Author Topic: New Server Coming Soon  (Read 84981 times)

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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #120 on: October 29, 2007, 08:22:03 pm »
Well, there's been yet another delay. I emailed the datacenter asking for settings on thursday, but they didn't reply until the end of the day friday, after I'd left town. Then they sent me to the support department to get an IP assigned, and they just now got back to me. They don't assign IPs anymore, they want me to give them root on the box and they'll set it up once it arrives. On the one hand, I don't like that, on the other hand, anyone that has physical access and/or controls the network could get in anyway. Hopefully I can get it shipped off tomorrow, but Wednesday at the latest now.

cha0s

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #121 on: November 02, 2007, 10:05:49 am »
you'd think if they needed root they would've already set up their user... hey hope it goes smoothly though =)

you should get one of the *cough* artists to make a UI if you don't like design... i also hate that part of the coding ...
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #122 on: November 02, 2007, 02:10:14 pm »
Speaking of coding... I've been doing a lot of it. I've decided that, finally being productive, I'm gonna do it right to start with, before I send the machine off. So, yeah, another couple days, but because I WANT to take longer, not because I have to. :-)

On that note, I'll let you all have a sneak peak at what's taking me so long.

http://xepher.xepher.net/newsboxdemo/

For now, I just made a bunch of banners doing text-to-image. Once the server is live, everyone will be able to upload their own banners. I'd recommend getting the sizes/format correct on your own, but the upload script will handle resizing images as well. Let me know if anything is broken or unfunctional with these. If you report a bug, gimme as many details as you can, any error messages, and what browser/OS/versions you're using.

Note: I am noticing a bit of a placement issue in IE7... the image is a few pixels off from the border, but not big. I'll correct that later.

Also, these probably won't work that well in older IE browsers as microsoft didn't support png files until IE7.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 02:57:04 pm by Xepher »

Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #123 on: November 02, 2007, 03:22:28 pm »
Fixed the IE7 issue. Apparently if you don't declare a big fancy and specific doctype, IE falls into "quirks mode" where it renders boxes the same wrong way that old IE copies did. That's right, the default method for Internet Explorer is not "use worldwide and well defined standards" but "do it wrong in exactly the same way since windows 98." MSIE CAN DIAF! :-D

yny-u

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #124 on: November 02, 2007, 05:33:56 pm »
The news box is looking pretty good. Will it be possible to change the background colour?

And yes, IE is... A real pain.

Databits

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #125 on: November 02, 2007, 10:49:24 pm »
You know what'd be awesome is making an ajax version which dynamically pulls a random banner.
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #126 on: November 03, 2007, 12:29:10 am »
This does. Well, server-side dynamically anyway. The "users" array on the real deal is populated via PHP as the script is included (as are the config and shape vars.) It's populated in random order each time. Normally the the tag would look like "<script src=http://xepher.net/newsbox.js.php?username=testuser&shape=box>" This let's it be up to date, random, yet still cycle as people would expect with the forward/back buttons. If I called the ad randomly in java, I'd have to build a "history" array to have "back" work, and check against it with each new image so as to not duplicate banners. I figured it's a lot simpler to just populate it with "select username from Users ... order by rand()" This demo version is hard coded (I just dumped the output from the script and changed the file_server var) because the current server doesn't have the correct database on the backend.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 12:32:44 am by Xepher »

griever

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #127 on: November 03, 2007, 12:46:32 am »
Very nice!  I think the 200x300 is an excellent size.  I suppose my only critique would be the Xepher.net/arrows that pop down.  The opening image and the demo ad image you have is so nice, but the Xepher.net/arrows look like a throwback to 1996....
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #128 on: November 03, 2007, 02:21:31 am »
Heheh... well, sometimes my thoughts/taste in design are a bit dated. I don't know what's hip with all the kiddies these days.

In all seriousness though, that's the sort of feedback I could use right now. I can agree that the dropdown text is a tad uglier than I'd like, so I was thinking of reworking that already, but I'm not sure what to do with the arrows. What is it you don't like? Is it the gradients, the color choices, or shape? Don't worry about offending me, just tell me what you think would look good, and bonus points if you can link me some examples. Changing those images is quite easy, and I sure don't want to look like a fugitive from ARPAnet. :-)

griever

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #129 on: November 03, 2007, 03:55:56 am »
I think I'm on the verge of joining you there, Xepher.  Nothing like a cute little 5 year old kid going, "You're THAT old?" to knock the youth right out of you.

The thing I noticed first was how pixelly the arrows are.  I don't know of the best way to fix that, but in a community of artists, someone's got to know the trick.  Also, I think the white/blue combo really diminishes the presence of arrows, especially over sites that don't have an image.  I think a solid blue with a thicker (3px?) solid white outline would help - it would stand out on light backgrounds and the white outline would help define it on dark backgrounds.

However, on more thought...the design reminds me of the slideshow controls that pop down, like on Google Photos or Flickr.  Rather than having the arrows overlay on the sides, how about in a small toolbar down at the bottom?  Could also throw in links for hosting info and donations.  Kind of like

[ <<  Hosting | Donate >> ]

popping up in the same height style banner as the Xepher.net above.  Would also clearly make the arrows stand out, but the downside is that it would take up more space.  On the other hand, with IE7 becoming more friendly, the background of the overlay banner could be semi-transparent....

EDIT: Unfortunately, this is the only example of an arrow I could find...  the thicker outline helps diminish the pixelly.  You can see it here.

The other thing that might help is make the arrow smaller, but make it look more like a button.  Some smoother, like this.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 04:06:01 am by griever »
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #130 on: November 03, 2007, 07:17:26 am »
Smaller could work, and I think I may go with thicker borders too. The dropdown seems to have a much thicker border than the arrows, even though I thought I made them the same. I also think the drop-in text (XEPHER.NET) does look a bit dated. To me the arrows look okay though, and I'm not sure what you mean by "pixely." First off, what browser/OS are you using? This thing tends to look different on different browsers, so it's possible you're seeing something different than me. That doesn't mean it's invalid, just that it's not intentional on my part. :-)

For comparison here's a screenshot of how it looks to me (complete with new site layout.) FYI, I'm running firefox2 on Linux. If it does NOT look like this to you, let me know, and let me know what you're using, then I can try and fix it up for your browser. If it DOES look like this, then maybe just explain what you mean in more detail. I definitely plan to improve this still.

http://xepher.xepher.net/downloads/newXNscreenshot.png

NOTE: Please view the screenshot at full/normal zoom and resolution. If your browser shrinks it to start with, it will look REALLY ugly. It's 1280x960, so unless your desktop is larger than that, you should be having to scroll.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 07:19:40 am by Xepher »

griever

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #131 on: November 03, 2007, 09:21:15 am »
I'm on Mac OSX with Firefox 2.something or other.  2.0.0.8, whatever that means. :P

Pixelly...the diagonals seem very jagged.  Like you can tell where each pixel adjusts.  Thickening it up should reduce that, but I'm not an artist, especially a computer artist, so I can't say for sure.
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #132 on: November 05, 2007, 02:02:36 am »
Hmm... it should be fully antialiased images, so it shouldn't look any more "jagged" than any other image that size. I've redesigned the overlays completely though, so check out http://xepher.xepher.net/newsboxdemo/ again. You may have to clear your cache or force a refresh or two to make it show the new stuff. The arrows should be a single color now (instead of blue/white and red/white) with a grey/white thicker outline. The dropin text image should have rounded corners now as well. Let me know if this looks better.

griever

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #133 on: November 05, 2007, 09:59:40 am »
Those definitely look much better, IMHO.
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Xepher

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Re: New Server Coming Soon
« Reply #134 on: November 05, 2007, 12:12:27 pm »
Glad to hear it. All I had to do was stop coding for a day or so, and let the artistic side of my brain get back up to speed, then it made sense how obviously ugly it was before.