SkullKnight.net

Skullknight.net => Site & Forum News => Topic started by: Walter on May 29, 2013, 11:04:13 PM

Title: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 29, 2013, 11:04:13 PM
You may have noticed things look a little different around here. Well, it's an upgrade! It's been almost 5 years since the last major forum upgrade. This was long overdue.

What'd we gain with the upgrade? We moved from SMF 1.1.4 all the way to 2.04, so we gained quite a bit of behind the scenes speed. Pages will be loading faster, there will be less pause/delay between forum actions. It will also be more easy to add features to the site under this version. The text tools have been enhanced quite a bit as well, as you'll notice when making a post or a thread.

However, when we do big upgrades like these, we gain features, but we also usually lose the old look to the forum. The old themes (visual design of forum) are rarely compatible with newer versions. So right now we have a stop-gap theme. This works, and is similar enough to the old theme to make people not GO CRAZY for the time being. I will be working on a new theme over the next few months.

We also lost the chat for the time being. There is a way to get it back, and I am working on it...

If you notice other features missing, please let me know in this thread so that I'll remember to add them back.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Griffith on May 30, 2013, 02:07:48 AM
Already lookin' good to me. I like the bone gray colors and added contrast. :badbone:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: TheBranded1 on May 30, 2013, 04:41:40 AM
Looks very nice! I was surprised when I first refreshed the page. Shortcuts to post are nice too. :ubik:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Lukis on May 30, 2013, 09:58:08 AM
Lookin' good  :guts:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Kalie Ma on May 30, 2013, 12:05:53 PM
I like it! I just can't see my full picture, ewither in my post or the top right. Serpico is peeking over it hehhehe  :iva:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: frankencowx on May 30, 2013, 12:24:00 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a way to show the most recent forum posts near the bottom where the info center is?? I don't see them anymore when I'm signed in. Thanks.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 30, 2013, 12:32:10 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a way to show the most recent forum posts near the bottom where the info center is?? I don't see them anymore when I'm signed in. Thanks.
Fixed!

This is exactly what I mean by letting me know of things that are missing. I had forgotten about that feature, while dealing with a dozen others. Thanks!
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: ApostleBob on May 30, 2013, 12:49:18 PM
Looking good so far...
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: frankencowx on May 30, 2013, 01:16:55 PM
Fixed!

Thank you!
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: jackson_hurley on May 30, 2013, 01:43:52 PM
I like, I like! good job Walter!
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Delta Phi on May 30, 2013, 02:57:30 PM
Looks good to me! Very surprised when I logged on. I haven't noticed anything amiss other than larger avatars being clipped off on the right side.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: ApostleBob on May 30, 2013, 03:28:43 PM
Looks like the profile avatars templates aren't showing up.  Went in to my profile to reset mine and am not seeing the option.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 30, 2013, 04:09:13 PM
I haven't noticed anything amiss other than larger avatars being clipped off on the right side.
Yep, that's among the more deviously difficult things to fix, since it involves editing code. Which I'm not exactly a pro at. Working on it!

Looks like the profile avatars templates aren't showing up.  Went in to my profile to reset mine and am not seeing the option.
Thanks, fixed.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Oburi on May 30, 2013, 04:46:12 PM
I don't like this because I don't like things that are different  :azan: :troll:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 30, 2013, 05:11:40 PM
I don't like this because I don't like things that are different  :azan: :troll:
Thanks!
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Joe Chip on May 30, 2013, 05:26:51 PM
I really like the new changes !
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: ApostleBob on May 30, 2013, 06:14:53 PM
Thanks, fixed.

No, thank you.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Aphasia on May 30, 2013, 06:54:39 PM
looks sexy. : )
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Johnny Apples on May 30, 2013, 06:58:11 PM
Although I guess the changes and upgrades are always to be expected, I'd be lying if I said that I'm not gonna miss the old Skull Knight forum look  :judo:

 I noticed that the little "green beherits" that indicated a member's forum rank have been replaced by the generic little meter bars that you usually see in other forums. Also, another departure from the classic SK.net that I noticed is the member profiles are now shown arranged in a conventional rectangular forum format, with the usernames and avatars on the left-hand corner as opposed to the unique "squared" right-hand sided arrangement that has been an SK.net forum fixture for so many years. Are these changes permanent? I hope not, because as insignificant as they may appear, it is the  distinctive little things like that are among the components making Skull Knight stand out from any other fan forums. Anyways, as Walter said, these changes are gonna take a while to be finalized and sorted out, so I look forward to the new SK forum being even better than the old one  :guts: 
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 30, 2013, 07:05:27 PM
Although I guess the changes and upgrades are always to be expected, I'd be lying if I said that I'm not gonna miss the old Skull Knight forum look  :judo:
I'm slowly molding things back into a recognizable shape. The final form of this new theme may closely resemble the old one, once all is said and done. I can't say that recreating the old theme is my top priority though.

Quote
I noticed that the little "green beherits" that indicated a member's forum rank have been replaced by the generic little meter bars that you usually see in other forums.
Easily fixable. Done. Thanks.

Quote
Also, another departure from the classic SK.net that I noticed is the member profiles are now shown arranged in a conventional rectangular forum format, with the usernames and avatars on the left-hand corner as opposed to the unique "squared" right-hand sided arrangement that has been an SK.net forum fixture for so many years. Are these changes permanent? I hope not, because as insignificant as they may appear, it is the  distinctive little things like that make Skull Knight stand out from any other fan forums.
I like to think that our content and members help set us apart from other forums—in addition to the design of our ... member ... profile ... templates.  :ganishka: It's honestly not something I've considered.

Quote
Anyways, as Walter said, these changes are gonna take a while to be finalized and sorted out, so I look forward to the new SK forum being even better than the old one
Maybe I should explain why there are changes to begin with. The theme you're seeing here isn't something I created from scratch. I modified it from an existing theme on another forum, as I have for every forum theme I've ever used for SKnet dating back to 2001. All themes are share-able on the Simple Machines Forum community.

What I've done so far is replace certain elements to make this theme more like our old theme, but completely reverse-engineering it is too high a task for someone with only an inkling of coding knowledge. I also don't think it would be a very worthwhile endeavor to undertake. I'd rather create something better, in the image of the old theme.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Lenlo on May 30, 2013, 07:59:08 PM
Itll take some getting used to, but I think its nice.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Giovanna on May 30, 2013, 08:58:15 PM
I have really bad memory, but I think there was a search bar right below where now is the user's avatar. If not, either way it would be a good idea, just to, you know, encourage people on using it :carcus:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: IncantatioN on May 30, 2013, 08:58:29 PM
Whoa, looks great and sounds like a lot of work. Good job Walter. Cool to see that green icon against the name to show who's online while you're browsing a topic/ page without having to see it on the main page. How many upgrades such as this as SK.Net had since it's conception? Was this the most fun or easiest one to do?
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 30, 2013, 09:00:56 PM
I have really bad memory, but I think there was a search bar right below where now is the user's avatar. If not, either way it would be a good idea, just to, you know, encourage people on using it :carcus:
No, you're right, and it's actually the feature I'm working on right now. Hopefully shouldn't be too tough to add back. But I agree that it's very important to have.

Whoa, looks great and sounds like a lot of work. Good job Walter. Cool to see that green icon against the name to show who's online while you're browsing a topic/ page without having to see it on the main page. How many upgrades such as this as SK.Net had since it's conception? Was this the most fun or easiest one to do?
It's never FUN. This one went much more smoothly than I had anticipated, but then again I'm still knee-deep in polishing things. I'd say the one in 2007 was probably the most dramatic change for the site, and had the biggest improvements. This change is mostly behind-the-scenes.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Aazealh on May 30, 2013, 09:03:22 PM
Cool to see that green icon against the name to show who's online while you're browsing a topic/ page without having to see it on the main page.

That feature was already present in the old version.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: IncantatioN on May 30, 2013, 09:08:20 PM
Haha, righto. As I type this I notice the Quick-Reply font size to be bigger than the forum's default post font - nothing major. Maybe a keeper if everyone feels comfortable with it? I think it'll take getting used to for long posts ^ ^.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Dar Klink on May 30, 2013, 10:04:23 PM
Very nice upgrade, it spooked me a bit when I loaded up the site for the first time using it though. It'll be good when everything is polished and up to your standards Walter, thanks for working to improve the site. :guts:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Sammoniac on May 31, 2013, 01:33:45 AM
Definitely an improvement Walter! The new forum has a more modern feel to it, the light grey colors, the good old Skull Knight face overlooking things... thank you, I seriously love it!  :ubik:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Grail on May 31, 2013, 02:38:26 AM
Definitely digging the new layout! The added contrast gives it a much sleeker look, and previewing posts is a lot easier now. :guts: I'll admit that for a second I was worried because the oekaki link was gone, but it's still in its usual spot. Thanks for spending so much time making the site better, Walter!
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: ApostleBob on May 31, 2013, 03:21:16 AM
Two small suggestions: 
1) The avatar in the upper right of the page header is cropped quite a bit.  Not sure if this is intentional but it looks a little funky.

2) On the main forum page, on the right side, wherever it says "Last Post."  This is now always a bolded font, making it a little difficult to spot new posts that have a bolded "Today" date.  I believe the old site didn't have this "Last Post" bolded and was a little easier to note the updates. 

Nit picks really.  Liking it so far. 
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on May 31, 2013, 03:36:10 AM
Two small suggestions: 
1) The avatar in the upper right of the page header is cropped quite a bit.  Not sure if this is intentional but it looks a little funky.
Yep, you'll also notice  your avatar in this page is also cropped from the right side. It sucks, but it's just one among many things that need fixing.

Quote
2) On the main forum page, on the right side, wherever it says "Last Post."  This is now always a bolded font, making it a little difficult to spot new posts that have a bolded "Today" date.  I believe the old site didn't have this "Last Post" bolded and was a little easier to note the updates. 
Indeed, good eye. I'll be changing that stuff around. I want that to be a simple, easily clickable link to go to the thread. There's no need to have all that clutter in that section, since that's where most people click to view the latest thread activity. Should be streamlined for sure.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Deci on June 04, 2013, 09:07:13 PM
Whoa... very snazzy guys. Well done! Bravo!  :ubik:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Snuso on June 04, 2013, 11:32:07 PM
Very nice i like it! :ubik:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Ben on June 06, 2013, 05:26:09 PM
I haven't posted in awhile, but I thought I'd say I do enjoy the new layout, though it makes me feel a bit nostalgic considering how long the old one was here. :judo:

EDIT:  Also, is the Flash Chat gone, or am I just not seeing it?
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on June 12, 2013, 10:15:38 PM
A small update on some minor progress I've made in changing around the look and functionality of the forum.

How it was:
(http://skullknight.net/images/recall_old1.jpg)

How it is:
(http://skullknight.net/images/recall_new1.jpg)

How it was:
(http://skullknight.net/images/recall_old2.jpg)

How it is:
(http://skullknight.net/images/recall_new2.jpg)

Still to do:
(http://skullknight.net/images/recall_old3.jpg)
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Vampire_Hunter_Bob on June 13, 2013, 01:54:07 PM
Still to do:
(http://skullknight.net/images/recall_old3.jpg)

UGH! Walter get off your lazy butt and fix this!  :mozgus:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on June 13, 2013, 02:05:53 PM
UGH! Walter get off your lazy butt and fix this!  :mozgus:
I'm afraid it's not as easy to fix at it looks. But yeah, like I said I'm working on it. Your Simpsons avatar will soon be visible in ITS FULL GLORY.

Along the way, I've also fixed the logo, and re-added the quick-search bar at the top.

Edit: F I X E D
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Vampire_Hunter_Bob on June 13, 2013, 03:07:36 PM
I'm afraid it's not as easy to fix at it looks. But yeah, like I said I'm working on it. Your Simpsons avatar will soon be visible in ITS FULL GLORY.
O.M.G. Walter! You don't know how much that cut off arm has been killing me!  :judo:

Quote
Edit: F I X E D
Excellent work.  :badbone:

I also wanted to point this out because I noticed it on my phone:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v77/Vamphunterbob/recentpostsizes.png)
Which is the varying sizes of the thread titles listed in 'Recent Posts.' I'm not sure if this is because I'm not logged into sk.net on my phone or if it's a feature for phones. Either way, I'm wondering how the forum decides what thread titles are listed in the larger font and what thread titles are listed with smaller font.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Griffith on June 16, 2013, 09:36:10 PM
Can we make inserted hyperlinks more distinguishable? I've always had a problem with this, and maybe I have trust issues when it comes to people noticing the links I sprinkle throughout my posts, but right now the links are literally showing up as black (http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=13960.msg221820#msg221820) on dark gray. =)
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Oburi on June 17, 2013, 09:14:37 PM
It took some getting use to but now I LOVE the new layout. I can already tell the Volume listing tab is going to come in handy a lot too.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on June 18, 2013, 02:53:03 AM
Can we make inserted hyperlinks more distinguishable? I've always had a problem with this, and maybe I have trust issues when it comes to people noticing the links I sprinkle throughout my posts, but right now the links are literally showing up as black (http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=13960.msg221820#msg221820) on dark gray. =)
I am totally open to suggestions on that.

It took some getting use to but now I LOVE the new layout. I can already tell the Volume listing tab is going to come in handy a lot too.
I don't think it's better than it was quite yet. But it will be  :daiba:
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: ApostleBob on July 02, 2013, 04:29:45 AM
Yep, you'll also notice  your avatar in this page is also cropped from the right side. It sucks, but it's just one among many things that need fixing.

Walter, I've noticed this issue still popping up on some of the avatars.  Maybe a proportions issue for the images but its still happening for some peoples profile pictures.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Oburi on July 03, 2013, 03:43:33 PM
How can I view all my own recent posts?
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on July 03, 2013, 04:14:52 PM
Walter, I've noticed this issue still popping up on some of the avatars.  Maybe a proportions issue for the images but its still happening for some peoples profile pictures.
Ugh... I'll work on it.

How can I view all my own recent posts?
Click your name then on sidebar click View Posts. For you, the link is: http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=4184
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Oburi on July 06, 2013, 04:46:38 PM
Click your name then on sidebar click View Posts. For you, the link is: http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=4184

I'm not seeing it. I see it on other peoples profile but not on my own.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on July 06, 2013, 07:47:03 PM
I'm not seeing it. I see it on other peoples profile but not on my own.
Try now.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Oburi on July 07, 2013, 03:10:31 PM
Try now.

Giddyup
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: BerserkMJM on August 07, 2013, 09:57:32 AM
Am I the only one experiencing bogged down load times? Other sites that I frequent are loading the same as usual, which causes me to single out this one. And I was hoping that it would pass before I said anything, but it's been happening to me for a few days now.

Using Chrome as a browser. Could that be an issue? I'm on the east coast. Could it be a server thing? I don't know much about these things. Or if it's even related to this thread for that matter.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Rhombaad on August 07, 2013, 03:47:37 PM
No, I experience loading issues, as well, but I mainly notice them when I'm at work. At home, I mostly experience normal loading times.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: IncantatioN on August 07, 2013, 05:31:36 PM
I experience it in the morning, on and off.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on August 07, 2013, 09:28:44 PM
I've noticed it being slow, but it's difficult for me to say if that's the result of a theme change or just our server being slow (which happens). So, I'll be testing out different themes, and if it comes down to this current theme holding us back, I will have to pick another one and build it up to SKnet standards.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on September 03, 2013, 06:58:34 PM
I've noticed it being slow, but it's difficult for me to say if that's the result of a theme change or just our server being slow (which happens). So, I'll be testing out different themes, and if it comes down to this current theme holding us back, I will have to pick another one and build it up to SKnet standards.
After a month of testing, I've determined it's not a theme, but a server issue. May migrate.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Rendarg on September 19, 2013, 03:13:18 PM
I was wondering, where exactly can i find the personal messages i have sent to someone? Shouldn't they be in the "sent items" section? I was just going to check if i had forgotten to mention something in a recent message, but that whole section is empty, no messages.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Skeleton on September 19, 2013, 04:38:39 PM
I was wondering, where exactly can i find the personal messages i have sent to someone? Shouldn't they be in the "sent items" section? I was just going to check if i had forgotten to mention something in a recent message, but that whole section is empty, no messages.

When you send a message there's a little box at the bottom that you have to check to have it saved to your Sent folder.  There's also a box you can check in your Account Settings that makes it so that all private messages are saved in the sent folder.  That way you don't have to do it every time you send a message.  (To find it, go to Account Settings then Private Messaging.)
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Rendarg on September 19, 2013, 05:07:15 PM
Oh. Oooooh, allright, forget what i said. Thanks, must have overlooked that.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: IncantatioN on November 11, 2014, 02:15:16 PM
Accessing the forum on my computer at work, I just noticed a clickable 'Unread Posts' to the right of every main forum. Not sure how long it's been there but yeah, pretty cool time saving feature.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Walter on November 13, 2014, 01:06:02 AM
Accessing the forum on my computer at work, I just noticed a clickable 'Unread Posts' to the right of every main forum. Not sure how long it's been there but yeah, pretty cool time saving feature.

I think it's been there since the revamp? Glad you find it useful. I don't think I've ever used it, because I always end up reading all posts anyway.
Title: Re: New Look to SKnet
Post by: Aazealh on November 13, 2014, 07:15:46 PM
I think it's been there since the revamp? Glad you find it useful. I don't think I've ever used it, because I always end up reading all posts anyway.

I'm pretty sure it's been an option for a very long time anyway. Typically just clicking on the lit-up "New Posts" brings up the list of unread posts for that specific board.