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Site-wide improvements implemented last night and today

Topic closed. 16 replies. Last post 8 years ago by fja.

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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23348 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 31, 2008, 3:16 am - IP Logged

I hinted at it in an earlier post about an error message some people may have seen because of the upgraded text editor.

I have been working very hard to wrap up the improvements installed and "de-glitched" over the past day.

These are changes that have been in the works for months.  It is not a simple task to keep a web site with this much traffic performing smoothly and quickly, which is why many of the improvements to the site are focused on performance and ability to handle more traffic.  "Not easy" is really an understatement.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to try and summarize some of the changes, so you can see some of what has gone into it.  The Web site changes were installed on July 30 at approximately 1:30 AM, and small bugs that became apparent after the full load was place on the site were identified and fixed throughout the day.

As I stated, the changes made to the site were mainly done to enhance performance, efficiency, and capacity of the site.

Along the way, I have made many small improvements on nearly every page. You may notice some of them, and many changes are subtle, so you may not notice.

I'm going to forget to mention a lot of things, but here's a representative list:

  • NEW: The rich text editor was upgraded to the latest release, 3.1.0.1.  Several people were experiencing problems with the last version of the editor, so hopefully this upgrade will help.  I am noticing myself that the editor feels more responsive.  With the last one I was having characters being occasionally "eaten" by the editor — I type a sentence, and some of the characters did not appear.  Fortunately, I don't see that happening anymore.
  • ENHANCEMENT: I have continued to improve the server processing of posts, which takes place after you click the "Post" button, but before you see it in the forums.  It is something that most people have no idea is happening, but it is a very complex and important function.  For example, I am constantly improving its ability to detect spam vs. allow posts that are not spam (but may look like spam).
  • NEW: I have done a lot of work in condensing and compressing the files and data that gets downloaded as part of every web page.  In some cases I have basically re-written parts of the Microsoft code responsible for sending files, with the new version "minimizing" (removing all excess paces and such) and compressing the file (like a zip file does) — all done on the fly.  My new program code also takes multiple style sheet and script files normally "injected" into the page by Microsoft and combines them into a single download, which improves performance.  I have also done a lot of work in figuring out ways to cache files that get downloaded as part of most pages, so that your computer does not keep downloading the same files again and again.
  • ENHANCEMENT: The pages and script code has been restructured in order to "paint" the web pages as quickly as possible, and to hand off control of the page as soon as possible to you.  I am still struggling with the fact that the banner ad being served at the top of the page is a resource hog, and I am working around that as best I can.  Without the ad there the page would just fly, but I do have to pay the bills. ;-)
  • NEW: Birthdays of all Lottery Post members have been added to the Event Calendar.
  • NEW: Native jackpot amount (where available) are displayed prominently, as the primary jackpot amount, with the US dollar equivalent shown alongside.  When sorted into the main list of jackpots, native jackpots are sort by US dollar equivalent amounts, so the worldwide list can be compared accurately.  Performance of Jackpots page has been greatly increased.
  • NEW: Some support for the Amazon Kindle web browser has been added.
  • NEW: iPhone edition: the drawing results page has three new buttons at the bottom instead of a single option to show last 10 draws. The three buttons are for showing the last 10 draws, showing the last 10 jackpots for the game, and for generating Quick Picks for the game.
  • FIX: iPhone edition: Fixed the Home button so that it does not require two presses. Also, Home button does not get shown on the Home page, and the Back button disappears when it is on the first page.
  • FIX: the smooth scrolling operated more smoothly and consistently across all web browser brands, even on the iPhone.
  • NEW: All major web browsers — IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and more — can now copy directly to the clipboard, and will not see a warning message generated by the web browser.  This is a rare feature found on very few sites (the ability to copy to clipboard from browsers like Firefox, as well as not seeing a warning message in IE7).  For example, links can be copied with a single mouse click, and numbers sets can be copied with a mouse click in Lucky's Followers System.  I really like this feature.
  • FIX: The Opera browser will now properly display Lottery Post's blue popup windows in the correct location, and will not leave remnants of a closed popup window on the page.
  • FIX: Popup windows are placed in the correct location for the Safari web browser.
  • FIX: Fixed bug that sometimes caused the cursor to be placed in the subject line, rather than in the text editor, when replying to a private message.
  • FIX: On the Log In page, users of all browsers can now press the Enter key on the keyboard to log in, rather than needing to click the Log In button on the page.  Previously, only IE correctly allowed the Enter key to submit the form.
  • ENHANCEMENT: iPhone edition: Many pages on the main site are more iPhone-friendly, by removing the sidebar navigation, removing several ads, and zooming the text larger, most times eliminating the need to "pinch" the screen larger.
  • FIX: iPhone edition: Popup windows now work correctly on the iPhone, and even animate like they do when viewing on a regular PC.
  • FIX: iPhone edition: Smooth scrolling now works on the iPhone, as well as the "go to bottom" button when viewing a topic thread.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Image Manager (available to premium members) now displays in a Lottery Post popup window when the Browse button is clicked in the Change Avatar page. Previously, it would open in a operating system popup window, which could be blocked by a popup blocker, and would appear inconsistently in different browsers.
  • ENHANCEMENT: All topics  in the Help forum now display in more streamlined, text-friendly pages. For example: http://www.lotterypost.com/thread/178423
  • ENHANCEMENT: The display/copy link popup window has been made consistent everywhere it is available, and always offers the ability to copy the link to the clipboard (now available in all browsers, not just IE), to navigate directly to the link, or to close the window.
  • FIX: The Form/Topic link button in the Contact Us page now works correctly on all forms and self-help topics. Previously, if someone did not submit enough information and an error message was displayed, the Form link button would stop working.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Updated/added help text available on all pages with a text editor available (help text is available by clicking the Helpful Tips button near the top).
  • ENHANCEMENT: The vTracs Lottery Results uses AJAX technology to quickly change the page to different options selected, with a page refresh, and the selection of the calendar uses a new AJAX-y "please wait" display after selecting an different date.

The list above is pretty big, but I know I've left some things out.  No joke: it was a big update.  I am VERY glad that I have finally been able to wrap it up and install it.

It has now become a big deal to do a site update, with a load of testing and planning that must be done every time.

For my next updates I hope to focus more on some new features. However, as much as everyone likes the new features, if I did not focus on updates like this one, we'd all be crushed under the weight of ever-increasing web traffic.  Then those features — no matter how many there were — would not be very fun.

 

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    hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

    United States
    Member #52345
    May 21, 2007
    2679 Posts
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    Posted: July 31, 2008, 7:02 am - IP Logged

    Crazy color me dizzy from reading the list of improvments

      jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
      Kunming
      China
      Member #57910
      January 23, 2008
      3626 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 31, 2008, 7:18 am - IP Logged

      Thanks for the post. I know many people don't realize all the work involved in maintaining a site like this. Only when something breaks down of course. Thanks again!

      Hurray!

      Play to win!

        DC81's avatar - batman39
        MI
        United States
        Member #54830
        August 31, 2007
        985 Posts
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        Posted: July 31, 2008, 7:24 am - IP Logged

        Yay! Thanks for the updates! Now I can finally use FireFox without those annoying error messages and limitations.Banana

        You can't predict random.

          Tenaj's avatar - michellea
          Charlotte NC
          United States
          Member #17406
          June 18, 2005
          4054 Posts
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          Posted: July 31, 2008, 7:34 am - IP Logged

          WOW WEEE! Thank you Todd!  Absolutely fabulous.

          takeemtothebank

            bootleg233's avatar - Lottery-034.jpg
            Tn
            United States
            Member #54963
            September 4, 2007
            1166 Posts
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            Posted: July 31, 2008, 8:09 am - IP Logged

            Todd I am humbled and in awe of your dedication to this site and  keeping everything up to date and working......I bow before you Sun Smiley Again THANKS!!!!

            WHEN IT FEELS THE WHOLE WORLD SUCKS!

            RELAX.........IT'S ONLY GRAVITY Big Smile

            I think I can I think I can!!!!

              djklaugh's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg
              Portland,Oregon
              United States
              Member #14387
              April 25, 2005
              229 Posts
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              Posted: July 31, 2008, 11:19 am - IP Logged

              WOW! That is wonderful Todd thank you so much for your dedication and brilliance at keeping this site running so beautifully - LP really one of the very best sites of any kind that I've come across Hurray!DancePartyLover

              Djklaugh

                Some things have to be believed to be seen.

              "I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand things that don't work".  Thomas Edison

                BaristaExpress's avatar - BaristaExpressMX zpsfb0d8b5d.png
                Magnolia, Delaware
                United States
                Member #18795
                July 20, 2005
                789 Posts
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                Posted: July 31, 2008, 11:59 am - IP Logged

                Thank you again Todd, for all that you do for each and everyone here on LP!

                ALL HAIL THE Chief Bottle Washer! Hurray!

                Keep dreaming the impossible dream, it just may come true! Thumbs Up

                  BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
                  Dump Water Florida
                  United States
                  Member #380
                  June 5, 2002
                  3112 Posts
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                  Posted: July 31, 2008, 2:00 pm - IP Logged


                  Thanks again Todd for keeping Lottery Post the wonderful lottery resource it is. 

                  BobP


                    United States
                    Member #17555
                    June 22, 2005
                    5582 Posts
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                    Posted: July 31, 2008, 2:13 pm - IP Logged

                    I don't know if it's my computer or something else, but when I open up reply box to a thread, I get a message.

                    "Object of type 'System.string' cannot be converted to type 'System.boolean'.

                    Whatever that means...lol

                    I have cleaned up my browser history and temp. int. files and cookies twice today.

                    It's probably my computer acting up.

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
                      United States
                      Member #25360
                      November 5, 2005
                      4461 Posts
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                      Posted: July 31, 2008, 2:16 pm - IP Logged

                      Thanks for the updates Todd.  However, when I saw the thread topic I was hoping you found a way to predict the winning numbers.  Wink

                        MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

                        Norway
                        Member #9517
                        December 10, 2004
                        1279 Posts
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                        Posted: July 31, 2008, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

                        I'm not able to use the back button in Firefox. And yes I have emptied the cache and restarted it.

                        I have to use the drop down button(next to Forward) for earlier visited pages and chose to go back using that.

                          ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
                          Idaho
                          United States
                          Member #56506
                          November 21, 2007
                          6537 Posts
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                          Posted: July 31, 2008, 2:39 pm - IP Logged

                          Thank you for all the hard work that you put into the site Todd. Many of us appreicate it! Thumbs Up

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

                            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                            Chief Bottle Washer
                            New Jersey
                            United States
                            Member #1
                            May 31, 2000
                            23348 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: July 31, 2008, 9:05 pm - IP Logged

                            I'm not able to use the back button in Firefox. And yes I have emptied the cache and restarted it.

                            I have to use the drop down button(next to Forward) for earlier visited pages and chose to go back using that.

                            @MW:  Lottery Post has no ability to control your back button in the manner you describe.  I use Firefox as one of my primary browsers, so I am certain it works exceedingly well.

                            @Pac: I mentioned in my post about that error and how to fix it.

                             

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

                             

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

                              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                              Chief Bottle Washer
                              New Jersey
                              United States
                              Member #1
                              May 31, 2000
                              23348 Posts
                              Offline
                              Posted: July 31, 2008, 9:06 pm - IP Logged

                              Thank you all who posted such nice comments, they are a delight to read!

                               

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

                               

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