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Linux Today: Updated Site “Issues” and New Features

Linux Today: Updated Site “Issues” and New Features

By Paul Ferris

Ok, a few people noticed some site “issues” regarding the
current site, and I’ve been listening. This is just an announcement
for the curious. If you’re pressed for time, look over the new
features, and then hit the back button, the ride should be a bit
smoother from here.

New Features

  • No Spam email address in preferences.
  • Lynx Browser mode option.
  • Optional signature for talkbacks.
  • New indicators can be set to work the old way.

I’ve had several recent requests for the ability to obfuscate
the email address used in talkbacks. The problem is that bots
apparently scan web pages, collecting email addresses, then use
these to send spam. There were other people who explained that they
could not set their real email address up for public talkbacks
because their employer (the government) did not allow it.

Some people just don’t want to be bothered, and I can understand
that as well.

Compounding these problems is the fact that if your real email
address doesn’t point to a solid location, your email password
functions and such don’t work.

I’ve noticed that some people are manually pasting signatures
into their talkbacks, so I decided if I was going to clean up the
database for the user preferences, I might as well put that in as
well.

The Lynx browser option is in place for the main page, and
sometime soon I’ll get around to fixing the view on the story pages
as well. It’s coming.

Some people noticed that the “NEW” indicators were sticking to
some stories, and wrote in that they liked it the “OLD” way :). I
personally like it the new way, which is to allow you to see what’s
come in since your last visit, and on one refresh, stories that are
1/2 hour old. That’s the default behavior, but you can select the
option now to put it back the way it was.

“Issues”

A ton of them:

  • Bad HTML code on the Linux Today main page due to flagrant use
    of the list item tag outside of an ordered list tag, general things
    like non-standard HTML, and stupid screw-ups by yours truly in the
    mad rush to get LT launched.
  • Talkback HTML cleaning functions fixed up quite a bit. Some of
    you have noticed that the talkbacks and contrib pages were
    seriously fubarred. Um, sorry. I’ve gone through and given them a
    good thrashing in every direction that I could. I’ve probably fixed
    quite a few bugs, er, rather, “issues”, and introduced some new
    ones, but things in general should work a lot better than
    before.
  • Fixed the “reply quoted” feature to behave more like what
    you’re used to in something like a mail client, instead of the
    wimpy addition of a > at the beginning (I was in a hurry when I
    created the feature).
  • Fixed the links in the talkback areas to work more sensibly.
    Selecting a different page view now does not put you back at the
    top of the page, it sensibly keeps the page at the point of
    talkback view.
  • Un-fubarred the time and sort selectors on the main page, and
    fixed the method to a GET method, allowing you to bookmark a page
    view, like sorted by talkbacks (yay!).
  • Cleaned up the Lynx page quite a bit, on the HTML side of
    things.
  • Sped up the talkback-posting function quite a bit from the SQL
    side of things.

In general, things should be a lot smoother. I’m still having
problems a bit in regards of Netscape returning to the exact same
spot where you left off when you visit a story. It appears to be
related to the left hand column, since it goes away in Lynx mode.
Anybody that has a clue here, please explain to me why this might
be, or better yet, what I can do (besides axing the left hand
column, please) to fix it.

Anyway, happy surfing!

Paul Ferris
Almost June, 2000

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