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Another new skin


illspirit

Recommended Posts

Rah. 'Tis new forum skin time again. This time in the form of an ultra 56k friendly variety called Conventional, which was made by Cerbera. The skin uses no graphics aside from a few post icons, smilies, and such; and the html has been hand-optimized over the past couple of weeks to provide faster downloads and rendering. On top of the speed boost, the overall theme of the skin consists of white, soft greys, and a few muted colors here and there, which should make it a bit less obvious that you're looking at a gaming forum if you're browsing from work (especially if you hide sigs and avatars). And, unlike nearly every other skin here, it doesn't use a bunch of fixed-size text and such which toally break the layout should you change text settings in your browser or (in some cases) resize the window. In fact, it doesn't force any font settings on you (save for colors), so you can use whatever your browser desires. wink.gif

 

You can preview the skin by clicking right here.

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Thanks to illspirit for prodding these forums to get it working and removing the whitespace which exporting mysteriously added. He has also made some revisions to what we imported at my request as I don't have admin access to these boards and helped me get it compatible with Azkoyens great new subscriptions mod. Please report any bugs in here, comment on speed, flexibility and so on too. The resizing text fields should make it very 800x600 friendly and the left-hand nav is set to 20% width so it will not dominate small screens or get lost on big ones.

 

The code currently only validates to XHTML 1.0 Transitional and I shall not be working on getting Strict support. The reason being is that the PHP technology is generating links with pure ampersands (&) instead of the entity reference (&) which fails the validation. The templates (all the XHTML) have been completely re-written with CSS that started from completely blank file and so all the links in the templates are fine. I cannot alter the scripts which generate these bad links, though.

 

There are more changes that I want to make, such as removing all the javascript out of the markup (page code) and place it in an external .JS file which is then automatically linked in, much like external CSS works. That would reduce a truckload of filesize out of pages like the signature edit form. Eventually, the pages will have practically no whitespace in them whatsoever because no-one ever looks at the code behind the pages. Removing all the new lines should take out a couple of percent of filesize on every page. Every little helps.

 

 

Statistics

The main page of GTAF has been tested for speed using an online analysis tool. Conventional did very well! I posted the results later in the thread.

 

Known Bugs/Incomplete Sections

  • QUOTE tables get centered in IE6 and I am not sure why. If anyone can tell me why and/or suggest a fix I that would be really helpful. I've tried throwing some CSS at it but with no luck.
  • Active users gradient uses colours which do not suit Conventional (or hashcake, for that matter). The solution I would like to see is for this mod to be removed as it does not use the same underline colour and does not respond to the mouse hover. However, what will probably happen is the staff will make it optional with the option defaulting to "off" which will be just as good, really. User lists now use a background colour.
  • "Enable e-mail notifications" is ticked as a default when it should not be. This is due to a technical error regarding the way the scripts insert the dynamic setting into the page code. This has been fixed for the next update.
  • Selecting rows of data which use checkboxes makes no visual difference in the Conventional GTAnet skin. Possible solutions are being explored.
  • Accesskeys had been removed from message posting and editing forms. These have been re-introduced for the next update.
  • Simple Search mode is completely screwed. This has been fixed for the next update.
  • Forum sort-order display settings form was malfunctioning. This has been fixed for the next update.
  • Language locale was set as Great British English because that is what my site was using when I looked up the reference. Since the board interface and most of the posts are written in American English the locale should be that. This has been fixed.
  • Moderator controls for topics were being presented in the Stripped style and not the Conventional, tabulated style. This has been fixed.
  • Sorting topics via the controls at the bottom of each forum is broken because I missed a section of code. This has been fixed.
  • The signature size tester box is not reacting correctly to long sentances. This has been fixed.
  • Very narrow browser windows are not well supported, which is frankly quite embarrasing. I use a radically different structure to the board than the original skins and am looking into ways to fix this problem, as illustrated in excellent detail by GT-1. This has been fixed.
  • Cannot use icon to mark a forum's topics as read because the coloured table cells are created in the macros, so the link cannot be placed inside them. This has been fixed.
  • The "Change my Account Options" button in the "Skin and Languages" section of the User Control Panel does not display in IE. This has been fixed.
Edited by Cerbera
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I wanted to change my member title because with the new skin it was displayed above my avatar and didn't look right, so I clicked 'My Controls'. I blinked, and then thought "why's it not transferring". Turns out it already had. notify.gif

Edited by Segosa
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Without forum icons, how can you mark the forum's posts as being read?

 

EDIT: Online list is illegible, though I doubt that's your skin's fault, more the PHP.

 

EDIT2: K, it's down as a known problem in Cerb's post that popped from behind the bushes.

Edited by Smithers
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Without forum icons, how can you mark the forum's posts as being read?

 

EDIT: Online list is illegible, though I doubt that's your skin's fault, more the PHP.

 

EDIT2: K, it's down as a known problem in Cerb's post that popped from behind the bushes.

Yeah, I added it after I saw you post it. smile.gif

 

I have not fixed this at the test boards and it turns out it didn't require as much work as I thought it would. It is also still quite neat by using a question mark (?) as the link, so no images are used and there is never more than one visible character in icon cells. Hooray!

 

The update should be applied within the next few days. I don't want to keep pestering ill every few seconds when I change something. If people find any other problems, please let me know.

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Wow, thanks for such a detailed report, GT-1.

 

In my defense, here is what the skin looked like on the test boards in an even narrower browser window:

user posted image

Any smaller than that and the problems you have shown do occur, though.

 

There are several factors involved here. GTAF uses longer words for the forum titles (such as "Announcements") than the test board did. The default skins use a much smaller default font size than Conventional, which just uses your browser settings. Also, as you pointed out, Conventional uses a fluid navbar so that it stays proportional to the width of your browser. Anyway, I think that it does need to be fixed because I always try to cater for someone running an 800x600 desktop size with their browser vertically tiled with another window. In other words, I always try to make sites which work at 400 pixels and preferably a little less, too.

 

I use a DIV element placed using CSS for the navbar and a second one placed using CSS for the main content. The method I am using to do this is very clumsy because I have only just started using CSS for layouts. Therefore the super-small width problems should get less bad over the coming weeks as I learn better ways to position the DIV elements. If someone wants to figure it out for me I would not turn it down...

Edited by Cerbera
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looks pretty good (a bit white for my liking)

 

so anyway, went on this account to test what was said in IRC so I don't take credit for discovery or whathaveyou, just notice nobody had mentioned wow.gif

 

With the skin settings, is the save skin selection missing by design or accident? wink.gif

 

eggburt- cannot escape this skin!
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arghhhhhhhhh i cannot turn off this hell. sh*t sh*t sh*t. He removed the button on purpose.

 

btw the smilies on the post reply/topic page need the border taking off.

 

 

Datalord does some haxing
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Chunky Lee Chong

IMO, an mIRC version would be a lot better than this skin, and should be almost identical to an actual mIRC chat.

 

All posts would appear like the chat.

 

~ - Super Administrators.

& - Moderators.

% - Led-bys.

 

<~illspirit> [9/22] (08:22:43): I'm a pirate.

<Chunky Lee Chong> [9/22] (08:22:43): Indeed.

 

I think that would be the best skin.

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IMO, an mIRC version would be a lot better than this skin, and should be almost identical to an actual mIRC chat.

 

All posts would appear like the chat.

 

~ - Super Administrators.

& - Moderators.

% - Led-bys.

 

<~illspirit> [9/22] (08:22:43): I'm a pirate.

<Chunky Lee Chong> [9/22] (08:22:43): Indeed.

 

I think that would be the best skin.

Agreed. That would be pretty awesome.

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Cerbera, when are you going to activate the 'change my account options' button in the skins and languages area? I can't change my skin until you fix it. Dammit. I'm using IE as well.
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Well, what internet program are you using? I am using IE right now. On the first page it says he is supposed to update it because that button doesn't show up in IE.

 

Well, at least it is work safe for right now. smile.gif

 

EDIT: typos

 

EDIT2: Here, I got a screenie to show you.

 

user posted image

 

No button. dontgetit.gif

Edited by Uno Carb
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I indentified the missing skin chooser button as an error in my first post in this thread. I did not notice it before because I only tested the userCP using FireFox, which rendered it fine. It is a proper error though and IE is right to not display it because I missed the > character off the <div class="c" element which contains the button and makes it central in that cell. As stated in that post, the issue has been fixed on the test board and should be applied to these boards within the next few days.

 

If I were allowed admin access at GTAF just to work on Conventional then it would have been fixed the second I realised what I had done wrong. In the meantime, I would just like to thank everyone who is reporting genuine bugs such as this one and am very appreciative that people are reporting them in detail. tounge.gif

 

 

I have been developing a better system to get the two column layout working a bit more tidily for very narrow browsers. Currently having some issues with horizontal scrollbars at all sizes in FireFox but I am going to prod Icey into helping me. It *should* be possible to do a two-column layout using the CSS Level 1 float: left and float: right properties, which would provide good backward compliance. Also, the double-float method means that the navigational container can be placed below the content one in the code so that any browsers which do not support the CSS properties will see the content in the normal position, rather than having to scroll past a huge list of links.

 

(EDIT) The smilies have the hyperlink border around them because they are hyperlinks. This will probably stay because it is the standard for images being used as links. However, I am going to be working on reducing the width of the table by removing padding, the borders and the cell spacing.

Edited by Cerbera
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