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Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-19-2004 20:53

Good news everyone!,

the grail is now undergoing 'dreamhost beta', and I'd appriciate y'all giveing it a good and hard look.

Its current url is http://grail.ozoneasylum.com .

Again, I want to hear about every opinion, every bug you encounter, every feature you still miss(*).
Please either post them right here in this thread, or follow the link from the grail.ozoneasylum.com main page.

The data in this beta system is from yesterday morning. (Read the 'known issues' below for the missing archives), so your username/password works if you didn't sign up since then.


So long,
Tyberius Prime


Footnotes:
* - Except Postcounts.


Some more infos:

Major things that have changed since the last beta:

  • link words are no longer as annoying. You now may use '->' in front of a word to turn it into a linkword. Like '->Tyberius Prime'. All usernames have been made linkwords (except 'oZoNe' - that's a forum around these parts . Some with 'funny characters' (like '.') in them might not work though. That's on the todo list.
  • the menu in the upper left was introduced to allow quick navigation between the forums.
  • multipaged threads. (complete with appropriate next link for those opera users amoung you).
  • Justice4Pat button.
  • Backlinks - click the title of a page to see what pages link to it within the asylum.
  • about a googleplex of little improvements and bugfixes.



Known Issues:

  • Not all archives got imported. It was late at night and a complete import and upload to dreamhost takes about 7 hours, ok? They won't be missing when the new asylum goes live.
  • Apperantly, apostrophes got prefixed with a backslash during import. Won't happen next time.
  • Sig contenst are currently not enabled. They're back on the redsign shelve.
  • Old Slimies don't work. They point to grail.ozoneasylum.de - seems I have not adjusted the url for the importer script correctly. sorry. - slimies in new posts will work, though.



[This message has been edited by Tyberius Prime (edited 03-19-2004).]

jive
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greenville, SC, USA
Insane since: Jan 2002

posted posted 03-19-2004 21:50

looking good tp! We still need to work on my grail! The paths to the smilies images seem to be broken. I'm getting the "red X" (missing image). Other than that looks good.


Nolp
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Bedfordshire, UK
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 03-19-2004 21:50

Looking good TP, i'll have a bit of time this evening to look at it properly.

I'll report back with my findings later...



[This message has been edited by Nolp (edited 03-19-2004).]

Alevice
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Mexico
Insane since: Dec 2002

posted posted 03-19-2004 22:16

I take the faq section hasnt been imported yet.

Getting a "Cell #2488, inhabitant calls himself FAQ" legend whne clicking on a link called FAQ is no good imo :P

__________________________________


Sexy Demoness cel

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-19-2004 22:19

hmpf. double up link words I fear. I removed it from 'mr faq'. so the faq link is working now.

FAQ
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: OzoneAsylum
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 03-19-2004 22:49

The OZONE Asylum FaqWiki feels sorry for having caused linkword trouble, but it hopes to be able to continue to serve as a valuable resource in the future without anything similar happening again.

It would be delighted to see more inmates browsing through its third incarnation's contents via the link provided by Father Prime in the first post of this thread and would of course be interested in any feedback they might have.

Ruski
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 03-20-2004 05:14

Can't wait for it to b e released!

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 03-20-2004 12:14

Totally amazing, TP.

While I haven't noticed any bugs, I have noticed it is a bit slower, although I would attribute this to all the backend things going on so no complaints since the new features are awesome, "creature feep" at its best, hehe.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 03-20-2004 12:57

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 03-20-2004 16:01

If you look at the front page there is slimey iin the header from the css-forum. I think it is not supposed to be there.
I like the nav menu in the left upper corner but it might be a bit bigger and in the right upper corner next to the little tree view which tells you where you are.
Putting links to the archives and the faq in the nav menu would make it more complete imho.

I like the new "last post" link.

TP you are doing a great thing...

------------------------------
Doe something usefull: support Justice for Pat Richard

docilebob
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: buttcrack of the midwest
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 03-20-2004 16:32

Haven`t poked hard enough to stir up any bugs, but it`great, so far.
Kudos and a hearty pat on the back. Well done.
Thank you for all the time, trouble, and patience. We owe ya .

velvetrose
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: overlooking the bay
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 03-21-2004 11:37

using opera 7.23, i find the text appearing 2-5 seconds before the colors and structural lines appear. other than that, the grail looks great

Alevice
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Mexico
Insane since: Dec 2002

posted posted 03-21-2004 16:38

velvet rose - i have seen that happening often on plenty of sites not only on opera, but also on ie and moz/fb, so i doubt its really a site bug

__________________________________


Sexy Demoness cel

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-21-2004 18:34

yes, since everything in the grail is styled via an external stylesheet, it might happen that it get's transmited after the text. i'll see if I can get it cached a little better, though.

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-22-2004 13:22

*bump*

velvetrose
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: overlooking the bay
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 03-22-2004 14:56

thanks TP, it's like walking into the asylum and finding everyone half-dressed

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-22-2004 15:30

as if Emps ever dressed except on his birthday, and when they think alout about throwin' him out of the pub...

Veneficuz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: A graveyard of dreams
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 03-22-2004 23:08

Have played with it a while now, but haven't found any bugs so far. Great work, really amazing!

_________________________
"There are 10 kinds of people; those who know binary, those who don't and those who start counting at zero"
- the Golden Ratio -

Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 03-23-2004 00:16

I know you don't want to hear about post counts, but without them, how am I supposed to know how long someone's been around?

When I go into the JavaScript forum, and I read a question, I want to know if this is the poster's first post here or if they've been around for ages. It makes a huge difference in how seriously I take them and how much effort I'm willing to put into a response. It also gives an indication of whether they're ever even going to *read* my response (ever seen a 30-reply thread where the original poster has only 1 post? I want to know when that's the case so that I don't waste my time responding to them).

Post counts aren't necessary, but perhaps the rating system could be made more useful if they're removed. You know, like the "lunatic" vs "neurotic" thing. Make the cutoffs useful (5 posts, 50 posts, 500 posts, 5000 posts) so that we can actually get a sense of someone's dedication to the forums.

JKMabry
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 03-23-2004 00:52

Slime! is that why you don't answer my queries?!

I'd have to agree that post counts are a bulletin board convention that should not be trifled with. It's a huge disappointment to find something that you take for granted to just be gone.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 03-23-2004 02:02

Couldn't possibly agree more.

As I've said practically ad nauseum....



Yannah
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: In your Hard Drive; C:
Insane since: Dec 2002

posted posted 03-23-2004 05:21

It looks much better than the first Grail.
The reason for this statement would be because it resembles the 'original' asylum.

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 03-23-2004 09:02

I think maybe the best idea would be to take a vote on those (who care) who want post counts can vote and al lthose who don't can vote too. QUite frankly, I don't think it matters if we have post counts. They don't have to count towards rank, and it's not that hard to setup, it's simply sometihng else to add to the script that controls what happens with a successful post, and one extra call in the thread render script.

Here's an idea...I'm going to create a FAQ post in the sandbox, and people can vote it up or down as they want. Up will be for post counts, down against, and I do trust everyone to be honest. Voting will be open for the next week.

Here's the FAQ thread: http://faq.ozoneasylum.com/1404
Vote your little hearts out.

Justice 4 Pat Richard

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-23-2004 11:19

There is the backlink feature - click on a user name, click on the title of his cell - and the grail will list you his 50 latest posts (or faq entries, for that matter).

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 03-23-2004 11:27

BTW: I would like to apologise for continuing the post count debate after TP said he didn't want to hear about it in this thread, but I do think the issue needs to be run out and dealt with once and for all

Justice 4 Pat Richard

[This message has been edited by Skaarjj (edited 03-23-2004).]

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-25-2004 09:37

*bumping on more time*

So,... do you feel this is getting about ready for prime time?

docilebob
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: buttcrack of the midwest
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 03-25-2004 17:08

yup

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 03-25-2004 18:26

TP: Looking good.

I would like to add my vote for post counts (but I would I suppose ).

___________________
Emps

The Emperor dot org

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 03-25-2004 21:39

TP - lookin' good.

I have one teeny tiny complaint... When using the UBB code buttons, you click once, and it gives you the start tag, you click again and it gives you the close tag. If you screw up where to place a tag, you don't have any way to reset it. You have to delete the one it put there, and click again for the new one. Seems a little clumsy.
I like the buttons, they are handy... and the auto start/close tags is cool... just need some sort of reset button for when you mess up.

We can't all be perfect all the time!

But over all, I like the new design of it... The new features so far are really cool. It'll take me some time to go over all of it...
So far - so good!

Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 03-26-2004 07:53

One of the things that really worries me about the grail so far is that the HTML it generates is very disorganized.

A long time ago, I mentioned to Doc Ozone the possibility of allowing users to make their own CSS for the asylum, so that it would be "skinnable", in a way. This would allow people who think the font size is too small, or the colors too ugly, or whatever, to modify the asylum for their needs. And not just the simple things like that, but the entire *layout* of the forum.

But that plan fell through when we realized that the HTML for the current forum is so horrible that there's no hope of writing a new CSS for it - there are practically no IDs or classes anywhere; it's all tables, and even (*shudder*) hardcoded colors!

And the source that the Grail produces doesn't seem to be any better structured. It's nested tables everywhere - there's a lot of HTML in there which is only there for presentational reasons. At this point, the possibility of changing the look or allowing users to individually change the look of the Asylum is not feasible, because the code is not structural; it's geared towards a single presentation which is what we see now.

I'd really like to see the generated HTML rewritten to be more structurally sound (this means including DIVs surrounding important sections of the code, and IDs and classes used appropriately and consistently), and have a CSS file included which contains the presentational information. For a system which is used by so many people - and especially one focused on educating people about art and design - this really seems like a necessity to me.

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-26-2004 09:36

Slime:
You actually looked at the html code the grail produces, did you?
There are no nested tables, except on the front page.

We have a lot of tabular data, that's why we use them.
And maybe you were just looking for '.css' in the source - but everything is being styled via stylesheet, even if that's called styles.php. Changing the colors is darn easy, we've set up a few other grails that use vastly different styles.
Plus, the html the grail generates, is not, per definition, source. Adjusting to some entirely different, but still tabular, output format would take no more than half a day.

quote:
One of the things that really worries me about the grail so far is that the HTML it generates is very disorganized.


-which only matters if you consider it 'source'. The assembler every modern compiler generates is very 'disorganized' (woha, crazy jumps! everywhere!) as well.

quote:
it's all tables,


There is nothing inherently wrong with tables. Now hardcoded colors, are another matter.

quote:
It's nested tables everywhere


False to fact.

quote:
there's a lot of HTML in there which is only there for presentational reasons.


indeed. HTML is not a data format. It's presentational markup.

Edit: Which of course doesn't mean I'm not interested in improving the grail's output - provided some one else is willing to take on part of the work. Life is long, but the years are short, and the todo list is 18 entries long right now.

[This message has been edited by Tyberius Prime (edited 03-26-2004).]

mas
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: the space between us
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 03-26-2004 13:43
quote:
And the source that the Grail produces doesn't seem to be any better structured


well, i cant agree on this, since the new mark up is WAY better structured (in my opinion)because now it fully validates as XHTML. there are no tables within tables, no hard coded colors and so on....

quote:
...this means including DIVs surrounding important sections of the code


as far as i see, the new asylum uses ids and classes and there are also some divs used within the showthread-files. (btw, i saw that by using your favelets, slime....congrats once again, they are a really handy tool....great work!)

quote:
so that it would be "skinnable", in a way. This would allow people who think the font size is too small, or the colors too ugly


i cant imagine the asylum to be skinned. imagine if the colors are changed! the sigs....oh my! but i agree on having the font-size freely adjustable. that sounds great to me.

however, i think there could be done a few improvements here and there, but all in all, this is the greatest piece of code i have ever seen, and I cant wait to see it as our new home

Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 03-26-2004 16:16
quote:
Slime:
You actually looked at the html code the grail produces, did you?
There are no nested tables, except on the front page.



You're right; I'm sorry, I based my assessment primarily off of the front page. Also, one of the first things I noticed in the source code was <div style="...">. But after taking a closer look, I can see that the HTML is better structured than I thought at first. Nonetheless, there is some presentional HTML in there that should be moved to a style sheet (the aforementioned style="...", for instance).

quote:
HTML is not a data format. It's presentational markup.



No, HTML is structural markup; it *is* a data format - meant for structuring documents. Presentation was never meant to be controllable via HTML. Ideally, 100% of the presentional information should be held externally (usually via CSS). Realistically, 90%+ of it can be.

Sorry about my quick judgement, I can see that the generated code is better than I thought. There does remain some room for improvement, but I guess I'm satisfied. =)

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-26-2004 16:39
quote:
Sorry about my quick judgement, I can see that the generated code is better than I thought. There does remain some room for improvement, but I guess I'm satisfied. =)




Well if you aren't, meet me on the Q (or via mail), and I'm certain we can work on improving it.

Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 03-26-2004 16:44

Desired features:

- Split up hugely long words. Every once in a while, someone says "AAAAAAAA" for a mile or so, and it destroys a thread. Either insert a space every n characters, or add a scrollbar to such posts.
- Scrollbars on [ code ] and [ quote ] blocks when they're too wide. overflow:auto is a possibility. This may not be really doable without browser-specific CSS things like IE's overflow-x, but in that case consider various solutions to avoid stretching the thread out horizontally.
- When a post is made *without* a signature, and then edited, put in the "Show Signature" checkbox in the edit form.
- With a reasonable sized browser window (800x600 or so), sometimes when you hover over a link in the Reply form, or when you submit your reply, the height of the form's table changes. This isn't a huge deal but it can be sort of distracting. Maybe that can be fixed?
- AM/PM based time for us Americans =)
- On the search page, when the "forums" checkbox is checked, pre-check all of the forum checkboxes, so that the default action is to search all forums.
- On the search page, YYYY/mm/dd is the expected date format. Is it possible to also support mm/dd/YYYY? Especially since this is the format used on the forum pages themselves. It would also be nice if the current date was pre-entered in the "End" textbox.
- On the search page, when reached from a forum name with an apostrophe in it, you get the text &amp;#039; for the apostrophe. Also, the text "(always the place you were when you clicked search)" doesn't seem necessary. In general, these &amp; bugs seem to pop up a lot... are you actually storing &whatever; 's in the data on the server? Might I suggest that you avoid doing that, but instead add them in at the last minute, when data is transferred to HTML. Consider the nightmare if you ever wanted to display the data in a different format which doesn't use HTML's escape sequences.
- Search by user name would be nice. Not a necessity.
- A "-" button next to the "+" button on the reply form would be good for those times when one (accidentally?) goes crazy pressing the "+".

Alright, I could probably dig up more if I wanted to, but there's no need making extra work for you. Excellent job so far, keep it up. =)

[edit: after posting a reply, is it really necessary to have a "Thank you for posting" page? Also, on this page, and on any error page which may pop up after posting/replying, could you include something like "the text of your post was:" along with the text that they entered into the textbox? Even though the copy-before-posting feature is there, this would be a very nice/clean alternative and additional safety feature.]

[This message has been edited by Slime (edited 03-26-2004).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 03-26-2004 16:57

Slime good list - one thought:

quote:
- Split up hugely long words. Every once in a while, someone says "AAAAAAAA" for a mile or so, and it destroys a thread. Either insert a space every n characters, or add a scrollbar to such posts.



vB and phpBB have this and I hav seen it cause trouble in that it will break long URLs. Clearly TP can probably do somethig that avoids that issue but I thought it worth noting in the early stages.

___________________
Emps

The Emperor dot org

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-26-2004 18:38
quote:
- Split up hugely long words. Every once in a while, someone says "AAAAAAAA" for a mile or so, and it destroys a thread. Either insert a space every n characters, or add a scrollbar to such posts.


I'm thinking about it. Neither solution is any good, though.

quote:
- Scrollbars on [ code ] and [ quote ] blocks when they're too wide. overflow:auto is a possibility. This may not be really doable without browser-specific CSS things like IE's overflow-x, but in that case consider various solutions to avoid stretching the thread out horizontally.


Forget about it. Inner Scrollbars are even more evil than the horizontal-scrollbar-of-death. At least one can naviaget the hsod with the cursor keys.

quote:
- When a post is made *without* a signature, and then edited, put in the "Show Signature" checkbox in the edit form.


A lot of work for a rather esoteric feature

quote:
- With a reasonable sized browser window (800x600 or so), sometimes when you hover over a link in the Reply form, or when you submit your reply, the height of the form's table changes. This isn't a huge deal but it can be sort of distracting. Maybe that can be fixed?


I'll look into it.

quote:
- AM/PM based time for us Americans =)


I'll do *that* when you switch to the metric system...

quote:
- On the search page, when the "forums" checkbox is checked, pre-check all of the forum checkboxes, so that the default action is to search all forums.


The advanced search page? Wouldn't you only go there if you want to search in less then everything?

quote:
- On the search page, YYYY/mm/dd is the expected date format. Is it possible to also support mm/dd/YYYY? Especially since this is the format used on the forum pages themselves. It would also be nice if the current date was pre-entered in the "End" textbox.


Actually, it takes any number of date formats - including mm/dd/YYYY. what it doesn't take is dd/mm/YYYY [german/iso]. There is no default, because you don't always want to limit your date search.

quote:
- On the search page, when reached from a forum name with an apostrophe in it, you get the text ' for the apostrophe. Also, the text "(always the place you were when you clicked search)" doesn't seem necessary. In general, these & bugs seem to pop up a lot... are you actually storing &whatever; 's in the data on the server? Might I suggest that you avoid doing that, but instead add them in at the last minute, when data is transferred to HTML. Consider the nightmare if you ever wanted to display the data in a different format which doesn't use HTML's escape sequences.


You may suggest whatever you want. Storing html entities is way better than infecting everything with slashes, can be easily reversed with a single function call, saves a bit of processing time on output, and makes the system less prone to sql injection attacks.
Then, I want to hear about every place you find such a bug.

quote:
- Search by user name would be nice. Not a necessity.


There is. Just click on the title of a user's cell - it will search the last 50 posts/faqs/whatevers by this user. I think I've already mentioned this in this thread. Alas, we're still looking for a way to make this back link feature (which actually works for any page - not just users) more visible.

quote:
- A "-" button next to the "+" button on the reply form would be good for those times when one (accidentally?) goes crazy pressing the "+".


Reload the page, the size is not stored, and the input box got to many darn buttons already.


Edit: Evil missing commas added.

[This message has been edited by Tyberius Prime (edited 03-26-2004).]

kuckus
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Berlin (almost)
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 03-27-2004 13:24

Thanks for the input, Slime!

I can't say much at the moment as I'm sitting somewhere in Swizerland and won't be home for a few more days, but it's very true that the Grail's source isn't quite as perfect as it could and as I'd like it to be, but school has been taking up most of my time during the last months and for beta stage I thought having it at least validate was a pretty good thing already =) The final cleaning will have to wait a bit, it just takes some time to go through all the PHP code that outputs the HTML. But eventually I'll do it, and then (or probably even now) different style sheets shouldn't be a problem at all if people think that a good idea.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Scrollbars on [ code ] and [ quote ] blocks when they're too wide. overflow:auto is a possibility. This may not be really doable without browser-specific CSS things like IE's overflow-x, but in that case consider various solutions to avoid stretching the thread out horizontally.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forget about it. Inner Scrollbars are even more evil than the horizontal-scrollbar-of-death. At least one can naviaget the hsod with the cursor keys.



Naah... I had a solution once that was almost working as it should. I'll try to get that fixed up. Aargh - cat walking across the keyboard! I'll be back later

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 03-27-2004 13:46

be back, just don't bring any scrollbars with you from swizerland! ;-)

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