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Yet more site news... Site News
The 'hint count' is down a bit today, as last night's server work took much longer than expected. Between that and work on the new site, I kind of ran out of time last night / this morning. But the good news is that we're now up and running on a new hard drive, which will hopefully solve the crashing problems we've been experiencing.

Regarding the new site, please take a couple seconds today to visit the beta site. It's now running a new look with a fundamental change in layout (based on beta comments to date) -- the blocks are now on the right. There's a poll on the beta site, asking which block location you prefer. In this case, I'm probably going to let the majority rule -- choose your favorite side for the blocks, and that's where they'll be in the new site. Unfortunately, I can't offer either side as a user preference (nor even vary the locations by theme). This is a site-wide setting, so it's either all left, all right, or both sides ... cast your vote soon, as the poll closes tomorrow night!

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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Re: Beta Site
Authored by: olwylee on Feb 12, '03 10:35:19AM

Thank you Rob

That slight color change of the background makes a world of difference on the eyes.

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Color Change on Hint titles?
Authored by: brianlees on Feb 12, '03 10:44:05AM

Can we get a color change on hint titles? One of the things I love most about the old theme is how the hint titles stand out. I can scroll down a page within seconds and determine which hints I want to read. In the new theme, the hint titles blend into the rest of the page a bit too much.

I also agree that the white background is harder on the eyes than a darker color like the old theme.

However, I love the single column of blocks! Wahoo, more space for hint text on small screens! :-)



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Authored by: VEGx on Feb 12, '03 11:26:15AM

"Why?" you ask.
Because it's "slowing down the hints."

I wait 24h for new hints and then... well, then there's nothing much becuase all the effort goes to the new site.

Less news about the new site and MORE HINTS!

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Authored by: olwylee on Feb 12, '03 04:07:55PM

Rob does a lot of work for us and all you can do is gripe....

Give him a break. :)

BTW: I'm not kissing a** to get a years worth of free hints.

10 bucks is cheap for what he does.

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Authored by: VEGx on Feb 12, '03 05:25:41PM
You must have missed the ":)" on the first line!
I was just joking ;)

PS. Maybe I will qualify for 1 year for free now? :-D

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Authored by: olwylee on Feb 13, '03 02:14:44AM

I was joking too but you didnt get it either.:P

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Authored by: VEGx on Feb 13, '03 03:20:02PM

I guess we're now even (?)

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Header Changes?
Authored by: richardjpratt on Feb 12, '03 03:47:35PM


- some nice work over all, though I want to make two quick suggestions. For the new headers you use a large rule than a color shift (to light bllue) and then a thin rule. This creates a lot of visual clutter/edges - you go from white to dark blue, dark blue to light blue, light blue to dark blue, and then dark blue to white - 4 edges were you used to have 2 (white to blue, blue to white). If you multiply these edges by the number of headers you have on a page you end up with a lot of extra "noise". I would recommend to eather go back to light type knocked out of a dark rule, or a light rule with dark text on it. If you dislike these suggestions it might help a great deal to just get rid of the bottom rule. Any of these ideas shold make the page much less clutered.

You might also consider limiting the change of head color in the side bar. Let the change in type size and the rules set up the hierarchy and just use blue throughout the side.

I hope these suggestions help. I am a professor of design at a state unversity but I wanted to mention these ideas in the comments section so others could give their feedback to these ideas.

Best of luck, keep up the great work.

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Is the font smaller?
Authored by: BobHarris on Feb 12, '03 05:27:31PM

It seems to me that the font is smaller on the new beta site.

Picking up on the theme of easy on the eyes, my tri-focal'ed eyes find small fonts more
difficult to read.

If it is just my imagination, then just chalk it up to old age :-)

Bob Harris

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Is the font smaller?
Authored by: davew135 on Feb 12, '03 05:56:52PM

I noticed this and sent an email about it. Rob and I corresponded a few times in regards to this and were unable to determine what has changed that would cause it. Does anybody know what could have changed?

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Is the font smaller?
Authored by: cosmid on Feb 12, '03 06:47:56PM

I just compared the stylesheets and the old site specifies font sizes relative to your default font size in your browser prefs (eg small, medium etc) whereas the new site specifies the font size in pixels. I think it's usually considered better practise to use relative font sizes.

Good job on the new site, it's looking good :)

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Relative vs. precise
Authored by: robg on Feb 12, '03 06:51:55PM

I'm going to have to rework the style sheet, which is going to take some time. The old one was a "smart" stylesheet that read your browser's name and then tried to make intelligent decisions about which size fonts to use ("small", "smaller", etc.). The new stylesheet is a straight CSS file with no logic built in; I will try to add the logic engine to it this weekend, as that will sort of provide the "best of both worlds."

Without the engine, the relative sizing leads to awful results -- what looks good as "smaller" in one browser seems microscopic in another.

No promises, but I'll try...


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Authored by: julzmon on Feb 12, '03 10:26:36PM

I think it\'s time to change the logo.
all else is looking good.
logo sticks out next to the other clean design.

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I like it...
Authored by: robg on Feb 12, '03 10:57:33PM

It's actually one of my favorite parts; the new logo is a nice improvement over the old one. Not sure how you'd envision changing it...


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Mouseover has to go
Authored by: jimhill on Feb 13, '03 01:52:33AM

It's just not growing on me -- that inverse-text mouseover on links is getting more obnoxious every time I look at it.

I've re-evaluated my position on the coloring; I think I prefer the light blue BG to the stark white.

You seem to have left out the obnoxious Flash banner ad top-center. I'm sure you'll want to correct that ASAP. {grin}

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Don't worry...
Authored by: robg on Feb 13, '03 02:06:07AM

a) Each theme will have two variants - mouseover and no mouseover.
b) I changed the mouseover color last night and removed most (if not all) of the remaining underlines, and added color differentiation for links and visited links.


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Authored by: julzmon on Feb 13, '03 09:43:55AM

Make it modern. Not just with a couple of photoshop effects.
take a look at MacMinute before and after. Their logo matches the new site nicely.
Crisp simple logo.

Just my opinion.

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Please remember...
Authored by: robg on Feb 13, '03 11:14:25AM

I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just trying to put together a page that works and looks a bit different and hopefully nicer than the current one. Several designers have volunteered to look at bits and see what they can come up with, so I imagine we'll have more themes and options down the road.

But for launch weekend, there will be two variations (mouseovers vs. underlined links) on three themes each, with the existing logo. Hopefully that will be enough to keep everyone basically satisfied.

If not, I guess I shut the doors and turn out the lights :-).


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Crashing problems!
Authored by: CaptDeuce on Feb 13, '03 09:55:38AM
But the good news is that we're now up and running on a new hard drive, which will hopefully solve the crashing problems we've been experiencing.
If the new hard drive doesn't fix it, blame the memory. I've had two Macs go due to bad memory. The command line too Memtest helped me. And all you people can do is talk about how the site looks? :-)

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