It greatly enhances the readability of the story.

Here, though, tab is switch input boxes. I've seen that you can put a space in front of the line to simulate a tab, but I never type directly into a text box for my stories. And, when I paste in, for some reason the formatting goes wacko - sometimes it stays, sometimes it doesn't.

That's my point. :)

Good Grief!

cruise (June 11th, 2002, 8:05 pm)

Uh, Semi...prose automatically gets the first line of each paragraph indented...why would you need to do that yourself? Just make sure there's a line break (maybe two?) at the end of each paragraph, and everythign should come out fine...

Good Grief!

Wanderer (June 11th, 2002, 11:57 pm)

you know being sort of a webdeveloper and administrator myself, it's pretty seeing these kind of typical things happen to other people too. Sort of builds confidence in the fact that i'm not alone going through all those problems with html usage and parsing :P

but by all means, do continu ;)

all right all right im sorry

Narainsbrain (June 12th, 2002, 7:42 am)

"okay, can we just put that behind us now?" /me says with a aggravated and flustered expression.

i really would appreciate it if you posted a news article or forum thread, explaining, once and for all, how exactly the whole html thing works.

btw, indenting is enabled by default for submission text, but not for comments and posts. i can enable it for everything if you want, it's just a css thing. but cruise has to sort out why he's using para tags in prose and breaks in posts.


cruise (June 13th, 2002, 3:37 pm)

'cos I didn't think comments were really in the same class as actual prose...if you want them to be, no problem...'tis done...


cruise (June 13th, 2002, 3:39 pm)

You prefer it like this?


I bow to the will of the majority...


Narainsbrain (June 14th, 2002, 5:41 am)

you make it sound like it's blasphemy to put comments into paras. :p

put the comments and prose in separate classes then. or wait, i'll send you a new improved stylesheet and suggestions for the html.

and i still want an explanation for the html parsing. if angle brackets work, do square brackets for b, i and u work too? can i can make links both by A tags and by square brackets? and apart from being able to enter html, what other superpowers do we have as admins? =D


Narainsbrain (June 14th, 2002, 5:43 am)

oh sorry, i didnt see the other thread. dont mind me. =)


cruise (June 14th, 2002, 9:36 am)

Not blasphemy, I just think it looks ugly :P

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