Scott Hardie | May 28, 2004
I kept the last site revision a secret for two months. This time, having just gotten a job as a web developer, I don't think I could pull it off if I tried.

I'm changing the site because I have learned (and I'm continuing to learn) all kinds of new skills on the job. I never even considered using includes before, let alone functions and classes, but boy what a difference they make in time and convenience. The new skills are so fundamental, however, that I cannot really apply them to the site as it is; I'd have to rebuild it from scratch to use them. And I figure, as long as I'm rebuilding it, why not update the appearance of the site? The structure will stay almost the same. (In other words, you'll have all the same content you have now, broken up into different sections like GOO and TC, except the design will look different.)

I intend to use this TC discussion to poll regular users as I work on the new site in the coming weeks. There's no ETA, because I have little grasp of my schedule yet, but the new site will use the same database as the old site, so I can work on it for weeks and still leave the old site running during that time. Right now I'd like to ask you about two items in particular.

- TC is gaining too many comments, too many discussions. It is slowing the system down whenever it has to take into account a great many discussions at once (such as when you look up my entire author record or when you search for something on TC). I suppose there are ways to speed it up, but I ask you, would it be so bad if comments from the first four versions of TC were made unavailable upon the launch of the fifth version? Would anybody miss the old discussions?

- How strongly do you feel about Recents? Would you miss them if they disappeared? I don't know an aesthetically pleasing way to fit them into the new design.

I welcome all kinds of other suggestions, both for improving existing systems and adding brand new features. If there's something you miss having on this site, now's a great time to ask.

Erik Bates | May 28, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | May 29, 2004
I can't comment on recents cause I've never used them. I'm too lazy to do the work put into it just to show others what I'm doing - if anyone wants to know, they can just ask, or I can bring up a particularly exciting thing I've done recently.

I don't like any internet purging, although I know it is necessary. I hate that records on the internet are so easily erased compared to records anywhere else. Sometimes I like to take a trip back - like a few months ago when I read all the posts I'd ever posted to here. That stuff interests me. And some posts DO resurface, so it's kind of a tough call. Maybe only keep discussions over a certain length?

Scott Hardie | May 29, 2004
Well, I have been considering a couple of shortcuts. The search could be divided up between TC1, TC3, TC4, and TC5, since you generally know the time period of the discussion you want to look up. And the long list of discussions/comments on each author's page could be a single block of text that is stored in the database as a unit of information, dynamically appended at the end whenever the author posts something new. That would load near-instantly, like a long FIN post, not requiring up to ten seconds to generate from thousands of separate entries. So maybe old discussions can stay. I know you're competitive about your comment count, Anna. :-)

Lori Lancaster | May 29, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | May 29, 2004
I'm not competitive about my comment count, really. I was kind of excited there for awhile when I was neck and neck with a few people, but now it doesn't really matter to me. I'm going to feel kind of sheepish if I overtake you - it means I need to get a life! Your site is just a good discussion area.

Erik Bates | May 30, 2004
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Kris Weberg | June 2, 2004
Bwah-ha-ha isn't really evil laughter, it's more JLI laughter Maybe you want "Muhahahahahaaa!" or something similar.

Anna Gregoline | June 2, 2004
I hate the internet archive thingy - it's so awkward, and even so, won't that go away someday too? It's just a shame that the majority of our current culture will not be around after our particular civilization ends.

Denise Sawicki | July 10, 2004
Hi Scott, if you feel like you need more busy work to do on your site, maybe you could change it so that where it lists the date of the last post in a thread on TC, it would say "Today" instead of saying today's date if the latest post was today. Handy for those of us who are too lazy to figure out today's date and are bored and wanting to find new posts to read... OK, slightly handy for *me* anyhow...

Jackie Mason | July 12, 2004
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Scott Hardie | July 13, 2004
Good idea, Denise. You're in charge: Visit "Edit My Display Options" in My Account to set the number of days back in time that will appear in cyan instead of white. I left it as a default of 2 because that's the way I like it, but set it to 1 and only discussions updated today will display in cyan.

Scott Hardie | July 13, 2004
Recents are staying; in fact, I plan to add some functionality that will remember your old recents. For example, above the fields to enter a CD you recently heard, there would be a drop-down menu of every CD you ever said you heard, in case you want to quickly re-enter an old one from your collection without tracking down the link and icon every time. I have that programmed into my recents (perks of being the webmaster), so it's about time I programmed it into yours too.

The new site is taking way freakin' longer to do that I had planned, and it's not my fault; the setbacks I'm facing are not ones that I could have foreseen. But I'm plugging away at it and expect to make an important breakthrough soon, allowing me to put the hard stuff behind me and have only easy stuff ahead of me.

Scott Hardie | July 13, 2004
I just realized... Since the cyan-font feature requires a cookie anyway, I could reset the cookie each time you access the page, and display discussions in cyan that have been updated since you last accessed it... But I don't need that much more busy work around here. :-)

Jackie Mason | July 31, 2004
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Scott Hardie | July 31, 2004
Nope. Does it look like Times New Roman? The stylesheet fails to load every once in a while, rendering the text in the default font of your browser, which is Times unless you set it to something else.

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