Tuesday 21 April 2009

First off, let me apologize for the crazy colors and formatting over here… for security reasons I just moved the Verso blog out of Wordpress and into the main part of the site. I haven’t finished the stylesheets yet. :oops:

But I’m actually posting to announce a few new site features. (A working :bunny: in Verso comments is definitely a site feature though!)

Chapter Characters

I’ve added a new interface for assigning characters to their chapters. ermine and symphony are already going to town on it!

If you want to help me out, you can start here and read the instructions. Then you can either click on “Random Unfinished Chapter” or just scroll to the end of a chapter you’re reading, and click the “You can help!” link, if characters haven’t been added to that chapter yet.

Just for fun, I’m keeping track of earned karma too. ;-)

Character lists with chapters

Each chapter now features its list of characters at the end, just before the comments start. Clicking on the name of a character will take you to his bio page. If the list is wrong or missing someone, you can click the “Is this incorrect?” link and leave a comment for me to fix it.

Chapter list with characters

People who have appeared in chapters now have a short list of their most recent chapters on their bio page. If you click the link for the full list, it will show them all, with dates and so on.

Avatars in comments

This seemed like a pretty popular idea in the poll, so I went ahead and added it. I will probably tweak the formatting a bit since I notice the avatar hangs down too far if the comment is a one-​​liner.

I resize all avatars to an 85x85 pixel square, so make sure your avatar is at least a square, if not that exact size.

If you’re interested in the technical details, I chose to do this so that your browsers would know to reserve an 85x85 pixel spot for each avatar picture when they’re rendering the page, and before the images have had time to load. This will avoid the jumpiness you see when you’re loading a Web page and the height and width of the images has not been specified in the HTML. Every time an image loads, it shifts everything down, which makes it hard to scroll at first and so on. I chose to trade flexibility in image size for a smoother load, since I didn’t want the avatars to be an annoyance to anyone.

Remember you have to be logged in when you comment, or the avatar won’t show up. (As a bonus, this will help prevent imposters. ;-) Anyone can type “Devin” in the “Author” field, but only Devin knows his password. Not that we have had any imposter Devins or anything…)

Unified Comment Search

If you go to this page you will be able to search through one or more types of comments at the same time — right now, this means comments on chapters, comments on “pages” like “Where can I get?”, and comments on Verso posts.

I don’t know if that will be useful to you guys, but I have wanted it a few times, for example when someone has asked about a certain CC and I knew I had commented about it already, but I couldn’t remember in which section of the site.

I haven’t added the ability to search forum comments on that screen, but I may do so at some point if it is possible to integrate it.

Likewise the right sidebar (in the story section of the site) will show all three types of recent comments. (The Verso sidebar, still shows only comments on Verso posts.)

Preview banners are back

Main gallery

Dunstan and Brit’s wedding

Not much to say about that except that it’s a good example of the jumpy-​​image-​​loading issue I talked about above. ;-)

Other stuff I forgot

It’s in there! It’s just been a long time since I uploaded all my changes to the site.

Have fun, and let me know if you find bugs, or if you have any requests.