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Happy New Year! Site News
Welcome to 2010! No new hints today; we'll be back as usual on Monday.

-rob.
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No new hints today... Site News
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone, and we'll be back as usual on Monday.

-rob.
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No new hints Nov 26/27 Site News
As Macworld is closed today and tomorrow in recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, there won't be any new hints until Monday morning. If you're celebrating the holiday, have fun, be safe, and we'll be back as usual next week.

-rob.
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Comments are now editable Site News
This was one of the promised features from the Geeklog upgrade, and after resolving an issue with the theme, it's finally working -- at least, it's working in my testing. Feel free to leave a comment here and edit it to make sure it works for you, too. Note that there's a one-hour time limit on changes to comments.

We're still working on the character set issue; hope to have progress on that front shortly.

-rob.
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Captcha added for hint submission and registration Site News
I really didn't want to do it, but after over 150 spammy story submissions in under an hour, I've had to enable a captcha on the story submission page, as well as on the new user registration page. For now, I'm using the "simple" images, and hopefully that'll be enough to stop the spambots.

The captcha shouldn't be active anywhere other than those two pages; comment spam, while problematic, isn't bad enough to merit that move (and thanks to everyone who uses the Report Abuse link to point out the spammy comments).

Again, sorry I had to take this step, but I don't have the time to manage all these fake submissions by hand.

-rob.
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Site upgrade progress notes Site News
Some notes after a day of working on the assorted upgrade-related issues here:
  • I've made some changes to search, so that it works a bit more like the older version (year added to date display, author column removed, etc.). It's not perfect, but I expect we'll see more improvements in the near future. (I've opened a feature request for better control over search.)
  • Search does, however, have a date-related issue right now. If you order results by date, the output is seemingly random. I've opened a bug with the Geeklog team, and it's being investigated.
  • Searching for words with special characters, such as Exposé, no longer crashes the search engine.
  • Activated a titles-only search -- it's a checkbox on the advanced search page. If you haven't tried it yet, it's quite useful for narrowing down hint results.
  • Those who are seeing a narrow side column should now be seeing it at the desired width again.
  • Fixed a huge problem with the My Account pages. Basically, no changes were taking, which is a bad thing. This should all be resolved now; please let me know if you see any lingering issues.
  • Fixed a large number of character issues. No, not mine, but Geeklog's. I've searched and replaced all of the following: é; smart single and double quotes; …; « and » in text and AppleScript class statements; ¬ in AppleScripts; and em-dashes.
Aside from the search engine issues, the other big problem right now has to do with code snippets in comments and the submission page. It works strangely, but it does basically work -- you'll find your HTML characters get changed to entities in the input box, and they may preview as entities, but they'll publish correctly. I've opened a bug on this. The one exception is any code snippets within angle brackets -- that text will just vanish unless you use the special [code] tags. So please use that tag for any code in your hint. (For the first time here in nearly forever, backslashes will not be eaten, so that's something!)

-rob.
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Site upgrade complete; new features active Site News
Whew. That was a huge project, and fraught with more peril than I had expected. Nonetheless, we're done now, at least for the most part. I'm sure there are some things I've missed. In particular, please let me know if you see a story or comments with odd looking characters in them; things like "é" or "’". There were some character set changes in the Geeklog core that caused us some trouble with special characters. I think we cleaned up most of them, but there may be some lurkers.

So what do you, the reader, get out of this? Quite a bit, but here are a few things to note:
  • Comment editing - you can (for a limited time after posting) edit your comments!
  • Comment notifications - receive an email notification if a comment is posted in a thread you posted in.
  • Username changes - no longer do you have to email me to change your username.
  • Account deletion - don't want to have an account here any more? You can delete it.
  • Greatly improved user control panel.
  • A much nicer article rating system, complete with AJAXified voting!
  • Search by title only - I just added a new checkbox to the search form, which will restrict your search to only a hint or comment's title.
That's a sampling of the new stuff. So what did we lose? Sadly, the Classic theme is dead, at least for now. I just didn't have time to migrate it to the new system. I may at some point, but it won't be in the very near future. There may be some layout issues -- please let me know if you see oddly formatted pages, fonts too small/too big, etc. You can contact me using the Contact link on each page; please include the URL where you see the trouble.

Thanks to plattapuss for the expert assistance during the upgrade. At one point, I did something really stupid. Thankfully, he was able to come up with very slick SQL recovery, which saved me from having to start over from scratch! And finally, thanks to all of you for making this site what it is. It's been nearly nine years, and it's still a blast to "come to work" every day and see what all you brilliant folks have discovered.

-rob.
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10.6: Snow Leopard RSS feeds available Site News
I haven't yet added them to the RSS feeds page, but there are two new Snow Leopard-only RSS feeds available:
  • feed://feeds.macosxhints.com/macosxhints/snowleopard -- All hints that are coded as "10.6:". This is probably the feed most of you will be interested in, as it includes every Snow Leopard hint.
  • feed://feeds.macosxhints.com/macosxhints/snowleopardsystem -- Only those hints in the "10.6 System" category.
Both of these should be working fine, but please let me know if there are any issues.
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Snow Leopard's coming soon! Site News
Earlier today, Apple announced that Snow Leopard will be available on Friday, August 28th. So that's when we'll start running Snow Leopard hints, in their own category (as with 10.4 and 10.5). When submitting hints on Snow Leopard, it will help me if you note that it's a Snow Leopard hint somewhere in the hint or title -- just include 10.6 somewhere and I'll know to code it when we run it.

Thanks!
-rob.
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Guest editors and Snow Leopard in the near future Site News
I'll be away from Mac OS X Hints until Monday, August 24th. In my absence, we'll have a couple of Macworld staffers -- Heather Kelly and Dan Miller -- posting the daily hints. They also covered for me back in July, so they're at least somewhat familiar with the duties now.

As a side note, Snow Leopard is expected to ship sometime in September. As with 10.5, it's my intent to start running 10.6 hints as soon as it's officially shipping, whenever that may be. So if you've been testing Snow Leopard and have found some interesting tidbits, get your hints ready for submission, and I'll be on the clock to push them live whenever the OS happens to ship.

(Note that you can't submit a hint early without breaking your NDA, so I'd advise against doing that. If any hints are entered into the queue prior to the ship date, they will be held until the OS is shipping and can be publicly disclosed.)

-rob.
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