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More upgrades

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 am, November 30th, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I’ve added two front-end features to the site. Automatic comment closing and a WSIWYG comment editor.

Comments get automatically closed on posts older than 30 days, unless that the post remains quite active. It displays like

The main reason for this update is because a common troll tactic recently has been to drop comments into very old posts. It does no real harm.  But it does increase site traffic and is annoying for the moderators because the comments are usually out of context with other dialogue going on. It will also prevent some confusion over posts where people have found them using google, and thought they were current.

The other update is to put a experimental TinyMCE comment editor on the site. This can currently only be accessed by people who have registered and are logged in and have that grey mantle of authority. Users can turn it off in their profile if it causes problems. At present I have no plans to extend its use to people who aren’t logged in because they can’t turn it off if it causes problems with their browser configuration. It looks like this.

To turn it off, go into “Site Admin” in the top right, and then click on your login name in the top right again. Turning off the visual editing flag will turn off the javascript editor. However it may take a while to clear your local cache

The current limitations on the TinyMCE editor are that the BlockQuote doesn’t work (but I’m working on it), and it may have problems with browsers with strong popup controls. I’d have preferred to use NicEdit because it is smaller and closer to the site needs. However it doesn’t seem to want to store the formatting if you aren’t the the sysop 😉

Let me know of other issues here and I will see what I can do to correct them. In the meantime, I’ll clean up some of the other CSS issues like font size, removing the redundant tag message, and adding it to the reedit.

41 comments on “More upgrades ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The other update is to put a experimental TinyMCE comment editor on the site. This can currently only be accessed by people who have registered and are logged in and have that grey mantle of authority.

    Can’t register because I’m already WordPress registered. Can’t login because I the site doesn’t accept my WordPress registration.

  2. lprent 2

    Draco – this is a stand-alone wordpress site using code from wordpress.org. It runs its own registration system. The only thing that we share with wordpress.com are their anti-spam service Akismet plugin and consolidated stats using the WordPress-stats plugin.

    Register away.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Ok, works now – was confusing as the registration and login pages had WordPress stamped all over it (who looks at the adddress :p). Now for some playtime  😀

    Quoting of quotable quotes quoted.

    The HTML editor is acting funny as well – it put the first three lines on a single line of code 🙁

    PS, and the editor seems to lose some of the formating.

  4. r0b 4

    Hi Lynn

    In another thread I wrote; In Safari 3.1.1 I can’t post a comment – if I try I just get a blank page with the message “Error: please type a comment.’

    You replied: [lprent: Sorry, forgot to press Post – there is a new post about it]

    I still can’t post a comment in Safari 3.1.1, same error message.  Firefox works fine (to post this).  Other than that, great work on the upgrades – thanks!

    Edit – this time line breaks from the original comment were not displayed, I had to use edit to recreate the paragraphs.

  5. lprent 5

    Draco – TinyMCE is running on your side, which is what makes this stuff a bit unreliable. Not everything is fully working. But i figured I’d need more info.

    rOb – Ok I failed to get it to store on Safari 3.1.2 on Tiger. That is odd, it was working yesterday.

    You can see why I only wanted this in if people could turn it off 😈

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    BTW, I’m using:
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008111318 Ubuntu/8.10 (intrepid) Firefox/3.0.4

  7. What if something you posted becomes highly relevant again? Say a throway comment speculating something comes to pass months later. Will you turn the comments back on?

  8. lprent 8

    M: Yes, but it is more likely that that we’d write a new post and link back

  9. lprent 9

    Draco: My workstation is OpenSUSE 11 and Firefox 3.04. That is what I do primary testing on.

    BTW: My blockquote doesn’t work – does yours?

  10. Rex Widerstrom 10

    Using IE7 on XP (SP3, patched) I now don’t see the editor which suits me just fine because I can hand code and it was giving me gyp when you experimented with it before. But I didn’t go through the whole “turning it off” procedure you’ve outlined – it just isn’t there.

    However, since you first started making changes I’ve noticed that when return visit to a post (as opposed to the main page) I now need to hit “refresh” to see new comments. For instance I might revisit the site and see lprent has commented on a post I’m following but when I click through to the post the last comment appears to be the one I left, till I manually refresh, then yours will appear. Bit annoying but not the end of the world I guess.

    If however all of your new features start having usability drawbacks I’m going to start suspecting you’ve learned developing at Microsoft 😛

    Hand coded blockquote

  11. lprent 11

    Ah you cannot see TinyMCE comments because you aren’t logged in (can tell by the comment background color). You’re running in guest mode. I removed the TinyMCE comments because from that mode because the bug issues are on the client side (ie javascript) rather than the server side. So I needed some way for users to turn off the ‘feature’. I could only do that if they changed their registered user profile (selected solution) or put more stuff on the front-end (too much work).

    The problem with the caching is that I’m doing some work at the server and periodically kicking the server side cache. From experience, when I’m doing that, the cache has issues if people are active at the same time.

    Happens on the weekends because traffic is low and I have the time. I’m doing it on the production server because I’m merely paying with css and it isn’t worth reconfiguring the home workstation to think that http://www.thestandard.org.nz lives here. WordPress has a bad habit of not being fully transportable, and embedding the site name all over the place like in the database.

    You’ll find that it returns to normal usage when I stop hitting the button.

  12. Rex Widerstrom 12

    But I appear to be logged in, and it’s recognising me (presumably via cookie) when I return. I’m registered for the site (you got me wondering, so I tried registering again and it confirmed it has my info) so now I’m confused.

    Not that I want the TinyMCE thing. Real men code by hand 😉 😛

    Glad to know that refresh thing is temporary though.

  13. lprent 13

    On the front page look towards the top-right under actions. If you’re logged in, it will say Logout. Otherwise Log in.

    I’m into doing tags as well. One of the nice things with the wsiwyg is it will help people put in clean links (I hope).

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    BTW: My blockquote doesn’t work – does yours?

    No, it doesn’t. I’m having to use the HTML editor to get that in. Almost everything else works fine though – the undo/redo buttons don’t work and the sub/superscript is being removed

  15. lprent 15


    Odd – mine go through fine.

  16. lprent 16

    redo & undo
    Ok – that doesn’t work on anything except mickeysoft. Removing (relies on JScript)

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Perhaps it was the way I had them on the same line that caused it to be removed.SuperscriptSubscriptSup/subscript – on one line, specifically the Sup/sub with the script left as normal.

    Actually, that got all crammed into one line of code with the super and sub removed.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Superscript Subscript

    Thought I’d try again with going into the editor but it still got removed and crammed onto one line 🙁

    Only thing blocked from my end is scripts from google-analytics.

  19. lprent 19

    Firefox on Mac
    Bold super sub

  20. Ianmac 20

    I’m Firefox on MacX.4.
    No sign of Bold super or sub or italics.

  21. lprent 21

    Ok looks like I have fixed the safari problem. The safari plugin for tinymce caused problems with modern safari browsers – go figure 

  22. lprent 22

    lanmac – try again now…

  23. lprent 23

    testing bold and Link
    opensuse 11 + firefox

  24. lprent 24

    Test, ok now my css is working – just have to fix it so it isn’t so damn small

  25. Ianmac 25

    Iprent No sign of the tags for Mac Firefox X.4
    XHTML might work. now will try strong or strong

  26. lprent 26

    lanmac – is that a new new version of firefox – I’m running 3.04 at present on linux and the same on safari and on windoze ?
    Also you don’t seem to be logged in? (in which case it won’t work anyway)

  27. lprent 27

    Testing chrome on XP

    Bold sup sub link

    Only problem I had was a oversized tinyMCE box after I saved Chrome

  28. ianmac 28

    Oh. Using 3.0.4 Firefox Now bold and italics and Strike and three2 etc.
    Have logged in now. Do I have to do that each time that I come on?

  29. ianmac 29

    Looks like only Bold and Italics work but thats good.

  30. lprent 30

    lanmac – if you click the remember me, then it will usually log you in automatically (depends on how your cookies are set up)

    IE7 on XP
    Bold Sup Link

    Interesting blockquote sort of works

  31. lprent 31

    Chrome on XP

    Test block quote
    Oh – blockquote isn’t a select – it is a change mode to (weird)
  32. ianmac 32

    Thanks. Try again tomorrow.

  33. lprent 33

    Testing blockquote on OpenSUSE with firefox. About to turn on blockquote

    Nope that doesn’t work

  34. lprent 34

    Testing blockquote on firefox on OSX
    Test doesn’t work

  35. lprent 35

    Testing blockquote on Safari on OSX

    Blockquote works as a mode change
    Wow – first time for a long time found a feature that should work on firefox not working
  36. lprent 36

    Ok – considerable improvement. But enough for the night. Time to see what else has been happening here

  37. Winston Raymond Peters 37

    [Tane: Hi Dad.]

  38. lprent 38

    Made this into a post

    Since the 16th I’ve been running an experiment with the Alexa ranking system to look at the site sensitivity in rankings from a single person using it. This is one of the factors used by Tumeke and Halfdone’s rankings. I was interested in how much it affected the Alexa ranking. It has been enlightening…

    None of the other admins use this because of its tracking behaviors or they run Safari. The Standard’s score on this ranking had remained moderately static – from Tumuke nz blog ranking
    October 226k nz451
    September 221k nz338
    August 236k nz388

    So I added it to all of my firefox’s on the evening of the 15th at home including my work laptop.

    Now I spend considerable time pulling pages from The Standard because of the nature of the moderation task – the vast majority of which are admin comment pages. I also have two other page view measures in wordpress.stats and google analytics. Both exclude the admin pages in wordpress.

    The google analytics and wordpress.stats showed a steadily decreasing number of page views, as would be expected post-election and as we move into summer.

    Alexa now shows a traffic rank of 191k and nz266 rank. As far as I’m aware there have been no other readers starting to use this that read the standard. The rapid decrease started when I started to do my usual operations with alexa running after months of compatitive stability. This happened in about 3 weeks.

    It looks to me as if a single person using this can significantly change the traffic ranks at alexa from the sites that they look at. Looks like a good tool to rort the system, especially for a admin of a site who spends a lot of time on their own site.

    It does explain a lot of the stepwise changes in the ranking that I’ve seen that do not appear to relate to measured page views. It looks like there are so few alexa users in NZ, that even one reading the site can change the alexa ranks of a site that they read quitre considerably.

    I’ll post this over at Tumeke and Halfdone. I suspect that there may be a lot more users of alexa shortly.

  39. jpg001 39

    Testing blockquote on Safari 3.2.1 on OSX 10.5.6

    blockquote work

    but i don’t see it on the screen, only after submit my comment

    [lprent: Yeah I have been a bit distracted because of my niece playing with the police]

  40. jpg001 40

    is it possible to get the plugin for my blog in France ? 🙂

  41. jpg001 41

    why i can’t quote the first line ?

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