|Posted: May 1, 2014, 11:25 pm - IP Logged|
Important changes at Lottery Post are on the way. (LONG POST!)
Technology that people use to access websites like Lottery Post continues to improve and change. More and more people use devices like tablets and smartphones to interact at Lottery Post. Did you know that about half of all visits to Lottery Post now happen on smartphones? YOU may not be using your phone to view Lottery Post, but half the folks out there ARE.
As a result, it becomes critically important to continue making improvements to the site over time. If I didn't, the site would begin to whither as more and more people would not be able to access and/or use the site.
One of the most important components of Lottery Post is the text editor. It's used for everything from forum posts to private messages to blog posts to even creating your custom signature for forum posts.
It has become increasingly apparent that as browsers and devices keep improving and changing, the text editor is becoming creaky with age. Some features are beginning to fail with some new browsers, and on some devices, like iPads, the text editor can suddenly stop working and becomes very frustrating to use.
As such an important and complex element of the site that is hooked into so many different areas, the text editor is very challenging to upgrade and test. So I've waited until it became very necessary before going through the major effort of doing an upgrade.
Unfortunately for me, upgrading the text editor is even more work than it might seem. In order to upgrade the editor, there are several upgrades to the overall technology platform that Lottery Post is built upon that needed to be made. So this has been a fairly intensive and long project. It's all for the best though, because it kind of forces me to keep the overall technology platform current.
What this means for YOU is that when I install the latest website updates (that includes the new text editor), there is a possibility that it will not be the typical 5-second downtime for a site update. (Yes, I have gotten website updates down to 5 seconds for most updates.) Everything works great in a development server, but when I push everything into production there's the possibility it won't work perfect the first time. I don't expect hours of downtime, but it may well be more than a few seconds. So this is your heads-up.
It looks like I'm at the point of doing fine-tuning of the updates, so I would expect this to happen sometime in the next week or so.
Some things to expect with the new text editor:
- First and foremost, the new text editor is designed to work with all the latest browsers and mobile devices. This includes IE11 (which is having a lot of trouble with the old text editor), iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Windows tablets and phones, as well as all the modern desktop web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.).
- A new look and feel for the toolbar, as well as the addition of drop-down menus for those who prefer menus. The buttons have better and more modern icons that are designed to be much clearer and scale better for the new high-resolution monitors that are becoming commonplace. For example, on iPhone and iPad retina screens, the buttons will no longer look fuzzy. The buttons are also larger for better use on touch screens.
- A new spell checker that checks your spelling as you type. Smartphones and tablets will use their built-in spell checking support.
- A new Image Manager (for Gold and Platinum members) still allows you to easily insert images that you uploaded to LP, but that also has many more features, like the ability to organize and move images into folders, renaming, and really great image editing abilities.
- In addition to being able to insert YouTube videos, you will be able to insert videos from Vimeo.
- You will be able to print the contents of your text editor at any time.
- I have rebuilt the AutoSave recovery feature to be compatible with the new text editor, so you'll continue to have the ability to recover the contents of your text editor in case your browser crashes or you accidentally navigate away from the page.
As they say, in with the new, out with the old. With the ability to support all the new devices and browsers, the text editor must say goodbye to IE6 and IE7. People using those browsers can still use a text editor, just not the new rich text editor. They will automatically use the Simple Codes editor. (Anyone can try the Simple Codes editor by clicking Account Settings in the Options menu, then un-checking rich text editor, followed by clicking the Save Account Settings button at the bottom.)
I have been warning IE6 and IE7 users for something like 2 or 3 years now about how support is dropping away for those old browsers, and this is a perfect example.
In addition, IE8 users do not get the spell checker or the AutoSave feature. I found those two features to be way too glitchy with IE8 to include them. Everything else should work OK however.
In addition to all that, there is also a new online game I finished building, to complement the Sudoku game that is already available. I'll let you know more about that after I finish the install. (It's a very addictive game!)
So, to sum this all up:
- I'll be making a major website update within the next week or so that may involve a bit of site downtime, depending on how things go
- The update will include a new text editor that supports all the latest devices and browser, but not IE6 and IE7, which will be switched to the Simple Codes editor.
- Gold and Platinum users will get a new, more powerful Image Manager to upload and organize images and insert them into the text editor.
- A fun, addictive online game is coming too!