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[May 28] Comments warning: There is an issue with the existing comments we imported to the new site. Specifically, those that were posted in plain text, but included code snippets with quotes or double-quotes. Those snippets of code have issues with backslashes -- they may not have some they require, and they may have some they don't require! If the code snippet is in an orange-ish monospace font, however, it should be fine as is. We have a plan to fix the problem, but won't be able to do so until Monday, May 29th.

[May 27] Safari users tip: If you use Safari, and you're having trouble seeing the site properly, please delete Safari's cookies. You may even have to remove your Keychain entry for your macosxhints account to login properly. This seems to be a weird glitch that's only affecting some Safari users.

[May 27] RSS Update: The RSS issue has been resolved. The official new URL for the RSS is (though the old address will work as well):

http://www.macosxhints.com/backend/osxhints.rss

After a complex, but well-planned (and thoroughly backed up!) upgrade process, macosxhints is back online. As noted in the pre-upgrade notice, we presently have but one theme, though I plan to add others in the relatively near future. We're still powered by Geeklog, but instead of running a, um, er, somewhat older version, we're now up on the latest release. From a reader's perspective, this means you have access to a few new or updated features. The following are available to everyone, regardless of whether you login here or not:
  • We now have many more topics, devoted to the hints we get here about hardware. We're not changing our focus, but if a hint is clearly hardware-related, it will be nice to have a place to correctly place those hints.
  • Search is different. I'm not necessarily going to say it's better or worse than it was, but it is different. You will see matches grouped by hints, comments, and links, which is nice. Unfortunately, it's still not a full-text search with boolean support, so the same "how to search" info is provided on the search page to help you out. We know search is important, and that it's far from ideal, and we'll be working on making it better.
  • The Links section is much nicer, with paging of results making it easier to browse.
  • Headline hints are now more nicely formatted.
  • I know some (many?) will disagree, but I think the new layout is cleaner and easier to read than the old.
  • Trackbacks will now show up in the footer to hints.
  • A built-in spam filter should (hopefully) catch those rare comment spams we see on occasion.
For those who have registered for free accounts and browse as a logged-in user, the following features are new or improved:
  • A simpler account management process. Instead of three screens (Profile, Comment, and Display), there are now just two -- Display (which includes the comment prefs) and Profile.
  • Upload an image or "avatar" (128x128, 64KB or less) which will appear on their profile page.
  • Control whether they'll allow email from users, email from admin, or appear on a who's online list. Note that your email address is *never* visible to others (and wasn't under the old system, either).
  • A Location field, to let others know where you are, if you wish.
I'm sure I'm missing a few things, but those are most of the visible changes. Behind the scenes, lots of changes should make the site easier for us to maintain/upgrade, more secure, and add more features in the future...

Thanks for bearing with us through the downtime -- and please, if you find something that's broken, or looks completely wrong, or whatever, let us know. Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of each page, and just make sure you include the URL and/or a description of what you found.

-rob.
    •    
  • Currently 2.75 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (8 votes cast)
 
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
We're back!
Authored by: macmac on May 26, '06 06:01:21PM

The new look is great. Congratulations on completing the upgrade successfully.



[ Reply to This | # ]
WHOA!
Authored by: Lectrick on May 26, '06 06:26:07PM

I know blog-fu!

Yeah, the old look was really getting dated, so I support ANY change at this point.
Very nice so far.

---
In /dev/null, no one can hear you scream



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS?
Authored by: imacusr on May 26, '06 07:37:39PM

Is the welcome back post supposed to show up in the RSS feed? The last one I see
is the iWeb shapes one from earlier today.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS?
Authored by: robg on May 26, '06 08:25:06PM
Check the URL you have bookmarked for RSS, it may have changed...

http://www.macosxhints.com/backend/osxhints.rss

We linked the new one to the old one, though, so it should be working.

-rob.

[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS?
Authored by: robg on May 26, '06 08:58:36PM

er, that should be we linked the *old* one to the *new* one...

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS?
Authored by: sjk on May 27, '06 04:01:11PM

Will there ever be RSS/Atom feeds for comments or some other method of
notification when they're added? Any suggestions how to easily monitor hints for
new comments would be appreciated.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS?
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 04:41:39PM

It's on the list of things we'd like to get done. The best (only) way to keep up right now is to check the What's New box occasionally.

This is important to me as well, and I hope we'll be able to get it done relatively quickly.

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
RSS?
Authored by: sjk on May 27, '06 09:29:55PM
The best (only) way to keep up right now is to check the What's New box occasionally.
That's what I do, and sometimes check my own posts for followups.
This is important to me as well
I've gotten hooked on using RSS for comment monitoring on several weblogs. Makes it more convenient to participate with an mail/forum-like interactivity when that's desirable. Not that comments here should replace the forum but it's helpful when there's closure (e.g. knowing RSS comments are on your todo list). Thanks!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Issues...fixed
Authored by: Jwink3101 on May 26, '06 09:08:25PM

Safari did not like the change very much. It was displaying half of the old page and
that was it. I used firefox to see it. In order to fix safari, here is what i did.

1) in preferences, i went to Show Cookies (i forget which tab it's in but it's there)
2) deleted all cookies for anything with macosxhints.com (including the www.
ones)
3) went to macosxhints.com
4) logged in, then in preferences, i changed the theme to Hints1 and everything
worked. (so far)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Issues...fixed
Authored by: robg on May 26, '06 09:19:19PM

Yea, there's something about the cookies in Safari that get munged when the theme changes. I'm going to ask someone on the Geeklog team about it tomorrow to see if I can somehow force a new cookie or something.

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Issues...fixed
Authored by: magnamous on May 27, '06 01:07:42AM

Thanks - this fix worked for me. However, I did try to change the theme from
"Hints1" back to "Classic", and it died again. Hitting the Back button, changing it
to "Hints1" and hitting Save fixed it again.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Issues...fixed
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 05:36:57AM

Classic doesn't really exist (yet) -- we had to put in a symlink to keep Google's links happy, since they have entries that are tied directly to that directory (not sure why). I've now hidden the theme switcher, at least until there really are some more themes.

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: fluk3 on May 26, '06 11:16:21PM

Ow my eyes! Too much white. And is the text blue? At least make it black.

Seriously, as a graphic designer foro 12 years, I have to say this is murder on the
eyes.

I don't mean ugly, I mean hard to read. At least make the text black so there is
better contrast. I'm getting 11pt veranda blue on white. Very painful.

No offense.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: mark hunte on May 27, '06 12:37:04AM

I like it, much crisper.

Cheers

---
mh



[ Reply to This | # ]
mostly positive
Authored by: sjk on May 27, '06 03:51:03PM
I like it, much crisper.

I agree, Mark. Definitely "much crisper" on my 12" iBook display, where I immediately noticed text was comfortably readable without using Make Text Bigger (command-+) in Safari. The white doesn't seem "too much" on that system with the brightness down while on battery; it's harsher on my iMac with higher brightness.

I regularly visit Apple/Mac-related sites where text/background combinations are "murder" (as fluk3 might say :-)) compared to here, e.g. the grey-on-grey on MacUpdate product info pages. Please don't do that! Apparently some web designers never view their pages at different resolutions and screen brightnesses.

The search changes finally make it possible to browse beyond the first page of results when listing my own posts. Hurray!

A few dislikes:

• Removal of blockquote tag, which I often use to give context to my reply for the sake of people who don't use the threaded or nested comment view
• The infrequently used "Report abuse" link is a misplaced target between the "Reply to This" and Permanent links
• The masthead graphic looks even tackier now, as adrianm mentioned

[ Reply to This | # ]
mostly positive
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 05:03:01PM
Removal of blockquote tag, which I often use to give context to my reply for the sake of people who don't use the threaded or nested comment view
Whoops. That's back now, as you can see :).
The infrequently used "Report abuse" link is a misplaced target between the "Reply to This" and Permanent links
Fixed. I moved the permalink next to the Reply button, with Report on the right side.
The masthead graphic looks even tackier now, as adrianm mentioned
I am *very* open to suggestions and redesigns. The only thing I'd rather not lose is the font face and general layout of the letters -- it's about the closest thing we have to a visual identity of any sort, since we don't have a logo.

-rob.

[ Reply to This | # ]
mostly positive
Authored by: sjk on May 27, '06 10:00:04PM
Thanks for returning blockquote.
I moved the permalink next to the Reply button, with Report on the right side.
Probably better, though maybe "Report abuse" could be distinct from the other links, e.g. right-justified at the margin? If it's possible, moving it to the box as the subject/author might make sense because the report would be related the author. Point is that it's rarely used (hopefully!) so it needn't be near any other links that are used more often where it might be accidentally clicked.

My comment about the masthead graphic was probably an unnecessary acknowledgment of adrianm's observation. It's not so bad that redesigning should be a priority, especially compared with "usability" issues (e.g. my link placement suggestion above). Heck, and for me it's usually quickly out of sight after vertical scrolling. :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 05:11:55AM

As I said, "and some will hate it." :) I am working on the replacement themes which more closely match the old ones. I'll also keep my eye on the feedback, both here and via email, and make tweaks to the current theme based on the majority of opinion -- which so far (limited sample) seems to be positive.

regards;
-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: Anonymous on May 27, '06 06:04:00PM

Got to admit, I'm really, really, REALLY looking forward to the ability to return to the old theme. Not a fan of the current theme (no offense, Rob).



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 06:50:14PM

None taken. The theme won't be identical to the old one, but will hopefully have enough carryover for those who prefered it (assuming you're speaking of Classic, the old default "dark blue" look).

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: LoadStar on May 28, '06 11:09:36PM

Yeah, I've gotta say, I'm not just in the "hate it" camp - I'm in the "really, really, REALLY hate it" camp.

I mean, the colors seem just randomly picked. There's the various shades of blue that were inherited from the old site. Those work. Then there's grey, which works pretty well with blues. But then you have peach and lemon yellow, which don't work at ALL with blues, and then maroon colored text in the peach area. It's like a "technicolor yawn" as my co-worker refers to... well, never mind.

Then, there's the sea of white. Lots of white space works well on print. Not so much on the computer screen, because it just makes the whole site "glow" and become rather hard to read. Additionally, at first I thought that I had accidentally ad-blocked a background image or something... the site looks almost half-finished with all the white.

The layout of the site is fine. The colors, though... dude, you've gotta get someone with a good sense for compatible colors to help you out. :(



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: robg on May 29, '06 04:52:39AM

Themes are coming, and I predicted a vocal group would really hate the design. Seemingly, though, the majority have found it more pleasing than the old, so I'm happy with the design. And I can only assume you have similar feelings for all the major Mac sites, since they basically share a similar design -- white area with text on the left, block of stuff on the right with a different color background. And they have (gasp!) a similar amount of whitespace, so I don't think i'm out in the open on this look.

As for the colors in the header, I didn't want to use an "all blue" layout up there, as then the header vanishes. At one point, I had a much more subtle toolbar below the logo. When I did, I would routinely get "I don't see where to submit a hint or get to the search page," etc. emails. Hence the yellowish tone and red text for the key areas of the site.

If you care enough to complain, and have a wonderful sense of design, by all means feel free to send me a JPEG of your proposed replacement -- I've admitted that I'm not a designer since the day I launched the site. I welcome input, but any time I've asked a critic for a better look, it seems I never receive any alternatives.

regards;
-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: outZider on May 27, '06 03:38:41PM

As a web developer, I invite you to "suck it up" and "deal with it", as the design works just fine.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Comments in Print version?
Authored by: magnamous on May 27, '06 01:12:18AM

Rob -

I seem to recall that you had mentioned a while ago that you wanted to get
comments included in the "print view" for hints. Is that feature going to be
implemented later on down the line, or did you end up deciding against it?

Just curious. Thanks!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Comments in Print version?
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 04:53:39AM

We'd still like to get that done, but it's not in this rev of Geeklog, and from what I've read, the recursive code that handles the comments makes it somewhat complicated to do. But yes, we'd still like to get it done, and it's on the project list.

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Comments in Print version?
Authored by: sjk on May 27, '06 03:57:17PM

If this gets implemented I hope there's an option to include/exclude comments in
the Printable Hint Format.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Comments in Print version?
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 04:43:10PM

Yes, as we don't want to force everyone to print everything if they only want the hint :).

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: blue*cast on May 27, '06 03:39:20AM

the new site sure looks a lot brighter with a more inviting layout; everything old
looks new again! I'll just see if that hints-widget is still working ...
jlm



[ Reply to This | # ]
Nice
Authored by: latenightmac on May 27, '06 07:55:48AM

Man oh man - nice and clean and so much better! Thanks for all your work on this Rob!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Great look!
Authored by: Old Toad on May 27, '06 09:03:43AM

I really like the new, clean look. It's fast approaching the site's quality content.
Keep up the good work. Not a UNIX person but have learned so much from
visiting here.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: adrianm on May 27, '06 11:47:52AM

Nice clean look, but the masthead graphic still looks tacky.. doesn't really fit in.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: Mike Dillingham on May 27, '06 12:07:48PM

I have to say that I like the new layout. The site seems brighter and more inviting.
I also like the new hint icons -- very nice.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Backslash Before Double Quote's
Authored by: toonerh on May 27, '06 01:11:43PM

I noticed old articles display a backslash before a double quote now - like in the C
programming language (and numerous other languages derived from its syntax).

So "quoted words" becomes \"quoted words\".



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hint Box Borders
Authored by: falco on May 27, '06 03:36:38PM

Hi all...

Long time listener, first time caller...

I have to say that the new look is definitely better than the old one.
One small critique from me is this:

I think that the hint boxes on the front page look incomplete without
some sort of right and left border. The top hint has a solid border,
while the comments have a nice, subtle dotted border. Maybe you
could put right and left subtle dotted borders on the hint boxes as
well.

Thanks for the site! I've visited for years but never posted. Great
work!

Falco

---
and I am unanimous in that.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hint Box Borders
Authored by: robg on May 27, '06 05:04:41PM

The reasonthe first hint is boxed is because it's called out as a featured hint; normally, there wouldn't be any boxed hints.

However, there will be a theme available (at least one) with boxed hints, so stay tuned...

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: zane on May 27, '06 04:52:48PM
The new layout is nice, I like it - it's quite subtle, you hardly even notice it, yet it's still lemony fresh. Kudos to that.

[As a Mac site, "Lucida Grande" would've been a nice touch to the style sheet, but now I'm being pedantic. ;)]

[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: The_Decryptor on May 27, '06 10:33:38PM

Yeah, Lucida Grande is a good font for Mac sites.

Now if your targeting Windows, Verdana is a good font.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: robg on May 28, '06 07:54:36AM

I had a theme built with Lucida Grande at one point, but...

1) I personally didn't like how it looked.
2) Others that I showed it to didn't like the font.
3) It looked too similar to other Mac sites that use Lucida Grande.
4) It looks really bad at smaller font sizes.
5) I didn't want to feel the need to change if Apple changes their default font again :).

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: zane on May 29, '06 11:55:43AM

Sounds fair enough to me. I, for one, welcome our new Verdana overlords! ;)



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: gcastaneda on May 27, '06 04:57:57PM

Looks awesome! Congrats!!



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: purrdeta on May 27, '06 05:21:45PM

I love it! Congrats!



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: dancingbrook on May 27, '06 08:25:01PM

Much nicer layout. Much easier on the eyes.



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: thePervertedMonk on May 27, '06 10:01:14PM

Looking good RobG.
--

Definitely a nice/ cleaner/ lighter look and feel.

Keep up the good work.

---
/the Perverted Monk
"my rant is my giant exhale... my exasperation at this approximation
of civilization that causes mad denigration in multiple nations"



[ Reply to This | # ]
We're back!
Authored by: dan55304 on May 28, '06 08:05:58AM
Just some 1st time impressions of the new look:

  • Extremely bright on my 20" Mactel. I would like a way to "tone it down" a notch. Themes will fix this.
  • I visit MacOSXHints every day. My most important site 8-) As such, I skim a lot. The new design makes it harder for me to do that. The message headers don't stand out enough.
  • I actually had to have Camino enlarge the text. It was too small with my current resolution 1680 x 1050. Odd since I don't need to do that for any other site.

    Again, I assume themes will cure all my ailments. Thanks for the great site!

    [ Reply to This | # ]
  • Bug when changing password
    Authored by: placain on May 28, '06 09:14:46AM

    If you change your password, it says your email address is already in use by another account.

    It works, though. Just a weird message ...



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Bug when changing password
    Authored by: robg on May 28, '06 10:41:08AM

    Thanks for that; I'll see if I can't figure out what's happening.

    -rob.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Sponsor boxes are empty
    Authored by: porkchop_d_clown on May 28, '06 04:27:21PM

    All the places where, I assume, ads are supposed to go are blank. The top bar has two thin vertical boxes with the word "sponsor" in them but nothing else, the right side bar has two square boxes that say "From our Sponsor" but are likewise empty.

    I'm using Camino.

    ---
    Everyone loves a clown, but no one will lend him money!



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Sponsor boxes are empty
    Authored by: sjk on May 28, '06 04:45:52PM

    Sounds like you have some kind of ad blocking enabled.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Sponsor boxes are empty
    Authored by: robg on May 28, '06 08:58:32PM

    I agree -- I run Camino, and I've definitely got the ads.

    -rob.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Sponsor boxes are empty
    Authored by: Wazzoo on May 29, '06 10:26:44AM

    Camino comes with built in ad-blocking. Its found under web-features in Preferences.

    Turn if off to see the ads.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Search
    Authored by: monickels on May 29, '06 04:57:20AM

    The search is much, much worse. It's no longer possible to return every
    result for a particular search string. Nor are there snippets of the entry, just
    the titles. The value of the search now approaches zero.

    ---
    Double-Tongued Word Wrester: a growing dictionary of old and new words from the fringes of English.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Search
    Authored by: robg on May 29, '06 05:37:12AM

    Actually, if you keep hitting next page, you'll get all the matches for a particular search string. That part works as it did before -- we only showed 10 matches at a time.

    We're looking into putting the 'old' search (which was actually never a standard part of Geeklog; it was a modification by the team at MacFixIt) back into the newest Geeklog. However, the search routine code has been rewritten from scratch between releases, so we're going to have to start over as well.

    As I said, I know it's important, and it's on our list...

    -rob.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Search
    Authored by: sjk on May 29, '06 03:07:03PM
    Nor are there snippets of the entry, just the titles.
    You can get some context using an external search engine, e.g.:

    site:www.macosxhints.com search-string

    ... with Google.

    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Too much white
    Authored by: Pedro Estarque on May 29, '06 06:40:40AM

    Sorry, but I too prefer the old look. just my 2 cents



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Way too bright.
    Authored by: skippingrock on May 29, '06 11:27:34AM

    After reading all of the comments, I will have to agree with many of the others. The design has way too much white and I am having to squint to read what I am typing right now. This site may be a nice way to light up a dark room, but for me I prefer having the darker site... That way I can contrast between what I am trying to do a hint on and quickly jump back to the hint page to read for reference.

    I liked being able to quickly identify the hint window from all the others on my screen. Now I am lost in a sea of white.

    Please, please bring in a dark theme with more contrast.

    As a usability designer, I find this layout quite confusing. One thing that you also need to consider is bringing the hints by topic further to the top, such as beside the search as that is an important method of browsing that should not be lost in the ad section.

    Cheers,
    Andrew.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    We're back!
    Authored by: sjmills on May 30, '06 01:45:27PM
    Does anyone else see the new look like I'm seeing it? I've posted a screenshot at this location. To me, the normal font looks a tad small, but the <code> font is way too big in relation to it. As you can see in the screenshot, it might look sorta OK in a single line by itself, but when it's used inline with normal body text, it's far too big and throws the line spacing off. I have my Safari prefs set to Gill Sans 12 for the standard font and Monaco 11 for the fixed-width font.

    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Trackbacks?
    Authored by: david-bo on Jun 19, '06 06:30:26AM

    How are the new trackbacks supposed to work? When I click a trackback link for an article which has trackbacks, the trackback anchor just displays the comments.

    ---
    http://www.google.com/search?as_q=%22Authored+by%3A+david-bo%22&num=10&hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&btnG=



    [ Reply to This | # ]