Updates and Expansion (Updated Nov 10, 2005)

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Updates and Expansion (Updated Nov 10, 2005)

Post by viper2843 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:26 pm

Well, it is pretty clear to see that the buzz around Star Wars is just about gone. If I were to show you my web site stats you would know that we peaked in May (hmm, I wonder why? :lol: ) and since then the numbers have been seadily going down. That is exactly what I was expecting to happen. Star Wars is on its way out. But just in case you were about to have a heart attack because what I just said sounded like I was shutting the site down, I will tell you that this is not the case. :lol: I am actually looking to update the site. Here is what I am looking to accomplish:
  • Updated Design
  • New Television Category with New Forums
  • RSS integration
Now what I need your help on is ideas on how to best implement these new features (More specificly, where do you want the new Television category to go and how do you want it organized). I also am accepting any other ideas on how to make this site better. It has been almost 3 years since any major changes have been made so I figure it is about time for some. So post here with any ideas you may have for improving the forums. Thanks. :D
Last edited by viper2843 on Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:35 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Post by Wildstar » Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:48 pm

Hey viper :D

My feeling is that since the TV shows will also likely be considered "canon", you can safely put it in the section currently titled "The Films" and rename the section "The Films and Television Series". You might even have two new forums in the section instead of just one, one for the animated series and one for the live-action series.
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Post by Jedi Power » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:32 am

Maybe we should have a Films section and a seperate TV section. The reason being, there have already been several TV shows to talk about. For instance, the Holiday Special could be a listing, Clone Wars Cartoon, Droids Cartoon, Ewoks Cartoon, Ewok adventure specials (Caravan of Courage, The Battle for Endor), TV Commercials, and what ever the new show or shows that will be produced. Plenty of areas for new conversations.

Viper: What is RSS integration? As for site design, we are bound by this template I believe, but can change colors, buttons, and images correct? Did you have a theme in mind? Maybe since we are the SW Forums which is all encompassing, we create a look and feel that has a little of everything. Old and new trilogies.
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Post by viper2843 » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:57 pm

I like the idea of having a seperate category for Television and Films. I think the Films category would get a bit too long if we started to include to many forums. I am a bit worried that if we add too many forums in the TV category then it would get too long. I have 2 ideas in mind for the new category.
Idea #1:
Television
  • Live Action TV Show
  • Clone Wars TV Show
  • Previous TV Shows (Ewoks, Droids)
The Films
  • Stays the Same
Idea #2
Television
  • Live Action TV Show
  • Clone Wars TV Show
  • Previous TV Shows (Ewoks, Droids)
The Films
  • Prequel Trilogy
  • Original Trilogy
The biggest change would be the merging of the films into two big forums for each trilogy. That way we wouldn't be adding too much length to the scrollbar (I hate it when forums have so many different sections that it takes a month to scroll through them all).

As for your question, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it is becoming very popular on the web in the past few months. Most of the major browsers are supporting it in some shape or form (I know that Firefox, Safari have built in RSS support. I think Opera has it and I know that IE will be getting it in IE7). RSS enables you to view news from a website (in our case recent post topics) without going to the site. They are really big with blogs right now. To include RSS in this site, I would just have to add a plugin to phpBB.

As for the style, I am not bound by the template in any way. You can freely modify any and all code in the style so it is possible to completely change the look of the site. The problem is that the code is also very complex. What I was thinking was a slight upgrade in the look and a major upgrade of the code. I am going to be re-writing every part of the template code to comply with XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. This will take quite some time to accomplish but the benefits will be well worth it for me. Along the way I will be updating the look and feel of the boards with new images and lighter colors. The same basic design will still be there. I have already started to work on the design and it is already on the web. You can select it by going to your profile and selected the beta swforums skin. A warning about the style: it is a work in progress and often times certain sections of the page will look highly distorted or broken. Use at your own risk. Please offer any suggestions for the design as I am having a hard time thinking of any! :lol: :D
Last edited by viper2843 on Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:03 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by Jedi Power » Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:15 am

I like Idea #1. I think it also provides less work, but at the same time not confusing visitors. Our categories have been the same for a long time, and I think people are comfortable coming and finding what they want quickly because they know where to look. If we change to just two main categories, we may lose some ease of use. Just a thought.
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Post by viper2843 » Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:06 am

Ok, so we will keep the films category the same and add the TV category in. Any other suggestions?
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Post by Craig » Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:28 am

Viper. I'll have a fiddle with the visual layout if you want. Try some new colours, patterns and arragements - even a new photo. I probably won't come up with anything you might like but I'll have a go anyway.

Your new 'in developement' page is too bare for me.

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Post by viper2843 » Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:15 am

By all means, please have a go at designing a new theme. I am especially interested in new color schemes. Yes, the development theme is very bare right now because I am stripping the whole thing down to bare HTML code so I can rebuild it from the ground up with new CSS styling.
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Post by viper2843 » Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:18 pm

Just giving a little progress update.

Work is progressing quickly on the updated style. The main page is just about done and most of the baseline styling is complete. I now just have to apply it to the remaining pages and create the rest of the graphics. If you would like to check the new style out, just go into your profile and select the "SW Forums Beta" style. I know it says "Do Not Use" but it is a capable of being used. In fact, I have been using it for about a week now.

I will be adding the new Television category sometime next week and attemping to move some the topics on the television show into the new forums.

Thats the lastest. Stay tunes for more progress updates. :D
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Post by Jedi Jin Su » Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:37 pm

I like the new layout. It is more colorful and oddly looks easier to use. Nice job.
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Post by Jedi Power » Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:01 am

Even though it is basically the same, it is somehow brighter and more inviting. I like it! Good job!
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Post by viper2843 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 11:29 am

You are right, it is the same theme. I didn't want to change too much too quickly but it is still in development. I haven't written it yet but I am planning a random image script to run on the header logo (the pic of Courscant) so there will be lots of new images to look at. Also, this may not be the only theme to choose from. ;-)
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Post by Jedi Power » Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:12 pm

Sounds cool! :o
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Post by Wildstar » Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:48 pm

Whatever you do, viper, please remember to do a new "new posts" indicator, and make it so that you don't have to look closely to tell if it's "new posts" or "no new posts". The light blue on the old one made it difficult to tell that from the "no new posts" gray.
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Post by viper2843 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:11 pm

I will be making all new images for the updated design so that issue should be fixed. I know my image work last time wasn't that good and I hope to improve on it. :D
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