Announcements about the forums, like upgrades, features, etc.

Moderator: malducin

#19739
After much work the main site has been upgraded to the 0.10.0 version of phpWebsite. The whole upgrade took about 4 hours but went smoothly.

This major change has been 3 to 4 months in the coming. There were 3 major areas that made difficult upgrading to the this version. One was that test upgardes didn't work and the need to upgrade to a new theme.

There were some problems with the previous 2 versions of phpws that were due to (undocumented) changes for themes which I was able to resolve.

The second problem were several strange problems documented here, like when the calendar couldn't display more than one all day event. Turns out it was a bug in PHP. My host upgraded in December to the latest version, 4.3.10, that corrected those problems.

The major problem turned out to be that all my test upgrades ended up with lots of problems. Some went away when I upgraded PHP and Apache (1.3.x) under Windows XP to the latest versions but there still remained issues. On a whim I upgraded a personal site and it went perfect. It seems that my test environment on my laptop is the one causing problems, seems under Linux everything works fine. I'm styill baffled but the actual upgrade was very quick and most of the time was spent making adjustments for the new theme.

There are a few new features of phpws that I want to try like an RSS feed and document manager but all that will be for later.

A new theme was created for the main site which has been a long time coming as well. It has been partially applied to the credits and articles section and they might need a few adjustments (particularly the credits which uses the old header). The forums will stay for the time being on the old theme because reconverting, while very straightforward, involves modifying quite a few files.

The new theme is now light colored. The header now randomly rotates with images of ILM shots. This are temporary until I can get better and more images but should serve well for the time being. It also uses a bit more CSS. It was tested under Mozilla, Firefox and Explorer on Windows, and I'll test it under Linux later in the week. There shouldn't be many problems since I'm not doing anything fancy. ALthough there is still a bit of people using older browsers (say under SGI or old Windows 9X) which might have problems. I do intend to make the site a bit more graphical and attractive though I'll still strive to be spartan (especially for slow connections) so don't expect a major graphical whizbang. I'm probably gonna redo all the internal pages of the new site. All navigation stuff should now be on the left side on the main site which should make things nicer.

There might still be a few details that escaped me so late tonight so let me know if you think something is funky.

There is one thing broken in this latest version. If you click a category icon while viewing an announcement it'll throw an error. I more or less tracked the error but not really knowing the architecture of phpws I couldn't fix it (didn't see anything wrong, so the error mus have been thorwn elsewhere). I'll need to consult the gurus.

This is the major reason for the lack of updates and posting the last week as I was finishing and testing the last details (I have spent most of the little free time on this since work and personal matters have been overwhelming the last few months). There are about 10 overdue announcements which I'll try to post in the next couple of days (apologies to all submitters).

Hope you enjoy the new site and the streamlining behind the scenes will allow me to know put more into the site with a bit less effort.
Last edited by malducin on Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By malducin
#19741
The icon problem has been resolved. It was really hidden would have taken me agesto find it. Found a reference on the phpws Sourceforge help forums about that same problem but with previous versions. The fix was to correct the construction of the icon link which was in the Category.php file of the Fatcat module. I made it so now if you click the icon it gets you to a listing of related announcements via the announce module. This fixes the one remaining issue and I should submit the fix to Sourceforge.

Now it's time to revamp all the pages and do the final style adjustments.
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By malducin
#19743
Corrected the copyright of all main section (they were still showing 2004 instead of 2005).

Also did changed a bit the navigation bar of the articles and credit section to better indicate on which section on is located.
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By malducin
#19744
All the icons have been edited so they look better on a white background. The Announcements page was also corrected.

Two categories were eliminated: Hardware and Software since they were not really used at all (hardware had 1 entry and software had none). Any subsequent related news will go in the Technology category.
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By malducin
#19752
OK I think I finished tweaking all the CSS styles I needed for the site (both main page and articles and creits section). Also I revamped the Upcoming Projects page (as a test). Also made the Welcome block (main page, which is now at the bottom) a place to highlight current notable events. I'm not sure I like it, mght have to think for a few days about it.
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By malducin
#19761
OK finally changed the Filmography and Credits section to match the new theme.

Unfortunately all the images I had of behind the scenes work and ILM people are lost. I think they might have been lost in my last HD crash and unfortunately they were not in my backups. Not sure if I can replace all of them. So I scanned just 2 photos in the meantime for the rotating header.
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By malducin
#20053
Finally updated the look of the forums to match the style of all other sections. This has taken quite a bit of time (especially since work was brutal last few days which is why I've been absent a week or so).

I cleaned up the subSilver files to use as a base for the new theme. Unfortunately that took way longer than I expected. I was thinking of totaly doing the template and adapt my regular CSS files for the forums. But the sheer number of files would have implied set me back another week or so. But having studied the files while cleaning and given that the subSilver template's color scheme was close enough to the look I wanted, I decided to only make look changes (CSS definitions) from the Admin interface. I also made a few modifications to some of the template files, mainly to incorporate the photo header, navigation bar and footer. The photo (taken from the Star Wars crew photo from the first ILM book) will be static as the TPL files don't allow inserted PHP code for me to do image rotation (without having to hack the board which I won't).

Only issue left is fixing the rank images, which use the old bacground image (as opposed to using transparent GIFs), I'm still debating if also to redo the avatar images with a different border color (uses a pale yellow now) to make it more noticeable. Given that there are a couple hundred avatars I probably won't unless I find a lot of spare time (which I don't have). Maybe if the borders bug me too much thoufg they look fine.

Priority now is updating the main page as there are probably a dozen news items I haven't posted. After that finish reding all internal pages of the main site, followed by making official the first bactch of credits info and a couple pending articles.
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By malducin
#20136
Updated the credits section so that it more closely matches the look of the main site and forums. Unfortunately this has made the articles section have the background apply to all the content, but to fix this requires redoing all the articles. I'll probably leave that for the next weekend.

Also finally catching up with the announcements. I posted 10 (because that's the limit before they go to the past news box) and I'll leave them there for at least a few days just for the sake of presence. There are still about 7 or 8 pending news which I'll post around Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully nothing much will happen this week so I can definately catch up for good.

Work is finally slowing down a bit so I should be able to start working more on the site (crosses fingers) including responding to numerous posts.
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By malducin
#20150
Fortunately found some time and I just finished reconverting all the articles to the new style. Photo display now centers the image as well.

Also edited the forums a little (the outer table) to have a better match (it hyad too much cellpadding).
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By malducin
#20156
Did some behind the scenes work on the articles to make it easier to edit some meta tags and the copyright notice at the bottom.

Also did some minior tweaks in the forums, chainging the folder and rank icons. Also added an extra rank level, VFX Lead Artist. Also I pushed the VFX Guru status to 5000 posts.
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By malducin
#20160
Hmmmmm. Well the "new posts/folder" icons only show up when you are logged in. Only I'm insane that wasn't the way before. I just substituted the images. Maybe something needs to be reset/configed. No idea where I messed up.
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By malducin
#20192
Wel it does seem I went insane. Yes , the new post/folders icons only show up when you are logged in (checked it at the phpBB site). I usually check by looking at the post count, I don't know how i slipped my mind. So everything is fine.

Also I have basically caught up in the announcements dept. There are only 3 or 4 pending nnews (depending in recent developments) so I can finally rest on that department. I was lucky there were not too mnay stories this week.

I have mostly reformatted the awards sections, it was a ton more work than expected since I double checked stuff. Took me the whole day. Good news is that now I have completed the Saturn Awards as well (I was missing something like 1988-1997 non winning nominated projects). I'm also going to separate them intop their own section and only leave the Clios on the Other Awards page. Also discovered that I was missing a few Clio nominated projects as well.
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By malducin
#20224
OK redid all the Awards pages and completed the Saturn Awards one and also I out it in its own page.