Website Version 15

The single page changelog started with website version 10 as a means of minimizing chatter about the website in the blog. If you’d like to read about the process of translating a decade of Movable Type data into a modern WordPress site, you may do so here.

Website Version 15 Development

The site was developed in Chrome 74 and tested in Firefox 66, Safari 10, IE 11, and in Safari on an iPhone 7.

20191223 – Fixed an issue with the relational tag pages for Xand and the Daedalus. It was a case sensitivity thing – both wrote out with an uppercase initial character, but they’re linked to via lowercase like all other tags. All tags are consistent in the database. I’m logging this in the event that I ever need to do a complete re-rendering of the site, as if I do it will crop up again and will need to be either solved or corrected again at that time.

20190518, 18:40 – Test build two looks good in Chrome 74 and Firefox 66. Design changes make a visible difference, especially in Safari 10, though Safari still has a FOIT problem. IE 11 still has a FOUT problem, though the front page issue I spotted after starting the build has been fixed in the current rendering. I’ve fixed a couple of minor issues with .entry-meta and am presently struggling with getting the gallery container to punch an appropriately-sized hole in the canvas.

19:12 – Fixed that by fixing the #flavor div and making that display again in responsive views.

19:51 – Fixed a number of responsive design issues.

20:22 – Final IE check. All major issues have been addressed.

20:45Tag archives are now fully responsive. I think that’s everything.

21:03 – Fixed an icons.css FOUT in Chrome. That’s everything.

21:33 – Added the archive shortcut to image.php and to child pages of the Candy section – (a) now consistently takes you back to the parent entry.

01:09 < Laura> solient: you did great
01:09 < Laura> Now stop!

20190519, 05:12 – A couple of hopefully-final adjustments, adding fully responsive image support for the related topics panel. If everything’s fine following sleep then the next build will be whenever the final blog post is written.

20190519, 20:58 – Wrote the final blog post. Spent more time editing it and refining it than generating it. Added a function to ignore the jump location of the “more” link in anything with a “read more,” which changes the handling of blog posts and supplemental pages and tastefully works around the fixed header. Writing out a final test build to hopefully get some feedback on the post; if it’s good to go then so is the site.

20190520, 16:20 – Removed a number of unnecessary elements from the header. Disabled emoji, as they’re rendering with an off-site resource. Moved the function that changes admin bar background color to a login-checked loop in the footer. Good enough.

20190518, 16:52 – Thought up a few issues to check. The featured comic pages are already responsive, the title and tags for first and last pages have been fixed in Safari, and the site has finally been tested in Firefox.

20190518, 14:59 – Slept on it. Woke up and got responsive support added to the last of the cast and glossary thumbnails. Added responsive support to comic previous and next images. Images in post content can’t be accounted for in terms of dimensions so they don’t get the treatment; everything else… should be ready for testing. All three fonts now have rel="preload" as="font" declarations in the header, as high up as it makes sense to place them.

20190518, 00:41 – Initial static test writeout. A few errors, most stemming from removal of the Large image size comic pages. The pages the static generator complained about aren’t linked from final content, so that’s fine. The site written out is entirely protocol agnostic, so I have it up on a subdomain for testing on my phone and PC. Testing revealed a few code bugs that have been fixed (to be tested in the next build) and a number of CSS bugs that have been fixed and tested live. Some design changes have been made to accommodate how the site renders in Safari. Font handling in Safari and IE is driving me bonkers; I’ll be testing that with the next build. Things look pretty good overall.

20190517, 18:46 – Wrote and revised Page 1 of this document. Aside from some minor cleanup it looks like production is done; all that remains is polishing this post and writing the final blog post.

20190517, 04:58 – Resizing the thumbnail image size and rebuilding thumbnails; cleaning up media after.

  • Added a function to disable the medium_large image size that’s clogging up the uploads directory.
  • Added (a) shortcut functionality to the Blog and a few other areas.
  • Removed unused page templates.
  • Cleaned about 500 megs of unused image sizes out of the media directory. The old 720x size, the old x75 thumbnail size, the completely unasked for and unwanted 768x size, and the extra copy of comic pages created at the same dimensions but with larger file sizes. Running Broken Link Checker to see if anything turns up.
  • Made comic archive headers list the large (780x) image instead of the full-sized (1560x).
  • Fixed blog yearly and category archives. For some reason they were listing in something other than newest-to-oldest, with a few duplicated entries. is_archive() messed up the Glossary and Cast; I wound up having to use is_year() || is_category().
  • Replaced Broken Link Checker with WP Link Status set to check internal links only.
  • That was totally the right thing to do; hundreds of broken internal inks have been fixed – most of them redirects.

20190515, 21:35 – Final glossary updates. Did my first creative writing in a couple of years; I’m happy with the results. Made some adjustments to CSS of the cast/glossary listing on comic pages; wrapped the featured image of glossary topics of post type “image” in a link so they’re downloadable.

I guess the next thing to do is the full feature writeup indicated below. Then a blog post, then a few days of feverish eyeballing of all content for errors, then launch.

20190514, 14:19 – Discovered the + selector and used that to correct some issues with hr. The glossary is ready for a final round of elbow grease. I’ll need to make some adjustments to the front page after that. I’ve decided to add a page to the website changelog; instead of this rambling no-context chatter the first page of it (assuming I don’t rush and ship an incomplete product) will be a writeup that details the site data structure, how things are organized, etceteras. A feature list that shows off what I’ve built and how that differs from the average webcomic presentation.

20190513, 00:03 – All desired Glossary content has been rendered. I still have to do assembly and entry, but… the last ATC 3d renders may have been created today.

20190512, 03:17 – Rendered a ton of stuff I still need to process for the glossary, then tweaked header display in comic archives. Moved relational tags from the bottom-most part of the footer menu to the fifth column.

20190510, 19:06 – Randomness reduction and bug hunting.

  • Added menu_order values to all Cast members in an attempt to fix a query that briefly stopped working on archive templates only. This will allow for the ability to flip through the Cast alphabetically if I can figure out how to filter previous_post_link and next_post_link to use it on the Cast only.
  • Replaced three random related cast members with a list of all other cast members of the same affiliation on individual Cast pages.
  • Removed the box of three random related glossary topics from Glossary entries. Retained the listing of child pages for pages that have children.
  • Made the above-mentioned Cast change to the Glossary. That now has page numbers, and adding those, inexplicably, makes the taxonomy pages list correctly. No other change was made.
  • Caught and corrected a major comic listing mistake. The Dead City Radio cover now goes to Observer Effect instead of Whitehouse, and the previous page link on the Whitehouse cover is now Observer Effect -10-.
  • Caught and corrected a bug in chapter listing templates; chapter images in book lists now link correctly.
  • Fixed a stray instance of a link to the old .dev test domain.
  • Added a relational tag to a page and now I’m tempted to do a thorough review of all site content to make sure all pages have full coverage.
  • Cast and Glossary now do previous/next by menu_order. I flirted with display methods for the glossary but ultimately opted on keeping the box the navigation triggers are contained in hidden. I flirted longer and harder with the idea of a visual comic navigation style previous/next for the Cast section but practicality ultimately won out – the query works, the functionality is there, that’s more than enough for now.
  • Made the Archive (“a” key) trigger work in Cast and Glossary sub-sections; removed link from root indexes.
  • Added proper header installment titles to Books.
  • Also changed the anchor name for installment titles so pressing “a” on chapters takes you to the book index.

20190509, 21:25 – Changed the order of Relational Tag and Tag archives. Both now display results in reading order. This is kind of a big deal, as reading order is page menu_order and not chronological oldest to newest. Disabled search with a plugin; it’s easier to deal with that way than it is to go down the rabbithole of styling results. It’s a brain thing; if I don’t turn it iff I’ll want to fix it, even though I know for a fact that the rendered site won’t have search functionality.

Finished up for the day by adding title values to all menu items.

20190509, 16:40 – Backed up, upgraded DesktopServer, restored. Used Better Search Replace to upgrade site content to https, and Atom to upgrade the theme. Replaced a deprecated bit of PHP, too – an ereg_replace became a preg_replace thanks to stack overflow.

20190508, 21:26 – Reviewed all pages tagged as having mastering notes to confirm they were visible. Caught one, caught an extra period as well. Removed some extraneous code from cover templates. More CSS adjustments. Added a “page rendered” comment near the bottom of footer.php, above a “thank you for reading” comment. The purpose of the “page rendered” comment is to give me some idea of how long a full rendering of the site to HTML takes. It also adds to the funerary vibe, which is a feel I’ve been subconsciously shooting for.

20190508, 20:28 – Did some seriously grindy work, implementing responsive containers around all comic pages, big universe bits (cast and glossary), comic thumbnail listings, and covers. I didn’t get everything, but I did get all of the really big, really obvious stuff. The image containers I worked on all retain their aspect ratios when the view port is scaled to activate @media queries, and now punch appropriately-sized holes in the page, so the heaviest parts of the design don’t jump around in the event of a marginal network connection.

20190508, 01:11 – Rebuilt the entire front page. 23 random pages, 8 random characters, 8 glossary entries. Added a fade to cover up the rendering hitch, as the random page draws over the page you’ll get if you turn off Javascript. The whole thing is now fully functional; my next major adjustments are HTTPS (which would be effort to do locally; less to do live) and a blog post to put a bow on it. The final once-over of the codebase is in progress; I may be able to get this thing done this week. If not, the tentative deadline is 05.25, the official anniversary.

DesktopServer can apparently do HTTPS locally, but I’ll need to upgrade from my Very Old version to something more recent. This is timely, as a recent WordPress update requires a more recent version of PHP.

20190507, 11:10 – Replaced the PHP random page link code with Javascript. The JS grabs a single random line from a text file; that’s fine for links but I’ll need something more complex for the front page.

20190506 – Initial development complete. If I didn’t intend to rework the dynamic elements into something that can work with static data, and if I didn’t intend to render the site as static HTML, this thing would be ready to roll out.

Changes include:

  • Major CSS reworking.
  • Reworked the footer menu.
    • Removed link to the deactivated Facebook page.
    • Removed link to the rebranded Twitter account.
    • Removed link to the RSS feed.
    • Moved the trimmed sixth column (the “utility links”) under the five comic-focused columns.
    • Removed the link to the Patreon page, which will be rebranded and reworked after this version of the site is launched.
  • Fixed several code errors and tag omissions.
  • Flirted with new fonts but decided to stick with the art direction established by the color comics.
  • Extensively reworked the front page.
  • Cleaned up @media queries.
  • Removed relational tags referencing single pages or glossary entries.
  • Expanded coverage of some relational tags and eliminated others.
  • Reworked the 404 page.
  • Tagged several of my favorite pages as “featured pages,” these are now the source material for the front page and the random page link feature. The final front page will probably use a subset of this selection.
  • Updated a couple of cast entries to include character portraits that until now have been exclusive to the ATC Patreon page.
  • Removed the comic page scale switcher.

This is the final aesthetic revision of the site. The next steps, which will take place later this week, will be to move the front page and random page link loops to some kind of JS/JSON thing that pulls those values from text files.

20190504 – Initial development begins. As with all previous versions of the site, a development instance was spun up locally using DesktopServer, a copy of the live database, and an rsync of the live site. Some fiddling was required to get a working import.