IRC-Junkie.org – IRC News

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New Design

Here we go, all should be working OK. And not a moment too late either!

If you have been frequently visiting the site the past few days you noticed a few glitches. First the HD with the MySQL database went *kapoof*, that was fairly quickly fixed luckily. But then later we got that typical error again phpBB seems to popup regularly and it all went into debug mode.

Just these are reason enough for me to switch. I also started to really dislike the old design. It started to show its age. Add to that that most was standard phpBB skin. Original idea was to design my own template, but you know how those things go. No time, MODs work with default Subsilver skin only, etc. etc.

The site should be fully functional now. Here and there I hacked a bit too hard so over time I should prettify the code a bit more, but it should not really matter or be obvious to you as visitor. I might add some functionality here and there as well. GeniusDex spoke of a software section where developers can add new releases for example. I’ll have to see what is possible in my available time, and other constraints.

If you make use of the RSS newsfeed, be aware the URL has been changed. Although originally not planned to add again, I got quite a response to retain it, so here it is. Its also expanded with the teaser/intro text as you can see on the front page, so you can quickly decide whether to read the whole article or not.

A selection of old news articles have been transferred to the new format. I only kept interesting articles and skipped on the software releases etc. The other articles are more important for archival reasons and referring back to them from time to time. I hope you don’t mind I skipped on the comments.

Last but not least, thanks to you all who have been supporting this website all these years! (has it been over a decade now?)

Category: Site News
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  • idan says:

    well, the only thing i like about the new site is that i can write my comments without login to my user account.
    although i was visiting the site on a daily base, i left only a few comments till now.

    the desing isn’t great though, but i guess you dont have the time to implement a better one.

    hope i’ll be more active around here:]
    Good job, asmo.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:52 am
  • El_Rico says:

    I’m not too fond of the design either, but like you mentioned in the discussion on the old page Asmo, you can’t please everyone in design questions.
    I do however suggest that you make the abstracts longer or even that you use them only for really long news. Irc-junkie is not a page with a high update frequency like other pages, where you have to skim over a large number of news entries to pick out those that interest you.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:52 am
  • Asmo says:

    Changing the head graphic won’t be much of a problem really. So far I got more likes then don’t likes but maybe that changes :)

    Most important for me was to get rid of phpBB, over time quite a few patches failed to update some files properly, and the last update failed almost completely. It was just waiting till some rootkit was able to exploit one of the vulnerabilities…

    And a whole forum for just the news site is maybe a bit overkill as well, this is much nicer for the server ;)

    If anyone has idea’s or suggestions for the head graphic just let me know.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:53 am
  • Asmo says:

    idan wrote:
    [quote]well, the only thing i like about the new site is that i can write my comments without login to my user account.

    [...]

    Good job, asmo.
    [/quote]

    Bit contradicting ;)

    You really think its that bad? Please tell what you dislike in more detail please, always open for idea’s for improving the site.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:54 am
  • katsklaw says:

    Initial reaction Asmo is “this sucks”. Sorry dude.

    to be forthcoming, I’ve never been a fan of the ads column taking 40% of the width whilst the stories struggle to take the other 60%, however it’s compounded by the fact that it appears to me you are trying to use a 800px wide frame centered in the window. I understand the value of trying to keep the width manageable, but who really uses 800×600 anymore? I admit I have far few visitors that you but all of my visitors have 1024×768 or higher. Perhaps widening it up a bit may help or don’t use a fixed width.

    seeing this kind
    of stuff on your
    screen is hard
    to read

    where if it was a bit wider it
    wouldn\’t be as bad as the
    above example.

    October 29, 2008 at 11:56 am
  • Asmo says:

    Seems the only dislikes are with the design. Thats OK as that’s all easily changed :) Maybe the dislikes against it are about to even the likes. It would be worse if people dislike the motor underneath, as that takes far more time to change ;)

    I’ll wait a bit, and collect idea’s/dislikes/etc, and see when I can make some changes. Frick, maybe I could do a design challenge and let you guys handle it yourself ;)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:57 am
  • w00t says:

    Asmo..

    Not a bad job, it does step up a bit from the old design I think, and I agree with another poster when I say the reason I stopped commenting is because I’m frankly too lazy to sign in ;p

    That having been said, I think vertical columns of ads are a bit disrupting – perhaps consider putting a “bar” of 4 or so ads horizontally at the bottom of the story? (not the top, since then people on average won’t scroll down to read it – so usability studies show).. :)

    Also, I don’t know whether it’s in your control, but keep moving ads (“XP Style Icons”) to a minimum, they make me want to stab my eyeballs out and install adblock.

    Nice to see that you’ve updated things, anyway – and best of luck for future work. :)

    October 29, 2008 at 11:58 am
  • katsklaw says:

    [quote comment="24"]Seems the only dislikes are with the design. Thats OK as that’s all easily changed :) Maybe the dislikes against it are about to even the likes. It would be worse if people dislike the motor underneath, as that takes far more time to change ;)

    I’ll wait a bit, and collect idea’s/dislikes/etc, and see when I can make some changes. Frick, maybe I could do a design challenge and let you guys handle it yourself ;) [/quote]

    indeed, however to be fair I have to admit that there are very few websites that I actually like. I also need to admit that I use a rather large resolution, so it will appear even skinnier to me.

    I wouldn’t participate in any contest/challenge as I don’t care anything about website design.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:00 pm
  • idan says:

    [quote comment="22"]idan wrote:
    [quote]well, the only thing i like about the new site is that i can write my comments without login to my user account.

    [...]

    Good job, asmo.
    [/quote]

    Bit contradicting ;)

    You really think its that bad? Please tell what you dislike in more detail please, always open for idea’s for improving the site.[/quote]

    well, i meant you did a good job remaking the site. its pretty much (as far as unregisterd user functionality) the same as the old one, execpts the comments system.

    you could add some features (like comments rating, and a tree-view when commeting on others comments) but thats really up to you and the time you have.

    I like the content, and I think thats the most importent part of the site:)

    October 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm
  • Asmo says:

    [quote comment="25"]Asmo..

    Not a bad job, it does step up a bit from the old design I think, and I agree with another poster when I say the reason I stopped commenting is because I’m frankly too lazy to sign in ;p

    That having been said, I think vertical columns of ads are a bit disrupting – perhaps consider putting a “bar” of 4 or so ads horizontally at the bottom of the story? (not the top, since then people on average won’t scroll down to read it – so usability studies show).. :)

    Also, I don’t know whether it’s in your control, but keep moving ads (“XP Style Icons”) to a minimum, they make me want to stab my eyeballs out and install adblock.

    Nice to see that you’ve updated things, anyway – and best of luck for future work. :) [/quote]

    I dislike the animating bit as well :( Bu they help pay the bills and he pays for 6 months ahead so for me (financially not too solid) its a great help. If these darn adsense ads would just pay a little more….

    Otherwise good idea on the ads w00t. Katsklaw: would that fix your problem with the width of the text as well? (ps, I use 1600-1200 too but have programs, including the browser, windowed)

    [quote comment="27"][quote comment="22"]idan wrote:
    [quote]
    you could add some features (like comments rating, and a tree-view when commeting on others comments) but thats really up to you and the time you have.

    I like the content, and I think thats the most importent part of the site:)[/quote]

    Extra functionality can be added in the future idan. Treeview I don’t know, generally the number of comments is well below whats needed to warrant a treeview IMO. This post sparks more, but generally the number of comments stays below ~ 10.

    Thanks for your comments all, they are really helpfull. I’ll take a look into removing the left sidebar as w00t suggested. The colors etc of the top graphic can be changed later as well.
    I only have the problem now that my gf is gone this week, so I have to take care of my son, and as such, have to put things on hold at least until next weekend. Hope you guys have the patience ;)

    Like said before, most important thing for me the phpBB is gone…

    October 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm
  • Quension says:

    First off, congrats on making this work. And I especially like not having to register to post comments. I don’t have any comments on design, because I can’t design :)

    But…

    I really think you should get the old comments back, if at all possible. In some cases they added a significant amount of information to the articles, even corrections or updates that you didn’t edit the main article for. Now it’s kind of like visiting a mailing list archive and finding the first email in each thread but none of the followups.

    The CollectiveIRC article is a good example, as the organization of that network has changed since the initial post.

    The Is IRC on the Decline? article is a better example: the article itself is meaningless without the comments! (Side note: the generated link on the main page for that article includes the ?, which is probably not what you intended :)

    October 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm
  • katsklaw says:

    [quote comment="29"]First off, congrats on making this work. And I especially like not having to register to post comments. I don’t have any comments on design, because I can’t design :)

    But…

    I really think you should get the old comments back, if at all possible. In some cases they added a significant amount of information to the articles, even corrections or updates that you didn’t edit the main article for. Now it’s kind of like visiting a mailing list archive and finding the first email in each thread but none of the followups.

    The CollectiveIRC article is a good example, as the organization of that network has changed since the initial post.
    [/quote]

    Actually that was just a good piece of me ranting about a topic unrelated to this site, but I agree in general that it\’s a good idea where relevant.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm
  • El_Rico says:

    In the past there have been sometimes pretty heated discussions in the news comments, when it came to network drama for example. One of the major disadvantages of a comment system without login is the possibility to post under another users nick, which could cause quite a ruckus in such a discussion. Implementing a tripcode system might be a solution.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:19 pm
  • Asmo says:

    I of course DO log IP’s that can be used in case of identity confusion. Your Wikipage has a PHP code I can easily implement though, if more people want it let me know now :)

    For the rest I have to add that it seems I will be quite bussy for the coming period so anything planned for next weekend will have to wait a bit longer. Just got a project in which require my attention over the weekends as well (as through the week I have to take care of our son). The past weeks’ time to get this change through was already quite rare…

    My well meant excuses to those who don’t like some of the changes, I know I can’t please everyone all the time. I hope to address them in the foreseeable future.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:21 pm
  • PingBad says:

    [quote comment="24"]Seems the only dislikes are with the design. Thats OK as that’s all easily changed :) Maybe the dislikes against it are about to even the likes. It would be worse if people dislike the motor underneath, as that takes far more time to change ;)

    I’ll wait a bit, and collect idea’s/dislikes/etc, and see when I can make some changes. Frick, maybe I could do a design challenge and let you guys handle it yourself ;) [/quote]

    Aha! I’m not alone!

    By the way, bit of a text-escaping problem with your Quote links, maybe you should be looking at the likes of mysql_real_escape_string and stripslashes?

    October 29, 2008 at 12:22 pm
  • Asmo says:

    I AM using stripslashes, no idea why it still shows as I’ve even added it redundantly :\

    October 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm
  • JustMe says:

    This new design isn’t working very well for me in firefox on linux (Ubuntu). I’m looking at a page with 2 tiny columns of stuff on the left side (ads and content occupying about 20% of the width you’ve allocated)… and a big huge EMPTY space on the right side covering about 80% of the window.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm
  • Asmo says:

    [quote comment="35"]This new design isn’t working very well for me in firefox on linux (Ubuntu). I’m looking at a page with 2 tiny columns of stuff on the left side (ads and content occupying about 20% of the width you’ve allocated)… and a big huge EMPTY space on the right side covering about 80% of the window.[/quote]

    Uh… Its working for me in Firefox on Windows… Did you checked for updates of Firefox?

    October 29, 2008 at 12:31 pm
  • o3@dalnet/#Michigan says:

    the link to winbot on the footer needs repair. the correct url is http://www.winbot.org/

    site looks fine otherwise. Thanks for being there!

    October 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm
  • Asmo says:

    [quote comment="37"]the link to winbot on the footer needs repair. the correct url is http://www.winbot.org/

    site looks fine otherwise. Thanks for being there![/quote]

    Fixed and thanks!

    October 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm
  • JustMe says:

    [quote comment="36"][quote comment="35"]This new design isn’t working very well for me in firefox on linux (Ubuntu). I’m looking at a page with 2 tiny columns of stuff on the left side (ads and content occupying about 20% of the width you’ve allocated)… and a big huge EMPTY space on the right side covering about 80% of the window.[/quote]

    Uh… Its working for me in Firefox on Windows… Did you checked for updates of Firefox?[/quote]

    Well, its not working for me very well. I have the latest version of firefox thats been released (2.0.0.12). Its not a problem with using and old version of firefox.

    Since you’re redoing the site, perhaps now would be a good time to learn how to use css for webpage layout instead of tables.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm
  • Asmo says:

    [quote comment="39"][quote comment="36"][quote comment="35"]This new design isn’t working very well for me in firefox on linux (Ubuntu). I’m looking at a page with 2 tiny columns of stuff on the left side (ads and content occupying about 20% of the width you’ve allocated)… and a big huge EMPTY space on the right side covering about 80% of the window.[/quote]

    Uh… Its working for me in Firefox on Windows… Did you checked for updates of Firefox?[/quote]

    Well, its not working for me very well. I have the latest version of firefox thats been released (2.0.0.12). Its not a problem with using and old version of firefox.

    Since you’re redoing the site, perhaps now would be a good time to learn how to use css for webpage layout instead of tables.[/quote]

    Time.. time.. time… But if anyone can help me out here?

    October 29, 2008 at 12:35 pm
  • mr vak says:

    I thought I’d drop in, just for the fun of it. I’m not a big fan of the site as it looks now. My first thought was that I had entered the wrong domain name and that I came to one of those commercial sites that you see when you write an url incorrectly (spamsite)..

    Then I noticed the logo and went hm.. have the spamsite copied the logo? Wow, kudos spammer. Then I noticed the articles and figured this is irc-junkie.

    The best way to improve may be to remove the neongreen topics, the XPicon from it’s irregular place and show a bit of the article on the first page.

    But do as you like, i’ll still visit and probably get used to this page. =)

    October 29, 2008 at 12:35 pm
  • Asmo says:

    Well, I’m afraid I have to admit I have been doing this a bit too fast. But my schedule does not really allowed me anything otherwise :(

    And in the end it tunred out a smart move BTW. The weekend this new site got up the disk with the old MySQL (and the IRCJunkie phpBB data) crashed. Apparently there was no backup at hand either. So all old data is lost.

    Like I said before, the design is not a big problem. That’s easy to change, it just requires time :) I have someone who offered to help already, so who knows it might be done fairly quickly as well. Or maybe it needs to wait, we’ll see.

    Most important thing, and I keep saying this, is that I am rid of phpBB!

    October 29, 2008 at 12:36 pm
  • Kahr says:

    Been a while, Asmo. At first the new design threw me off. I thought I had a) entered the URL wrongly, or b) the site was down and I had been redirected to someplace else. But the banner kept me in place, so I figured you had just gone plain mad.

    The new design is very bright. That is my first thought of it really. But it is no brighter than other sites I visit on a regular basis with bright designs, so it’s forgivable (yes, I like dark designs better than bright ones).

    At first sight it looked kind of “messy”, in lack of a better word. I wasn’t completely able to really map out this site. There is no navigation bar with different sections and pages, and the forum is gone. It might not be necesarrily with this new thing here, but I always loved the forum. I’m a forum-whore. :p

    But all in all, I guess I got quickly used to the new design. It’s not really all that bad. Sure, it could have been much better, but I know all about “having the time” to really pull something off. Work work work and more work and then the girlfriend is nagging. Not to mention YOU have a SON. At least I aren’t that far into the relationship yet. ;)

    Good work Asmo. And good luck ahead. :)

    October 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm
  • Asmo says:

    At least I still have one friend left >:P Thanks Kahr.

    October 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm
  • mr vak says:

    Getting rid of phpbb is fine by me. Maybe you just could toss the google ads outside this centered thingie or right under the logo/image at the top, horosontal (sp?) or something like that. Just to bring the navigation menu back. But I do love this comment version without registering/identifying to a nick.

    As others said, we like this site and your work in it. Thank you!

    October 29, 2008 at 12:39 pm
  • Asmo says:

    Thank you for your comments mr vak :)

    October 29, 2008 at 12:39 pm

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