Skip to Content
Register · Login

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit Search

Read Thread: Welcome to the Current Big Update!

Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Feb 5, 2019 9:29am
Board
So I took AQ down for about 45 minutes to release the newest "Big Update" of the website. I'd tell you all about it except if you're reading this message... you probably already figured out what I've been working on. ;o)

An update to the message boards was a long time in coming and I basically rewrote it all from the ground up! The main goal was to make the message boards work better with smartphones and other smaller devices, although I had a large list of secondary goals from refactoring the code into something a little cleaner and easier to update in the future (most of the message board code has largely been unchanged for the past 10 years and was badly out of date) and adding a complete set of unit tests so when I do make changes in the future, I can test that I didn't inadvertently break something else unexpectedly. (Or at least reduce the chances of overlooking a bug--since, of course, it's impossible to be be 100% certain that code is 100% bug free.)

For the most part, I'll let you poke around and discover the new message boards on your own. A couple of things I'll point out:

  1. You might want to do a page refresh just to make sure your browser is using the new CSS. Especially if something looks really wonky, that's probably the problem. (Unless you're using an older browser in which case things will always look wonky, but they were probably looking wonky before the update.)
  2. You'll find two new message board preferences. One lets you choose how many messages you want to see on a page (from 1 to 99, the default is 30 which is where it's always been). And the option to have direct replies to your posts sent to your AQ mail. (Which is on by default.)

Given the massive size of this update, there are--without a doubt--going to be a few bugs that slipped through the cracks. Please be patient while I fix them! Hopefully the bugs are minor and most of you won't even notice them before I get them fixed. *knock on wood*

Happy trails!

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 9:56am
Board
I appreciate the countdown to maintenance. H and I were out letterboxing when I saw it, so I took the opportunity to grab screen shots of a few clues. When the site was down for maintenance, we were still able to continue our hunt!
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 10:35am
Board
So far, loving the Board updates! It is nice being able to see siggy stamp images on my phone😀, let alone clearer reading of the font/text. Thanks Ryan!
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 10:37am
Board
On iPad, IOS 11.something, all the widgets on 'my page' have lost some or all of the little icons for edit, refresh, etc. I did refresh the page, but nothing changed.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 10:38am
Board
Not sure what all is upside down yet, but it seemed like your signature stamp was :) I'm still in recovery mode from the LL Bean event!
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971056 by Wise Wanderer
Feb 5, 2019 11:03am
Board
On iPad, IOS 11.something, all the widgets on 'my page' have lost some or all of the little icons for edit, refresh, etc. I did refresh the page, but nothing changed.

Hmm.... I'm not sure what to do about that. I didn't think any of the changes I made would have changed the icons on the My Page widgets, and I don't have any iDevices to test with which makes it a particularly difficult device for me to fix problems with since--if the problem is device-specific (or Safari-specific, which only runs on Apple devices), I can't recreate the problem or see if changes I made fixed it.

Amanda has an iPhone, though, so maybe she'll let me use this when she gets home this evening and I'll take a look at it then. I'm hoping it might be that your browser is still using an old CSS file somewhere and as soon as it updates everything will work fine. *fingers crossed* But I'll take a look at Amanda's phone when she gets home.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971057 by Team Awesome Pants
Feb 5, 2019 11:03am
Board
Not sure what all is upside down yet, but it seemed like your signature stamp was :)

I think it's only fair that people know I'm a little "off" before they even start reading my posts. *nodding* =)

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 11:46am
Board
I miss being able to ignore threads. Or is it somewhere I am just not seeing?
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971067 by thunderbird
Feb 5, 2019 12:00pm
Board
I miss being able to ignore threads. Or is it somewhere I am just not seeing?

You can still ignore threads. Click the grayed-out thread icon with the X at the bottom of a post. It'll turn to color when the thread is being ignored.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971061 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 12:08pm
Board
Re-thinking my question re:widget icons. For example, ‘countdown’ I can see the icons on the header, but on individual items, only the ‘edit’ and ‘delete’. Now I’m wondering if that’s all that was ever there? So maybe there’s no difference after all?
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 12:25pm
Board
You got rid of "Recent Threads"?????????????? I don't need to see all the recent messages, just threads.

Or do I have to hunt for the recent threads?
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971072 by MissMoon
Feb 5, 2019 12:39pm
Board
I use a widget on My Page called Newest Threads. That should make it easier for you to view them.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971061 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 12:56pm
Board
If I click on the "Boards" pull-down tab then try to click the button "post message" it sends me to an error page. If I go to the bottom of the page and click directly on "post message" it works.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971073 by Janila
Feb 5, 2019 1:13pm
Board
I found them. Just buried in a different place. No widget necessary.

That being said.....I see no reason why I would need a widget to see a basic feature.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 5, 2019 1:54pm
Board
Two icons at the top of this page, for instance - top right - the search magnifier and the yellow pencil - both take me to the same page - Search Boards, with the How-to right next to it, which is nice, but I thought maybe I could widen the message column on my computer since it's narrower than the screen.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971070 by Wise Wanderer
Feb 5, 2019 2:54pm
Board
For example, ‘countdown’ I can see the icons on the header, but on individual items, only the ‘edit’ and ‘delete’. Now I’m wondering if that’s all that was ever there?

Yeah, that's all that's supposed to be there for individual items on that particular widget. The options that are available are different depending on the widget.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971072 by MissMoon
Feb 5, 2019 2:55pm
Board
I'll just point you to this thread where I already posted a long reply about the subject. =)

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971074 by FORAYCH
Feb 5, 2019 2:57pm
Board
If I click on the "Boards" pull-down tab then try to click the button "post message" it sends me to an error page.

Thanks! It should be fixed now!

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971076 by MissMoon
Feb 5, 2019 3:01pm
Board
I see no reason why I would need a widget to see a basic feature.

Because widgets are awesome! =)

I can see at a glance everything on AQ that I might have an interest in. New boxes, message board posts, AQ mail--and even the weather! I don't have to click through to each of the links one at a time to see what's happening, I can do it all from a single page at a glance. It's wonderful. *nodding*

The menubar items.... I kind of think of those items as access to advanced features (stuff I can't find or do easily from My Page) or for new people on the site who haven't created an account and therefore don't have a handy-dandy My Page to work off of.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971078 by Maude
Feb 5, 2019 4:03pm
Board
Two icons at the top of this page, for instance - top right - the search magnifier and the yellow pencil - both take me to the same page

That's a bug. The pencil (or edit) link is supposed to take you to the same page, but have your current search parameters already pre-entered into the form so you can modify it as needed. I forgot to add the option to display a thread you were viewing, though, so if the only search option being used was to read a specific thread Id, it wound up showing the exact same page.

It's a bug, though, and should be fixed now!

I can make the messages wider, but people tend to find them more difficult to read if the lines start getting too wide. Where they are now, they top out at about 100 characters of text. According to studies and accessibility tests (something I've been learning quite a bit about lately because of a lawsuit involving a website I created), 55 to 75 characters per line is optimal while the average website typically uses 75 to 85 characters per line. So mine was a bit higher than both the recommended practice and even what's normal on the web--but I know *I* found the text more difficult to read when it started getting much longer than that and cut it off at around 100 characters.

Admittedly, because AQ is a one-man operation, this website isn't legally required to be ADA accessible or follow best practices... but I'd like to. I know it's deficient in some places, but I hope to fix those issues over time. But because of that, I'm really leery about making messages wider.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 6, 2019 4:32pm
Board
I needed to look up one of my boxes to add a planter. When I click on the link for “my active”, it takes me to a page called “ltc search”
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971153 by Baqash
Feb 6, 2019 5:08pm
Board
When I click on the link for “my active”, it takes me to a page called “ltc search”

Where is this link? I don't remember creating a link for showing just one's active boxes anywhere.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971155 by Green Tortuga
Feb 6, 2019 5:45pm
Board
Using my iPhone on “my page” I click on letterboxes and in the drop down menu is a listing for “my active”.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971156 by Baqash
Feb 6, 2019 8:09pm
Board
That's a custom menu option you added, but I went ahead and logged into your account to check it out and it looks like the search is just set to search for LTCs rather than traditional boxes. I changed the URL so the search type is "1" instead of "18" and it seems to work fine now.

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971160 by Green Tortuga
Feb 6, 2019 8:13pm
Board
Ah. Thank you. I’ve slept so many times since then I didn’t realize that was a custom add
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 9, 2019 7:35am
Board
I have found that I am very distracted by the new arrangements of the icons and boxes when I view the message boards in the expanded version on my computer. So, I changed my view type to "summary" and find it much more aesthetic for me. However, when there are new messages from my favorite boards appearing under my "Favorite Boards" on My Page, I am noticing that they don't always disappear from the listing after I read them. Sometimes, if there are several messages, only the last one remains, sometimes, they all remain. If I change the view type to "expanded", they then disappear.

Glitch from the changes or problem with my computer? Or must the messages be read in expanded view to make the new listing disappear?
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971247 by Janila
Feb 9, 2019 8:09am
Board
Or must the messages be read in expanded view to make the new listing disappear?

They're supposed to be read in the expanded view to count them as "read" messages. I thought this was how it always used to work.... I didn't plan on changing it, but maybe I don't remember correctly anymore. (I never use the simple or summary views so don't actually have a lot of experience with those.)

-- Ryan
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971249 by Green Tortuga
Feb 9, 2019 8:48am
Board
They're supposed to be read in the expanded view to count them as "read" messages. I thought this was how it always used to work....

It probably is how it worked before but I wouldn't know because I never used it. Guess I will have to get used to all of the clutter in the expanded view.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971052 by Green Tortuga
Feb 9, 2019 3:33pm
Board
I can't figure out how to read a thread starting at the initial message any more.
Re: Welcome to the Current Big Update!
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #971262 by Basset Mom
Feb 9, 2019 3:36pm
Board
I believe it is the green arrow up on the right with the vertical line on its left. I'm learning, also, so I hope this is correct.