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By TallPaul on 02/05/19 at 4:44am (last edited 02/05/19 at 9:27am)

We have just moved our web site to a shiny new server. This server is a lot faster so it should mean that we can serve you pages more quickly and also cope with the ever increasing volume number of visitors to our site.

This has been a big change for us and involved a lot of work behind the scenes especially upgrading all the code, originally written in PHP5, to be PHP7 compatible.

As part of this move we've made some changes. The biggest of these is that we have completely re-worked the registration and logging in pages which should, hopefully, make them easier for new users. (N.B. one consequence of this is that you will have been logged out so you will need to log in again.)

We have also rewritten the forum software in a way we hope will better fit with the needs of our users. The way you mark up a post has changed completely: we're now using a slightly modified version of Markdown rather than BB code and the user interface has been completely rewritten to include near real time previewing and easier attachment uploading and insertion.

All existing posts have been retained but we've added: threading, the ability to "like" posts, and some big changes to make writing walk reports a lot easier, especially if you have a GPS track of your walk.

You can also now "like" posts, just like Twitter.

Anyway do let us know what you think.


By TallPaul on 02/05/19 at 9:20am

In my email to supporters I said:

(and indeed I've just discovered you currently can't re-load previously uploaded or downloaded GPXs so I'll be looking at that soon)

I have looked, and this is now fixed (thanks to Steve Willis for his help on this).


By Lancashire Lad on 02/05/19 at 1:26pm (last edited 02/05/19 at 1:49pm)

Hi Paul,

I've just been browsing around the "new" WalkLakes website.

The 3D view options for GPS Mapping definitely render much more quickly than previously - very helpful.

A couple of things that I've noticed which seem to have changed are: -

1 - When replying to a post on the forum, the post to which one is replying cannot be seen or scrolled to on screen? (In all honesty, I cannot recollect whether (on WalkLakes) it would have been able to be seen prior to the upgrade). But being able to see the post to which one is replying can be very advantageous, especially if one is making comment on numerous points from within that post. I'm a moderator on UK Fungi website (which uses PHPBB), and on that site when one is replying, the previous posts on the thread can still be seen or scrolled to, so it's easy to make sure that you have included all the points that you wanted to make when responding.

2 - The forum index shows number of replies to a thread, but no longer shows number of views. Admittedly, of no relevance to the content, but I did find it interesting to be able to see which fells/walks were getting more views than others.

3 - There are no Icons above the "reply" text box for changing text font colour or size of font within one's post. Again, I may be thinking of options available on the UK Fungi website, which I use far more frequently, but I'm almost sure I have changed text colour, (for emphasis of specific points), in previous posts I've made here on WalkLakes.

4 - I can't seem to find the option for "reply with quote" - where all, or part of the post to which one is replying would be shown at the beginning of the reply post?

5 - When typing a post/reply, the software doesn't seem to take any notice of a "line return", and bunches all text up into a long continuous paragraph, making the text more difficult to read in context. If line return is used twice in succession, or a "line break" is added via the icon above the text box. Then a full blank line is added between text. That's fine for when one actually wants a blank line between text, but not for when one only wants to start a new line with a specific word, immediately below the previous line.

e.g. if you look at how my text appears in the post, and compare to this screenshot of how I actually typed it, you will see what I mean. - Line breaks are actioned, but for whatever reason, simple line returns are ignored: -

Regards, Mike.


By TallPaul on 02/05/19 at 2:20pm (last edited 02/05/19 at 2:21pm)

1 - When replying to a post on the forum, the post to which one is replying cannot be seen or scrolled to on screen? (In all honesty, I cannot recollect whether (on WalkLakes) it would have been able to be seen prior to the upgrade). But being able to see the post to which one is replying can be very advantageous, especially if one is making comment on numerous points from within that post. I'm a moderator on UK Fungi website (which uses PHPBB), and on that site when one is replying, the previous posts on the thread can still be seen or scrolled to, so it's easy to make sure that you have included all the points that you wanted to make when responding.

I was wondering about that when I wrote it. I think that's something I'll add to my list.

2 - The forum index shows number of replies to a thread, but no longer shows number of views. Admittedly, of no relevance to the content, but I did find it interesting to be able to see which fells/walks were getting more views than others.

Counting "Views" is actually harder than you might think. First of all what constitutes a view: if I look at a topict, then log in and look at it again, and then look at it a third time while still logging in how many "views" is that? I would argue it's one, but depending on how I count it it could be two (logged in vs. not logged in) or three. TBH getting "one" right would be tricky, "two" is a bit easier, and "three" is the easiest, but even that means reliably filtering out "views" by bots, which is surprisingly difficult. I wonder how phpBB did it?

However I'm hoping that the "like" mechanism may compensate and remove the need for this.

3 - There are no Icons above the "reply" text box for changing text font colour or size of font within one's post. Again, I may be thinking of options available on the UK Fungi website, which I use far more frequently, but I'm almost sure I have changed text colour, (for emphasis of specific points), in previous posts I've made here on WalkLakes.

For now you can do that by hand using an HTML span tag with style="color: color" - like this red.
(Hmmm ... and there's a bug in the rendering of less than and greater than - I'll look at that in a minute.)

4 - I can't seem to find the option for "reply with quote" - where all, or part of the post to which one is replying would be shown at the beginning of the reply post?

Correct. You need to hand craft that for now, as I'm doing here. You put a greater than symbol at the start of each paragraph to quote it.

5 - When typing a post/reply, the software doesn't seem to take any notice of a "line return", and bunches all text up into a long continuous paragraph, making the text more difficult to read in context. If line return is used twice in succession, or a "line break" is added via the icon above the text box. Then a full blank line is added between text. That's fine for when one actually wants a blank line between text, but not for when one only wants to start a new line with a specific word, immediately below the previous line.

That's standard Markdown. Put a space before the line return to add a line break
thus.


By Lancashire Lad on 02/05/19 at 3:17pm (last edited 02/05/19 at 3:19pm)

Thanks Paul.

I can now quote in a reply as below.

Correct. You need to hand craft that for now, as I'm doing here. You put a greater than symbol at the start of each paragraph to quote it.

And: -

Put a space before the line return to add a line break

I can also now Start a new line at any specific word - e.g.: -
Like this!
Although, I have to put two spaces, (followed by pressing the line return key), after the word where I then want a new line to start.

But I can't suss out what you mean here? - Exactly how do you insert such a span tag?

For now you can do that by hand using an HTML span tag with style="color: color" - like this red. (Hmmm ... and there's a bug in the rendering of less than and greater than - I'll look at that in a minute.)

Regards,
Mike.


By TallPaul on 02/05/19 at 4:19pm (last edited 02/05/19 at 5:24pm)

But I can't suss out what you mean here? - Exactly how do you insert such a span tag?

<span style="color:red;">red text</span> ... is rendered as red text.

Simples. You basically use a limited number of HTML tags. Tthere's a list at the bottom of the "formatting help" popup when editing but it's currently: a, div, p, small, span, sup, table, td, th, tr, u


By Lancashire Lad on 02/05/19 at 5:13pm (last edited 02/05/19 at 5:27pm)

Still no joy! :oops:

I copied and pasted your exact statement for the span tag from your above post,
i.e. (less than symbol)span to span(greater than symbol), and everything between, on the line below,
It shows just the words red text, (but still as black text): -

red text

Regards,
Mike


By TallPaul on 02/05/19 at 5:24pm

Apologies, my mistake. I've fixed it now in the OP but change "class=" to "style=".


By Lancashire Lad on 02/05/19 at 5:34pm

Apologies, my mistake. I've fixed it now in the OP but change "class=" to "style=".

Ah! - got it! ;)

Regards,
Mike.


By SheepFarmer on 05/05/19 at 8:25am

What is the new way to save a post as a draft ? I tried clicking save below the preview pane but it posted it but, thankfully I could delete it.


By TallPaul on 05/05/19 at 8:33am

I confess there (currently) isn't one. It's not something either of us have ever used so it dropped off our radar while developing the new forum software.

I guess, since you're asking, you would find this useful? If so we could look at adding a facility.


By SheepFarmer on 05/05/19 at 1:31pm (last edited 05/05/19 at 1:32pm)

Saving a draft is something to put low on the list, as it's something I only used sometimes as walk my reports are composed in libre office before copy & paste & one can always do it the opposite way.

Re Mikes seeing the post you're replying to, I tend to have the post open in another browser tab, which can be easier than scrolling up & down especially with long or multipoint posts.

I'll also bring up a request that I asked before and that was to have batch upload of files and having tested to see if this had been implemented, have found that although I can browse to a 2nd & 3rd pic - three seems to be the limit - to upload before the 1st is completed I ended with pic 1 as attachment 1, pic 3 as attachment 2 & pic 2 as attachment 3, which muddles things a bit. Also I note that the ability to drag & drop files instead of browsing to has gone. But the addition of a small preview pic is good.


By Lancashire Lad on 05/05/19 at 4:39pm

A couple of observations: -

1 - In all walk reports, the metric measurement unit for Ascent: is now missing, with just the numbers being given. - E.g.: -

I'm pretty sure that it was there before the upgrade?

2 - The various walk report index pages appear to be using "size column to fit" formatting, rather than fixed column widths. - Particularly noticeable when moving between index pages, as it seems to emphasise the large amount of "white space" at right hand side. - E.g.: -

I'm not sure whether this would be something that might have been done to make viewing on smartphones better? (I only view WalkLakes on PC), but personally, I think that pages look "tidier" when column widths fill the available space and so remain constant when moving between pages.

Hopefully this does not come across as "nitpicking". - Rather, just trying to offer suggestions that might be of some small enhancement or benefit for the site.

Best regards,
Mike.


By TallPaul on 06/05/19 at 7:43am (last edited 06/05/19 at 7:43am)

[issues]

  1. I've fixed the "m" in ascent (I'm surprise and vaguely disappointed that we missed that as we spent a lot of time on walk reports).

  2. I see what you mean about those tables. On the list of things to do is making the forum more mobile friendly (it's not at the moment) but doing that will probably also help with this.

Hopefully this does not come across as "nitpicking". - Rather, just trying to offer suggestions that might be of some small enhancement or benefit for the site.

Hell no, this sort of "attention to detail" is exactly the sort of feedback we need at this stage so thank you for that.


By TallPaul on 12/05/19 at 10:14am

2 - The various walk report index pages appear to be using "size column to fit" formatting, rather than fixed column widths. - Particularly noticeable when moving between index pages, as it seems to emphasise the large amount of "white space" at right hand side. - E.g.: -
[...]
I'm not sure whether this would be something that might have been done to make viewing on smartphones better? (I only view WalkLakes on PC), but personally, I think that pages look "tidier" when column widths fill the available space and so remain constant when moving between pages.

I've now tweaked the CSS so that the columns are variable width for smartphones in portrait mode but fixed everyone else, which I think looks better.

I've also done some other tune ups to make the forum render better on smartphones, especially when viewing walk reports in portrait mode.

The default viewing mode is also "flat" rather than "threaded" for smartphones as they're short of width.


By TallPaul on 06/05/19 at 7:48am

Saving a draft is something to put low on the list, as it's something I only used sometimes as walk my reports are composed in libre office before copy & paste & one can always do it the opposite way.

Re Mikes seeing the post you're replying to, I tend to have the post open in another browser tab, which can be easier than scrolling up & down especially with long or multipoint posts.

Yeah, that's how I tend to work. Perhaps I should have a button which opens the thread in a new tab (so the user can get to that point later, rather than having to start by opening a new tab to edit).

I'll also bring up a request that I asked before and that was to have batch upload of files and having tested to see if this had been implemented, have found that although I can browse to a 2nd & 3rd pic - three seems to be the limit - to upload before the 1st is completed I ended with pic 1 as attachment 1, pic 3 as attachment 2 & pic 2 as attachment 3, which muddles things a bit.

Hmmm ... I'm not sure how much control I have over that, although I could probably sort them by filename, which would probably help you. I'll take a look at that.

Also I note that the ability to drag & drop files instead of browsing to has gone. But the addition of a small preview pic is good.

I thought drag and drop did work (not that it's a way I do file uploads but I thought I saw that working when testing. I'll look at that again.


By SheepFarmer on 06/05/19 at 8:21am

Can we have the location & title ie "Forums » Supporters - Welcome to our new Web Site" of the post we are replying to instead or as well as the number, unless there is a way to search for posts by the number, or have the number on the posts, or is this down to the forum software ?



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