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Upgrade time again

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, September 20th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: admin - Tags:

Lynn PrenticeI’m on ‘holiday’ for the next few weeks to contribute some campaign work.

However it will also give me some time to do the next set of upgrades to the site sometime during that period. I will be putting in the acculmulated upgrades for existing packages and testing them.

Here is your opportunity to say what kinds of features you’d like added. I won’t promise to put them in, but I’ll at least have a look at them. Remember they have to stay consistent with the look and feel of the existing site. Have a look around the WordPress plugin area.

Lynn

33 comments on “Upgrade time again ”

  1. randal 1

    how about a device to recognise right wing nutbars, fascists, neo nazis and eliminate them?

    [lprent: There is a question of discrimination. Who knows who it would eliminate…]

  2. Anita 2

    Edit that works on a Mac!! 🙂

    I will have a proper think now I’ve got that off my chest 🙂

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    How about a small upgrade to the latest comments section. Have it show your last five posts at the top.

  4. lprent 4

    Anita: That is at the top of the list after the base upgrades. I have a mac-mini and a powerbook available to test on. Neither are intel and both are running Tiger. I think that they should display the effects you’re seeing.

    Draco: That is a good idea, I’ll havea look for a plugin. Otherwise it is a doddle to write.

  5. coge 5

    Enjoy your campaigning, Lynn. I think the current structure of this blog is pretty user friendly.

    [lprent: So do I. More importantly so do the mac style police. Some of my ‘innovations’ get edited out of the css 🙂 There are downsides to being a coop. ]

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    A plug-in that lets registered users see the IP addresses of every person who comments on the site!

    heh

    [lprent: No way. You notice the section in the Policy on Privacy. Bad enough that it is done now elsewhere. ]

  7. bill brown 7

    Is there a way, without using too much space, to provide some date / time stamping with the recent comments?

  8. Patrick 8

    Lynn, let me know if you want a hand testing it. My main computer is an Intel Mac, with Firefox, Opera and Safari installed.

  9. East Wellington Superhero 9

    How about a function whereby Helen Clark gets ejected into outerspace. Oh, actually, I think that already exists – the 2008 General Election!

  10. lprent 10

    bill: I’ll think that one through… The question is space – ie those long names and long post titles…

    How about ‘sectioning’ the recent comments, ie adding in a line that says:-

    last 15 minutes
    last hour
    last 3 hours
    last day

    or something like that with comments beneath them.

    patrick: I will do so when I hit that phase

    EWS: TGell me what are you going to do when Helen wins a 4th term by managing to form a coalition and Key doesn’t?

    For all of the bluster that floats around, the poll numbers look extraordinarily close to my numeric eye (bearing in mind poll numbers from previous elections). But be of good cheer, I’ll try to bring that result for you.

  11. Could you please upgrade the “Bret Dale” plug in to a “Redbaiter” plugin. It posts a much higher standard of hypocritical, dishonest and demonstrably false statements, that make for much funnier reading.

  12. @lprent

    When it comes to software they often say that the most transparent technologies are the best. Personally I would suggest not introducing too much that would add any “bloat” to the site. Probably have a look at the following:

    * See if you can do something to reduce load times. If you have money to burn you could add more servers, load balancing and caching but have a look at Tumeke. Since they’re hosted on Blogspot there is little that they could do besides optimizing the images (which I’m assuming is what they’ve done) and it now loads much faster than it used to.

    * Bans that stick. It seems the general culture behind WordPress is that banning is counterproductive however they’ve obviously never had to deal with all the threadjackings and accusations that you guys have. Too often you see commentators here say things like “I thought you were banned!” – surely there must be a good solution to this. While it won’t always help with dynamic IP addressing can you/have you been banning certain addresses outright? Can you run some sort of regex over all comments (in particular over newer posters) that detect certain words/phrases?

  13. r0b 13

    The ability to see (in reverse chronological order) all posts by a selected user – e.g. all posts by “illuminatedtiger” (random choice, the previous comment).

    Search unleashed for strings of less than 4 characters (though that might not be feasible?).

    And as ever thanks for all your hard work on this site.

  14. Anita 14

    One of the things that makes discussions hard here are the inconsistency of quoting and confusion about who said what when two levesl of quotes are used. So I’ll put on the list:

    1) Reply/quote buttons on each post and comment (to provide properly formatted quotes in a comment.

    2) Changing the formatting of blockquote so nested ones are less ugly. At the moment

    outside quote

    inside quote

    back to the outside quote

    Vertical lines to show quotes and quote level would be cleaner, but there are probably lots of other options.

    Righty-ho, let’s see if I got those nested quotes right 🙂

  15. Bill 15

    Any chance of simply numbering the comments on a thread? And could comments that go off at a tangent be moved to a parallel thread, leaving the main one clear for on topic comments?

  16. lprent 16

    it:

    See if you can do something to reduce load times.

    I did a big burst of that in June and managed to drop the inexorable rise of data transfer by close to a third. That was by making sure that

    1. If the browsers could handle it that material was sent through compressed.
    2. Asking the browsers to cache all images.
    3.Changing the numbers of posts visible.
    4. Changing the sidebars.

    Similarly the posters have been assiduous about reducing image sizes (apart from that monopoly image).

    But there are limits on how much I can cache due to the dynamic behaviour of the site.

    The real limit is at the server and how fast it can process stuff. For instance the compression chews a lot of CPU, as does generating the pages. The best I can do at present is to look at a server side caching of generated pages where there has been no change in content. That would reduce the server side waits when comments aren’t being added.

    Bans that stick.

    That one I’m already looking at. I’ll have to write code as there doesn’t seem to be anything really good available.

  17. lprent 17

    rOb:

    The ability to see (in reverse chronological order) all posts by a selected user – e.g. all posts by “illuminatedtiger’ (random choice, the previous comment).

    That should be easy. There is code at the admin level to do that. But I’ll bet there is a plugin…

    Search unleashed with small strings.. didn’t realise that there was a restriction.

  18. lprent 18

    Anita: That will be interesting. Ideally I’d like to implement a full javascript wysiwyg. I’m playing with about 3 alternatives. I’ll look at that as part of the criteria. (the first criteria is that it works…)

  19. zANavAShi 19

    Hi de hi Lynn, been way too busy IRL to keep up with bloglife lately but since I just dropped in for a flying visit I’ll 2nd Bills request for time stamp on comments. Your idea about sectioning them would work AOK IMO and minimise clutter.

    Top of my wishlist is SEF URL’s. I know from my own sites what a sonofa#@#&%$ it can be to find a stable URL rewriter, but I think it’s so worth the investment if you can get one running. It drives me batso sifting thru my history for a particular thread when this site’s URLs are all numeric ?p=3098. It would also be a bonus for search engine rankings if anybody cares about such things.

    I would also like to see a few tweaks to the site template – a 100% width fluid template which maximises the post content area incl an accessibility feature (with visitor custom settings stored on cookie) to enlarge font sizes. I just upgraded to a 26inch LCD and the typography here is so teensey I had to write a little custom CSS overwrite script. I can email you some of my suggested CSS tweaks if you like.

    Enjoy your anticipated “time off”, cos I know yanno there’s no such thing as “time off” for geeks… with there always a gazillion geeky maintenance things to catch up on which require a holiday to recover from the holiday hehehe

    Cheers m’dears,
    Zana

  20. Chris S 20

    I agree, Search Engine friendly URLs are very easy to enable in wordpress and just require a small amount of config with mod_rewrite.

    Makes a site look a lot more professional and of course easier to crawl/better rank in search engines.

    Fluid width… not so much, Fixed width is much better for this type of content and look

  21. Anita 21

    That reminds me, a search function that works would be nice too 🙂 I don’t know what is wrong with the one on the front page, but it regularly supplies incomplete results.

    Compare this and this for example. (Don’t ask 🙂 )

  22. lprent 22

    Z & Chris:
    URL’s should be easy – I could flip a switch in wordpress and then they’d turn on. I still kicking myself that I didn’t during system startup last year. It does have a minor effect on the searches (Title has far more)

    The real problem for me is going to be the existing links to posts. I have to really be able to turn it on AND have the old URL’s accessible as well.

    mod_rewrite would probably work, but with an enormous amount of fuss because it doesn’t have database access I think. Ummmmmmm… There has to be a plugin to allow both style of URL…

    Anita: I’m not happy about Search either. It seems to stop indexing periodically for no apparent reason.

  23. Billy 23

    lprent,

    Don’t go changing. I love you just the way you are.

    [lprent: We won’t change too much. But the software does have to be upgraded and there are a few bits that are problematic. ]

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Lynn – definitely joking about IPs. Slight dig at a certain site. It’s also why I won’t post at Mr Sir Bryan Spondre Supreme Chief Executive Blog Producer’s site Policy. Bans for no good reason, and he’ll publish your IP to boot. Amateurs like that have no business trying to run a serious blog site.

  25. Matthew Pilott 26

    Huh, they’re half censored now. I see you’ve been offered a second chance, billy, it must have been your polite, measured tone. Especially in contrast to the ‘sod…

    I saw someone ‘Godwin’s’ Hooton’s castigation of the Left as the axis and get a banning and an IP publishing as a result. If Spondre is going to be too soft to handle honest criticism of Hooton I doubt I’d last two posts there.

    What did you do?

  26. Billy 27

    You saw it on that page. I simply asked what ‘sod’s crime was.

  27. Matthew Pilott 28

    You rebel! I’m going to have to have a laugh next time he complains about the moderation here.

  28. lprent 29

    Moderation is as much of an art as a science. It does get a tad wearing at times.

  29. Billy 30

    lprent,

    Aren’t you the teacher’s pet.

  30. Anita 31

    The most recent Java upgrade for 10.5 hasn’t fixed comment editing for Macs

  31. lprent 32

    It is javascript rather than java.

    I’m working on the upgrade now. Running it under OpenSUSE, but I’ll add on the local area network interface and try it from the Mac before release.

  32. Anita 33

    lprent,

    I didn’t really think it would help, but the description of the package was pretty vague and Apple have bundled weird patches together before 🙂 More just reconfirming that a completely patched Mac can’t.

    Why on OpenSUSE? Tell me this isn’t a Novell fan thing 🙂

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