Message Board Updates and Constructive Ideas

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Steven
Participant
#

In olden days, websites could only use the fonts a user happened to have already installed on his computer. But modern browsers can download fonts specified by the site. Droid Sans is provided by Google, and a site can use it simply by adding a line of CSS code. The browser then downloads the font for its own use in WOFF format.

Google makes a bunch of free fonts available in this way, including Droid Sans. But Droid Sans seems a poor choice for this site. From what I’ve read, it was built without an italic style specifically due to the limited memory space available on the Android mobile devices for which it was intended as one of the built-in fonts. I don’t think it’s a great choice for uses where italic might be required, or where device memory isn’t severely limited.

I suggest using Open Sans instead, also provided by Google.

I think (not certain) the changes required would be:

1. Change the line that loads the CSS

http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Droid+Sans:400,700

at the top of every HTML page to load

…/css?family=Open+Sans:400,400italic,700,700italic

instead.

2. Modify http://bikepgh.org/wp-content/themes/foldabike/style.css, changing both references from Droid Sans to Open Sans.

Perhaps this is worth trying to see if it fixes the problem?


Benzo
Participant
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Looks like pins are working on the main page again. This is awesome.


dmtroyer
Participant
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@dan twitter bootstrap ftw!


Ahlir
Participant
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The pins are great! But when just looking, it’s a bit unobvious where the regular posts start.

Maybe have a hairline just below them? Or just give the pins their own background color?


dmtroyer
Participant
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@dan what about putting it on github and where people can enter issues and make pull requests?


reddan
Keymaster
#

Just fixed a bug in the unread_replies plugin…for completely unread topics, clicking the title was not taking the user to the first post.

At this point, the “keep track of my read and unread replies across all my devices” feature should be pretty solid. Please let me know if any problems in that area become apparent.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

I would sincerely like to know why I could not paste what appeared to be a text email, with a couple of embedded links, into a post the other day. On the Mon Valley Expressway thread, at least seven tries were necessary to get my post up. Each time I pressed the “Submit” button, my content disappeared. On two of those occasions, I had posted straight text, ensured that I saw it on the board, then made an edit to paste in another paragraph, then the entire post disappeared.

In frustration (!! I was at work, and probably gave up a half hour of prime-time concentration to get the post up!), I ended up re-typing the bulk of the email.

What makes posts disappear like that? I would be happy to forward the original mail, much mangled by Yahoo, to someone who can figure out what bad mojo (or, more likely, combination of embedded .css, spaces in HTML tags, and other kablooie) caused such repeated failures.


myddrin
Participant
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This might be way out there but:

In the early days of the internet (pre-WWW, when the usenet groups dominated and virtual dinosaurs roamed the earth) some newsreaders supported something called a kill file.

If there was a user who was really irritating, you put their email address in the file, and your client would filter out messages originating from them. (You would still see messages that quoted them, of course.)

It made for an easy way to to deal with trolls… after enough people had added them to their kill file, they wouldn’t get a response to their pot-stirring and would eventually go away.

It might be nice to have something like that.


Benzo
Participant
#

StuInMcCandless wrote:I would sincerely like to know why I could not paste what appeared to be a text email, with a couple of embedded links, into a post the other day. On the Mon Valley Expressway thread, at least seven tries were necessary to get my post up. Each time I pressed the “Submit” button, my content disappeared. On two of those occasions, I had posted straight text, ensured that I saw it on the board, then made an edit to paste in another paragraph, then the entire post disappeared.

In frustration (!! I was at work, and probably gave up a half hour of prime-time concentration to get the post up!), I ended up re-typing the bulk of the email.

What makes posts disappear like that? I would be happy to forward the original mail, much mangled by Yahoo, to someone who can figure out what bad mojo (or, more likely, combination of embedded .css, spaces in HTML tags, and other kablooie) caused such repeated failures.

To deal with this issue I tend to copy / paste to a plain text editor (usually windows notepad) to sanitize the text and remove all formatting garbage. I copy and paste again from the text editor to the browser or whatever destination I want.


Drewbacca
Participant
#

constructive idea: can me make the introductions thread light up with a little greenlight gif when someone posts there for the first time, to ensure that we all see it and give a hearty welcome?

On a related note, can we do something to make the stickies more evident relative to the regular threads?


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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For me at least, the sticky threads get a little pushpin icon next to them. Since it’s apparently done in CSS, though, there’s no way to get an alt text in, and it seems to load last of everything…


Drewbacca
Participant
#

I get the little push pins, but to give an idea of how underwhelming they are… I never noticed them until just now. :(


reddan
Keymaster
#

I get the little push pins, but to give an idea of how underwhelming they are… I never noticed them until just now. :(

Don’t make me break out the <blink> tags on yo ass.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@benzo – I know that trick. I was using it. It didn’t help.


Drewbacca
Participant
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reddan wrote:
Don’t make me break out the <blink> tags on yo ass.

Oh! and how cool would it be if we could have MySpace style walls for our profile page?!?!


edmonds59
Participant
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Awesome.


reddan
Keymaster
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Drewbacca
Participant
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StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Not so much a board issue as a website issue. I found a broken link, likely left over from the big move a few months ago.

On this page:

Will PennDOT’s Penn Ave Safety Changes Make a Difference?

This does not work:
http://bike-pgh.org/get_involved/ride-a-bike/bike-to-work-guide/

But if I search the site and go to this link, I get what I was looking for:
http://bikepgh.org/101/

And as a suggestion, it would be helpful if that “101” guide was listed in the pull-down menu under “Resources” rather than “Projects”. Whatever the distinction is between a project and a resource, isn’t clear to me.


bikeygirl
Participant
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Hrm….. what happened to the website?
All vertical now?
Took me a couple of tries to get to the “forums” list…


Benzo
Participant
#

Allow me to embed vimeo videos please :)


salty
Participant
#

I thought there was another “bug reports” thread but I couldn’t find it… anyways, the linkifying code breaks on these weird URLs that the PA state legislature has, which end in ‘..HTM’:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/75/00.033.007.000..HTM

the weird part is it still happens if I put the link inside an ‘a href’, which I would have expected to be left unmodified.

link

Edit: ah, apparently that’s partially a lie, since the ‘link’ link above works. But, if I try to use the actual URL as the link text, it doesn’t work:

i.e. here’s {a href=”URL”}URL{/a} (with braces replaced by angles):

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/75/00.033.007.000..HTM


Drewbacca
Participant
#

salty wrote:I thought there was another “bug reports” thread but I couldn’t find it…

I searched for that recently and it brought up some sort of feedback form. Hopefully the form got passed on and not lost in the aether.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Two suggestions for photo handling.
(1) Allow photo to be turned 90 degrees one way or another after uploading.
(2) Allow photos to be deleted after uploading, within the one-hour edit window. I thought I uploaded the bicycle image, Image047(1).jpg, but instead uploaded the flower image, Image047(2).jpg. I see I can upload the correct one in an editing step, but I cannot delete the incorrect one.


Ahlir
Participant
#

1. The various “The People Report A Bug” threads seem to have been airbrushed off the board (as far as I can tell). But that’s ok. It’s not the People’s board, it’s BikePgh’s board. Deal with it.

2. “.htm” is MS’s version of a web page extension. But all current browsers know what to do with it. Maybe there’s some other problem. Maybe this site is parsing urls for validity; but I thought that’s what browsers did… I could be misinformed (again).

3. Updating photos on this site is a bit confusing; make sure that your local copy is what you think it is then upload again. Repeat until you get the result you want. [annoyingly on edits, the <img> pointer inserts at the end as opposed to the current focus. sigh.]


Steven
Participant
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This web site examines the text you post and tries to be helpful, noticing URLs, even if they’re not in [a href=] elements, and converting them to use [a href=]. It knows about both .html and .htm, but it doesn’t expect the state web site’s weird URLs with two dots before the extension.

I don’t want to see this thread sent to the cornfield too, but any chance Reddan could give us a progress report? The list of site bugs doesn’t seem to have had any status updates for well over a month.


salty
Participant
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Yes, it’s definitely the double dot that confuses it, not the extension. It’s definitely weird – but legal.

The part that really surprised me is the last case where I did supply {a href} but it ignored it in favor of the (incorrectly) parsed version. Maybe that’s some sort of attempt to prevent phishing-type stuff…. Let’s see, does this link go to bike pgh or bike cleveland:

http://www.bikepgh.org

(Edit: OK, in that case it did use the href… I dunno. Maybe I screwed something up before.)


reddan
Keymaster
#

I don’t want to see this thread sent to the cornfield too, but any chance Reddan could give us a progress report? The list of site bugs doesn’t seem to have had any status updates for well over a month.

Sorry for the late reply…been very busy for the last couple of months, haven’t spent as much time haunting the board as usual.

I don’t know anything about vanishing threads, but this isn’t the first time in recent memory that such things have been reported…can anyone recall specific examples?

As far as progress goes, what little time I’ve put towards it has been on the back end…looking at admin-level stuff, and occasionally poking at the “super-long threads get busted URLs” problem.

Also, please keep this in mind:

I volunteered to help fix the nasty bugs and help implement important features…my skills are better suited to creating stuff like the cross-device unread replies tracking feature we added a couple months back, hauling sticky posts out of their grave, or to debugging through the gruesome spaghetti of PHP which is causing the URLs for the Tag-a-Rama thread to be all hosed up.
This is not to say that I’m not happy to help with the CSS and formatting stuff, but colors, fonts, layout, and other elements of the overall site design are really more up to the Bike-PGH staff than to me.


Ahlir
Participant
#

I ran into the NBC thread(s) missing at some point and commented about it in http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/zombie-threads/
Others had noticed the disappearance as well.

In retrospect this may have been due to ongoing instabilities in the message board software. On the other hand I (sort of) recall that the discussion had started a descent to the raucous…

I see that site:bikepgh.org now shows several NBC threads, so who’s to say what happened? The Mysteries of Pittsburgh… (apologies to Chabon)


Ahlir
Participant
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postscript:

None of this is meant to cast any aspersions at @reddan.
I very much admire him for stepping into the breach.


Steven
Participant
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Thanks for the update, Reddan!

As far as I know, with the possible exception of the NBC thread, the only threads that have disappeared have been at the direction of Bike Pgh, when discussions became less positive. So I don’t think there’s much evidence of a software glitch doing it.


Ahlir
Participant
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It’s BikePgh’s board and they can do whatever the want. Especially since we’re on notice to avoid abusive posts.
But some acknowledgement if and when it happens would be nice so people can calibrate. Not to say that it ever happens, of course.


Italianblend
Participant
#

Hello, I am also getting the text cut off on the right hand side when view this site on my ipad. You cannot not zoom out to see the rest; it’s as if the page literally chops off the text.

This only happens on a few threads. I think when a long line of text is made.

If you can look into this, it will be great because its impossible to read all of the words on these threads. Thank you.


cburch
Participant
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yup, narrower viewports are still having text issues on some threads. i havent bothered to track down the pattern yet. i’m a lousy QA tester.


salty
Participant
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I can compile a list of threads where it happens, I’d say its like 10%. For now, this one: http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/bike-rack-on-long-trip/

At least on that thread it’s only the first paragraph of each post that is cut off, subsequent paragraphs are wrapped at a narrower boundary. That is a more generic issue, that the formatting is different for the first paragraph. That happens on threads that aren’t cut off, and on all devices, with the net effect that subsequent paragraphs are too narrow. I haven’t looked at the HTML/CSS.


Benzo
Participant
#

Bug report

If you go to edit a post, any ampersand characters are converted to an escape sequence in the editor. It seems to handle them fine when saving though. It’s not really a big deal, I thought it was reposting the escape sequence, but it seems to handle it fine.


Ahlir
Participant
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@Benzo: That’s not a bug, that’s a feature (well, for some of us).


salty
Participant
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TdF thread page 3 (but not 1 or 2) also exhibits the cutoff problem, and also only the first paragraphs. This page also exhibits some other formatting problems like excessive whitespace. http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/tour-de-france-3/page/3/


Erica
Participant
#

can you please add an indicator next to the “messages” link at the top that tells you if you have a new message?
As it is now, I don’t know if I have a new message unless I click into my inbox, which I pretty much never do.


JaySherman5000
Member
#

This has been mentioned before, but I don’t recall if it came up ITT.

When I am reading a thread and not logged in, if I click the login link and enter my credentials, I am returned to the bikepgh homepage. Under the old site, I would be returned to the last page I was reading. Can this feature be added to the new site?

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