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Further updates on the site upgrade... Site News
In a continuing series, I bring you more news on the site's progression to the new Geeklog engine. Here's what's new, changed, or different today:
  • Thanks to a recommendation from osxpounder, you can now easily see your posting history -- just click on your username in the 'Welcome to macosxhints' line in the header. I've also added some text boxes pointing to that link on the Account Information and Preferences screens. This isn't an ideal solution, but it was the easiest to implement quickly. Longer term, look for the actual link on those two pages, as well as in the header.
  • If you haven't tried it yet, the new comment feed is really working well. The author of the plug-in has made some improvements to it, and you can now see the comment author's name (along with the link to the hint) in the feed. It's a great way to keep current with the new comments added throughout the day.
  • I'm still working on the "backslashes in comments" glitch. The database is now the same as it was pre-upgrade, but the slashes are showing. The next step is a mass-replace, but I'm taking time with that one, as I don't want to break any older code snippets which do need slashes.
  • Important! On the subject of backslashes, the new version of Geeklog doesn't like them! Yes, even in [code] tags (even though backslashes will look right in preview, they will not be written to the database). This is due to a change in the way Geeklog's parser works. That's the bad news. The good news is that a fix is in the works, and we'll have it in place before the weekend's out. For now, if you're submitting code that contains backslashes, or any other special characters, please email me a copy of your code!. Send it to robg at this site's domain, and let me know which submission it goes with. This is really the only way I can be certain that the code is handled correctly. I realize how important this is to everyone (myself included), and we're trying to get it fixed as quickly as possible.
-rob.
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Further updates on the site upgrade... | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: sjk on Jun 02, '06 09:07:44PM

A couple suggestions for the comments feed:

In NetNewsWire at least, the top information line runs together with the first line of the comment. Example:

[Original Article: 10.4: Add Motorola V710 Bluetooth support to iSync • comment by: lgp] With iSync 2.2 at least, you need to make one other change to the MetaClasses.plist under the "Services" array under ServiceName -> com.apple.bluetooth -> ServiceProperties:

That would be much easier to read with a blank line between the "[...]" and first comment lines.

Any chance the comment (and original hint) author name could appear as the Creator (in NNW headlines)? Not sure what that's called in RSS terminology.

Thanks!



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comments feed feedback
Authored by: robg on Jun 03, '06 05:40:34AM
"In NetNewsWire at least, the top information line runs together with the first line of the comment. Example:"

OK, fixed that one (error: I was using \n for a newline instead of a simple HTML br tag :) ).

"Any chance the comment (and original hint) author name could appear as the Creator (in NNW headlines)? Not sure what that's called in RSS terminology."

This is beyond my technical knowledge, but it was explained to me that RSS 2.0 doesn't support Author as a field (while Atom does). I could serve the feed as an Atom feed, but prefer (for a few reasons) to keep it as an RSS feed. So we've chosen to embed the info in the feed itself. With the new line breaks, though, it's much more readable.

-rob.

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comments feed feedback
Authored by: robg on Jun 03, '06 05:42:12AM

FYI, it may take a bit of time before the line break change makes it into the feed, but it's done...

-rob.



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comments feed feedback
Authored by: sjk on Jun 03, '06 04:11:12PM
... it was explained to me that RSS 2.0 doesn't support Author as a field (while Atom does)
That's what I'd thought but didn't have time to double-check before posting.
I could serve the feed as an Atom feed, but prefer (for a few reasons) to keep it as an RSS feed
I'm curious why but you don't have to explain. :-)
With the new line breaks, though, it's much more readable
Definitely -- I'm satisfied. Thanks for fixing that so quickly.

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Further updates on the site upgrade...
Authored by: ynolo on Jun 02, '06 09:51:35PM

I don't know about the rest but i find this new look missing something. I have not figure out what though. Maybe the new colors. Somemthing has made me stop coming checking out the site daily like i have been doing for a long while now. Weird!

What was wrong with the previous look? What were the main issues that lead to these changes?

Just curious.

Good luck guys.

---
i don\\\'t have one



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Further updates on the site upgrade...
Authored by: robg on Jun 03, '06 05:29:01AM

The previous look was quite dated and too dark for many users. However, for those who prefer the old look, it's still there -- just go to the Display Preferences section (in the User block on the right) and switch to the Classic theme.

-rob.



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RSS feed spoiled for good?
Authored by: jdv on Jun 03, '06 12:59:55AM

I see you've put the ads back in the hints feed... As I've written in an email to robg earlier I find that reallly annoying, and spoiling the whole concept of RSS feeds. I mean, a feed that shows 20 articles in Safari shouldn't have to be pulling 119 files over http (even if they're small).

Is the change permanent?



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RSS feed spoiled for good?
Authored by: robg on Jun 03, '06 05:27:11AM
Ads in feeds are a business decision that I'm not involved with in any way. I manage the site's content and functionality, and try to make it useful to the people who read it. How and where ads appear is completely up to the sales side of the business.

If you have feedback on the ads, I strongly recommend letting the Sales group know your feelings -- you can find contact info for them on this page at Macworld's site -- scroll down a bit to see their entries. Janet Ryan is the VP of Sales and Marketing, and Kenji Kawakami is the Online Ad Coordinator, and those are probably two good starting points.

I'm sorry the ads are offensive to you, and I hope you'll let the Sales team know your feelings.

-rob.

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RSS feed spoiled for good?
Authored by: luomat on Jun 03, '06 05:38:10AM

"Spoiled" is a rather exaggerated word. (Perhaps 'tainted' would be a more appropriate :-)

I suspect a lot of people started using RSS because they were ad-free ways of getting information from websites. Well, like the rest of the web, it doesn't come free to create and maintain.

IF the feeds were abbreviated down to 1 or 2 lines, that would make them spoiled. If the feeds were just headlines (i.e. forcing you to go to the site to read them at all) then I would call them spoiled.

I am disappointed, however, that the feeds have ads and are not full-text.

Having full text feeds (which were thus saved in my reader and available for Spotlight or at least searching in my RSS reader) would be much better than the current situation, where I usually get most but not all of the article, meaning that I then have to go to the site to read the rest of the article (often only another line or paragraph).

This is particularly bothersome given that I read the feeds on my cell phone, and loading the site is rather painful.

The new feeds seem to be longer, but still not full text. I wish they were, especially now that there are ads.



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RSS feed spoiled for good?
Authored by: Superboy on Jun 16, '06 01:57:48AM

You can easily stop adverts showing up by telling your computer's firewall (my router's firewall does this with my setup) to stop loading pages that have the address:

macosxhints/recent?i

Every advert is an image and banning any URL that contains the exact address above (it must be in the ban list exactly as above, no www or .com) will stop the image from showing!

It works great! Safari just shows a little ? now. Much nicer.



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