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Forum Upgrade coming soon! Some details here...


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#51 Christophero Sly OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 8, 2010 1:59 AM


A mod to block specific posts from showing up in "View New Content" and "My Posts"?

*crosses fingers*

No.

..Al

:_(

#52 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 8, 2010 5:55 PM

Sadly I have not had a lot of time to work on forum upgrade in the last two weeks. :( But I do have a plan to get back to it starting early next week, and I should be able to get it wrapped up in a week's time once I do so. I'm really eager to get the forum over to the latest version.

Including the blogs? :ponder:

#53 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 8, 2010 6:14 PM


Sadly I have not had a lot of time to work on forum upgrade in the last two weeks. :( But I do have a plan to get back to it starting early next week, and I should be able to get it wrapped up in a week's time once I do so. I'm really eager to get the forum over to the latest version.

Including the blogs? :ponder:

Yes, I don't have any choice in the matter. :D

..Al

#54 CRTGAMER OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 8, 2010 6:20 PM

Just please don't clog it up with any more javascript.

My poor Retro iMac would stumble, not to mention cell phone users slow data speeds.

#55 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 8, 2010 6:24 PM

Just please don't clog it up with any more javascript.

My poor Retro iMac would stumble, not to mention cell phone users slow data speeds.

I can't really help too much if you're using a really old machine, and especially if you're using an old browser that has a slow Javascript engines. But there are alternatives for newer phones: There is a very nice mobile skin for the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and other similar devices, and there's a Tapatalk app which allows you to browse and post in the forum very quickly (since it transfers a minimal amount of data compared to using a web browser). The mobile skin will be nicely improved with the forum upgrade as well.

..Al

#56 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:39 AM

I'm hard at work again on getting the forum upgraded. Here are two teaser screenshots I just captured from within Firefox:

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The first image shows the topic preview popup and the second shot shows how you can easily search different areas of the board. The search is context sensitive--you can see in this shot that it defaults to searching the current forum you're viewing. When you're reading a specific topic, the search defaults to "This Topic", but you can still choose from all the other options (including "This Forum"). When you're viewing specific blogs, you can also search within a specific blog and even within the blog comments for a specific entry. The magnifying icon performs the search (and of course you can just hit "enter" as well), and the gear icon brings you to the advanced search options page.

One thing you may notice is I moved the "member box" that was in the upper-right corner down into a horizontal bar below the breadcrumb. This row is also shared with the search field, which allows for more application "Tabs" (Forums, Members, Gallery, Blogs, etc.) Moving the member box allowed me to restore the normal AtariAge header that has a unique graphic for each section of the site (2600, 5200, etc.) when you move your mouse over the links, as well as the Atari 830 modem for the Forum graphic.

I'll have more screenshots tomorrow. :)

..Al

#57 Emehr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:26 AM

Nice work, Al! :thumbsup:

I like how the pop-up gives you the option of seeing the last post. I find that more useful, personally. I also like that it's out of the way. A lot of other site's forums pop up the first post when you hover over the topic, which obscures the other topics and is annoying.

I'm glad the member box is back to a less obtrusive spot. I missed the modem graphic. :)

Also, are you going to put Pac-Man back in the search bar? I always thought it would be more appropriate to have a ghost there (since they're constantly "searching" for Pac-Man) but either would be fine.

#58 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:48 AM

I like how the pop-up gives you the option of seeing the last post. I find that more useful, personally. I also like that it's out of the way. A lot of other site's forums pop up the first post when you hover over the topic, which obscures the other topics and is annoying.

I believe in the next major version of the software (3.2, which we can expect later this year) Invision is actually going to turn it into a hover popup that appears after a slight delay of hovering over the topic. I personally prefer that method to the current implementation, which is to click that small icon you can see in the screenshot above (it appears when you move the mouse over a topic row). Perhaps they'll make it an user controlled option.

I'm glad the member box is back to a less obtrusive spot. I missed the modem graphic. :)

Yes, I agree, I was never crazy about the current location of that "member box".

Also, are you going to put Pac-Man back in the search bar? I always thought it would be more appropriate to have a ghost there (since they're constantly "searching" for Pac-Man) but either would be fine.

Probably not for now, at any rate. I'm not too happy with many of the unique forum graphics and I need to find someone who can help me create professional quality icons and graphics that are all tied together. There are actually quite a few images used in the forum, and right now it's a mix between the stock graphics, some that have been carried on since the original switch to Invision Power Board years ago, and some that were introduced with the switch to the 3.0.x version of the software last year (such as that Pac-Man icon).

I may add some new skins as well, there are some impressive commercial skins that have been released in the last six months. And there will be two new mobile skins, the default Mobile skin that Invision ships with the forum (it's all new) and a new (and much improved) version of the commercial mobile skin currently installed here.

..Al

#59 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:59 PM

When you're viewing specific blogs, you can also search within a specific blog and even within the blog comments for a specific entry.

Being able to search a specific blog is going to be extremely useful. :thumbsup: Since the categories got all screwed up, it's been hard to find anything.




P.S. TestBot4 has one unread message.

#60 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:30 AM

Looks like the hover popups are going to be here even sooner than I thought. This video was posted this morning by the main IP.Board engineer:

http://dl.dropbox.co...reviewHover.mov

..Al

#61 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:50 PM

As promised, here are some new screenshots. These show the search system in action. First, I typed "quadrun" into the search field at the top of the page, and got this:

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This image shows the results returned as a list of topics, which is how results are returned (for forums) by default. You can see in this image that I clicked on the topic preview. When you do this during a search, it automatically highlights the portion of the message containing the first instance of the search term. There are also tabs for the first and last post, and you can go directly to the post in question by clicking on the post's timestamp.

If you click on the little "gear" icon next to the search box, you go to the "Advanced" search query page:

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Here you can see all the options available for searching the forums. I searched for "quadrun" again, but this time I selected "Display Results As posts". Here's how the search results look:

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This page has been completely revamped and is much better than the current software. For each result, you see the entire post, and the search terms are highlighted in the posts. There is a breadcrumb at the top of each post, showing the path to that thread. You can click the thread title to go to the first post in the thread. If the thread has unread posts, you can click the tank icon to the left of the breadcrumb go to the first unread post. You can click on the Post # (such as Post #2079543 in the first example here) to go directly to that post.

Back to the Advanced search page. When you click on the different "applications" (forums, members, gallery, etc.) the bottom panel displays options unique to that section of the forum:

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In this example I selected "Members", and you can see that you can search either the profile comments or members. I entered "atari" for a search term and select "Profile comments". Here are my results:

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You can see that it brings up any profiles where people have entered "atari" in the profile comments. You can click on the profile name to go directly to that profile.

Here's a Gallery search:

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I searched for "800xl", in images:

Posted Image

You can see that eight results were returned. A search is performed on both the image title and description. You can also search gallery comments as well. Btw, a brand new Gallery is coming soon, written from the ground up, and it should be pretty damn cool. :D

I'm making good progress, but still have a few days' worth of work to do before I can update the live forum here.

..Al

#62 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:58 AM

Here are two videos showing the upcoming Gallery module:




I suggest watching these full-screen in HD mode.

..Al

#63 Brian R. OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:48 AM

Your efforts are appreciated, Albert.

Whenever I want to tell someone that yes, there is still life in "Atari," I point them to AtariAge - the store and the forum - as proof.

I'm not aware of anywhere else that is so well-done and professionally run to keep " the community" organized.

#64 Paolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:02 PM

Ok, folks. I just read through the whole 3 pages thread, and I can't believe it: *nobody* asked if it's going to work on an Atari browser!
And I am not kidding.
I can browse AA with Highwire (a little), and while using NetSurf the website is "usable" enough.
I imagine that the mobile skins will be a blast for the older machines. Or will these skins be chocked with javascript and other newfangled webtechnology? ;-)

#65 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:06 PM

Ok, folks. I just read through the whole 3 pages thread, and I can't believe it: *nobody* asked if it's going to work on an Atari browser!
And I am not kidding.
I can browse AA with Highwire (a little), and while using NetSurf the website is "usable" enough.
I imagine that the mobile skins will be a blast for the older machines. Or will these skins be chocked with javascript and other newfangled webtechnology? ;-)

That's an interesting point. I don't think the new "standard" mobile skin will have any Javascript in it at all. I know the fancier (commercial) mobile skin does have Javascript as it has popup menus and even allows you to change the color of skin. :) I'm not sure at this point if it's possible to have both mobile skins enabled at the same time, but I will investigate.

..Al

#66 hex65000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:56 PM

I wonder if this is why when I visit the site using my DSi I run into trouble. (Too much Javascript?) It works, but it's super sluggish rendering the page, and something weird happens with the links after the page has been fully rendered. Links don't respond when tapped on but then go there if I hit Back or Reload. <shrug> If I cancel the load early, I can typically navigate normally.

Good luck Al!

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[ Really should clean a bunch of crap out of his account before the conversion hits. I'm home anyway... <shrug> ]

#67 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:42 PM

I wonder if this is why when I visit the site using my DSi I run into trouble.

It won't be long before you'll be able to put on a pair of PC glasses and browse the Internet on a giant virtual monitor and interact with it by waving your hands around like you're in the movie Minority Report.

#68 Mili OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:55 PM

This excites me to no end! Many of the updates have been long awaited, and are definitely appreciated. Keep up the good work :D!

#69 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:56 PM

This excites me to no end! Many of the updates have been long awaited, and are definitely appreciated. Keep up the good work :D!

Yes, some of these changes I've been waiting for as well. Invision is focusing on significant UI improvements in version 3.2, which will likely be out in Q1 2011. I think that will offer some major improvements from a usability perspective. For instance, you'll be able to reply to a thread and see your new reply in the thread without even reloading the page. And a brand new Gallery is coming this year, and I'm excited about that as it is very slick and shows the direction the rest of the forum software will be heading with 3.2. :)

..Al

#70 Mili OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:45 PM


This excites me to no end! Many of the updates have been long awaited, and are definitely appreciated. Keep up the good work :D!

Yes, some of these changes I've been waiting for as well. Invision is focusing on significant UI improvements in version 3.2, which will likely be out in Q1 2011. I think that will offer some major improvements from a usability perspective. For instance, you'll be able to reply to a thread and see your new reply in the thread without even reloading the page. And a brand new Gallery is coming this year, and I'm excited about that as it is very slick and shows the direction the rest of the forum software will be heading with 3.2. :)

..Al

Oh good. This should be able to help with keeping up with quick moving threads. Hopefully also allow the Mod's to destabilize pointless arguments quickly as well.

#71 kamakazi OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:30 AM

Can't wait to try out the new "improved" forum. I am taking web design at Art Institutes and have played around with forum software (phpBB3 & YaBB) and know how much of a pain it can be to get everything setup...let alone upgraded. I've ran into a few that say "it's easy to setup, customize, and use!" Yea...right. So, we are hanging in there. Does this mean we will lose all of our posts? :ponder:

#72 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:56 AM

Does this mean we will lose all of our posts? :ponder:

Absolutely not! I wouldn't think of doing a forum upgrade that resulted in a loss of posts, attachments, private messages, and so forth. This upgrade is a relatively "minor" one in the grand scheme of things, in that it's the same forum software and isn't a major version change (like 3.0 to 4.0). Twice in the past I've moved the forum to completely new software and I've converted the entire database both times. The original forum software was Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB), written in Perl. It was very slow and a big resource hog on the server. We then moved to phpBB, which uses PHP and MySQL. That was a huge improvement. But the software was very insecure and development progressed at a snail's pace compared to commercial forum software, so I made the move to Invision Power Board several years ago (2005?) I had to do a significant amount of work both times to get all the data converted, as the "stock" conversion programs were very lacking.

But, even using the same forum software it can still be a lot of work. It's getting better in that Invision has made it easier for modification authors to write add-ons for the software that don't require any code or skin changes. In time this will greatly reduce the amount of work needed to update the software. And Invision has also created a "Skin Differences" tool that does a three-way merge (using your custom skin, the original unmodified skin, and the the skin for the new version of the software. This tool shows you all the differences in the skin code and can automatically merge your changes into the new skin. Unfortunately this did not work for me this round, but I should be able to use it next time. And it appears that "next time" is going to be relatively soon!

..Al

#73 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:20 AM

Just please don't clog it up with any more javascript.

My poor Retro iMac would stumble, not to mention cell phone users slow data speeds.

:idea: Use a modern browser, they all have extremely improved JavaScript performance.

#74 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:35 PM


My poor Retro iMac would stumble, not to mention cell phone users slow data speeds.

:idea: Use a modern browser, they all have extremely improved JavaScript performance.

A modern browser doesn't help much with a slow computer. I'm running the latest browsers on my six-year-old iMac, and it's become painfully slow. But I've got no choice, since I can't afford a new computer. (And this is with Flash blocked, too... I'd hate to see how bad it was with it loading all the time.)

Edited by Nathan Strum, Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:36 PM.


#75 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:32 PM

A modern browser doesn't help much with a slow computer. I'm running the latest browsers on my six-year-old iMac, and it's become painfully slow. But I've got no choice, since I can't afford a new computer. (And this is with Flash blocked, too... I'd hate to see how bad it was with it loading all the time.)

I am using Opera on my 2003 PC (Athlons 2000+), Opera has always been focusing on good performance on older computers. Yes, some webpages are painfully slow but generally I still have no problems. Give it a try.




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