Development of the site

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  • Development of the site
  • Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    Is the plan to get the site back to exactly how it was pre-hack? Or are we going to have something like this?

    Great work to get things up and running following the hack chaps, much appreciated by all I think; i’m just interested in knowing what the plans are

    druidh
    Member

    "something like this"??

    This IS the new site

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    seriously?

    druidh
    Member

    Why surprised?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I think it’s pretty good like this. There are still a few bits being added here and there but it’s already better than the old one in my opinion.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    I think the way the front page has less items, and that they’re diluted with annoying classifieds tends to stifle debate πŸ™

    meehaja
    Member

    I like the new site…

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    but just pick the chat forum (or bike) and see only the ones relevant to that area?

    I prefer it.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    yes, this is going to be the basis of the new site.

    In fact this was always the plan. That plan got accelerated rather rapidly over Christmas of course.
    Now I know the obvious question is why if we now have that new website couldn’t we have simply done this earlier?

    Well, it’s technical but essentially it revolves around transferring all the old content including user accounts, passwords, links etc through to this completely new system seamlessly. The plan was to make the switch but with all usernames AND passwords being left intact so all you would have noticed was a new look website with all the old content and accounts in place. Switching a database from a bit of software that is 8 years old to a brand new software system is a bit like round peg into a square hole. Not impossible but difficult. The disaster is that we’ve had to start this website from scratch, asking you all to reregister (some people losing old usernames, forum post histories etc). We have 8 years worth of stories and forum content to try and backup into this site yet. That’s a situation we never wanted to happen. So from the user side we can perfectly understand that it seems on the surface like it should have been an easy job just to do what we’ve just done and switch on a new website. But from our point of view we have a website that has no history in terms of users, forum posts and site content. That’s going to take a while to bring back online. It’s important as a website with 8 years of history is like a well used library and attracts many more users than a fresh out of the box website does.

    Not sure if that explains it all properly but I hope it gives a bit of an idea as to what our problem has been and still is. πŸ™‚

    druidh
    Member

    simon_f_barnes – Member

    I think the way the front page has less items, and that they’re diluted with annoying classifieds tends to stifle debate

    There are two front pages now – just like before. What’s new?

    zokes
    Member

    Can we please have some English spellings?? Favourites has a U in it, and centre is spelt centRE, not centER.

    Apart from that, lovely jubbly! πŸ™‚

    druidh
    Member

    Mark – I still think you guys have done a great job over the last 2/3 weeks. There’s always resistance to change – especially amongst the more "senior" citizens….

    5thElefant
    Member

    Looks like the old site to me. Attention to detail was never my strong point though.

    coffeeking
    Member

    Its only like a well used library if the search goes back >60 days which the old one didnt lol.

    I like the new site, it needs a few tweaks but its faster, more efficient etc. I think we’d like the wideboy option back though, again I’m looking at a narrow strip in a widescreen screen!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    It might be nice if the Summary page didn’t include classifieds as I agree they clutter the place up when I’m not looking to buy anything. But I spend my time almost exclusively in the chat forum so it’s no biggy.

    centre is spelt centRE, not centER.

    Erm.. yeah, but that is the BBCode standard which is used internationally. You’ll notice that image isn’t spelt IMG either.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    You are talking forum search. The main site had over 3000 stories, many of which were still being hit on a regular basis by search engines and delivering large amounts of traffic to us.

    The limit of the forum search to 60 days was because the reason the site used to grind to a halt was due to the massive query strain that was put on the database when anyone tried to do a search through the entire history of the forum. The reason that the site developed a much less wobbly nature over the last 6 months of its life was largely down to that search issue. Somewhat incredibly when we had more than one search running at a time the site drastically slowed down. So essentially we were in the position where we were having to spend as much time killing large queries and patch and prop up the old site as we were spending in developing the new site. So in a true silver lining kind of cliched way, the fact the old site was utterly destroyed at least removed half of the workload from our two stressed out techies. Now they are both totally focussed on this new site..

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    There are two front pages now – just like before. What’s new?

    sorry, I meant the ‘forums’ page

    There’s always resistance to change – especially amongst the more "senior" citizens….

    har, har – my criticism wasn’t based of differentness but on functionality. We used to have a single main forum (and also classifed section), but then about 6 months ago there was a split to ‘bike’ and ‘chat’ sections. I objected to that because it just meant I had to look in 2 places for new stuff. Now it’s reverted to the old pattern, but with a flood of classified topics too (which I have no interest in), and there are only half as many items in the listing, so things go stale quicker πŸ™

    I’ve already chucked my zimmer frame across the room so I’m stuck here now till nursey gets it back for me πŸ™

    Getting used to it now, can hardly remember the old one!

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Its only like a well used library if the search goes back >60 days which the old one didnt lol.

    You could force the old site to search for older posts by changing the number of days in the search results URL.

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    ok so how do i stop the forums listing threads by the last "replied to"?

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    You can’t..

    yet…

    It’s on ‘The List’

    πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Gravy
    Subscriber

    Same as "Freeform" really. I thought that us bikers liked new stuff instead of old cronky gear ?

    I used to think that the limited historical search on the forums was a problem – until I realised I was a goldfish – now I can happily enjoy the same what lights / tyres / shorts / etc etc over and over again…….as I make my way around the 60 day bowl…..

    but can we have the bike and chat forums back together now please ?

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    No

    πŸ™‚

    stumpy01
    Member

    Can I make a suggestion to add to the list, if it’s not already on there please???

    When you click on a link that someone has posted, it stays in the same tab/window and overwrites the STW website.
    It would be lubbly jubbly if it opened in a new tab/window instead of having to do "richt click…..open in new tab…." as I keep forgetting to.

    Apart from that…..all looks great to me.

    Tom
    Member

    Can we please have some English spellings?? Favourites has a U in it, and centre is spelt centRE, not centER.

    Don’t worry this annoys me immensely too, and we’ve already looked at changing it. Unfortunately it’s hardcoded into the forum software in several places and may take some time to disentangle.

    It might be nice if the Summary page didn’t include classifieds as I agree they clutter the place up when I’m not looking to buy anything

    We’d like to add a user-defined filter at some point. Again this was part of the original plan, but time has not permitted its implementation yet. We’re getting through the most important things first, and will be adding niceties like this in the near future. We’re making good progress.

    You could force the old site to search for older posts by changing the number of days in the search results URL.

    We even had to limit that to the last few months, due to the performance problems involved in several people running wildcard text searches on 4 million posts while people are trying to rapidly post to the same database at the same time. This should now be resolved with the current forum and when the archives come back online.

    When you click on a link that someone has posted, it stays in the same tab/window and overwrites the STW website.

    This is currently being fixed.

    Keva
    Member

    I don’t like it as much as the old one but that can only be a good thing because I use it much less now, I have more time to do useful things like my work instead of reading peoples arguments.

    ok – it’s your ball…. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    When you click on a link that someone has posted, it stays in the same tab/window and overwrites the STW website.
    It would be lubbly jubbly if it opened in a new tab/window instead of having to do "richt click…..open in new tab…." as I keep forgetting to.

    Noooooo, that used to really bug me! Just crtl+click, or middle-click!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    It would be lubbly jubbly if it opened in a new tab/window instead of having to do "richt click…..open in new tab…." as I keep forgetting to.

    Well just middle-click on the link instead. I personally don’t think they should change basic browser behaviour just because people don’t understand how their blimmin browser works!

    Tom: out of interest, are the forum topics now picked up by Google? I would have thought that the.. ahem.. "diverse" nature of the various threads on the Chat Forum would bring in a load of new traffic.

    The search issue is a concern. Amongst all the vast amounts of opinion, there is a wealth of incredibly useful info lurking in the old forum threads. I’m guessing that’s what the search tool is best used for. E.g. "Snowdon". There must be hundreds of threads about this.

    How about doing offline searches to short-list the top re-occurring threads and creating a special "Knowledge" forum for them? Only Admins would be able to add threads to this forum. It will discourage users from spawning new threads about old topics and significantly reduce your server’s search effort.

    e.g.
    Snowdon
    Lake District
    One thread per trail centre name
    One thread per popular bike model

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    one thread to rule them all Frodo

    i’m looking forward to the links opening in a new window/tab. this happens on most sites i use, and it bugs me when i have to remember something new for one site. i often wonder off from the original linked page, which means multiple backs until i get back to stw.

    anyways, thats my only dislike of the current site, other than that, i prefer it to the old πŸ™‚

    Tom
    Member

    I personally don’t think they should change basic browser behaviour

    I hear this, but there are different points of view about it. target="_blank" is basic HTML and basic browser behaviour. If you don’t like it you can probably set your browser’s behaviour to ignore the website’s html, or right-click and open in the same window. Client choice for the win πŸ™‚

    out of interest, are the forum topics now picked up by Google?

    Yes, for example, or as someone elsewhere pointed out

    The search issue is a concern

    This was a problem with the old forum software – in fact it was the primary reason for the "could not connect to database – go ride a bike" hamster errors which were quite common a while back. The current search is much better designed, and there will not be the same problem for searching the older archives when they come back online. Always happy to hear suggestions though.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Cool – glad to see the google result. Can I also suggest you add an xml sitemap or whatever the mechanism is to get google to list the different sub-section of your site (e.g. google for "bbc" and the result has direct links to "News", "Weather" etc)

    target="_blank" is basic HTML

    Well yeah "basic HTML", but the "target" attribute has been deprecated since HTML4 and is only valid in transitional html but hey ho, as you say it’s up to the users. I prefer having the choice whether I open a link in a new window or not but I accept that I may be a freak πŸ™‚

    Another possible improvement would be to move the inline CSS and Javascript to external file so we get more cache hits and the pages load faster.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Google could be your friend for more refined forum searches, such as finding threads about Snowdon or by one user.

    soobalias
    Member

    my boss liked it better when it crashed and i could do some work.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    i hear we’re going to get back the way the threads are listed, so the threads stay where they were. or at least the option to choose how to display threads again. thats my main problem with it at the mo. i much prefer the way i used to be able to have it. sooner the better IMHO πŸ™‚

    is there any chance of getting back the ‘edit my homepage’ option too? i used to like being able to set it with hyperlinks to ‘my classifieds’, ‘my chat forum’ etc etc, so i could catch up on threads id posted on.

    and also maybe a way of tagging threads you want to keep an eye on? (altho just having the above hyperlinks and posting ‘tick’ in the reply box would probably do the same thing)

    good work so far tho πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    also maybe a way of tagging threads you want to keep an eye on

    Like maybe a link saying "Add this topic to your favorites" just under the thread title?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    There’s definitely an argument to be made for offloading search duties on google (and I wonder why they didn’t do that with the old site).

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)

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