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External links will continue to die at an alarming rate as long as people continue to believe that publishing chess variants as board games is a commercially viable endeavor.
This comment is about the whole site: Do you know just how many dead links to external pages you have?
I noticed the unobtrusive random page link a few days ago, and I wanted to let you know that I really like it. The CVP has become so huge that there is no way one can remember everything on it. The random page allows for serendipitous discovery and adventure.
Done and done!
Also links for the Subject Inserted confirmation!
Thanks. The link back to What's New goes to the redirection page. Did you mean to do it that way?
Links added. Thanks for the suggestion.
One thing you might consider for the New Comment Added acknowledgement is a link back to the What's New page. Now I either back button through several pages, or just use my bookmark.
David - <p>I thought you got $100k/year! Vanilla is always best in software.
I appreciate all the feedback, especially constructive criticism. Please do keep me advised of what you like, and especially what you don't like. I will continue to develop and hopefully improve this system. But also keep in mind that this is part-time, volunteer work for me, so I prefer to keep things simple and easy.
David - <p>Just feeding back to let you know I really like all the improvements you've made to the comment system. It looks like people other than the usual ones are stating to use it, too. (I guess I'm going to have to learn what an HTML tag is, though. I'm not ashamed of my ignorance; I know things about mainframe computers.) <p>I at first thought the Minimal New page was an odd idea, but it turns out to be great, because it refreshes in the blink of an eye. <p>The only quibble is I don't like to have to expand long comments, but I'm probably in the minority, and cerainly against fashion.
I got to say, the new format looks great. Also this website continuously amazes me in its depth and breath, and is an endless inspiration to me on my ideas concerning many topics. And has given me new perspective on many things.
No, no, not a smaller font, PLEASE! Some of us use bifocals, and have enough trouble already.
For those who constantly check the what's new page, I have created the 'Minimal New' page, which just gives a short summary on when the latest comment was made, and when the latest item was added or updated. The address is: http://www.chessvariants.com/index/new.php
Truncating a comment which contains HTML code is non-trivial. Strange things happen when closing tags get truncated off the end. So, I have nothing against HTML-based comments, but since truncating them would involve much more work, I chose to simply avoid. My alternate approach may be to use a smaller font.
Why discriminate against non-HTML comments? I have no clue how to create an HTML comment, and feel slighted. (I do know what HTML stands for, however.)
I have made a change in the comment listing page. All non-HTML comments that are over 20 lines long are truncated at 20 lines with a link to view the entire comment. This was done is response to unusually long comments. I am not complaining about these comments, just trying to reduce the amount of scrolling required when browsing. Feel free to make alternate suggestions as this feedback/messaging system is a work-in-progress.
Hey, David. Somehow my last comment in the 'Rook-Level Chess' thread turned into its own 'Rook-Level' thread (no 'Chess'). Any ideas? <p><i>Hey Peter, I think it's fixed. There was an issue with spaces I think. Time will tell...</i>
It would be nice if a place to click to create a new subject at the top of the comments page. Right now, as far as I can tell, you have to page down until you find an existing thread, and click there.
Ok, I'll look into extending the feedback system to allow some sort of message threading based on something other than existing pages. I understand why people do not like the yahoo group system, although it does have some nice features. Give me a few days to come up with something.
The comment system allows you to see the whole discussion on one page, instead of needing to access (and then page down past all the garbage) a new page for each message. This is a huge advantage, and I expect that people will abandon the yahoo thingy and flock to the chessvariants.com comment pages.
I fall between Peter and David here. When I write a comment, I don't really plan it. Something in the page, or another comment sets me off, and I just start writing. If it leads somewhere not completely germaine to the page being commented on, so be it. BUT, the result is that discussions that are potentially interesting or inspiring get buried attached to pages that effectively conceal them from later browsers. (Look at the recent discussion attached to the 'Archoniclastic Chess' page.) To do the thing properly, comments should be limited to the variant they are attached to, and any flight of fancy should be moved to the discussion group. I think this is against human nature (at least mine) and I would probably never make 50% of those posts. Furthermore, the discussion group posting may be cryptic outside of context of the variant page that inspired it. On the other side, the number of people 'misusing' the comment system are relatively small. It would be a huge waste of time and resources to build a parallel discussion system for a handful of 'chatterers'. Also, the public discussion board has a better possibility of attracting random searchers. Maybe a compromise is possible. Let me note here that I am no programmer, and I have no idea how difficult any particular idea would be to implement. An idea that seems simple to me might be to allow the writer of an extended comment to select a small set of keywords ('Ruddigore', 'double-move') which the comment system could also search for. Better ideas?
It would seem kind of redundent to have you build a discussion group when we already have one. However. There would be some advantages to a home-built discussion board: <ul> <p> <li>It could be integrated with the comment system. What <strong>I</strong> would like to have is a single system where both comments and general discussion are displayed in order of posting. It seems awkward to me to have two different systems with two different user interfaces for one purpose: discussing Chess variants. And I know for a fact there are for both people who use one but not the other.</li> <p> <li>It would be faster (it would hard to be slower!).</li> <p> <li>It wouldn't have all of the stupid advertising the current incarnation of the discussion group has.</li> </ul> <p> But still, it would seem like a lot of work for something which we already have, if not in ideal form.
While I agree that discussions of new game ideas are valuable, I don't think they are appropriate for the feedback and rating system. It's better to keep the discussions relating to a particular page on our internal feedback system, and use our discussion group when the commentary digresses to new game ideas. The discussion group has many more features than my crude feedback system, so I think it's better to use that. That is, unless you want me to build a discussion group system that lives on the chess variant pages... :)
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I have replaced the listcomments.php script with a new script. This new script uses PDO methods instead of mysql functions, and it changes how it pages through the comments. The old script used the offset method, which grew more expensive with each page of links further away from the origin. The new script uses the first and last keywords to indicate a specific starting point from which to count ahead or count down additional comments. This works just as quickly for any point in the Comment table, and it provides links that will identify the same set of comments even when additional comments are added.
The default is now to list comments in ascending order instead of descending order, and order=DESC must be set to list comments in descending order. This is to make it explicit when comments are being listed in descending order. The new script uses the sort keyword instead of the sortbydate keyword, and it can take different column names for values. It defaults to CommentID. But until I change the links, it will change the order value to DESC, so that old links can still function as they used to. The link on the home page has already been corrected, since it did not include any parameters. For further details on parameters, click on the Help link, or add the help parameter to the URL.