01:07 < dasunt> solios: Tell me a story where everything turns out right in the end.
01:07 < dasunt> And I'm happy.
01:07 < dasunt> And I don't have to go to work in 5 hours.
01:08 < solios> dasunt: well.... 50,000 years ago, 7 entities destroyed the entire human race.
01:08 < solios> or rather, they tried to.
01:08 < solios> they missed.
01:08 < solios> then, plot happens!
01:08 < dasunt> Damnit!
March 2010 : all entries
posted 2010.03.15 at 04:13 · comment
posted 2010.03.12 at 22:51 · comment
Also turned off for all entries prior to the previous blog post. I would have preferred to leave 'em on, but I Hate Spam, and killing the ability to spam my old blog entries should go a long way towards turning the tide.
Comments are CAPTCHA'd and currently post straight to the site without email authentication. If the CAPTCHA proves an ineffective spam deterrent, I'll re-mandate the moderation queue.
Also, a Twitter feed has replaced the old progress box. I don't think I'll be using it much, but who knows? I thought the same about Facebook.
I do believe that's it for site mechanics. Maybe some formatting stuff for the First Edition metadata of The Dualist - I'll poke at that in a few minutes.
In the meantime, VICTORY!
Oh, and - if you feel like beating on the comments thinger, go for it. Feedback appreciated, etc.
posted 2010.03.11 at 18:35 · comment
ATC site version 2010.1, code name "Furnace."
vai - Created a partial "alternative" build that proved useful in finally freeing the site from tables.
ejp - Finalized the left-hand menu and FPNC, made things work for IE7+, stepped up as CSS mentat for several stages and essentially finished the base template. The man is a God.
Fun fact : the CSS file for the site has mutated quite a bit over the years. I got the original document from bda for use with my first MT blog. He got it from Dan Engler. I'd adapted it over the years to various site layouts, set it up for this one, and then pasted in a bunch of stuff from vai. Eric then hacked at it quite a bit.
GO TEAM CSS!
Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 - Paper design, with extensive thinking on how to add the content lost in the current build back into the site.
20100306 - Started on UI graphics. Realize some bits of the paper design are going to be a huge pain in the ass no matter how the site is implemented and streamline the proposed look to something closer to the previous version.
20100307 - Aesthetics "testing." xeno approves, and I start hating the previous build. Impatient to get the new UI up and running.
20100309 - Further work done on CSS. Some formatting taken from vai's work of the previous day. Eric takes over as CSS go-to guy. IE6 continues to be a pain in the ass, everything works in Firefox, Chrome, Safari/Mac and Safari/iPhone. Most of the IE issues are resolved simply by switching to 7. Link buttons created.
20100310 - Fine-tuning of CSS by Eric with input from vai. Rollover images for all comic books and chapters created.
Major changes from the previous release
1. It's a lot darker, obviously. And prettier. The pretty isn't just my opinion - that's been the consensus of those who've volunteered opinions. It won't win any awards (the flavor is intentionally "web 1.0"), but it's certainly nicer than the previous release. It's also a lot more expressive - each section has its own header, and the space between the comic navigation buttons is finally being used for something.
2. Tables are GONE. Giggedy GONE. Yes.
3. While this thing is still image-heavy, all the text formatting and - more importantly - all the boxes that words reside in have been moved out of table cells and into CSS. This means the launch UI might get tweaked a bit after I see how it looks With A Variety Of Content.
4. Comments are OFF for the time being. You can thank the spam bots for that one - they'll come back later. Since commenting is its own mess of formatting it hasn't been a launch priority.
5. Transitional Voices has an icon.
6. The wiki is gone. It's been replaced with "universe," which is a self-contained blog similar to the old-old Lexicon. It's a bit sparse at the moment, but there's plenty of content from the old-old site that I can copy, revise, and paste back in, so it won't stay that way for long. Point of fact, "universe" is something of a priority. It should update to the front page along with the blog - if it doesn't, it just means I haven't gotten to it yet. Or I've been blogging more than I've been documenting. The major upside for me is that it handles like the rest of MT, which means I don't have to noodle with formatting for Yet Another Web Thing.
7. Old.atc is still around, if only for archival purposes. All of the old "hard to find" content that never made it over here in the previous release - all the stuff I'd intended to dump into a wiki at some point - will be integrated into the current website over the next...
Oh, fuck it. I'm not going to lie. I think it's a priority now but I will probably get distracted. There will be bits - Cast, at least. How quickly the rest of it makes it over is anybody's guess.
The development template was tested in the current build of Chrome, Firefox 3.5.x, Safari 4, IE6 (for laughs), and IE7 (for real, unfortunately). All issues worked out apply to the initial template only - some kinks may crop up when the template gets applied to the website. IE6 was given up on, and a redirect has been created. Think of it as an easter egg.
1. Aside from flat-out abandoning IE6 and ignoring Netscape (Communicator 4.7 was a favored target of mine for awhile, and was the first browser I stopped giving a shit about), there's one display difference in IE7 that I haven't tested in IE8. It's not a deal-breaker, so I'm not worried about it.
2. I have no idea what this thing looks like in Opera, on the PSP, or anything other than the test platforms listed above. There may be wonkiness. As Google Analytics has indicated that some of you use these platforms to read ATC, any input would be appreciated.
1. The one major issue on the backend to-do list is comment capability. For the time being that's been stripped out - I'll add it back in at some point in the near future. With any luck, the planned work will solve the comment spam problem that's been plaguing the site for the past few months.
2. Along with that, probably, some kind of twitter integration. I've been thinking on it for awhile, and I consider it a viable alternative to the old progress bar. Logging of material is something of an issue for me in other respects - it's the one area that's always been "fire and forget."
3. Oh, and. Uh... uhm. Content, obviously. But that's not a backend thing. Further CSS refinement will follow, along with the usual tweaks and broader testing and debugging that'll occur after the new site goes live.
4. Ads. That's what I was thinking of. The Wall Of Spam seems to be standard-issue for all other comics, so I suppose I should get around to slipping some of it in somewhere. As the site has run ad-free since inception, I can promise you this - any implemented ad thing will be either Below The Fold or respectfully unobtrusive.
5. Highest priority of the "remaining" TDL - CSS for Universe logos, images, notes, etc.
posted 2010.03.11 at 17:40
The present content of the Universe section has been salvaged from the old-old version of the website. As such, the entries are horribly dated (pre-TD2E) and should not be taken as canon. I'll get to revising them after the CSS is debugged.
posted 2010.03.11 at 13:32
The head-desking issue from early this morning has been resolved. Using MT against itself to apply a CSS tweak that gets the job done and BLAM! - the comic nav bars display correctly, and comic navigation flows between books correctly.
Break, then finalize templates, then finalize formatting.
Update : Templates work. Had to step back to the heady days of Mercury and the old-old ATC website to get the Universe section functioning more or less as intended. Will work out the bugs when I have more content to put in place... and I'm going to need to insert some before I start finalizing the formatting.
Update 2 : Some Universe content has been seeded, and its CSS debugged. Assembly is down to Final Cleanup of formatting.
posted 2010.03.11 at 01:44
Working on this thing for 14 hours straight and there are still massive, massive issues. Issues I'm too fried to fix tonight.
Update : Guess what? The shit what's been griefing me a BUG. IN FIREFOX. (works fine in Safari, Chrome, and IE, etc)
Holy shit, etc.
Hopefully it can be fixed with CSS - it's that or re-name over 400 CMS entries.
Long story short : Apparently Firefox takes any two hyphens followed by an > as the end of a <!--. It's taking, for example, -4-.php"> as the --> to close out a comment - leaving the real --> hanging free, totally breaking the shit out of comic archives.
posted 2010.03.10 at 20:27
After some debugging, and "revise the CSS" added to the to-do list, the bulk of the site content has been converted to the new templates. Huzzah.
Then. THEN! Comic root pages, seed content for Universe, and CSS fixes.
posted 2010.03.10 at 18:20
The site is busted - turns out the new CSS isn't as thorough as the old.
I'm going to finish template implementation before I fix that - it beats doing incremental updates as I find new and exciting bits of bustedness.
Speaking of - the blog has been re-templated, though Comments are disabled for the time being.
posted 2010.03.10 at 16:37
All the necessary bits are in place.
Eric says the site validates (something I've never cared about), and vai says it looks good in Opera.
Build to commence shortly.
Order of operations:
1. Site root.
3. Other existing site root-relevant bits.
4. Comic pages. This bit will be easy.
5. Comic subdomains. This bit will be trickier.
6. Make sure it all works.
7. Release notes and "final" CMS rebuild.
8. CSS revision and new site content.
posted 2010.03.10 at 14:50
The list of Stuff What Needs Doing To The Template is shrinking rapidly. Things seem to be down to fine-tuning, followed by a couple of section-specific bits of CSS that won't be truly necessary until there's some content to work with.
Eric and vai have been kicking ass and chewing bubblegum. I should be in a position to start rolling out the base template later today, and hope to have the current website converted to the new look and feel tonight.
Re-implementation is going to involve tuning the CMS entries for book chapters - that'll be the only major change and challenge. Everything else will be cleanup, followed by New Stuff over time.
posted 2010.03.09 at 18:45
The development template is now table-free. TABLE. FREE!
For the first time in, well... ever.
This is just the template - there's a host of other problems I'll need to work out after things get working properly... but comments and an improved update box can wait until later.
posted 2010.03.09 at 13:59
Graphics and basic formatting are done, and the base template is in the same state that the previous template was in when I "committed" it to the site. Since that was a huge pile of work - and since it uses tables - today's major task will be doing what I can to transfer any or all of the old table layout into CSS.
I've made a bit of progress on that front myself, and vai took a crack at parts of it last night. The objective - for me, anyway - is to get this thing out the door at some point on Wednesday, so I'll have Thursday afternoon and evening to work the bugs out, Thursday night to bask in my victory, and Friday and the weekend to start seeding new content (and further refining the CSS).
The horror, etc.
posted 2010.03.07 at 15:56
The graphics framework has been created and is pretty much finalized. I've been bouncing this one off of IRC and the informed opinion is that it's a big improvement over the previous site version (v.7 or 2008.1). It is - I can't wait to get it implemented.
What needs doing-
1. Title graphics for major website sections and comic chapters. For this version they're now separate graphics, which will slightly lighten the load while navigating the comic chapters.
2. "Backfill" for title graphics. For the current version that's the bit with Thad and Val up top site-wide, or Whitehouse and Yang in DCR. While it's an aesthetically minor thing, I'm still in the process of narrowing it down to a selection of graphics that I like.
3. Chapter selection bits. The formatting thing I had in mind when I redid all of the covers for The Dualist. Still incompatible with the DCR covers and the current TV cover - something I'll need to figure out over the next few days.
How this thing's going to roll out-
2. That will then be uploaded and implemented, making the site "live."
3. Bugs will be worked out and additional changes/tweaks made as needed.
4. I'll get the damned commenting thing fixed, hopefully to my satisfaction.
5. With the base graphics and formatting rolled out, the focus will shift to adding (and re-adding) content to the site.
Last time around, I spent at least a week tormented by layout, before finally coming up with something that did the job, albeit not to my aesthetic satisfaction. The new look assembled itself in a few hours and is basically the same information layout as the old, only this time... I like it. It may still use tables - it ultimately depends on how easily the UI can be assembled with CSS.
Optimally, I expect the main UI to be rolled out by the end of the week, and enough content in the CMS to flesh out the new components by the end of the month. New content will be an ongoing process, which I don't expect to be finished for some time.
With any luck, the next major blog update will be 2010 release notes!
posted 2010.03.07 at 15:48
11:08 <@_Lasar> That 's not color, that's monochrome. Imagine a world where people never figured out that you could have computers display color images. Instead that universe went on to produce high-res amber monochrome screens.
11:08 <@_Lasar> That's your layout.
11:08 < solios> yes.
11:09 < solios> yes, it is.
11:09 < solios> you got a problem with that?
11:09 <@_Lasar> Nope.
11:09 < solios> \o/
posted 2010.03.04 at 17:46
So much for February. What did I accomplish, ATC-wise? A bit of DCR script development, an initial draft of the first part of TV2 that has a viable shape but is going to require extensive rewriting and retooling to become useable, some deliberation on the shape of the website, a lot of bitching about CSS on IRC, and my first full UVW unwrap and texturing of a vehicle.
I've unwrapped bits before - notably the more difficult parts of the Aeon - but until this past weekend, I'd never done an entire ship by myself. It was more of a confidence building experiment than anything else - the ship in question has been rusting along with a few others (The Banshee, the Astra, as well as a tanker, cargo ship, corvette, passenger liner and cruiser all slated for appearance in TV.3) for quite awhile now. It feels good to have something done, even if it isn't the website, even if it's only going to show up in a few panels at most. Money shots after it shows up in-comic. We've already seen the passenger cabin in DCR.1, and the first external appearance will be a few pages from now in DCR.2.
So there's that, which doesn't have much to do with the website. It is an eyedropper expunged from the vast ocean that is the CG Backlog, so while nothing much happened on the web front in February, I did make a tiny bit of progress on CG assets. Combine that with the one-night crash modeling of Whitehouse's megaphone in January and I've managed a whopping two objects in two months.
I'm going to need to improve on that, obviously.
Which means I'm going to have to get to grips with things what have been dragging me down or otherwise sucking up my time lately, which also means getting realistic about the Order Of Operations, which means I really need to upgrade the website before I start waterboarding myself with 3d Studio MAX again.
Fortunately it's been sorted out on paper fairly extensively - and with some help from a couple of friends on IRC (who will get plenty of credit in the build notes), I'll be able to get over my Fear of CSS. Which puts "make the interface" next on the TDL.
It's been "next" on the TDL for a couple of weeks.
Fortunately, March is still Q1, and I set "ATC Website" as one of my major goals for Q1. I should be able to hit that for graphics and CSS - new content, well... that's another matter!