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Lottery Post Site Update (Feb. 25, 2009)

Topic closed. 20 replies. Last post 6 years ago by Todd.

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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
21578 Posts
Online
Posted: February 26, 2009, 11:05 am - IP Logged

As many of you know, I did a site update last night.  It included changes that have been in the works for a few months, which I'll document here.

This was a very challenging update, because it dealt with the forums — a very complex part of the site, as well as one of the most important parts.  In order to finish the new parts, I had to basically stop doing almost everything else and work exclusively on this for the past few weeks.  It's hard to tell from looking at the new pages, but it was really vexing and time-consuming work.  I'm very glad it's done.

Below is a list of some of the changes made to the site.  As is typical with these changes, there are many minor tweaks and fixes that will go unsaid, but you may notice as you go through the site.  An update like this is kind of like a Microsoft Service Pack that incorporates a bunch of small fixes that have been accumulating over time.

  • Probably the most noticeable change is the new News format.  This is one of those things that has been sorely needed, but was very difficult because it involves changes how the forums work.  It has been developing over many months.  The new News Story pages include the following features:
    • New fixed-column width with full justification, making long articles much easier to read.  (Wide pages have been shown in studies to be much harder on the eyes and harder for the eyes to follow.)
    • Ability for each user to change both the font style of the text as well as the font size.  The changes are saved from story-to-story, so you only have to set it one time.
    • News Story options, like obtaining the PermaLink, displaying printable view, e-mailing to a friend, etc., are in a new low-key link format and handily presented in a small block within the story.  They are easier to find and use.
    • Common functions like Related Stories and Digg link are in a new sidebar on the right, so they do not disturb the flow of the story, and which provides an area for future features/growth.
    • New comment links and instructions makes commenting simpler and more accessible.
    • Internal changes to the page structure and HTML code makes the News Stories easier for screen readers (used by people with disabilities).
  • New blog comment pages:
    • New easier-to read and better-looking format for comments.
    • Changed the sort order for comments, so the first comment is at the top and the latest comment is at the bottom.  Also, the form for entering a comment is at the bottom.  This follows common conventions used in most blog systems on the Internet, and feels more logical (flows better too).
    • Comments by the blog owner are highlighted, again following a trend among blog engines on the Internet.
    • Each commenter's entry includes a small version of their avatar.
    • New friendly URLs make it much easier to navigate and go to specific sections of a blog entry.
  • New generic avatar.  Every member who posts now has an avatar, following a common trend among Internet forums and blogs.  Encourages people to choose their own avatar.
  • New ad formats to hopefully bring in mcuh-needed revenue to keep to site running.  (Please support Lottery Post by clicking our ads and making purchases through our sponsors!)
  • Fixed bug that would make it difficult to use some popup menus — they would tend to disappear before you had a chance to click the menu option.  Popup menus are more "sticky" now.
  • Fixed display glitch that would show a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the page in certain browsers (such as Firefox).
  • Created new campaign to grow awareness among IE6 users — that they need to get off that browser as soon as possible.  IE6 is a tremendous security risk to everyone who uses it, and with IE8 coming out within the next month or so, support for IE6 will be vanishing all over the Internet — including at Lottery Post.  It is becoming too difficult to support and test IE6, so this year support for that browser will end.  If you don't upgrade to IE7, you will start to notice more and more things that just don't work.  A new page instructs in great detail how to upgrade to a variety of browsers.
  • Improved some of the text editor's post-editing processing, in order to improve the output of whatever is entered into it.  For example, it will look for common small phrases and wording and ensure they don't break across lines.  Also improved spam detection.
  • Improved support for the upcoming IE8 web browser — now supporting its native mode for all pages except the text editor pages.  This does not indicate any action necessary for users, but is intended to ensure that the enhancements of the new IE8 browser are utilized to the fullest extent.
  • Improved instructions provided to new users who just finished registering, to make it as clear as possible what their next steps are (with regard to receiving the activation e-mail and clicking the activation link it contains).  Despite my best attempts, people have continued to do things like replying to the activation e-mail, rather than clicking the link inside it.
  • When reading private messages, you can now see all of the same member details that you can see on a regular forum post, such as the member's ranking and member level.
  • Improved the dynamic aggregation and compression of JavaScript code, to make all the page code as small and error-free as possible.
  • Added menu transparency effects to every web browser, for consistency from browser-to-browser.
  • Added new Link Policy page to help people who are looking to link to Lottery Post on their Web site.
  • There are many more additions and enhancements, but this is a good list of the more major things.  Suffice to say there are dozens of other smaller changes designed to improve the site and incorporate feedback from members.  (Please keep the feedback coming!)

 

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    rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
    Texas
    United States
    Member #55889
    October 23, 2007
    3397 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 26, 2009, 11:27 am - IP Logged

    Great Todd.

    I had noticed the changes, but not realizing what was going on. Kinda like, "Gee, that looks different". Duh!

    But then, I'm not very tech savvy.

    Thanks for your very hard work and time put in on this great site.

    (Are you sure you didn't win MM or a big jackpot sometime to afford this???????) LOL.

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
      21578 Posts
      Online
      Posted: February 26, 2009, 11:34 am - IP Logged

      Great Todd.

      I had noticed the changes, but not realizing what was going on. Kinda like, "Gee, that looks different". Duh!

      But then, I'm not very tech savvy.

      Thanks for your very hard work and time put in on this great site.

      (Are you sure you didn't win MM or a big jackpot sometime to afford this???????) LOL.

      Yep, I'm sure I didn't win (I wish I had).   I just work all the time.    All .... the .... time.  Twitch

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        pick4hawk's avatar - Trek HAND3.gif

        United States
        Member #19982
        August 9, 2005
        225 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 26, 2009, 11:40 am - IP Logged

        I didn't choose an avatar because none seemed right to me. I would perfer none if that is okay?

        thank you. hawk.

          Shawn67's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg

          United States
          Member #45970
          September 1, 2006
          4763 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 26, 2009, 12:22 pm - IP Logged

          Thanks for all the work Todd. It looks great.

            psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

            United States
            Member #4877
            May 30, 2004
            4637 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 26, 2009, 1:05 pm - IP Logged

            Yep, I'm sure I didn't win (I wish I had).   I just work all the time.    All .... the .... time.  Twitch

            Party

            BRO TODD "KNOW'$ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            when D light is green, UGO>>>>

            we depend on D LP who KNOW's !

            BRO TODD "KNOW'$ when troop's

            R-low<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

            he speed's us-UP cause,>>>>>

            BRO TODD ain't SLOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Party

            Party

            WHO KNOW'$$$$$$$$?????????

            BRO TODD "KNOW'$"!!!!!

            LOL

            BRO PSYKO

              x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

              United States
              Member #48046
              December 7, 2006
              1699 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 26, 2009, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

                  It's official:   I'm a 7  and no longer a 6

                           Thanks for the link.   (it only takes about 10 minutes  if you can "tear" yourself away for that long)

                Avatar
                Atlanta, GA
                United States
                Member #1265
                March 13, 2003
                3326 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 26, 2009, 2:00 pm - IP Logged

                Totally awesome improvements, thank you so very much!!!  Now I know why you haven't been on much lately.

                Good luck to everyone!

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  21578 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: February 26, 2009, 2:09 pm - IP Logged

                      It's official:   I'm a 7  and no longer a 6

                               Thanks for the link.   (it only takes about 10 minutes  if you can "tear" yourself away for that long)

                  I am so happy to hear that, and to know that the new page even helped one person get their software up-to-date makes it 100% worth the time and effort it took to make.  My aim is to help people have the best expeirence possible on their computer, while doing so in a secure environment.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

                    United States
                    Member #56506
                    November 21, 2007
                    4657 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: February 26, 2009, 2:43 pm - IP Logged

                    It all looks very good Todd. Thank you for all the hard work you put into the site!

                    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                      MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                      Norway
                      Member #9517
                      December 10, 2004
                      1016 Posts
                      Online
                      Posted: February 26, 2009, 3:08 pm - IP Logged

                      One small problem.  I get the message:

                      "Error

                      You did not specify a valid forum post to reply to."

                      When clicking on the Post Reply button in news stories on the front page.

                      Same problem when clicking on the Post Reply button in  news stories in the Lottery News forum.

                        x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

                        United States
                        Member #48046
                        December 7, 2006
                        1699 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 26, 2009, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

                           I got that too,  Millions-W,  but when I re-tried,  it was normal

                                      Wait till you see the blogs......  it shows your avitar when you comment.

                                                               Far-Out!Hippy

                          Cooljazzy54's avatar - Lottery-036.jpg
                          New York
                          United States
                          Member #25285
                          November 4, 2005
                          18 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 26, 2009, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

                          Hi Todd,

                          Thank you for sharing.  I know that you put in a lot of hard work and it takes great effort and time on your part

                          to create a forum that is as entertaining and valuable to Lottery Post members.  You continuously find ways to

                          make this website easier for everyone to use.  Technology is a wonderful thing when it works properly.

                           

                          When I need a break for the mundane I can always turn to LP for advice, insight, news and entertainment. 

                          Todd keep up the good works and have a ble$$ed day everyday.

                          Party

                            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                            Chief Bottle Washer
                            New Jersey
                            United States
                            Member #1
                            May 31, 2000
                            21578 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: February 26, 2009, 5:04 pm - IP Logged

                            One small problem.  I get the message:

                            "Error

                            You did not specify a valid forum post to reply to."

                            When clicking on the Post Reply button in news stories on the front page.

                            Same problem when clicking on the Post Reply button in  news stories in the Lottery News forum.

                            This has been fixed.  Thank you for reporting it.

                             

                            Check the State Lottery Report Card
                            What grade did your lottery earn?

                             

                            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                            Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                              CowboysFan's avatar - Cowboys
                              Sunny California
                              United States
                              Member #63790
                              August 8, 2008
                              220 Posts
                              Offline
                              Posted: February 26, 2009, 8:11 pm - IP Logged

                              Thank you  for the many hours that you put into this site Todd. Everything looks great!