Feature Request and Discussion Thread

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Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 01 Feb 2011 03:44

Here is where we'll discuss what features we would like to see on this forum, including themes.

    Lyat'aag wants to do something with banners
    Cuyan wants to help work out a nice visual style for the forum
    MsLanna would like the current-path bar (Board Index < Main Category < Off Topic, in our current case) to also show up at the bottom of the screen
Feel free to post suggestions here, or PM them to me, and I'll post about them.

As for forum theme, I'm thinking something a little spartan, with a dark background and shades of green (I'm probably Boba-obsessed :P). Square or beveled corners, probably not round...I dunno. Any other ideas?

==========

And here follows a list of links to banners, to be updated to save scrolling time:

Dark, Grungy, 870x250 - Cuyan
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 01 Feb 2011 08:05

I don't remember saying things about banners, but that is one of many things I would like to see happen with this forum. First, though, let's get some of the more routine things hammered down.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 01 Feb 2011 08:13

Agreed. I'm still learning, just as MsLanna was. This is the first time I've had admin control over a forum for something like five years. The permissions section in phpbb3 is significantly more complicated than my first foray, which was probably in phpbb1, or maybe IPB. I forget.

I'm also working on fixing the bugs with the other theme, which is why I switched back to this default theme. Many of the plugins (like the captcha during signup, which is REALLY important) just don't work, and with no simple explanation. I've made plenty of other modifications, and I'm slowly moulding it into something resembling my vision. It's a nice theme, but I'm about to kill it.

I figured out what was causing the email problem, by the way...my webhost blocks outgoing smtp connections, which significantly hampers my efforts here. The very first thing I do when I set up a domain name is I attach a Google Apps domain to it so I have unique email addresses and such...so it looks like I get to spend some time on the phone with my webhost again. :P I'll check the error logs and finally hit the hay. It's 1:15 AM here, and I have to be up at 5:30. :?
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 01 Feb 2011 21:34

MandoaOrg wrote:As for forum theme, I'm thinking something a little spartan, with a dark background and shades of green (I'm probably Boba-obsessed :P). Square or beveled corners, probably not round...I dunno. Any other ideas?


Actually, black with green would work well as your main site it the same scheme.

And, I'm going to play around with Black-green manners. If I make something I like, ill post a link here.


not sure if this should go here, but here it is -
The mando'a font - It's wrong.
the one you're using, this one, is based on the image on KT's newmando page, but still changed, making it almost completely non-canon.

The original font, this one, is conon. It's used in the Clone wars. I can send you pics if you want.

But, the font only translates words into basic on the show, so technically both could be accurate. Still, I'd say the old one is best to use. possibly rename the fonts on this forum "Mandofont" and "oldmandofont" or something.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 02 Feb 2011 05:26

Well I was thinking of finding/making a nice theme, and then modifying the main site to match it. I like clean simple layouts like what I used for the translator, but those aren't in the in-crowd these days (except facebook, but they get away with a lot, when compared with most web designers). :P

I'm also working on a smattering of banners. We'll post them all here (or maybe make a separate thread for banner voting or some such) and pick a bunch, or just load the whole lot up in auto-rotation like MandoMercs does.

As for the fonts, I chose the one I chose because it supports a complete character-set, whereas the "canon" one was missing characters and such. I guess as long as it follows this guide, it would seem authentic-enough for its purpose (though perhaps that guide isn't really authentic, I just think it's really cool, if perhaps a little steep on the learning curve, since you need to memorize a new alphabet at the same time as everything else). I'll put both fonts in, just because, and because I won't have to get separate permission to use them, because Erikstormtrooper told me any of his fonts are available for any use whatsoever, even web use (and yes, there is a difference. Many fonts that are licensed to be loaded on personal computers and mobile devices are not licensed to be loaded from a server and rendered live on a webpage).

I'll change the labels to something like "canonfont" and "fanonfont" or maybe "candofont" and "fandofont" (a portmanteau of canon and mando, etc.)...you know...or something. :P
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 02 Feb 2011 05:55

Wayii, vod. That guide is far from 'authentic'. And that group did make up a fair amount of stuff for their 'dialect'.
And perhaps i've not looked enough, but what is the 'canon' font missing? But, ya. having both is probably a good idea.

I played around with a banner, just an idea.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 02 Feb 2011 07:24

One thing to keep in mind about the banner is that in a lot of cases, you don't want it to look exactly like the rest of the theme. It should stand out some, not blend in with the rest of the page. It's the title and it should attract attention. Of course, it still needs to compliment the theme, but there is a difference between complimenting and copying.

If the Theme will be black and green, then the banner probably ought to contrast those colors without clashing with them. Maybe a shade of gray for the backdrop. I think a metallic look would be stylin. Then for the font, if we could get a burned, scarred look to the lettering, it would be pretty badass (a flaming mythosaur skull could work well if it's not overdone). Make it look like forged, unpainted Beskar'gam.

I'll play with GIMP sometime when I find time and see what I can come up with.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 02 Feb 2011 21:18

Knowledge Base - How to create a Style [Basics]
I'm reading up on the official phpbb theming guidelines. I found a nice theme (you can preview all the installed ones in your control panel) called Minimal, which follows similar style guidelines to my main site. I'm thinking just change the colours to dark background and green lines (instead of white background and black lines), making room for a header up top, and moving forward from there (though there are a whole bunch of other nice themes installed, too).

I agree on the style guidelines for the banner, but the contrast shouldn't be too stark, either. As for the flaming mythosaur skull, I was thinking along similar lines, like instead of emphasizing the solid-fill of it, emphasize the outline with something like smoke or flame. I saw a bitchin' tattoo of Boba Fett doing something awesome (as he is apt to do), over a background of flaming something, and in the smoke, there was negative space, defining the shape of the mythosaur skull. I just checked my downloads folder, because I thought I saved it, but I can't find it, and I have no idea of the URL of the site I saw it at. It was a tattoo gallery, with the majority of them being geek tats, lots of Star Wars and Firefly and Star Trek and stuff.

Cuyan, I like where that one's headed. It's simple and eye-catching, and the grunge is pretty nice. With that theme, though, I modified it to shorten the height of the banner (dimensions: 870x150), because 870x250 took up a little bit too much screen real estate, in my opinion.

I'll throw my run of banners up for preview when I'm finished with them, and I'll copy a link to yours up to the first post so we can keep them all in one place.

EDIT:

Also, Cuyan mentioned he likes the blackbox_green theme. What does everyone else think about it? I think it could do with an overhaul of the imageset (buttons, icons, and smilies) and of course the banner needs to be replaces, but it might be a better starting point than that car theme I was playing with...

EDIT 2:

I arranged the system to handle two mando fonts. Click here for details and a demonstration.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 03 Feb 2011 04:41

Uh, it may just be me, but I'm not getting any Mando'a font when I look at the page you linked, Morg. (MandoaOrg is not only long, but an odd name. I like Morg as a nickname.)
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 03 Feb 2011 06:30

Morg is a weird nickname, but I'll take it. :P

You can call me "A" if you want. Plenty of people call me that in real life.

What browser, version, operating system, and operating system version are you using? When I made the change, I only tested it in Chrome 8 on OS X 10.5.8, which is a no-no as a web developer, but I was in a hurry. :P

When I first implemented it, it worked in every browser I could test it in (IE 7/8, Firefox 3.5/3.6, Chrome 8, Safari 5). If you go to the translator at http://www.mandoa.org, and use the text transcription tool, do you see the font show up? I used an identical stylesheet to the one used here on the forums, so if it works on mandoa.org, it should work here.

As far as I know, this should be universally compatible, except if you're using either IE6 (or older) or Win XP SP2, since SP3 changed a few things about how the system itself renders web content (IE displays things differently in SP2 than in SP3, even with identical IE versions, which is bogus).

Oh, and it won't work in mobile browsers, except maybe iPhone/iPad/iTouch.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 03 Feb 2011 17:29

Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS - the Lucid Lynx

But it shouldn't matter because the font thing you used on Mandoa.org works fine for me.

Testing out the skins:

K-Kitty: WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE THIS SKIN? MY EYES ARE BURNING!!!

Orbital is nice, but a little cliche for SWU forums, I feel.

Liquidblack is fine, but I wouldn't want it to be the default skin. Let people choose that one if they want it, though.

I'm diggin' the Lucid Lime, but it needs some work before it's a mando theme.

Minimal is hardly worth having. I feel like it makes everything feel weak and underproduced. We can do better.

Square Left looks real sharp, but it's still phpBB themed. Needs a LOT of work.

The "superior" skin simply isn't, imo.

Supernova's nice, but I feel like I'm using a kid's toy computer. Or Windows 7. Or an iPad.

Universal space: You DO realize that this is a Trekkie skin, right? Why exactly is this on our forum? (if you don't get the trekkie, scroll down to the bottom and look at the bottom right hand corner for the ENTERPRISE).

Blackbox has a good feel, but it isn't quite streamlined enough, imo. Needs a little tweaking here and there to make it something to be proud of.

Khaki black is nice, but "eh." Very slick, but not very unique or Mando. Would need to make it feel more like home before we could really use it.

I am a fan of Sprites. Very well produced and not too far from where we want it to end up. Just change the template colors to black and green, change the banner image to one of the planet Mandalor, and it's pretty much there.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 03 Feb 2011 18:23

Lyat'aag wrote:K-Kitty: WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE THIS SKIN? MY EYES ARE BURNING!!!

Liquidblack is fine, but I wouldn't want it to be the default skin. Let people choose that one if they want it, though.

I'm diggin' the Lucid Lime, but it needs some work before it's a mando theme.

Square Left looks real sharp, but it's still phpBB themed. Needs a LOT of work.

Universal space: You DO realize that this is a Trekkie skin, right? Why exactly is this on our forum? (if you don't get the trekkie, scroll down to the bottom and look at the bottom right hand corner for the ENTERPRISE).

Blackbox has a good feel, but it isn't quite streamlined enough, imo. Needs a little tweaking here and there to make it something to be proud of.

I am a fan of Sprites. Very well produced and not too far from where we want it to end up. Just change the template colors to black and green, change the banner image to one of the planet Mandalor, and it's pretty much there.

I agree on Sprites, it's quite nice, but I was unsure of how I would modify it, especially since the static graphics and the animations are in blue. Colorizing the static stuff should be easy, but colorizing the animations may prove to take time. Though that's not necessarily a bad thing; we could always just redo the animations (I love CSS Sprites, so nice, and much higher quality than gifs, with much more control).

Blackbox would require a whole new imageset (all the icons and buttons), as well as banners, but we're planing on making them anyway. The interface does feel a little clunky, but that's probably just because every button is on the opposite side from where I expect it to be. :P

I was not aware Universal Space was a trekkie theme. It just caught my eye. :P

Square left is sharp, I agree.

I also really like Lucid Lime, but graphics and overall colours would need a bit of a shift. Can-do, just lazy. :P

I think I'm giving up on LiquidBlack. It's pretty cool, but it's complicated to get working properly. None of the plugins work with it, it has no room for a Quick Reply feature, and the Captcha does not show up during registration, which is a bad thing.

What K-Kitty theme? I don't know what you're talking about, good sir. ;)

I'll get moving on figuring out that @font-face issue. I've not had a chance to test any of my stuff on any Linux distribution, but I didn't figure the OS would have much to do with it. Afaik, Firefox for Ubuntu should be damn near identical to Firefox for Mac should be identical to Firefox for Windows. I'll load up Ubuntu on a VM at work or something and give it a look.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 03 Feb 2011 19:38

MandoaOrg wrote:I agree on Sprites, it's quite nice, but I was unsure of how I would modify it, especially since the static graphics and the animations are in blue. Colorizing the static stuff should be easy, but colorizing the animations may prove to take time. Though that's not necessarily a bad thing; we could always just redo the animations (I love CSS Sprites, so nice, and much higher quality than gifs, with much more control).

I don't know what Sprites are, I thought it was gif animation. Seems, though, once you know how to make them, changing the colors would be a matter of editing the hexidecimal color code to match the colors you want.

MandoaOrg wrote:Blackbox would require a whole new imageset (all the icons and buttons), as well as banners, but we're planing on making them anyway. The interface does feel a little clunky, but that's probably just because every button is on the opposite side from where I expect it to be. :P

I also really like Lucid Lime, but graphics and overall colours would need a bit of a shift. Can-do, just lazy. :P

That's just a matter of photoshopping/GIMPing some images to file into an imageset, right? Shouldn't take too long with the number of creative thinkers we have here. We could probably make new imagesets for half a dozen skins in no time. Setting up the imagesets... that might take a little longer.

MandoaOrg wrote:I think I'm giving up on LiquidBlack. It's pretty cool, but it's complicated to get working properly. None of the plugins work with it, it has no room for a Quick Reply feature, and the Captcha does not show up during registration, which is a bad thing.

It looked nice, but it never did have the feel of the kind of place we were wanting to set up, imo. Not too sad to see it go.

MandoaOrg wrote:What K-Kitty theme? I don't know what you're talking about, good sir. ;)

Image

MandoaOrg wrote:I'll get moving on figuring out that @font-face issue. I've not had a chance to test any of my stuff on any Linux distribution, but I didn't figure the OS would have much to do with it. Afaik, Firefox for Ubuntu should be damn near identical to Firefox for Mac should be identical to Firefox for Windows. I'll load up Ubuntu on a VM at work or something and give it a look.

So far as I know, the OS shouldn't have much to do with it, but then I haven't seen any input from other users. I mean, it was working fine for me earlier when we only had the one skin, so I don't know what might have happened to it that changed it.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 03 Feb 2011 20:31

CSS sprites is the method of putting multiple smaller images into one larger image, and simply setting the background property to grab that image as the background for all the elements you want to have images in them, then setting the background-position property to tell it where to grab from in the larger image, and how large an area to grab.

In the case of the Sprites theme, it's probably putting multiple frames of an animation in one image, and just incrementing the x or y of the background-position by however wide/tall the frames are, thus creating the illusion of an animation by switching between the frames quickly enough to produce motion.

Example here (something I did to teach myself CSS sprites and javascript at the same time a few months ago) and here (basic repeating animation example, but the concepts are identical) and here, too (a fairly advanced example, but using jQuery to soften up the javascript side of things).

Basically, what my page (the first link) does is it takes six large images (one for the ship, and one for the engine glow, each one a 6x6 grid of frames for the rotation of the ship (so 36 smaller images compiled into one big image) -- one is flat angles, one is the ship leaning into a left turn, one is the ship leaning into a right turn, and the three engine glow ones are similarly-laid-out). Then it has two divs overlaid, one with a background set to the ship graphics, and the other with the background set to the engine glow graphics. When the up arrow is pressed, it toggles the visibility of the engine glow. When the left arrow is pressed, it begins to cycle through the graphic, and when it reaches the end of a row, it goes up or down one row and repeats, depending on which direction the ship is spinning. If the ship is turning a direction for more than one or two frames, then it switches to the tilted spin graphic for that direction of spin, and the same occurs in the engine glow div. There's a whole lot of code behind that one, but the Sprites phpBB style is probably much simpler. On mouseover, it probably runs a javascript that moves the background-position for the div that is being hovered over.

The reason for doing it this way is that you can create animations that you have full control over (unlike with gifs), and the images can have much higher quality than gifs while resulting in a smaller filesize, and because multiple frames are compressed into one file, you don't have to request each frame as an individual request from the server, thus saving processing time on both the server and the client machine.

Now, I haven't actually broken open the source for the Sprites theme, but now that I've expounded upon the possibilities (and at great length), I think I'm going to. :P

EDIT:

Oh, and basically, the point I was making behind all this was: in order to change the colour of the button mouseover animations, I probably just need to open the source image up in Photoshop and spend a while recolouring it and making sure I don't make it fugly. But hopefully, a simple colorize will do for our purposes.

I think I got a little carried away here. :P
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Cuyan Atinii » 04 Feb 2011 04:15

Lucid Lime is really nice, just change the shades some.
I still like blackbox_green.
Sprites could work with a major overhaul of... just about everything.

Having the words change to Mando'a (like the MandoMercs) would be kandosii.

Question - Is it possible to set one banner for all themes?
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 05 Feb 2011 01:44

I'm pretty sure that there is no universal banner. You'd have to change the banner setting inside every imageset, I believe.

I kinda feel the same way with blackbox as you do with sprites. I think we'll have to do major overhauls on just about any skin we use.

From what Amorg has said, it seems like making the mando letter change thing should be about the same as changing the colors.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 08 Feb 2011 19:10

We could design our own imageset and apply it to any theme from the administration panel. It's pretty nifty. We would simply need to decide on a banner size (width x height), and a format (I prefer .png personally, but I'm a dork -- just please please no .gif. That format needs to die already, it's outlived its useful life, and really ought to be replaced by animated .png or the CSS trick I obsessed over in my last post). The rest would involve me writing a javascript (or php file, it depends on which one would be most suitable to the particular theme) that picks a random banner from a "banners" folder whenever the page loads. Once we pick a theme or two, we could get rid of all the others and only allow users to pick from a couple specific themes. BFFC, TDH, and MandoMercs each have one theme, period, if I remember correctly, and don't allow user theme-switching...which is really for the best when trying to guarantee a stable, consistent user experience.

Also, Lyat'aag, you don't happen to be using a beta version of Firefox or anything, do you? I know some of the beta chains don't support certain features, in favour of alternate features...

Firefox 3.6.13 for Windows and Mac both show the font...maybe a Greasemonky script or something? Something that interferes with the CSS loading on this site would definitely be detrimental to the existence of the font...

Also, Ubuntu appears to prefer a different implementation of @font-face, as per http://font.ubuntu.com/web/, so I'll try out that implementation and see what kinds of results I get. :)

<EDIT>
Apparently, that font loader is just a suggestion, and relies on Google having the font you want to use uploaded and available...so I can't use it with the mandalorian font. More research is needed.

Oh, hey, I found a test page. Please visit this link in your browser, and let me know which ones show up in a fancy font, and which ones show up in a block-type font. This will help me put a patch over the hole you fell through. ;)

There are so many nuances to making this thing work cross-browser, and apparently I missed one (or multiples) of them...

Also, I forgot to mention, please make sure you're viewing the forum using the Prosilver (default) theme when checking the mando font, for now. I've only coded it into the Prosilver theme so far, since it's the default. Once we decide on another theme and make modifications to it, I'll scoot my changes to the new theme as well.

It's weird, because really the only difference between the font declaration for the translator's transcriber and the font usage here on the forum is the filepath to the font files. As long as I'm pointing to the right location in the filesystem, it should work, but I've found that if I move the font files and change the filepath (making the filepath a complete hardcoded http://.../.../... straight to the font files doesn't work. The files have to be within the same directory as the css file containing the declaration. I wonder if that could be what's setting it off, maybe the Linux version of Firefox differs ever so slightly in how it deals with filepaths in css files? Really, though, it should be identical to other versions of Firefox, and the only difference would be the code that interfaces with the operating system itself. :( I'm confused.
</EDIT>
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lyat'aag » 08 Feb 2011 22:47

Okay, I switched back to prosilver and it works now, though I thought I had it on prosilver when I first had trouble seeing the font.

To answer some of your questions anyway, I'm pretty sure this is no beta version. I click "Help" > "About Mozilla Firefox" and the dialog box that pops up tells me:

Firefox
Version 3.6.13

Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu
canonical - 1.0

(legal info)

I do have greasemonkey which runs special script for a chat I used to go to. As for the test site you gave, I'm not sure what you meant by "block-type" font, but there were some of them that had fancier font than others.

The ones that had something that looked like a default font were:

  • locally installed with local font name
  • only the eot

I suspect that whatever the problem was, you fixed it, but I wasn't using prosilver at the time.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 09 Feb 2011 15:25

Well I'm glad it's working now. I'm sorry I had to put you through all that troubleshooting for nothing. I think I know what fixed it; I was live-testing a couple of alternative methods (none of which worked), and in order to check that they worked, I needed to tell the admin control panel to force refresh of cached material (because clearing the browser cache doesn't cut it with phpBB, I guess), and then I changed it all back to the way it was before testing and refreshed the cache again. Perhaps simply refreshing the cache was all I needed to do.

Perhaps next time I will troubleshoot the error through PMs to keep from cluttering the board with my inane ponderings. 8D

And when I said "block-type" font, that was my brain trying to say "default." A font with square corners, like block lettering. :P

If it breaks again, though, please do let me know. I may be changing the implementation again soon, because I found an alternate implementation that handles IE9 and mobile browsers, whereas the current implementation doesn't work. I'll make sure I don't forget to refresh the caches this time. ;)

I'm also planning to start working on modifications to LucidLime (and I'm gonna give a look at Sprites to see that colour-change in-action and share it with you for review as well), so I'll let you know when I've got anything to show. If anyone has anything to share (banners, smilies, imagesets, etc.), throw it at me, and I'll include it.
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Re: Feature Request and Discussion Thread

Unread postby Adi'karta » 06 Dec 2011 11:02

So I finally gor off me arse and stopped putting this off. The phpBB styles website now allows you to change the colour of the theme to anything you want, right there on the download page. It's pretty nifty. I took advantage of it to lower the "brightness" of the lime colour in this theme and then slapped it on and hit "set as default." I think it's pretty classy, and my temporary logo aside, I feel good about it.

--REPEATED FROM ANNOUNCEMENT--
The banner image is temporary -- something I (almost literally) threw together this evening at 0345 (that's 3:45 AM CST), hence my possibly regrettable choice of that grand art-deco font (why it's named "macarena" is beyond me; it hardly resembles that embarrassing 90s dance). I looked to the original logo that came with the theme for inspiration (I liked the subtle shading in the leaf). This is the original logo (requires a dark coloured background to properly appreciate, hence the addition -- it's normally a transparent .png):

Image

If anyone has anything else to say about the matter, the discussion is wide open, so toss in some opinions and constructive ideas. :)
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