jase
 admin, 3549 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 06:21
New site design
It's with no small amount of trepidation that I post this.  As some of you may be aware there's been a lack of updates to the site for quite some time.  What most aren't aware of is this has been due to a major visual rework that's been done behind the scenes.  It's very hard to make identical changes to two different code bases so I (wherever possible) have been maintaining a single code base that is dealing with the aforementioned visual layout changes.  Great features have been suggested by members but I'm unable to action them until the visual modifications are complete.

Why change?  I believe without some changes that RPoL runs the risk of stagnating.  Google, with their search engine dominance and ability to stipulate pretty much whatever they like, have clearly stated that unless you have a responsive layout as well as https (which is already available for testing via https://rpol.net or https://www.rpol.net) then your website will be ranked lower.  I don't want to introduce anything that will alienate the existing player base, but I'm also realistic and know that if there's not a reasonably steady flow of new members then the site will slowly wither.

So what's this war and peace post all about?

This requires more text.  Sorry!

I've tried adapting the current layout to be responsive, but as soon as you give the directive to mobiles/tablets to do this, everything goes awry.  I tried updating the current table-based layout to be responsive, but I was pushing a round peg into a square hole and it was getting messy, unreliable and really time consuming.

Ergo a fully responsive, designed from the ground up, website has been in development for quite some time.  It's using more modern (but not bleeding edge) web design and zero javascript (besides what we've already got).  Requirements for a fully functional website are any major browser beyond ~2011, but it'll degrade for older browsers.

Why the trepidation?  A few reasons.  Firstly I realise that some people have a lot of fondness for the existing layout, myself included.  For desktop browsing it's not broken, though it certainly could benefit from some readability improvements.  Secondly the beta site is very unfinished, but despite that I want to give you all the opportunity to see what's in development, and I think that will cause issue for some.  Lastly it's been designed from scratch, so it doesn't carry over much that's... familiar.

If it's unfinished what's to see?

A few things.  Though it's not many they're the important parts.

  • The general framework/layout of the site.
  • The responsive (adaptive) design.  If on a desktop reduce the browser width and you'll see it adapt at two different "break points" (800px and 695px wide).  Not every page has a breakpoint at 800px, but you will notice it at 695px.
  • How the main menu, game menu, thread view and compose screens look and work.  These are somewhat, but not completely, finished.  Same for the cast screen, though that doesn't adapt down the best and needs more work.


What's not finished?

  • Everything.  So please don't nit pick.
  • The colours.
  • Pixel perfect placement.
  • Dice roller, game maps, game introduction, sheets, descriptions, searching, help/faq, GM menus.  Anything else I haven't explicitly listed as (somewhat) finished.
  • Stickylist, help, faqs, create a game.. you get the idea.


OMG it's so different, and for that I hate it.

Sure is, but give it time and it'll hopefully grow on you.  Besides the adaptive layout there's some major changes that aren't responsive centric.

  • The font size is larger.  Small fonts actually decrease reading speed and recognition.  A lot of recommendations are to go even larger but we've set a compromise between recommended and what we've currently got.
  • The site has a maximum width of 1100px.  Going any wider ends up with a crazy view and actually doesn't fit any more text on the screen, as the wider you go the bigger the line height (the gap between one line and the next) needs to be to maintain readability, so longer lines results in the exact same amount of text.  Keep in mind that later on you'll be able to customise the theme and I hope that will include site width.


What do I expect from you?

  • No FUD.
  • No blanket negativity.
  • Constructive feedback.  Doesn't have to be positive, but all feedback (even positive) needs to have a point.  "I don't like the new layout because _______", "I like the new layout, it _____".  "The cast list gets confusing when it wraps, what if it _______".  Fill in the blanks.


Remember, if I wasn't interested in your thoughts and input as well as trying to find a compromise that will please as many people as possible then I'd just roll out the changes and not bother posting here.



TLDR version;  Step 1: check http://beta.rpol.net, step 2: don't panic.
pdboddy
 member, 518 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 11:05
New site design
I think the layout looks good.  It'll be better once we can colour it to our tastes.  It seems very responsive.  Though, I cannot even get into one of my games to see how it looks.  You did say that there's a lot that isn't set up yet. :)

I think it's a good step in the right direction, and your reasoning for it is sound.  And I appreciate the effort you're taking to not break the site for as many people as possible while moving to a more modern layout.
byzantinex
 member, 88 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 15:16
New site design
I have looked over the beta site several times since I joined RPOL and other than the colors I feel it's a VAST improvement over the current design in terms of usability on mobile.

Mobile is really the way we need to push the site in order to help the user base grow, as well as increasing involvement from current users.

I've messaged you about a mobile app I would love to assist with, and I even wrote my own script (link to a message in this forum) in order to make the site work better on mobile for myself.

My vision for RPOL would be as an app, or at the least a mobile site with push notifications for games. Most people don't/won't use the site on their phones because it's so unwieldy with the pinch/zoom. But imagine how much faster games would move forward if every time a post was made on a game your mobile buzzed (special thanks to the Unofficial RPOL notifier app), you clicked and were taken right to the post and had a very mobile friendly interface for posting.

This is what I do now with my custom script and it allows me to make far more updates than when I was using the default RPOL site on mobile.

Instead of people "waiting to post until I'm at a computer" I think the involvement would skyrocket.

Heck, I don't care if the entire site is pink with care bears flying around, if it works on mobile I'm going to pee my pants with excitement! :D

And as I've said in several other posts, I'm a web dev with over a decade of experience and I would be more than happy to help you in any way possible. This site saved my relationship with RP and I've made my positive feelings and apprecaite toward RPOL.net really clear :D (link to a message in another game)

Thank you so much for your work jase.
steelsmiter
 member, 1704 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 15:54
New site design
Were I to object, the only objection I would have would have been if you had changed navigation to something like what vBulletin sites or E does where you have to dig for your own topics (and in some cases can't even divide your game into threads), I'd probably object. Since you didn't, I don't.
nauthiz
 member, 512 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 22:15
New site design
One thing that might be helpful is to get some definitions for, what I think are, new terms.

The main menu now contains

Your Games
Watched Games
Watched Forums
Discussion Boards
Deleted Games
Support RPoL

Clicking on these from the main page doesn't seem to do anything, as I assume they're not working yet.

Though I could be wrong as I can't seem to find a reference to what a "Watched Game" is on the current iteration of the site (at least in the Help/FAQs), so I'm not sure if this is an old concept I'm personally unaware of, or a new one being introduced.

Therefore I don't know if I have any "Watched Games" on the Beta site that should now, or eventually, somehow interact with that link in some way.  So knowing what falls under these new(?) categories vs "Games You Own", "Games You Play In & Peruse", etc once that information is relevant would be useful.



Overall, on the desktop at least, the layout seems functional and intuitive for current users.  It retains enough elements that seem fairly itterative of the current layout to make it feel familiar while still being quite quite functional once you find your way around.

The only real issue that I'd have as a user is that at 1080p resolution, the text under the "Thread Details" portion of individual threads is a little on the small side in comparison with the "Thread Title" text.  In most general threads this isn't too much of an issue, but in the "Wanted - Players" it seems to be slightly worse.  Perhaps because there's three lines vs two, or maybe the combination of small bold text alongside small regular text, but it seems less easy to quickly scan through the System and Genre info for individual posts vs the current design.
horus
 member, 117 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 01:23
New site design
I'm not at a location where I can pull this beta site up on a tablet, but I've looked it over on a computer screen (1920 X 1080) and it does not look too shabby!

I get the 1100 pixel width constraint - that should work neatly with most small tablets at 1280 X 800 resolution.  I do not have a phone worth testing with (an old Motorola Moto-E), so can't help there.

Looks like you're headed the right direction.  Is there anything else we can do to help?

Later On,
D
aguy777
 member, 185 posts
 Join Date:
 Fri, 29 Nov, 2013
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 02:02
New site design
The color scheme will take some getting used to, but it seems a lot easier to navigate. I don't have any issues on my computer or my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4).

EDIT: I entirely missed that the colors are not set in stone. Whoops. My bad. Lol.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:07, Sat 08 Apr 2017.

ericca
 member, 118 posts
 Just a chillin
 having fun
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 02:21
New site design
To be a bit dumb here. But can I simply say thank you for all you do. And no matter what I will always be an Rpol'er.

Now that being said, I do like what I see happening.
Skald
 moderator, 766 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 05:21
New site design
Being notoriously against any form of change whatsoever ("What do you mean it's Saturday ?!!  I LIKED Friday !  Why did you change it ?") ...

I like it.  Didn't think I would, but I do.  Under the skin, it's not a million light years away from the current layout, so there's enough of the familiar there that it doesn't feel entirely alien.

Couple of things to get the ball rolling:

1) I assume that Post a New Topic at the bottom of the game thread should be Post a Reply ?  I know we have Post a Reply on the This Thread menu at the top, but I'll be looking at the last post down the bottom of the page when I want to reply and it'd be handier not to have to scroll back up.

2) "The cast list gets confusing when it wraps, what if the" Tag sat underneath the character name to allow more width for the other columns, so the last game login and last game post time/date stamps columns can be widened slightly so they don't wrap.  It'll still be two lines per character, but it'd improve readability (and while some games use Tag for ranks etc, I suspect most will read "player" and we already know we're in the player section of the cast.  Now if I could just work out how to save even more space so we could get the portrait on there too ... (completely unnecessary, but would look pretty <grins> )
Utsukushi
 member, 1409 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 06:06
New site design
OMG, Friday was awesome.  This newfangled `Saturday' needs to go.  And don't even get me started on Tuesday!  Ugh.

I don't really agree that RPoL needs to aim for the mobile user -- until typing becomes a whole lot more convenient on mobile devices, there's nothing RPoL can really do to make itself more usable that way.  It can be easier to navigate, more readable, yes, but actually writing a significant post from my phone?  There's nothing jase can fix right now that will make me want to do that.

But meeting Google's list of demands... yeah, I'm afraid that makes sense.

The new layout is definitely going to take some getting used to, but, yes.  I could get used to it.  I'll agree that it doesn't feel `familiar', but I can see where you really tried to preserve a lot of the underlying structure and ideas we have now.

Um, yes, there are lots of tweaks and changes that need to be looked at, but you disclaimed pretty well that it's a work in progress.  It looks good!  Or at least.. acceptable.  Not too traumatic?  My eyes didn't melt, at least, so that's a good sign.

I'm finding it a lot harder to make out which Group different Threads belong to.  I mean, I found it, but even having found it, it doesn't stand out very well.  I like where that is now, but at least something to make it stand out better - maybe even just making that Bold?  "For Group 1 by The All Seeing Eye with 472 replies."  I think that would help.

And... I know you said it's still much in progress, so I get that we're not looking for debugging issues yet, but I'm getting some weird effects with the list of people to possibly post Private Lines to -- sometimes there's the drop-down menu as with Styled Text, and sometimes there's just a bulleted list going down from the spot where the drop down should be.  And once it was a list set in transparent boxes.  I'm trying to figure out some pattern to when this is happening.  It sort of seems like clicking the "Post a new Topic" most often gets the shadowy boxes list, while using a "quote" or "reply" link from a post either gets the dropdown list or the bulleted list?  Sort of?  It seems to be a consistent difference between different threads, but I don't know what's different about the threads.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15320 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 08:54
Re: New site design
Utsukushi:
I don't really agree that RPoL needs to aim for the mobile user -- until typing becomes a whole lot more convenient on mobile devices, there's nothing RPoL can really do to make itself more usable that way.

Agreed (Wait, what?  It's the End Times!).  I use my phone to check RPoL occasionally, but never to post anything more than OOC one-liners.  Why?  Because typing on the phone is a nightmare.  And as Utsukushi said, there is nothing RPoL can do about that.

Frankly I'd rather see work put into a single version of RPoL that benefits the most users (like the version currently being worked on), rather than splitting efforts into two different versions, or focussing on something that would just encourage me to post less.
byzantinex
 member, 89 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 11:13
Re: New site design
@bigbadron and Utsukushi

I do most of my posting on this and my own forum from my mobile phone and tablet.

I actually built my own forum with vanilla forums specifically because it was mobile focused.

I run a few games on there.
My players almost exclusively post from their mobile devices as well.

Maybe this is a generational thing? I'm 32 and I type on my phone all day long or use speech to text so saying it's a nightmare to type on a phone seems weird to say.

Fewer and fewer people even own desktop computers and laptops. I've been focusing all my development work on mobile first focused projects for almost 5 years now. Mobile devices rule king on the web.

Anyway, if any community wants to survive it has to evolve and attract new members. It's my professional opinion mobile first is the way to do that.

p.s. I just typed that entire response from my tablet using the custom developed page I created to make RPOL mobile friendly...

p.s.s. The average person I've met on RPOL is 30-40 with a full time job, married with kids. If we attract those younger people who are interested in D&D and were born with smart phones in their hands they 1) Have more time on their hands 2) we could teach them to play the best game in the world, and one without graphics and 3) A rising tide raises all ships, so younger people with more time on their hands getting involved in our games will mean more frequent postings.

This message was last edited by the user at 11:42, Sat 08 Apr 2017.

bigbadron
 moderator, 15321 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 11:43
Re: New site design
quote:
It's my professional opinion mobile first is the way to do that.

That is, as you say, your opinion as a developer who creates mobile sites.

quote:
I'm 32 and I type on my phone all day long or use speech to text so saying it's a nightmare to type on a phone seems weird to say.

Odd... to me it seems like a perfectly natural thing to say.  *shrugs*
steelsmiter
 member, 1705 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 11:46
Re: New site design
bigbadron:
That is, as you say, your opinion as a developer who creates mobile sites.

I had almost that exact thought.
byzantinex
 member, 90 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 11:51
Re: New site design
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 13):

That's my thought as a developer who's been involved in web dev for almost 14 years and has adapted to the times... I'm not selling mobile sites because I want to, I'm building them because that's what the web (and Google) demands.

2 years ago (2015) mobile search volume bypassed desktop...

Why do you think Google prioritizes mobile friendly / responsive websites? Because they sell mobile websites? Nope. It's what customers demand.

If you're going to argue that a mobile first focus for every website isn't necessary then I'll bow out of this conversation.

p.s. Another user took their own time to develop a method to make RPOL response. https://ramirezj.github.io/rpo...rUsername/index.html

p.s.s Another user took the time to write a mobile notification app...

This message was last edited by the user at 12:20, Sat 08 Apr 2017.

bigbadron
 moderator, 15322 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 12:15
Re: New site design
quote:
If you're going to argue that a mobile first focus for every website isn't necessary then this is a defunct conversation and I'll shut up now.

Nope, I'm saying that adopting a mobile first strategy on this website will likely alienate a lot of existing users.

quote:
Why do you think Google prioritizes mobile friendly / responsive websites?

Sorry, but didn't jase start this thread to discuss the responsive site that he's already working on?

While I like the look of the responsive version on the beta site, what I'm objecting to is the idea that everybody (who counts) is using mobile phones to access the internet, so that should be the priority for development here.
byzantinex
 member, 91 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 12:21
Re: New site design
bigbadron:
Nope, I'm saying that adopting a mobile first strategy on this website will likely alienate a lot of existing users.


But there are a bunch of us already spending our own time and money to make it mobile friendly.

And how could making the site work on mobile alienate any users? It's not like it will stop working on desktop for those users...???

quote:
While I like the look of the responsive version on the beta site, what I'm objecting to is the idea that everybody (who counts) is using mobile phones to access the internet, so that should be the priority for development here.


But if the site is made responsive then it's one code base and phones won't be prioritized, they will use the same exact site as all the desktop users.

Anyway, Jase is already working on it so I don't know why I'm arguing. Sorry.

This message was last edited by the user at 12:22, Sat 08 Apr 2017.

pdboddy
 member, 520 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 12:22
Re: New site design
In reply to byzantinex (msg # 12):

Sorry, there's not a phone/tablet keyboard, or voice option, that lets me do up to 150 wpm like a proper mechanical keyboard does.

Mobile touch and tactile options are, in my opinion, piss poor.  They work nicely for today's distracted population, who talk in 140 character blrps.  But typing out a typical Shadowrun scene description on a mobile keyboard is a Royal pain in the behind.  And this is from someone who's had a mobile phone as his only phone (no landline) for almost 15 years.

Yeah, mobile search passed desktop a few years back.  But this doesn't mean desktops are dead (the horse everyone keeps beating about desktops certainly is though).

But, I think the design philosophies used for mobile design work just as well for 'desktop' webdesign.  In a veritable ocean of flashy websites with doodads and ads, having a very simple website is a breath of fresh air.  It is why I have always been pleased and impressed by Google.com.  A quintessential website that works well, and quickly.  It's been my homepage forever... if it doesn't load immediately, you know there's something up.

However, some of the concepts in mobile design are very frustrating.  An article, which is perfectly fine on my phone and easy to read, becomes annoying to read in 'mobile' format because the article is now 40 pages long.  Sure each page fits on the screen (along with the damned ad), but it's irritating to read having to wait for each new page to load.  It's not terribly long, but long enough to break my concentration.

Mobile design's not useful if I have to keep switching to desktop versions on my mobile devices.

You do need a mobile version of your website, I won't argue that.  But I don't get this 'mobile first' thinking you have.  Most websites I've worked on had multiple versions being developed simultaneously... no point in inconveniencing a big chunk of your customers.

Back on topic now.  I originally viewed the new site on my tablet.  Checked it out last night on my desktop.  Looks fantastic.  Reminiscent of the current RPoL, but seems a bit crisper to mine eyes.
steelsmiter
 member, 1706 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 12:29
Re: New site design
bigbadron:
Nope, I'm saying that adopting a mobile first strategy on this website will likely alienate a lot of existing users.

Like me. It'll alienate me. Actually it might flat out trim me from the userbase entirely if it's hardlined enough. I'm fine with a mobile also strategy, but if I'm in for a mobile first strategy it fruitcakes me right out.

quote:
While I like the look of the responsive version on the beta site, what I'm objecting to is the idea that everybody (who counts) is using mobile phones to access the internet

Yep, I only use my mobile phone for the internet when someone is actively chatting with me and won't can it for a bit. That doesn't happen with RPoLchat (because I've only used it for about a week in the entire time I've been here). Happens on facebook and discord, that's about it.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15323 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 12:43
Re: New site design
quote:
But if the site is made responsive then it's one code base and phones won't be prioritized, they will use the same exact site as all the desktop users.

Exactly... so what's with all the "mobile first" talk?
byzantinex
 member, 92 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 12:55
Re: New site design
I dunno...

I felt like the conversion was sort of anti Mobile for rpol.

Anyway. Same team! I'm going to go play my game now.
Gaffer
 member, 1450 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 14:04
Re: New site design
I had a quick look at the beta site, using my PC (my preferred connection, mostly because my tablet is kind of quirky to post with, mostly because I'm an old guy, but I do find myself using it more and more.

The new look is certainly different, but I found it very easy to navigate. The look is a bit boring, but that's probably because I've had a customized set up for years now.

I'll try to use my tablet on beta soon and will get back hear with more comments.

jase, thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into this place we all call home. You are one in a million!
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1116 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 21:14
Re: New site design
To note, I just plain old don't have desktop access.
I personally think it should be made suitable for both desktop and mobile equally, with neither left as secondary.

======= Critique,

=== 1
One thing I love about the current style is that poster info is on the side rather than injected between messages. It is one of the best things about the current design. I really very much hate reading "msg -> post details -> msg." It breaks it up too much and makes it harder to just follow the conversation.

In fact, the presentation and clarity of threads is a major factor of what forums I actually bother reading, and rpol having minimal stuffing between messages and putting all that stuff on the side (and lacking the navigational sidebars) is one of the biggest reasons I frequent this forum, even to the point of being a bigger factor than community or available tools (such as dice roller). In fact, I really get tired of the tags here using < and > because they are much harder to use than [ and ] on my phone (and it already can take an hour or more to type up a post), but I overlook that precisely because of the current layout and presentation.

=== 2
You have two main menus with different options, I'd suggest calling one a nav menu (navigational menu).

=== 3
I'd suggest putting rmail under the profile button instead of the main/nav menu.

=== 4
For the page where you type up a post, you should add some space between the message box and the edge, otherwise, you have to scroll through all the text in the box in order to scroll the page past it because if you drag in the box it will scroll the text rather than the page. Having the space on the side allows one to scroll the page without scrolling through the text in the box first by dragging on that space.
icosahedron152
 member, 753 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 05:27
Re: New site design
The next three paragraphs are admittedly a bit of a rant, but they explain the 'mobile last' viewpoint of (part of) the existing user base that Jase thankfully doesn't want to alienate, and as such I think they serve a legitimate purpose here. However, I absolutely agree that mobile users should have a site that is as usable as possible for them. Jase is doing a great job.

I'm exclusively a desktop user. Even laptops are too fiddly and awkward for my liking (that darned touch pad - give me a nice, responsive and controllable mouse any day!)

I'll resist mobiles until Google, Microsoft, et al turn their 'mobiles first' policy into 'mobiles only' (only a matter of time, alas, and the more we pander to them, the quicker it'll happen). Why? Because:

My eyes can no longer reliably see mobile-sized fonts without PITA scroll and zoom actions, my fingers frequently hit the wrong keys cos they're too darn small (and I'm touch-typing anyway cos the keys are too small to read), you have to toggle on and off a punctuation key every time you want to use punctuation (and I'm old-school enough to want to use it...), and the last thing I want is a voice activated system that makes everyone within fifty feet of me party to my activities.

So, to the Beta test:

There doesn't seem to be much to test. However, that could be because the page is adapting itself to my desktop, and if so that's a definite thumbs up. It looks quite usable on a desktop. I haven't used it on a mobile yet, so I can't comment on its readability there.

I don't like the way you now have to click on Your Games, Games you Watch, etc, to bring up sub-menus. Currently the Main Menu is just there, and I can see at a glance all of the games and forums I use, and whether there are any new posts. I would rather have them all on one page even if I have to scroll to read them. Scrolling is easier than clicking in and out of sub-menus on any device.

Hope that helps. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 05:30, Sun 09 Apr 2017.

nauthiz
 member, 513 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 06:41
Re: New site design
Had a chance to poke at the beta with some mobile devices.  As someone who interacts (reading and posting) with rpol the majority of the time via a mobile device, the orientation towards a more mobile friendly format is welcome.  While the site is fairly usable as is, there are some issues that crop up from time to time that hopefully the new format will solve.

From what exists so far, the beta is certainly a bit easier to use on mobile over the current design.  The scaling works fairly well and menus are fairly responsive.

There is one specific issue I ran into with the scaling that I did want to point out however.  Given that "How the main menu, game menu, thread view and compose screens look and work.  These are somewhat, but not completely, finished.", I don't know if it's a known issue.  So if it is, please feel free to ignore.

I took a few screenshots to demonstrate the issues, as I figured that would be easier than describing them.

The first two were on a tablet, using Amazon's Silk browser, at a resolution of 2560x1600.  A bit of overlap between the right side navigation menu and the text formatting tools in the message posting screen and in the post preview screen the same issue with the curly graphics.

http://i63.tinypic.com/692o02.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/11imwz6.jpg

The second trio were taken on a phone, using Microsoft's Edge browser, at a resolution of 1440 x 2560.

You can see the same issue with the same design elements in the post and post preview screen, but they're a bit more severe in terms of blocking other elements of the site.  The first shot shows the way the post message screen is initially presented.

http://i63.tinypic.com/11l4h03.jpg

The second two show the entirety once it has been pinched and zoomed out to show the elements that are initially off screen.

http://i63.tinypic.com/692o02.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/11imwz6.jpg


Generally the direction of the beta seems to be going in a positive direction, whether via desktop or mobile.  I think in the end it will be rather worthwhile.
Gaffer
 member, 1453 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 13:04
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
...love about the current style is that poster info is on the side rather than injected between messages. It is one of the best things about the current design.

I will go ahead and add my voice on this issue. Especially as a GM, it's very helpful to be able to look over a previous post (or two) without a lot of scrolling.
Shannara
 moderator, 3720 posts
 Keep calm, drink more
 COFFEE!!!!
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 14:28
Re: New site design
icosahedron152:
I don't like the way you now have to click on Your Games, Games you Watch, etc, to bring up sub-menus. Currently the Main Menu is just there, and I can see at a glance all of the games and forums I use, and whether there are any new posts. I would rather have them all on one page even if I have to scroll to read them. Scrolling is easier than clicking in and out of sub-menus on any device.


Definitely agree with this.  If there must be submenus, I'm a big fan of allowing them to be stickied open or closed with that setting saved.
pdboddy
 member, 521 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 14:47
Re: New site design
I have found a slight issue.

When you are in a game, and click on "Character Details", there seems to be an invisible layer that covers the menu buttons.  The "View Profile of:" dropdown menu overlaps the game's menu.  And you can only click the bottom three buttons in full, to click the others, you have to touch the very right edge of the buttons to click on them.

EDIT: Also, I cannot find the RTJ text anywhere in the game menu.  I can edit the RTJ text, but I see no link to it other than the GM menu.

This message was last edited by the user at 14:49, Sun 09 Apr 2017.

jase
 admin, 3550 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 01:28
Re: New site design
Thanks all for your input.  It doesn't look like the same 50/50 split that voted on the recent poll frequent here!

A few points of clarification;

  • Menu placement, drop down (or other) menus aren't done.  Especially on screens I've listed as not finished.  Some screens I haven't even touched, so things will overlap, run off the side or just be messy.
  • There's no submenu on the main menu.  There's links and anchors to games you own etc, but that's the same grouping that's currently here.  Possibly worded slightly but we're not at the stage where we need to worry about wording.
  • The links have shuffled around and are currently in their "I'll pop it here for now" location (or possibly forgotten entirely).
  • The changing "Private to" dropdown is the same as here -- if the list gets too long it changes from a standard HTML dropdown list to a CSS menu.  Replying to a thread can trim out a lot of extra information as it removes all invalid recipients (i.e. who can't see the group).  The CSS hasn't been updated so will be all weird.
  • The current test theme is based off the "white" theme from here (which is grey with some blue really).  So if you're using a different theme here then it'll obviously be different, more so if you're using a dark theme.
  • I won't be developing an app.  I see no point when we'll have a fully responsive website.


And some more verbose stuff;

I've seen "mobile first" mentioned a few times (ok, all over the place) with web design and I've seen it mean different things.  Design wise I take it to mean you figure out how you'll render it for mobiles and then adapt it for larger screens, and technically I've seen it referred to as having the design default to mobile layout and only adapt it to a larger screen when you know the web browser has a larger display.

I don't do either.  I find that a mobile view is, by its very nature, constrained so trying to design from there doesn't make sense.  Strictly speaking I design desktop first, but I like steelsmiter's "mobile also" mantra.  RPoL is currently a desktop first environment and I'm adapting from there, so I'm editing from what we've currently got.  To delete the whole lot makes little sense to me, so I'm definitely starting from a desktop-centric view.  But once that's done it's a case of figuring out how I want it to look on a mobile, not what the current view will let me do.  Then I consider if the current layout can be made to adapt down to the view I want, and if not then I reconsider what I want or figure out if I can make a compromise for either environment to make it work.

Thread views -- I'm pretty sure the way thread views adapt down has to stay the way it's currently planned.  Vertical width is the nemesis of small devices, so trying to cram the post information to the side strikes me as working directly against one of the inherit advantages of responsive design.

Have run out of time, hopefully I've addressed all issues.  Thanks again one and all!
steelsmiter
 member, 1708 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 01:51
Re: New site design
jase:
I like steelsmiter's "mobile also" mantra.

*bows* "I am not wuhthy!"
Mad Mick
 member, 889 posts
 Ain't sayin nothin
 Got nothin to say
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 10:58
Re: New site design
It would be nice to have an option to move the main menu to the left.  That's what I expect in sites, and it feels counter-intuitive to have the menu on the right.  It is out of the way of game threads, though, so maybe offer that option if possible.

The font sizes on the GM menu seem too small.  Maybe two columns?
swordchucks
 member, 1363 posts
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 13:31
Re: New site design
To be blunt, I don't come to RPOL for the layout - I come for the functionality.  As long as the new design keeps all of the functionality I need and maybe even adds some more, I'll be happy with it.  Six months after the change, I'll probably have forgotten what the old design looked like.  That's probably true for the majority of users.

For usage, I mostly write from a PC, but read posts on mobile quite often.  The deal killer for mobile are features you have to hover your mouse over (which happens now with spoiler tags, but they're used relatively rarely).

Looking at a few test posts in the new system, I agree that menus on the right feel a little weird, but, then again, I use those buttons a whole lot less than I use the game menu so maybe that's alright.  I've gotten pretty used to the "three column" look where the important content is in the middle.  The only other thing I found odd is the way portraits are placed in posts feels... weird.  It's more disconnected from the rest of the info, kind of hanging out distantly on its own to the right of the text, when I look at it.

On mobile, I actually like the shifted thread layout to do headers over posts.  It makes it easier to fit it on a small screen.  When I was looking at it, though, portraits aren't shown, though that might just be an option I'm missing somewhere.
jase
 admin, 3551 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 00:25
Re: New site design
I tried the menu on the left, it looked really lop sided and odd when viewing threads.  You'd have the menu, then the post information, and finally the actual post text all the way to the right.  With the menu on the right the post text is close to centralised.

swordchucks:
Six months after the change, I'll probably have forgotten what the old design looked like.  That's probably true for the majority of users.

I suspect you might be right.
Mad Mick
 member, 890 posts
 Ain't sayin nothin
 Got nothin to say
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 03:21
Re: New site design
Ah, no worries, Jase.  I haven't seen too many sites that have a menu on the right, but I'll probably get used to it as swordchucks said.

I used to access RPOL on my iPod touch more.  I'd pull up the day's threads before I left for work and compose posts on the ride into the office, and do the same thing when leaving.  After about two years of 2-3 multiple paragraph posts a day, I stopped posting my iPod's screen and bought a Bluetooth keyboard for posting in coffee shops.  I still do that, but probably 80% of my posts are via desktop now, and 98% are with a full keyboard.

Now that Google Chrome has brought back the option to save posts to read offline, I read more posts using my iPod.

The biggest beef I have with the current site is the tendency to stretch out lines of text really far when large images are used in a thread.  The thread looks fine on desktop, but the words are too small on mobile.  It would be nice to have the images resized automatically on mobile to fit the width of the screen, but that may be beyond the scope of the new site.  Awesome!  It looks like this has changed, on desktop anyway for both desktop and mobile!  Thank you!  This is a huge improvement!

It's especially an issue when rereading old adventure threads.  Usually it's ok, but every now and then a large image forces the text to stretch too far across the screen.

This message was last edited by the user at 03:27, Tue 11 Apr 2017.

jase
 admin, 3552 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 05:15
Re: New site design
You've obviously picked up a little on what oversized images do, but there's actually more;

As you've seen image that's wider than the viewport will get shrunk down.  What's not there yet is that all images (it's an all or nothing option) will have a "lightbox" (see https://www.w3schools.com/howto/howto_js_lightbox.asp for an example).  That way shrunk images can easily be viewed in all their glory.

Additionally, tables will be constrained to the width of the message window.  Any wider and they'll scroll left-right.  Currently really wide tables make you scroll the page horizontally, going forward you'll only scroll the table.  No messing up the entire thread 'cos of one over-wide image or table.
nauthiz
 member, 515 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 05:57
Re: New site design
jase:
No messing up the entire thread 'cos of one over-wide image or table.


This is pretty much the thing that makes (in my experience) the experience of using the current design on mobile go from "a bit of work, but functional" to "totally broken" when encountered.

So it's awesome to hear it'll be done away with in the new design.
swordchucks
 member, 1365 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 15:28
Re: New site design
While I'm thinking about it...

My #1 wish for a site design tweak is to make the games listing on the front page more controllable or a single list.  With the current format, I tend to have exactly one game that slips into the right column with the forums and I miss posting in it all the time because I don't think to look over there when I'm looking for games to post in.

Letting me have all of my games in one list, or just to forcibly group my games together in blocks would make my experience a little better.  (I didn't check to see if the new design already addresses this or not, but since it's still influx, it's probably still a good idea to mention it.)
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1117 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 21:40
Re: New site design
I started this post last night and didn't get to post it. I think some of these points have been brought up but here it is anyway.

Mad Mick, I must disagree. The menus should not be on the side, especially not if they are treated as a frame. As a frame they rarely work, usually hiding stuff off screen or under the frame (makes d20pfsrd painful to use on a small mobile, lists and sidebars are always half hidden).

Even when such side menus work (like when the framed page is truly a single column with a clean design), or when using a desktop, it makes the page look busy and messy.

When it isn't a frame, then once you scroll below the menus, you get a busy center column with blank space on the sides.

One of the great things about the current design is that it is truly limited to two column (the post info on left, and message on right), but also that there is no side frame.

Jase has, in the current look, managed to avoid making the pages look overly busy, thus maintaining readability. This stems from the combination of minimizing the stuff between messages, the fact that plenty of "white space" exists throughout, and particularly in the appropriate places, and finally, the simplicity of stacking vertically.

Even two column us hard to get the readability right, though the current design managed it quite well, mostly because the left column is mostly whitespace and has no primary content and the difference in color separates the two well. Also, zooming in to look at only one column at a time is possible.

Looking more like the popular styles is a bad thing. I can see how such styles sound nice, especially in trying to pack the maximum amount of stuff on screen at once, but that doesn't make those styles work well for the one reading them.
byzantinex
 member, 93 posts
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 21:42
Re: New site design
Jase, I know you've got a life and job and everything (priories man?! :D j/k) and I know these projects don't have fixed timelines, but do you have any concept of a delivery date for the responsive site design? Are you thinking a few months? 6 months? A year?

This message was last edited by the user at 21:43, Tue 11 Apr 2017.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1118 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 04:18
Re: New site design
swordchucks:
To be blunt, I don't come to RPOL for the layout - I come for the functionality.
 ...


Interesting. I'm the opposite actually. I come to rpol for the readability, which is primarily about layout. And if you think about it, I come here to read, so reading should be easy. *

Rpol has a clean look that is easy to read, has a dark theme which is easier on the eyes, and one of very few cases where two columns can actually be better than one and does it well.

Nearly all forums I see are cramped and pack in lots of stuff where it shouldn't be and all around are confusing to read and painful to sort through especially three column sites (which seem to be a semi-standard of sorts), hence, I avoid them when I can. In fact, only rpol and one other site are clean and easy enough to read that I actually spend time for fun rather than research or work.

Would be nice if rpol used square brackets instead of angle brackets, but as that is mostly a keyboard issue (square brackets are easier to get to, or equally difficult to get to, as angle brackets on all android keyboards I've used), I don't know how common that is all around.


* PS. I can get around any functionality issues, but not so for readability.

This message was last edited by the user at 04:20, Wed 12 Apr 2017.

Sir Swindle
 member, 195 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 12:51
Re: New site design
I'm with Hitomi,

This is my primary RP site because there are no flashy bits and it looks enough like a spread sheet that I'm fine keeping it on screen at work.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15325 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 13:10
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
Would be nice if rpol used square brackets instead of angle brackets, but as that is mostly a keyboard issue (square brackets are easier to get to, or equally difficult to get to, as angle brackets on all android keyboards I've used), I don't know how common that is all around.

There was once an rPoll on that very topic.  The results were:

Angled brackets, like HTML -- <b>bold</b>   62.1% - (235 Votes)
Whatever!!                                  28.5% - (108 Votes)
Square brackets, like UBBC -- [b]bold[/b]    9.2% - (35 Votes)


So that's what we have.
swordchucks
 member, 1367 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 13:51
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
I'm the opposite actually. I come to rpol for the readability, which is primarily about layout.

I'm definitely not saying that readability isn't a factor (and generally consider it an aspect of functionality since that's the basic function of the site), but the thing that sets RPOL apart from a forum or pretty much anything else out there is the functionality.

I also consider being able to do your own robust themes to be a part of functionality.

DarkLightHitomi:
Would be nice if rpol used square brackets instead of angle brackets, but as that is mostly a keyboard issue (square brackets are easier to get to, or equally difficult to get to, as angle brackets on all android keyboards I've used), I don't know how common that is all around.

You can use square brackets for most tags, but being able to use them for colours would definitely be nice.

The problem with rPoll results is that it's limited to the people that a) notice the poll and b) answer the poll.  I'd rather see both work, to be honest, since what's easy for me will vary by input device (my bluetooth keyboard is a real avacado about making it hard to do certain special characters).
Skald
 moderator, 767 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 14:09
Re: New site design
swordchucks:
The problem with rPoll results is that it's limited to the people that a) notice the poll and b) answer the poll.

H'mmm - not really.  I'm comfortable assuming a) that those who saw it and chose not to answer would fall into the "don't care either way" category, and b) the preferences of those who didn't see it would be distributed in roughly the same proportions as those who did vote.

Not comfortable assuming that those who didn't vote for whatever reason actually preferred the least popular option.  Not that I've got anything against square brackets. <grins>

But back to the question at hand ... I do very much agree with DarkLightHitomi that many websites try to cram too much in to one screen which results in utter confusion as the eye traverses it.  That white space (or whatever colour space that your particular colour scheme allows) is very important for readability.  On reflection, that's probably why the new look did appeal to me - while there might be less visible threads in the viewing area at one time, the overall look is less cluttered, easier to read and definitely feels right.

Most of the tweaks, I think, are to do with making sure information we rely on (group number, tags) is a) there (ie not gone missing) and b) where we might expect it to best sit.  :>
swordchucks
 member, 1368 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 15:46
Re: New site design
Skald:
Not comfortable assuming that those who didn't vote for whatever reason actually preferred the least popular option.

I didn't mean to imply that.  And... I was going to say some other stuff, but I went and looked at that poll and have the best reason not to bank on it: it's old.  14 years old.  A child born the day that poll closed is going to be in high school next year.  It largely predates phone-posting as a concept and if it's a question we need an answer to, then the poll should be redone.

As for the rest... I agree that keeping a clean, simple layout (or, at least, adding enough customization options that one can easily get a clean, simple layout) is the way to go aesthetically.  Functionality is still my #1, though.
locojedi
 member, 137 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 16:54
Re: New site design
Will the Wikis be integrated into the site now, or still remain sort of a separate beast?
Vinny
 member, 564 posts
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 10:28
Re: New site design
Obviously would be nice if we never had to change but I agree with the necessity and have no real problems with the new interface. Thanks for putting the work in jase :)
Skald
 moderator, 768 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 13:20
Re: New site design
Something else interesting with the polls ... I had a look at the two on age demographics and crunched some numbers:

The first one was in 2003 and had a split ~76% under 30 and ~24% over 30, while at the time of the second one (let's assume 2013 cos that's a nice round decade later vs the obviously wrong date that is showing on it for some reason) that split was ~60% under 30 and ~36% over 30 (the remaining % were not specified).

Which means we have an aging RPoL population (hey, it's not the years, it's the mileage) and the site needs to cater to them ... while we obviously also need to attract new blood and the site needs to cater to them ... <grrrins>

That's obviously simplistic (more over 30's may have joined the site than the number of under 30's have left ... or there's fewer joining now but everyone who's still here is now 10 years older), but it shows the difficulty in trying to design to make everyone happy across generational gaps.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1119 posts
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 21:55
Re: New site design
Where do we find polls anyway?

I agree that a 14 year old poll has likely lost considerable accuracy. Still, making both brackets work would be the ultimate solution.

I also noticed that instead of lines, colored bars are used. I think the lines are better, especially on a small screen.
LoreGuard
 member, 631 posts
Fri 14 Apr 2017
at 01:37
Re: New site design
Any chance to see a variant of the beta site that would point at a read only copy of the current Rpol games. Or offer a game import like in one of your prior versions?

In general I have liked what I have seen.  I have tried flipping my device portrait vs lanscape comparing views and trying to contemplate what might make it better, which seems like there might be something but I haven't been able to put a finger on it yet.

One thing, which I assume just hasn't been touched yet was the formatting controlled under the edit boxes look like they need to be set up to wrap, based on available space so that it doesn't run the page size way right.  (Or might be a menu instead of formatting line if it gets smaller than a certain size.
jase
 admin, 3553 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 03:05
Re: New site design
In reply to LoreGuard (msg # 50):

No, but I can kind of do one better.  http://responsive.rpol.net is this site using the responsive design.  I've just posted this using http://responsive.rpol.net.

http://beta.rpol.net is an isolated testing area, you can do whatever you want there and it doesn't matter.  http://responsive.rpol.net is this site, so whatever you do will affect http://rpol.net.
nauthiz
 member, 516 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 05:15
Re: New site design
It's actually really helpful to be able to look at the same information presented in two different ways.

A few things that jump out immediately.

Is there a way currently to differentiate between a post topic you've read and one you haven't in a specific game/forum?  Not having the image cue to differentiate quickly is a bit disadvantageous in large forums like Community Chat.

Likewise, one of the things I didn't realize I used a lot until it's gone are the number of replies for a given post.  I think the way I most often use it is in the Advertisement forums to tell what's a new game/person looking for something vs an older one still searching/bumping.

In reference to an earlier comment, the image scaling works very very well now that I have a chance to see it in action.  There's a particular thread in one of my games that has several reference images of various sizes posted and always blows up the formatting when accessed on my phone.  The new code allows for a much easier time seeing not only the images but the text that goes along with them as well, so kudos on that.
byzantinex
 member, 94 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 13:28
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 51):

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!! :D :D :D

1) First / Last links don't work, they open at the top of the page.

2) Bottom link doesn't work.

3) Game Menu and Main Menu links in the footer would be really helpful to avoid having to scroll all the way to the top.

Bottom, line SO EXCITED!!! THANK YOU JASE!!!
pdboddy
 member, 522 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 15:03
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 51):

Ooh, this is nice. :)
steelsmiter
 member, 1711 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 15:38
Re: New site design
That's cool, but for some reason, I clicked on deleted games and could not hide them with a second click.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1120 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 23:45
Re: New site design
Definitely nice to look around a populated site with the new look. Can't wait for dark though since I dislike light themes.

#   I still dislike having meta-post info stuffed between posts.

#   It would be nice if we could manually dictate the page width and then possibly zoom in/out.

I haven't been able to look on a desktop (mine doesn't have internet), but A) I like smaller text and manually setting size with zoom seems a good way to get just the right width and text size for me, and done right, it would do the same for everyone with one tool, B) I always hate how on my desktop I can't look at text files fullscreen without fiddling around with font sizes because having each line of text be 3-4 sentances long actually makes reading difficult even if the font size itself is reasonable to read. So making the page width manually overrideable could be beneficial to everyone.

#   I don't like the drop down menus, though I suspect they are a required evil in this case, I'd love for those suspicions to be proven groundless.

#   The page numbers at the bottom of the screen are stacked vertically for some reason, and each seems to have a really tall click box making the entire set about two screens tall (in landscape view, my preferred view).

Also, as screen size goes down, the larger those numbers should be (perhaps put in boxes). Modern touchscreens are less accurate than old ones (my pocket pc could accurately register a touch within a pixel of where I clicked, every single touch, which is impossible on modern screens), especially when people use fingers, and this makes it harder to click on a single character without accidently clicking on either of the adjacent characters.

It doesn't come up often for me, but when it does, I have to zoom in real close so I can click on the page number I want accurately.
swordchucks
 member, 1369 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 12:49
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
#   I still dislike having meta-post info stuffed between posts.

I'm only experiencing this on my phone, not my PC.  I like it on my phone since I'm not having to zoom as much to read posts.  However, if there was a "force" option in user setting somewhere, that might be the best of both worlds.

As a real item, it took me entirely too long to figure out that "Post a new topic" at the bottom of the thread is actually the "post a reply" button.
pdboddy
 member, 523 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 14:26
Re: New site design
In reply to swordchucks (msg # 57):

Well, now I know how to reply to a thread...
byzantinex
 member, 95 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 14:39
Re: New site design
In reply to pdboddy (msg # 58):

That made me nervous, b/c I think if the subject is different it makes a whole new thread?

I've just been hitting reply to the last message and deleting the "in reply to" text. :D

Either way, I've been using the responsive.rpol.net site exclusively since jase made the above announcement and I love it!
Luctius
 member, 9 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 15:26
Re: New site design
For some reason, the thread name and post number stick more out in this design, for me atleast.
In addition, on the pc, I don't like how the side menu shrinks the available message area, since that is the main purpose of this site I would make rather have the menu harder to reach than shrink the message area to about 1/3rd of the screen. Having the message area run until the end of what the header is now would create a better balance in my opinion.

That said, I think it looks good. (firefox: 1900x1080).

This message was last edited by the user at 15:31, Mon 17 Apr 2017.

LoreGuard
 member, 632 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 21:58
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 51):

This is really nice being able look at the established games from this view (the new one)!

I agree that something to make the threads stand out which have new messages in them would be great.  (could be an icon such as the fireball or could be something like underlining, bolding, or anything like that to make it stand out.)

I also noticed the view all option for a thread has appeared to have vanished, will that be coming back at some point?  It was very helpful for searching threads for things.

Question: would it be reasonable for a user preference that would force the layout to use the template for the narrowest screen for the header (having all the menus iconized at the top) and force the space underneath to be the two column with poster info the left and information on the right if someone liked that formatting? Sort of a Legacy layout option?

p.s.
When the Main menu turns into a dropdown (semi-iconized), it seems like its options don't work, is that just me?

This message was last edited by the user at 22:01, Mon 17 Apr 2017.

locojedi
 member, 141 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 23:51
Re: New site design
So... apparently I'm going to have to just get a newer phone. My old phone is a ruggedized stallion and I'm loathe to give it up because it's been through everything and keeps on tickin'. But I'm unable to upgrade the firmware nor upgrade the built in browser (firefox) it's an old android phone (G'Zone Casio). I also have tried using the new site design in Operamini which I was able to download and get working. My problem seems to be with menus in general and drop-downs or graphics buttons. The menu either opens with the page in full, blocking all the content (most annoying is the menu hides the input boxes for login and password.

Also, there are other issues. For example, when looking at a game, only the first thread in a topic is displayed, no others. In Opera mini, only the text links work, anything with a button or an image is unresponsive. It makes further testing nearly impossible.

Is there a chance, when you're finished with the responsive upgrade, to point it to rpol.net, and have the old layout still available at something like old.rpol.net? Since you're doing just the opposite now for testing purposes, it seems like that ought to be a possibility. That way those of us who prefer the old site layout could still use it, and it would deprecate well on older hardware and devices...

I don't mean to be negative or sound whiny. I had a strong feeling that my phone wouldn't handle more modern layouts. I just don't want to have to give up the best darn cell phone I've ever owned! ;-) I fully realize I'm in the minority. Perhaps I *AM* the minority, and that's ok, I'm not one to stand in the way of progress. This new site isn't the only one that breaks badly on my device.

BTW, I'm typing this on the computer, and on the PC (Linux), it's working just fine. I see a couple of the issues others have pointed out, but I'm not getting anything different from what they have on the PC. The smatrphon is a totally different story though.

Also, can screen-shots be posted in this forum by linking them off-site? Maybe if I showed what I'm seeing it would be easier to understand.
jase
 admin, 3554 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 18 Apr 2017
at 01:12
Re: New site design
Did I mentioned the site's really really unfinished and stuff will be broken/missing all over the place?  You're mostly seeing the framework for how the site will look/function as a whole, no one page is done.  So if something doesn't work anywhere then it needs attention.  If something specific doesn't work on one particular page then it probably hasn't been done yet.

LoreGuard:
p.s.
When the Main menu turns into a dropdown (semi-iconized), it seems like its options don't work, is that just me?

Now that is something that should work everywhere.  I'd actually noticed it too but wasn't sure if it was my phone.  Thanks for that, should now work (might need to do a deep refresh to get the new CSS).


That said I've also fixed the missing "new message" icon as well as the "bottom" link (plus new/last links from the game menu).


Can have an "old" website but it'll be stuck in time at the current version.  As things get added to the functionality to the site it won't be updated to reflect these changes.  Some things could just be a visual oddity but others could break entirely (e.g. if the back-end database schema changes significantly).  As much as I don't want to alienate anyone I can't really do nothing because of ancient phones, browsers or operating systems that the manufacture no longer supports.
LoreGuard
 member, 633 posts
Tue 18 Apr 2017
at 15:35
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 63):

I've noticed in several cases the User/Account icon seems to be lower than it should be.  I first noticed it on the front screen when I wasn't logged in, then also noticed it showing up now even when logged in.  Only seems to be a problem when it is the icon. (so narrower layout)

I also noticed that in the Rmail screen, the thread details looks messed up, it takes up multiple lines, but each row doesn't appear to expand size to fit the data, and the data doesn't use up the horizontal space it is given.  The private messages screen looks much better, so I suspect the rmail one just hasn't but updated yet.

However, I will note that since the Private Messages screen has numerous columns, its width is important.  One the screen I just looked at I noticed that comment data runs over into the (this game) menu, appearing to overwrite some of it.

At least based on teh current layout, the horizontal space seems important, you might potentially consider having it fold the side menu items up sooner (or might need to work up a different layout from the table, potentially multi-line list?)

Basically for the Private Messages screen, I like the layout with side menu at the max size, but probably would feel like is should switch to the drop down menus at the top somewhere close to half the size difference that it currently takes to get there.  At least that is my initial reaction/feedback.

If instead, the messages screens are going to look more like the main game thread screens, it seems like there is extra lines between the thread name and the details information, as well as following the thread details information.

Wondering, for the narrowest layout, I'm wondering if, although it might not be the most efficient use of space, I'm wondering if you indented the post information just a small distance, for instance the normal paragraph indent distance, if it might give a visual cue not related to coloration on what parts are posting.  [that is just a thought to throw out there, still contemplating merit myself]

At first I was going to ask that if in the narrowest framework, would it be possible to have the "(GM, # posts)" and the "Profile|Info|Rolls" floated over to the right, similar to how "quote | reply | edit |delete" are floated in the main post?  However, then I looked at a different thread, and realized that is where the images are, so that explains that a lot.  However, I wonder if it would be possible to in the narrowest layout, if it would be possible to have it only display the name, GM/player #posts and time information and Image, but if someone clicks in that metabox, have it open a menu, displaying the Bio information at the top of the menu, and the different items like profile, info, and rolls as options that would take them to those specific locations?

Actually, in all the layouts, could you float the msg ## over to the right above the "quote | reply | edit |delete" links in the main post part?  (but in the same small font)



P.s. - Just tried replying to a thread where I am a GM and I noticed it forced me to type a new subject.  It seemed to not pick up the default subject from the prior message.

p.p.s. - Just verified, it is when you do the Post a Reply from the This Thread menu that it behaves that way, clicking on the reply link in a specific post does seem to pull in the Subject from the post.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:01, Tue 18 Apr 2017.

ninthbit
 member, 697 posts
 Steampunk Advocate
 My profile has goodies
Thu 20 Apr 2017
at 19:48
Suggestion
If I could make a suggestion...  Adding an "apple-touch-icon" would be a nice addition.  When the site is saved to the launcher, it's not getting an icon.

I already have one here if you just want to copy it:
http://www.evilknights.com/rpol/apple-touch-icon.png

The site just needs a simple tag, eg:
[Link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="http://responsive.rpol.net/apple-touch-icon.png" /]
jase
 admin, 3556 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 12:11
Re: New site design
LoreGuard:
P.s. - Just tried replying to a thread where I am a GM and I noticed it forced me to type a new subject.  It seemed to not pick up the default subject from the prior message.

I'm actually thinking about removing the subject for each post.  98.1054444205959% (can you tell I've crunched the numbers?) of the time the subject is left unchanged so I'm thinking it's pretty redundant/pointless.

ninthbit (and yay for non-standard html!) has quite inconveniently contradicted me, but on those rare occasions that you do need some sort of title then there's a few ways to do that.  (c;
ninthbit
 member, 698 posts
 Steampunk Advocate
 My profile has goodies
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 21:53
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 66):

To be fair, I only put in a subject because I'm using the responsive site (loving it) and it made me put in a subject.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1127 posts
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 02:16
Re: New site design
I agree with removing the subject or perhaps making it optional. Actually, making it optional would be nice because then, instead of some small thing that impedes readability, it can remain unseen most of the time, but then be used as a heading when appropriate, such as during transitions from one scene or topic, or to note change in date when the story leaps ahead, or similar uses. Not that it is needed to do that but it could be used that way.
Skald
 moderator, 769 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 04:44
Re: New site design
+1 for removing subject.  Name the new thread once and then don't need it again.

With 98% of subjects never changing from the original title, I don't think it'd even be worth making it optional - as jase said, you can always begin a particular post with formatted text to denote the transition, eg:

Round 4

In the Temple

Stardate 2259.55

Or any/all of the above:

Stardate 2259.55 - In the Temple - Round 4
bigbadron
 moderator, 15345 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 05:57
Re: New site design
-1 for removing the subject.

If it's removed, will somebody also go back and edit in the little piece of formatted text in every post where I had previously changed the subject to denote a change of location, a new combat round, or incremental in-game time information?

eg: Round 3 round up to Round 4 round up.

eg: Dinomn/Lanth (0302) Date: 316-1107 13:05 becoming Dinomn/Lanth (0302) Date: 316-1107 13:20 then later switching to Dinomn/Lanth (0302) Date: 316-1107 13:30.

Or will older posts retain the subject line, while new ones have to do without it?

It's like the bio lines, they're essentially useless, except that some people found a use for them (displaying ongoing character information next to their posts).  Will they also be removed because they're "redundant/pointless"?

Keep the subject line - it is used in some games (including some very long-running ones).
Skald
 moderator, 771 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 06:09
Re: New site design
... I HATE backwards compatibility !  <grins>

A goodly point.

Depending on how the database is set up (and only jase knows that), it might be possible to do a one-off datafix to merge the old subject with the post.

Simple IF test (pardon my pseudocode) -> If NewSubject <> Old Subject then ThisPost = Bold(NewSubject) + NewLine + ThisPost

Could claw back a little bit disk space.  :>

Or if the database structure doesn't lend itself to that then making Subject optional might be our solution.
Flarelord
 member, 363 posts
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 12:30
Re: New Site Design
Huh,I just found this, and am trying to post this response from the responsive site.

Anyway, interesting design. I have a few minor requests/curiosities: A) When i went to click Post a Reply, I had to go all the way back to the top of the page to do so :D  I kind of liked the permanent fixed header/footer, but that probably can't work with a 'responsive' site. 2) Similarly, I like full/adaptive width, like RPOL currently has, and I'm curious if that's an option, at all.  I think it might be... managable to get used to, but yeah. It's not going to be easy... I am not really a fan of the right hand sidebar full of buttons/functions.

Fortunately, at least it seems to work alright from my PS4, which is where I do half my posting (yay USB Keyboard)

Oddity: The Subject line was blank when I entered this page, and I got an Error! Please enter a subject. I wrote in the Re: New Site Design as it should be. Let's see how that works...
swordchucks
 member, 1385 posts
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 15:18
Subjects and Sidebars
Alright, so I'd mainly messed with this on my phone, where the layout is very different.  As some are suggesting in this thread, I'm now posting a reply to this thread using the responsive site on my desktop :)

Anyway, having "post a reply" at the top right of a long thread isn't great.  I'd like to have a "post a reply" button down on the bottom where I am when I get done reading the thread.

The second item is the subject.  Would it be possible to do it the way that gmail does it and have it an option, but by default it goes to the last thing?  I do think it's useful to have posts be an option, but it's also something that only gets edited maybe 10% of the time, overall, so taking the focus off of it is probably fine.
LoreGuard
 member, 634 posts
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 14:48
Subjects and Sidebars
Doing away with Subject! ?

But that was another 'game' in one of my game's OOC; to see how long it would take before people would notice that the subject had changed.  Made for some funny OOC conversations in that game.  How will we ever have fun in games.... oh... yeah... playing... sorry got side-tracked.

Anyway, I understand why some feel it is redundant, but I know it has been useful at times in games, and like BBR says, it would certainly be a loss to old game information unless there was some sort of accommodation to get that data back somehow.

Making it optional seems to certainly be the most flexible option, but I'd also understand how being optional might seem like too much coding work, but if considered viable, it seems like the better option.  It might be less work than trying to recover old subject data.

I do agree however, that when it isn't changing, it shouldn't really need to take up extra space on the screen since that can at time be a massive premium in cases like phones, and of course if possible, saving space in the database would be good too.  (although that space might not be able to be saved if it is an optional with a fixed width field)
Utsukushi
 member, 1415 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 16:48
Subjects and Sidebars
I am also a -1 on removing the Subject - mainly because we just thought of a use for it last night.  So, um, no, in my prior however-many-years-on-RPoL, I haven't used it and rarely even look at it, I agree.

But the new Chill system has this thing tracking a line of light and dark tokens, which the GM or players can `flip' to get various advantages or activate certain abilities.  And the only convenient place I can think to put that on RPoL, where everyone could see it, use it, and track it continually throughout a thread... is the Subject line, where it would work perfectly.

Now, obviously, that's a single system, it's new, and it's probably not worth writing a new feature for.  But it might be worth keeping an already-existing feature for.  Especially when it's such an open-ended feature as the Subject Line, where people can put all kinds of things.  I'm sure there are other games where it could be helpful.

...But having not seen a use for it until just now.. well, yeah, it could probably be optional.  Or, as Swordchucks says, only show when it changes.  That actually seems pretty ideal.  Sort of automatically brings it in if people are using it, and automatically lets it fade away if they aren't.  And draws attention to it when it changes, if, say, the GM is using it to track time-and-date, for example.
Flarelord
 member, 369 posts
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 16:59
Subjects and Sidebars
My only issue with Subject is that having to retype the subject as you currently need to is incredibly inconvenient, if you don't mean to change it.  :D  This is likely a minor oversight and not a real issue. I'm all for keeping editable subject, but I just want it to default to the last reply's subject as it does on the normal site atm :D Again, probably just an oversight, I was mentioning the issue in case it was unnoticed.
Skald
 moderator, 774 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 11:57
Subjects and Sidebars
Pretty sure (in the 99.9999 etc percentile confidence range) that the current blank subject on the responsive site is one of the many things that haven't been done yet.  :>

Looks like we're leaning towards an optional line, though, which I think would result in the box being left blank deliberately.  Compulsory to fill it in for the first post in a new thread (cos that's going to be the new thread's title in the game menu), and after that, it's optional.

I see this as showing the subject on the first post and on any subsequent posts where someone types the subject in, EG

Post 1 - INITIAL SUBJECT  compulsory
Post 2 - <no subject>  subject field left blank
Post 3 - <no subject>  subject field left blank
Post 4 - NEW SUBJECT  shows on Post 4 header only
Post 5 - <no subject>  subject field left blank

Again, a data fix may be possible to tidy up old posts by iterating through all the posts and deleting a subject if it's the same as the previous post, so it drills down to the unique subject headings ... but that might take a while - we have a lot of historical post data.  Might end up just drawing a line and starting from then.  Assuming the optional subject option gets voted up and is possible.

Personally I don't need subject beyond thread title, but optional subject will produce nearly the same result (players can still type in subject in my nice tidy threads if they want to, but I'll try to control my OCD) so I can live with that.  :>
Utsukushi
 member, 1417 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 15:48
Subjects and Sidebars
For what I see it being useful for, it has to copy down automatically from the last post, like it does now. (Well, like it does now on the real RPoL, I mean, not the way it doesn't currently on the responsive site, obviously.)  So if we want it optional, I'd suggest maybe when a Thread is first created, there be, like, a "Persistent Subject?" tickbox next to it, or something.  That way if there IS a Subject, it continues to work the way it always has and the way people will expect it to, but if you don't want it, you can make it go away.
horus
 member, 126 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 15:57
Re: Subjects and Sidebars
Skald:
{snipped:  stuff I'm not replying to}

I see this as showing the subject on the first post and on any subsequent posts where someone types the subject in, EG

Post 1 - INITIAL SUBJECT  compulsory
Post 2 - <no subject>  subject field left blank
Post 3 - <no subject>  subject field left blank
Post 4 - NEW SUBJECT  shows on Post 4 header only
Post 5 - <no subject>  subject field left blank


Post 4- NEW SUBJECT shows on Post 4 header and header of all subsequent replies to Post 4 presently.  Are you aiming to change that?

The Subject field is a rudimentary organizational tool that I'd sorely miss were it removed.
Low Key
 member, 224 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 16:31
Re: Subjects and Sidebars
quote:
For what I see it being useful for, it has to copy down automatically from the last post, like it does now. (Well, like it does now on the real RPoL, I mean, not the way it doesn't currently on the responsive site, obviously.)


I'm posting this from the responsive site, and the subject behaves like it always used to for me.
I hit 'reply', the subject line is populated, and I can either leave it (which I've done) or I could change it if I wanted.

I use the 'reply' link in the top corner of a message, rather than the 'reply to this thread' from the drop down menu. Both out of habit, and because once I've scrolled all the way down to the bottom to read the latest post I don't want to scroll all the way back to the top, to open a menu, to pick an option when I can just hit the link that's right here for me.
LoreGuard
 member, 635 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 19:53
Re: Subjects and Sidebars
Flarelord:
My only issue with Subject is that having to retype the subject as you currently need to is incredibly inconvenient, if you don't mean to change it.  :D  This is likely a minor oversight and not a real issue...

At present, from my experience, if you click on the Reply (or quote like this) link inside a specific post, it carries the subject line through for you automatically.  Clicking on the Post a reply on the side does seem to behave the other way, however, as you mention.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:58, Wed 26 Apr 2017.

LoreGuard
 member, 636 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 20:16
Maps and Images
Question, would there potentially be inclusion/use of SVG tags and options in our maps or images?

I've seen how it can be used to generate an 'imagespace' and I'm wondering if it might open up a possibility to have a feature that could be developed to allow the GM or potentially even players to specify locations on a map for their 'official rpol profile picture' to be overlay-ed on the base map image instead of the gm having to re-create the image each time there is movement.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1132 posts
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 06:11
Maps and Images
What are svg tags?
Skald
 moderator, 775 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 13:48
Maps and Images
<readreadread> Which gives us three variations on the theme:

1) Persistent Subject - as now (or we could call it Compulsory Subject)

2) Thread title only - Subject only appears on first post

3) Optional Subject - Compulsory for first post, field blanked and only shown in subsequent post headers when completed


Which can be done by adding |X| Persistent subject check box on first post and having optional subject field.


For 1) tick Persistent subject and for subsequent posts, subject field is prefilled with last subject and is compulsory.

For 2) don't tick Persistent subject and for subsequent posts, subject field is not prefilled and left blank and therefore doesn't show in post headers.

For 3) don't tick Persistent subject and for subsequent posts, subject field is not prefilled and only completed when you want a new subject header to appear on a post.

Covers both existing and proposed new functionality.  Also means that existing threads stay exactly as they are now, with no data conversion necessary.

I'd vote for that !  ;>


SVG tags ... if it helps, Mr Google says that "SVG is a language for describing 2D graphics in XML. Canvas draws 2D graphics, on the fly (with a JavaScript). SVG is XML based, which means that every element is available within the SVG DOM. You can attach JavaScript event handlers for an element."  Whatever that means.  But I'm thinking that won't be supported as RPoL has deliberately stayed away from Javascript.
horus
 member, 129 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 21:01
Maps and Images
In reply to Skald (msg # 84):

Wow... and here I'd thought that SVG stood for Scaleable Vector Graphics such as are produced by InkScape, Visio, Abode Illustrator, etc.

I had no idea this was being accomplished within an XML framework.  If it's XML another scripting language (such as PHP or Perl) could be used to do the scripting.  I don't think anything ties us to Javascript (except maybe predefined libraries that might make it easier.)

I gotta go dig on this now - it might solve another problem I've been working on.

UPDATE:  Potentially Useful Link:
Add the Graphics Power of SVG to PHP

Thanks!

This message was last edited by the user at 21:34, Thu 27 Apr 2017.

jase
 admin, 3558 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Fri 28 Apr 2017
at 06:12
Maps and Images
I'm not keen on making an option on how the subject behaves.  An option for under 2% utilisation seems like a waste.  If we can't agree that the subject is optional (or redundant) then I'd say it'll have to stay as mandatory.  Personally I have nothing against having a subject, I just don't see why we have to Re:iterate it adnauseum!

As for SVG, yes they are Scaleable Vector Graphics.  Yes they are, underneath, XML.  But everything's something under the hood.  They're a great way of having a dynamically sized image.  Inside the XML you might say "there's a line that's 100 pixels in length" but when you render you can make it twice as large or twice as small, and it'll draw the line as either 200 or 50 pixels.  It doesn't resize the image, it recalculates how the entire image is rendered, and I think that's the power of SVGs.

They're more orientated around geometrical shapes and so do have some limitations on what you can draw with them, but they're very powerful (and normally very efficient).

If you're on the responsive site you're seeing one already up the top left -- the impossible cube.  Visit http://responsive.rpol.net/images/impossible_cube.svg, the image will be huge (but it's scaleable, remember) but view the source and you'll see only 39 lines of XML.  That's the entire image and I can make it 100 pixels wide or 10,000 without any loss in fidelity.
Skald
 moderator, 776 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 29 Apr 2017
at 04:57
Maps and Images
Subject: h'mmm ... since we can do our own quasi-subject heading with bold/underline,
I guess it comes down to how those existing posts that do have different subjects would be handled - could a data conversion be done to format them appropriately and tack them on to the related post ?

SVG: <grrins> Mr Google thanks you, horus.  I of course know nothing about 'em !  ;>
LoreGuard
 member, 637 posts
Mon 1 May 2017
at 17:15
Maps and Images
I wasn't just talking about using SVG typed images, which I had presumed already would have been an option, but was wondering if you were considering use of the SVG tag in HTML5.  Not in order to necessarily tie javascript in, but to allow you to use some of its sizing controls, and image drawing aspects within web pages.  [which if you look at my example, there is and example of pulling a PNG image in as a drawn element in the below page.

I wasn't sure how much of HTML5 aspects you were going to consider for use in the new site.  [hence hey I'm asking here]

Also note, the code below would expect to find an example.png file in the same folder as the html file.



<html>
<head>
<style>
body {
    background-color: linen;
}

h1 {
    color: maroon;
    margin-left: 40px;

}
svg circle.art {fill : gold}
svg text { stroke : blue }
svg text.Station { stroke : red }
svg text.Person { stroke : purple}

</style>

</head>
<body>
<svg  xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" version="1.1" width=600 height=600>
<circle class=art cx=300 cy=300 r=250   />
<image height=1403 width= 1073 xlink:href='Example.png' />
<svg x=100 y=100 height=100 width=100>
<circle class=marker cx='50' cy='20' r='10' fill='red' stroke='blue' stroke-width='5'/>
<text Class=Station text-anchor='middle' x=50 y=50 align=center
>Station</text>
<text Class=Person text-anchor='middle' x=50 y=65 align=center
>New Hope</text>
</svg>
</svg>
</body>
</html>
Mad Mick
 member, 894 posts
 Ain't sayin nothin
 Got nothin to say
Thu 11 May 2017
at 09:35
Maps and Images
I've been using the Reply link in the bottom message to post replies in the thread.  I'm on the responsive site and using my iPhone.  I do miss the Reply to Topic button at the bottom of the thread in the current version of RPOL, though.
jase
 admin, 3561 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Thu 11 May 2017
at 11:28
Maps and Images
In reply to Mad Mick (msg # 89):

That'll come.  I've noticed a few functionality annoyances myself.


Regarding SVG, I don't think allowing the XML code for SVG within an actual message (i.e. what you typed actually working) is going to work, there's just so much xml/html there to try and account for an allow.  I think in opening messages up to be able to have SVG would also end up pretty much allowing any xml/html code.  I think good ol' "img src" is still the way to go.
LoreGuard
 member, 640 posts
Mon 5 Jun 2017
at 17:28
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
Two items:

Shouldn't one be able to get to see their old private messages in games they aren't playing in, to review old RTJ or to review old conversations in games you are lurking in?  The private messages menu item doesn't show up in those cases, you only seem to have the ability to create a new thread, or if the link is blue, it will take you to one that they had responded to, but they would have had to respond to have the opportunity to review it.

I find I click on the Impossible Cube image a lot as a shortcut to get back to the main menu, which I like.  I wish there was a similar fast/quick shortcut to get me back to the current game/forum main menu, even in the small display.  Maybe displaying the primary GM's avatar in the top right corner, opposite the impossible cube, for instance might work, just as a potential suggestion, of something that could have a quick link to the game main menu?

Thanks!
Waxahachie
 member, 150 posts
 The horn that wakes
 the sleepers
Mon 12 Jun 2017
at 18:33
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
Overall, I like it.

That said, with the stated goal of bringing in new members to the site, I would think a more prominent placement of Browse/Search games would be helpful. That's all from me!
Mad Mick
 member, 896 posts
 Ain't sayin nothin
 Got nothin to say
Fri 16 Jun 2017
at 04:53
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
I second Waxahachie's recommendation.  Quite a number of new users seem to have trouble figuring out how to find games to join.

I've been using the responsive site a bit, and I love the ability to scale the game threads in whatever size window I choose.

However, I still like the relatively more minimalist look of the current layout.  I can see more on the current screen than I can on the responsive site.  Another website I frequent changed over a few years ago to a responsive layout, and there, too, it has become harder to scan for what I need, and I have to scroll more.

It's OK, just different, and I find that after I use the responsive site for a bit, I switch back over to the original site.  It's great, though, for when I want to compose a post in Notepad.  I can resize the RPOL window and not have to scroll horizontally to read posts while I'm working in Notepad.  That's a nice change.
Samus Aran
 member, 328 posts
 Author, game designer
 Part-time Metroid fighter
Sat 17 Jun 2017
at 02:38
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
The new site looks pretty good! It's a little difficult to adjust, I've been on this one for so many years, but it's gonna be nice. Very slick, modernized, but although things are in different places, all the vital stuff is still there. I'm excited to see this thing go live.

I didn't see it yet, so can I raise that age-old question: with the new site, will it be possible to implement a way to link to specific posts? That's basically the one functionality (besides the reclassification of the portrait system, as I posted about in another thread) that I'm really missing from RPOL. If we can't, we can't, it's certainly not a dealbreaker.

Thanks for all your hard work!
Skald
 moderator, 781 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 17 Jun 2017
at 06:32
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
RPoL already has the ability to link to a specific post.  :>

Here's a link to your msg #94 above as an example:

link to a message in this forum

Syntax is:

http://rpol.net/display.cgi?gi=36224&ti=834&msgpage=&show=all#94

  • gi is game index
  • ti is thread index
  • you can find both gi and ti by opening the specific thread and looking in the address bar in your browser
  • the number right at the end is the message in that thread to which you want to link
  • show=all argument is required otherwise link won't work once thread goes to multiple pages
  • doesn't work if the linked post has been deleted (obviously)


Though I guess it might be nice to have a 'copy link' or just plain 'link' option up there with all the other post options ('quote | reply | edit | delete') to take all the fun hard work out of it.  ;>
Samus Aran
 member, 329 posts
 Author, game designer
 Part-time Metroid fighter
Sat 17 Jun 2017
at 07:34
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
Haha, yes, that's what I would hope for. Best-case scenario is that "msg #95" in the upper right corner also serves as a hyperlink to that particular post. Do you think that sort of function is doable? Would it help if I said "pretty please?" Would it help if I made up and sang you a bardic epic of the land of ice and snow?
accident
 member, 1 post
Sat 29 Jul 2017
at 01:21
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
Fantastic work, it's looking awesome so far! I actually came looking through the forums to suggest a responsive layout - looks like you're 10 steps ahead of me.

A somewhat small thing - a bit of horizontal padding on the text will help improve readability (tested on a phone, text butts right up against the side).
Mad Mick
 member, 901 posts
 The end
 is in the beginning
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 03:47
Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
I find that I'm choosing to bounce between rpol.net and responsive.rpol.net.  The reponsive site is excellent for having the game thread up while I'm composing a post in Notepad and for reading game threads on my phone.  At times on rpol.net, especially if there's an oversized image in a post, the lines stretch out too far to easily read them without scrolling, and the responsive site is so much better in this regard.

However, on my PC and when I'm navigating threads and games on my phone or on my PC, I use the original rpol.net site.  It's probably because it's the most familiar to me, but I can also see more information on the screen at a time without scrolling, and I like that ability, and I don't mind having to zoom in or out to do so.  In the responsive site, there's a ton that's menu-based, which works fine, but it's not quite as convenient as just tapping on the link I want.  I understand the design decision, though.

This message was last edited by the user at 03:48, Fri 04 Aug 2017.

jase
 admin, 3563 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 06:26
Re: Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
Mad Mick:
In the responsive site, there's a ton that's menu-based, which works fine, but it's not quite as convenient as just tapping on the link I want.  I understand the design decision, though.

There's no denying that the current site has a plethora of links conveniently strewn around the page (though not quite logical, some being in opposite corners and all) and we'll lose some of that in the redesign.  Hopefully once we've used the responsive site some more and made suggestions as to how we can shuffle the links, there won't be much hunting around for the link you need.  Currently it's more of a "lets move this here" rather than an in-depth consideration of where the links should really end up.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1172 posts
Fri 4 Aug 2017
at 18:16
Re: Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
Personally, the only thing I like better about the responsive site is that the width adjusts, but even that I don't like much as I can't adjust it to what is comfortable for me.

So far, I don't want to switch.
Samus Aran
 member, 346 posts
 Author, game designer
 Part-time Metroid fighter
Tue 8 Aug 2017
at 19:23
Re: Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
One minor thing that I'm not sure I saw mentioned yet: you can't get to the game intro section except by clicking on The Cast and then the link appears. I recall the main site being like this for a while, but now you can just go click on Game Info in the upper corner and get right to the intro from anywhere. That's a nice feature that I'd like to have brought back (unless I just completely missed it).
horus
 member, 215 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 9 Aug 2017
at 01:00
Re: Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
In reply to Samus Aran (msg # 101):

Yup, it seems like there are only certain places where the Game Introduction (Game Info?) is visible in the right sidebar menu.  Introductory matter should be accessible from the top level of this sidebar, or at least that's how I see it.  (For all I know there's a reason it's done the way it is...)
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1181 posts
Sun 13 Aug 2017
at 02:41
Re: Private Messages listing and Quick way to main game menu
On a laptop today, and the new site menu option highlight each option as a bar, but the link is only clicked if you click the word itself, which is harder to do, especially with a touchpad and not a full free moving mouse.

Additionally, when I change the window size of my browser (firefox) to be really thin, the second menu* (see below) the menu runs off the left side of the screen hiding part of the words.

Also, making the screen thin, when posting a reply, the preview and submit buttons are above the format options and have no margin space between the buttons and the formating options. The formatting options need more white space amongst them anyway for phone usage. And the cancel link, which isn't even a full button, is right beside the submit button, easy mistake to click one instead of the other right there.

The formatting options also run off the right side of the screen.

You probably know this one already,
The character details page places the character details box halfway off the right side of the screen.

That's all for today

*the pink one with these options

     Main menu
    Your Games
    Watched Games
    Watched Forums
    Discussion Boards
    Deleted Games
    Support RPoL
MalaeDezeld
 member, 19 posts
Thu 31 Aug 2017
at 01:31
Portrai image
I love to read new messages with the responsive site with my phone. I guess that the features I miss (color theme, "Mark all as Read" button, mod having a different scheme) are in the unfinished category.

On the other hand (I'm reporting, because I'm under the impression that the image server is something that mods can config), character portraits doesn't work with the responsive. Either we got a 403 error (in the Character details and the selection) or the "Sorry picture not available" (in threads and the Character description). It is possible to trick the browser for a short time by opening the page in the normal site then going with the responsible.
LoreGuard
 member, 648 posts
Fri 1 Sep 2017
at 20:01
Portrai image
A couple of the Mods have donated storage space for specific image categories, I believe.  So the individual Mods in question might be able to authorize responsive.rpol.net to be a valid linking source, for them to show up.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1196 posts
Mon 18 Sep 2017
at 11:42
Portrai image
You know, one thing I really appreciate about the original site, speed. While other websites are taking minutes to load, rpol takes seconds.

The rpol beta site however, is nowhere near as fast, though I admit it is faster than most other sites, but it doesn't compare to original rpol at all.
jase
 admin, 3567 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 01:16
Portrai image
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 106):

Check the bottom of the page on the responsive site, it has timings for the page been generated on the server (like the current one does) plus how long it took to render on the browser.

For example, when viewing this thread I'm getting "Generated in 0.149 seconds" for rpol.net and "Generated/rendered in 0.147/1.218 seconds" on responsive.

Generation time won't be much different between the two.  They're fetching the same data from the same server, merely presenting it in different ways (11 KB transferred from rpol.net, 10.9 KB from responsive (both are compressed so about 75% smaller than the actual text)).  If you're finding the rendered time quite slow (several seconds) then try a different browser and compare results.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1199 posts
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 12:10
Portrai image
It isn't a browser issue, it is a connection issue. After I use 1gb of data, my connection gets slowed. It is supposed to be 2g, but I think it is much slower.

On a good day I get about 1mb per minute download speed, sometimes it takes up to 2 minutes per mb.

Modern sites tend to make use of faster connections available to add lots of flash and pizzazz, and leave us poor folks who can't pay for top speed connections suffering for it. Heck, half the time, the ads auto download more stuff, and images tend to get priority over text for some reason. Though that is mostly on other sites. On a good connection, it goes unnoticed, but on a bad one, it makes a massive difference on forum choice.

For example, I don't even try to go to Overmare Studios without a Starbucks connection anymore.
Skald
 moderator, 792 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 14:39
Portrai image
I'm not seeing any change in graphics on responsive vs old, though - should be pretty much the same, just formatted differently.  Downloading ~11KB shouldn't even be noticeable when comparing normal download speed with shaping.

F'rinstance, on the latest version of Firefox I'm getting a faster generation time than those jase posted above, but slower rendering ... than jase's figures,that is, not sure what old site is, but doesn't feel any different and nothing that worries me particularly:

Generated/rendered in 0.022/2.344 seconds.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1200 posts
Thu 21 Sep 2017
at 20:43
Portrai image
The responsive site isn't bad. It does take longer but I was mostly pointing out something I'd prefer not to lose in the shift to responsive.

There sites out there I just can't visit because the download time. I know it is the download time because if I have a good fast connection, then there isn't a problem.

Just figured it was important to note that speed is still important even in this day and age when some companies would like you to believe that everyone has a T1 line or better.
Skald
 moderator, 793 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 30 Sep 2017
at 12:52
Load speed
Interesting ... just updated Firefox to 56.0 and the responsive site now loading roughly twice as fast - consistently getting numbers such as the below for the Main screen:

Generated/rendered in 0.018/1.036 seconds.
jase
 admin, 3568 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 10:29
Portrai image
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 110):

As mentioned responsive is smaller.  Only about 1% smaller due to the fact the whole page is compressed by about 80% before it's transmitted (in raw form it's about 10% smaller, but that's lost in the compression), but the important thing is it is smaller.  So any slowdowns you're seeing are either transient internet issues, device/software issues, or placebo due to unfortunate interactions with other sites (note, flash and pizzazz have nothing to do with responsive sites, there's absolutely none of that here, as should be evident).
Samus Aran
 member, 368 posts
 Author, game designer
 Part-time Metroid fighter
Sat 7 Oct 2017
at 06:02
Re: Portrai image
LoreGuard:
A couple of the Mods have donated storage space for specific image categories, I believe.  So the individual Mods in question might be able to authorize responsive.rpol.net to be a valid linking source, for them to show up.


Oh, also, I am willing to help out more with the portraits on the new site than I've been able to do here (yet). Organization, uploading, etc. Whatever you folks need! I have suggestions for new categories and reorganized ones, too.
jkeogh
 member, 73 posts
Thu 14 Dec 2017
at 04:09
Re: Portrai image
In reply to Samus Aran (msg # 113):

Is there a running bug log for the responsive design?
LonePaladin
 member, 675 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Thu 14 Dec 2017
at 19:24
Re: Portrai image
Samus Aran:
I have suggestions for new categories and reorganized ones, too.

We could use a category for things that aren't creatures and/or people. Inanimate objects, logos, heraldry, isolated body parts (like "eyes", or "hands", or "mouths" with no context), terrain. Obviously a smaller category than any of the existing ones, but when you're looking for something that isn't a critter it's hard to figure out where to look.
Skald
 moderator, 797 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 27 Dec 2017
at 13:27
Main menu headings
Just noticed that the post number column looks a little weird with the staggered "Posts" text, due to sensibly right justifying the actual number ... would probably look cleaner if we had GM and Posts labels in each header (smaller font is fine, if not better than the section heading) ... plus I suppose it'd save a minuscule amount of bandwidth if it only had to send GM and Posts once per section rather than for each line in it.  Though I think I'd primarily argue aesthetics. ;>
jase
 admin, 3590 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 21 Apr 2018
at 02:14
Small update
Just did a small update to the responsive site.  Hopefully nothing broke but let me know if I managed to.  (c;
jase
 admin, 3594 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Fri 25 May 2018
at 14:46
Another small update
  1. Improved rMail layout.
  2. Formatting bar better... formatted.
  3. Moved private thread screen to responsive.  Still needs tweaking (namely the checkboxes) but should otherwise work.
  4. Other stuff I've already forgotten.  (c;

Genghis the Hutt
 member, 2513 posts
 Just an average guy :)
Fri 25 May 2018
at 16:40
Re: Another small update
jase:
Moved private thread screen to responsive.
That's over at http://beta.rpol.net right?
bigbadron
 moderator, 15570 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 25 May 2018
at 16:48
Re: Another small update
In reply to Genghis the Hutt (msg # 119):

Wrong.  http://responsive.rpol.net/
Genghis the Hutt
 member, 2514 posts
 Just an average guy :)
Fri 25 May 2018
at 16:54
Re: Another small update
Oh cool!

This responsive site seems very nice, and I'm sure it'll be better on my phone when I look at it tonight.  Is there a way to get the responsive site to use all of my screen when on desktop? :)
bigbadron
 moderator, 15571 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 25 May 2018
at 16:58
Re: Another small update
In reply to Genghis the Hutt (msg # 121):

On mine it does use the whole screen.  I believe you have to tweak your browser settings (enlarge the text).
Skald
 moderator, 818 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 27 May 2018
at 12:49
Re: Another small update
Following on from a discussion in Community Chat, I'm pleased to note that jase has kindly added the sign up date to the RPoL user information block on the User Preferences page on the new responsive site - http://responsive.rpol.net/usermodules/profile.cgi.

Usual caveat - if you see either "Before 08:00, Sun 23 Oct 2005" or "Before 10:53, Sat 05 May 2007" that means you're old school and an accurate date is not available.

And note the sign up date is only available on the responsive site, not at the main rpol.net site.


Thanks jase !  :>
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1357 posts
Sun 27 May 2018
at 21:24
Re: Another small update
One thing I notice though about size, you can't tell the website how wide it should be, and I don't mean the display on desktop but rather, you can't tell the website that it should be X characters wide instead of Y characters wide.

I have yet to see that on any responsive site. I don't know if it is a technical limitation, but it is one of the bigger reasons I hate responsive sites. Old school html was the sort that fiddling with the browser was not only an actual option (now-a-days the options of this sort are only on desktops) but because of how old school html worked, it naturally just word-wrapped everything so you could just scale the entire page usually, more importantly, it was global to all sites.

But responsive sites might alter text small amounts, if you're lucky enough to have the option, but not only is each individual now, but giant icons stay giant-sized. You can't even use desktop site and zoom in.

I figure allowing user to set the "X pixels wide" might actually make this adjustable in a workable way, but I lack the appropriate knowledge to try anything of the sort myself (and I've got too many projects right now as it is).
matthewfenn
 member, 482 posts
 Magic the Gathering
 Spreadsheet Developer
Sun 27 May 2018
at 22:55
Re: Another small update
bigbadron:
In reply to Genghis the Hutt (msg # 121):

On mine it does use the whole screen.  I believe you have to tweak your browser settings (enlarge the text).

I confess I'm not yet a big fan of the responsive site...  I like being able to stretch my web page wide (I have a 3440 x 1440 monitor, and frequently use half of it for a web browser and the other half for Excel...  so roughly 1700 wide browser...  which has a lot of wasted space in the responsive site - whereas on the current site, it spreads the text of posts nice and wide - meaning you can see more posts on the one page...  I'm not sure enlarging the text is going to help me there...
Genghis the Hutt
 member, 2516 posts
 Just an average guy :)
Mon 28 May 2018
at 15:42
Re: Another small update
matthewfenn:
roughly 1700 wide browser...  which has a lot of wasted space in the responsive site - whereas on the current site, it spreads the text of posts nice and wide - meaning you can see more posts on the one page...

Same with mine. On desktop, the responsive site has a whole bunch of water space on both sides.

I know there are studies which say that the "optional" size for reading is like 600 or 800 normal pixels wide or something, but I grew up with web browsers that took up the whole screen. I like big wide things that take up all of my screen, and the responsive site doesn't do that.
jase
 admin, 3596 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 29 May 2018
at 01:28
Re: Another small update
We're actually mixing/confusing two things here; responsive and a narrower layout.  They're actually completely independent, though often done hand in hand.

I also have an ultrawide 3440x1440 34" and RPoL is ridiculous if I full screen... actually, let me rephrase that.  Any reading is ridiculous if I make it full screen and the text stretches unabated.

Sure I can snap the window left or right and go half-screen, but then I'm talking about a narrower aspect ratio than a normal monitor... and if we're complaining that the responsive site is too narrow but my normal methodology is to reduce my screen size width then it's really just proving that the current site is too wide.

Every readability guide you'll find will talk about maximum line width (relative to the font size, and normally in conjunction with line height).  Going too long, for the vast majority, reduces reading speed.

Let me take a step back.  When RPoL was originally designed ten years ago the average screen resolution was 1024x768.  If you were lucky this was on a 21" monitor.. and if you haven't figured it out the aspect ratio was a narrow 4x3.  Screen real estate was a premium which is why RPoL has absolutely no margins.

Now we've got huge resolutions, wide or ultrawide monitors and much larger screens.  There has to be a limit on how wide the site can go and all the recommendations talk about a certain length relative to the font size and line height.  We've actually gone wider than the recommendation.  Actually, the recommendation is narrow lines and larger font, but we understand that people are used to the current format and that'd be going too far.

Another reason for limiting the width is that we have to have some limit so we know how we can layout the site.  We can work out the flow, the rhythm (this is all theory though, I'm not really a graphic designer so I'm doing what I can).  It's really great to know the message box will be between xxx pixels and yyy pixels.

That all said, the aim is to make the custom theme designer have a "max width" option.
matthewfenn
 member, 483 posts
 Magic the Gathering
 Spreadsheet Developer
Tue 29 May 2018
at 07:59
Re: Another small update
quote:
That all said, the aim is to make the custom theme designer have a "max width" option.
Really good to hear that.
quote:
There has to be a limit on how wide the site can go
Why does there have to be a limit?
I appreciate that "readability guides" may well suggest optimum line length and font size for readability - however if it turns from being a guide to a rule - well, that just smacks of the Nanny State.

Different people find different things easier to read in different ways.  I change the width of the window depending on what I'm reading.   Sometimes having it super wide helps.  Sometimes having it narrower is better.  Being able to change it at will by simply stretching the window is ideal.  I just don't get why having a somewhat  arbitrary limit is necessary?
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1358 posts
Tue 29 May 2018
at 10:22
Re: Another small update
Probably technical limitations. I can't speak for web, but my console programs benefit from knowing the max width. It means that can address a set block of memory for characters to be displayed and test that without worrying that someone might go wider and cause an out of bounds error from trying to display more than can be handled.

That is of course just an example that may not exactly match website issues, but just saying that code sometimes makes assumptions and then enforces them to prevent errors.
jase
 admin, 3598 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 04:27
Re: Another small update
matthewfenn:
quote:
There has to be a limit on how wide the site can go

Why does there have to be a limit?
I appreciate that "readability guides" may well suggest optimum line length and font size for readability - however if it turns from being a guide to a rule - well, that just smacks of the Nanny State.

I think you're going a bit a lot over the top there.

As mentioned we went with what's recommended for readability, saw what it looked like and made it even wider.  I wouldn't know good readability and typography if it leapt out of my monitor and slapped me in the face, so we did a lot of research into what those with an eye for such things recommend, and 99% of it was all the same.  We reached what we thought was a good compromise between the recommendations (which is quite a bit narrower) and what we've currently got.  To have it thrown in my face like we're oppressing you is quite ridiculous.

I appreciate feedback but it has to be reasonable.  Yes there's are rules absolutely everywhere.  Currently there's a rule that the logo is in the top left, that the help button is cruelly forced to the top right and we've all railroaded into using Verdana as the site font!

Designing anything is about making decisions.  Rules as you call them.  We've made plenty.  To call it a nanny state because you don't agree with a rule decision is ludicrous and, as you can tell, not appreciated.

As for why there's a max width.. the same as the reason why there's a minimum width we'll code for.  If I shrink the (responsive or current) site to a too narrow view then things start to squash and relocate to places that they're not supposed to... but that's well beyond the minimum with that we support (and well below what any mobile has).  I can test all the way down to the minimum supported width and make sure everything is pixel perfect.

It's not exactly the same with a maximum width, but beyond a certain point things start to be too far apart, ratios are completely wrong and reading speed actually decreases.  Without testing everywhere from one through to crazy we've got no way of knowing how the layout will end up looking.  Having a maximum width means I can grab the side of my browser window and play with the width between the two limits and make sure the layout is correct and functional for the whole range.

One of the biggest boons about having a max width is that we then know how wide the body section of messages will be.  That lets us design around certain constraints, put in certain wrap points to maintain readability, plus start doing some nifty things like putting in lightboxes for images.

Anyway, I'm really just repeating what I've already said so I'll stop.
matthewfenn
 member, 485 posts
 Magic the Gathering
 Spreadsheet Developer
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 07:31
Re: Another small update
Sorry Jase, didn't mean it to come across that way.  I humbly beg your forgiveness for my over-the-top response.  I really do appreciate all the effort and hard work you've put into your site over the years - it has given me many, many hours of enjoyment and I really want you to know that your efforts are not unappreciated.

I think the new site design is, for the most part an excellent improvement on general looks and certainly readbility when on a mobile/ipad type device.   My personal opinion is just that on the screen width issue - it's imposing a new limitation that wasn't there before for what seems to me just cosmetic reasons, and I just don't really understand why it is needed.

Sure, for most use-cases, where people are only reading blocks of text, then having a maximum width for comfortable reading is probably a boon...   But sometimes having the ability to make it a lot wider is just, well useful...

For example, posting a really big picture/map, or a large combat grid:
-17-L-K-J-I-H-G-F-E-D-C-B-AABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVW
-16...................................
-15................. UU  L ...........
-14.............. .. UU  DM...........
-13.............   &&   .  ...........
-12.............  _&&_  .  ...........
-11.............  _©__  .  ...........
-10.............  ____  .  ...........
-9.............        .  ...........
-8................^^....  ...........
-7................^^....  ...........
-6........        C         .........
-5........       BEM        .....    
-4.......   #.  #.R #.  #.    ...    
-3.......#  ..  ..  ..  ..    /..    
-2........         'Y        .....    
-1........                  .        
1.........#  ..  ..  ..  #..        
2..........  .#  .\   \  ..         
3........                  .        
4    ....                  ....     
5          .#  ./  ./  ./           
6          ..  ..  ..  ..           
7    ....                  ...      
8    .. ..                 .  ......
9    .. ...  ..  ..  ..  ...  .     
10  ........  .\  \.  .#  ..   .     
11  .>>>                   ..!.. @   
12..>>>>                   >>!       
13.>^                      >>!       
14^^                       ..!.. @   
15^^      ..  ./  ./  .#  ......     
16^^     ...  ..  ..  ..  ...  .     
17^<<   ..                  .  ......
18.<<<....                  ...      
19...<.  .  ..  ..  ..  ..    .      
20  ...  .  ..  ..  ..  ..    .      
21                          ...      
22                          .        
23            ..  ..  ..  ...        
24            ..  ..  ..  ...        

Or perhaps a turn in a card game:

TURN TWO
Untap, Upkeep, Draw
1st Main Phase:
Play a Thalakos Lowlands http://magiccards.info/br/en/88.html

Attack Phase:

2nd Main Phase:

End Turn Phase:

LIFE: 40
HAND: 6
DECK: 90
(A 100 card deck)   This deck is legal in:  Commander, Highlander.  - No Errors. - it contains 57 Rares and 9 Mythic and 5 Special (71% of deck), of which 28 are lands.  It has no Sideboard..
Commanders:
Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker - (Legendary Bird Monk, 1/1, {2}{W}{U} (4)
Flying
Whenever an opponent casts a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker.
Partner (You can have two commanders if both have partner.))
[http://magiccards.info/c16/en/33.html]
    "Through me, the Great Teacher's voice will rattle this world."
Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix - (Legendary Human Wizard, 2/3, {2}{G}{U} (4)
{T}: Add {C} to your mana pool for each card you've drawn this turn.
Partner (You can have two commanders if both have partner.))
[http://magiccards.info/c16/en/35.html]
    She bears the greatest burden of all: that of knowing.



BATTLEFIELD:
Land:
    Scattered Groves http://magiccards.info/akh/en/247.html
    ({T}: Add {G} or {W} to your mana pool.)
    Scattered Groves enters the battlefield tapped.
    Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

    Thalakos Lowlands http://magiccards.info/br/en/88.html
    {T}: Add {C} to your mana pool.
    {T}: Add {W} or {U} to your mana pool. Thalakos Lowlands doesn't untap during your next untap step.

Creatures:
Enchantments:
Artifacts:
Planeswalkers:

GRAVEYARD:

EXILED:
Draft Post created using v 11.6

This message was last edited by admin, as it was in need of a minor tweak, at 14:35, Mon 24 June.

Genghis the Hutt
 member, 2535 posts
 Just an average guy :)
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 15:07
Re: Another small update
How about putting in a personal CSS page?

Something like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:User_style

That'd let us make it as wide as we want, we can use flexbox and apply particular orders to everything, etc.

Basically a user-writeable Scratchpad for the site, and the site loads that CSS after site CSS so that our page will overwrite whatever the site says. With a class added to every element then those of us who want wide text windows can have it and more. :D
LordXenophon
 member, 14 posts
Mon 30 Jul 2018
at 14:10
RPoL Design Update
So far, I've found this site easy to load on my barely-functional home connection. That is rare and special. Please don't ruin it by adding java scripts, fancy buttons and other things that would just slow the site down for no reason.

On the other hand, I'm starting to appreciate why some people complain about the layout. The links could be more intuitively arranged and the idea of sidebar links doesn't sound unreasonable. Links would be easier to separate visually when arranged vertically, than when arranged in-line.

I would like to suggest two additional things, that I haven't seen discussed yet.

First, the ability to change our votes in the rPoll. Having acquired an opinion, I no longer wish to abstain.

Second, I'd like to request that you take a second look at the formatting options for posts, in particular the spoiler method.

On some other roleplay sites, we can use [spoiler=This is what I want the button to say] to name a toggle button for the spoiler text. It doesn't display instructions for reading the spoiler and the spoiled text does not waste vertical space, but is instead completely hidden until revealed.

In addition to not wasting vertical space, this method is useful for decluttering the post of things that are not spoilers, but which not everybody will want to read. For example, you could put your die rolls in it and name the button "die rolls," or you could state only the results of a calculated application of some game rule, then put the math in a "the math" spoiler button.

I know this is only important for those of us who like to keep our posts free of mundane clutter, but for those of us who do, it can be VERY important. The current spoiler method just doesn't do any of this.

There are also other things that could be useful in the post editor, but whatever else you think of to add will probably be cool.

This message was last edited by the user at 14:14, Mon 30 July 2018.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1396 posts
Mon 30 Jul 2018
at 23:12
RPoL Design Update
The spoiler thing came up before, and if I recall correctly, the current method used is done to avoid using scripts and things that older browsers and slow connections don't like.

As for the new site, google actively (or will in the future) prevents non-responsive sites from showing up on the first page of search results, thus, jase needs a responsive site in order for new people to find rpol (cause seriously, how many people look through multiple pages of search results?).

Though personally, while not perfect, I have not seen another site that even challanges rpol for my favorite site design, speaking of the old rpol not the new one.
LordXenophon
 member, 16 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2018
at 01:52
RPoL Design Update
Well, I'm using IE7 and I have about the slowest connection that will even work any more, so anything that bad would hit me first and hardest.

But in the NationStates forums, I can load a page full of those spoiler tags, with all of them working just fine, just as fast as I load pages on RPoL. If it's a script, it's a small and well written one. I think it's really just a standard BB code they have. But whatever it is, I'm reasonably sure it could be used here, without slowing me down.

Hotmail, on the other hand, won't even load any more. If I'm lucky, I get a page of red x's. Most of the time, I get a script error or the "cannot display this page" screen, after up to 20 minutes of waiting. Whatever it is that they did in their last redesign, I would hold them up as an example of what I want RPoL NOT to do during this redesign.
TookyG
 member, 90 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2018
at 02:27
RPoL Design Update
In reply to LordXenophon (msg # 135):

Windows XP?  I think the Maxthon browser still has XP support.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1398 posts
Tue 31 Jul 2018
at 03:55
RPoL Design Update
IE7 is more modern than some people. Some folks might even still be stuck with only pure html webpages.

Also, the connection is just one piece. The new rpol site server isn't noticeably slower for creating and sending a webpage than for the old website, but my computer certainly notices.

My phone is even worse. It can play the android Baldur's gate II, yet it can't handle even google docs pages that has become the standard way of sharing maps on other maps on other sites.
jaws78
 member, 16 posts
 To err Is human ...
 ... to role play divine.
Mon 3 Sep 2018
at 08:49
RPoL Design Update
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 137):

After server move, responsive site, new post Icon is broken.
Skald
 moderator, 828 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 30 Sep 2018
at 04:43
RPoL Design Update
Looks like the user sign up date that was relatively recently added is no longer showing on the user profile on the responsive site.  :<
Utsukushi
 member, 1460 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Sun 30 Sep 2018
at 05:04
RPoL Design Update
That's because the even newer "Make BBR Look Like A Liar" mod I proposed is working perfectly!

...Hm?  That's not it?  My proposal is still in the fireplace, and in fact, on fire?  Oh.  Probably shouldn't have mentioned it, then.  You don't suppose he reads this forum, do you?
Skald
 moderator, 829 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 14:04
RPoL Design Update
Aannd ... the user sign up date does still appear to be on the test version on the Beta site - might have just been wishful thinking that it'd been released in the Responsive version proper.  :>
jase
 admin, 3618 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Thu 13 Jun 2019
at 12:24
RPoL Design Update
Have done a few updates to the responsive site.

While the responsive site may be aesthetically challenging everything should work, at this stage I am avoiding changing anything besides the actual HTML output.. though no guarantee I'll get that right.

Biggest change is that the die roller has been updated to responsive.  Not sure why I picked that one but when I checked CodePen it seems that is what I was messing with some time ago, so I finished it off.

For those who do persevere with the responsive site, or at least use it intermittently, please let me know what you'd like updated next (anything but the GM menu, I think that'll be very last), I'll aim to do whatever's bothering you the most.

Signup date is on the responsive page, btw.
jase
 admin, 3621 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 15 Jun 2019
at 15:42
RPoL Design Update
Updated a few more pieces of the responsive site.  rMail and private thread lists should be laid out little better and various post links/buttons should appear at the bottom of the page where appropriate (annoying scrolling to the bottom and then to go back to the top to reply).

Previewing a message should also be better.

Just a bunch of aesthetic and usability improvements today (usual disclaimer, hopefully nothing broke!).  Went to do the rMail thread list only to realise I'd already done it (yay) so went to the private list... also done (double yay!).  Gotta figure which page to tackle next!

Edit:  CSS has been updated, Chrome cached the darn thing even though I'd updated it (and it knew it too!).  Might have to force refresh to see the changes.  Biggest issue I saw was the missing "Post a Reply" button at the bottom of a thread.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:44, Sat 15 June.

LonePaladin
 member, 828 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 04:12
RPoL Design Update
Any reason why the color scheme won't change? I've been using Dark Purple for so long my brain simply associates that color pattern with the site, so the plain look of the responsive site just doesn't look right to me.
jase
 admin, 3622 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 04:37
RPoL Design Update
Single theme at the moment, all themes will have to be redone once the responsive site is no longer a moving target.
jase
 admin, 3624 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 23 Jun 2019
at 14:18
RPoL Design Update
In lieu of feedback of any sort I've updated the "white" (default) theme to support the creation of custom themes.  You can now go into your preferences and create a theme for the responsive site.  The old site will still have your current settings if you want to use that as a basis.

((As an aside this involved changing the way the entire theme was calculated, I no longer use a separate template file but use the default css file as the template which means any changes I make to that are automatically applied to any themes based upon it.  Additionally all custom themes will be identical in structure to the master file which means that if people reckon they've created the perfect theme it can be suggested that it's cloned to become one of our available options!))

Note that the list of colours is currently very long, there's a stack of other styles now and also the css hasn't been optimised as of yet (two (or more) settings that should have the same colour might be listed separately).  I also think there's a few colours defined outside of the theme which will need cleaning up/moving over.

The new css also has gradients, shading and opaque settings which complicate things even more, but I think the layout makes it pretty simple except for the fact that it's just a much longer list.

I've also fixed a bunch of other aesthetic things while I was going about it (and, to harp on the point, having no other feedback to go on).  CSS updates should be automatically loaded but if in doubt force a refresh on your browser.
nauthiz
 supporter, 603 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 05:39
RPoL Design Update
Since June 13th I've started using the responsive site exclusively when interacting with RPoL on my phone.  Below are some notes I've kept regarding the user experience.

All experiences were had on a device running Android 7.0 (Nougat) and using Chrome 75.0.3770.101.  Any "bugs" or other unexpected behaviors were verified on the same device in Firefox 67.0.3.

---

The Main Menu drop down does not work as a user probably might expect, especially based on a touch screen friendly design.  Based on the initial button interaction a user will likely expect that touching the blank space on the list to the right of the words will trigger the expected behavior, it does not.  A user must press each individual word like an old fashioned hyperlink.  This issue is further compounded by the other navigation drop downs which are fully responsive across the entire horizontal width of the drop down menus

---

On the compose messages screen the "private to" checkboxes extend "off screen" when composing a message.  A user can access then by scrolling the screen right if they realize that's an option

---

The position and size of the remove game minus signs make them very difficult to interact with due to their small size and placement against the right side of the website margin.  While this may be a specific decision to prevent accidental interaction, even when zooming in to intentionally use them the right side justification makes them very difficult to use since they remain on the right edge of a device's screen.  Adding some space between them and the right border of the site, even just an amount equal to the width of the button itself, would help this issue.

---

Game map functionality doesn't seem to be working correctly in all cases.  I have two games which do not have a "main game map" but instead have a map assigned to a specific group.  Attempting to view that map via the "select another map to view" menu does not work correctly.

In both cases it causes the site to send you to the "RPoL Announcements" forum, as indicated by the "Welcome to" text beneath the RPoL logo, and gives you an error.

quote:
This is not a game

"RPoL Announcements" is not a game.

Game information is (logically enough) only available for games.


I do not have any games that actually do have a "main game map" uploaded so I was unable to test whether that altered this particular issue or not.

---

Nomenclature.  On the old site the page you see when you're logged in and visit RPoL is called the "main menu" according to all the site's navigation links.  On the responsive site the drop down navigation list is labeled main menu and now "home" is used for that same page.  However there's still other navigation options, like the links at the bottom of pages, which are labeled "main" when they should probably be labeled "Home" to follow the naming structure of the responsive site.

---

The dice roller doesn't work.  Changing dice options, inputting manual rolls, all seem to be behaving normally.  However no amount of touching or tapping the "Roll the Dice" button actually triggers the expected page behavior and generates a dice roll.
jase
 admin, 3625 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 12:43
RPoL Design Update
Wow, awesome thanks nauthiz.

Main menu drop down - Had never even noticed!  Was ready for a battle to get this to work but it was a simple "display: block" for the hyperlink, so... fixed.

Private to list - Had been ignoring that one.  Should be better now.  Colouring/spacing needs tweaking, but so does most everything!

Game removal minus sign - Not sure how that one needs to be fixed, have been ignoring it.  Will ponder and procrastinate in the hope someone else will come up with a solution.  (c;

Maps - Fixed thanks.  Was a wider problem so glad you spotted that one.

Main Menu vs Home - Haven't decided what's the best way to go.  Home is more commonly used, main menu is what we've used for ages.  Can standardise on either (or something else entirely).
nauthiz
 supporter, 604 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 19:12
Re: RPoL Design Update
jase:
Game removal minus sign - Not sure how that one needs to be fixed, have been ignoring it.  Will ponder and procrastinate in the hope someone else will come up with a solution.  (c;


If this was a document I'd assume that minus sign image was "aligned right" and just needed someone to put the cursor to the right of it and press the space key a few times give it some white space between itself and the right margin, which would solve the issue.

If that's actually harder to do because of web coding reasons, since the minus sign is just a 7x7 image, if you added 7 or 14 pixels of transparency to the right side of it, it should make the graphic big enough to more easily interact with without changing its appearance and (presumably) not having to actually change anything but the image file itself.
MalaeDezeld
 member, 111 posts
Mon 24 Jun 2019
at 19:47
Re: RPoL Design Update
Maybe something in the game menu instead? But not nearby the "Mark all as Read".
jase
 admin, 3626 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 25 Jun 2019
at 00:51
Re: RPoL Design Update
I was wondering whether the whole process of automatically adding games to the list needed to be revised.  Replace it with a notification at the top of the game asking if they want to add it to their watch list (which could possibly have a few options as people have asked of ways of separating different games on the main menu).

Depends whether it's more annoying to have to remove games from your list when just browsing around or it'd end up being more annoying to constantly have to add games to your watch list.

As for the minus sign -- adding white space to the actual would work but will have issues as it's then a white image that can cause wrap issues.  Actually, as the blank area would be part of the image then it'd also be part of the hyperlink, so more potential for miss-clicking.  It'd also be best if they were all lined up like on the current site.

I'd actually thought about moving it to the user preferences screen.  Add a link on the main menu (under the "main menu" menu section) to manage the games.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1573 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2019
at 02:50
Re: RPoL Design Update
On adding vs removing games,

I find removing games from a sticky list is many times better. I can't tell you how often I forget to "subscribe" to a thread before navigating away and then can't find the thread again. Removing from a sticky list doesn't have that problem.

That said, I don't find the issue nearly as big a problem on rpol as on other sites. In fact, rpol is the only site I've been on where I need to remove more than I wanted to add.
jase
 admin, 3627 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 25 Jun 2019
at 03:00
Re: RPoL Design Update
I think having to remember to remove is better than having to remember to add.  No real issue if you forget to remove (and it's pretty hard to).  Opposite when you have to add.

Unless others disagree then it's just a case of do we need a removal link on the main menu along with the clutter it brings or can we move it to another page?
nauthiz
 supporter, 605 posts
Tue 25 Jun 2019
at 06:58
Re: RPoL Design Update
I think the functionality as is, is the best way to go.  It's also more intuitive to teach a new user how to remove games, than how to add them.

Also, just to illustrate the concept.  I don't think the button needs to be enlarged significantly.

I think something like this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xgw8.../minus_wide.gif?dl=0

would be more than sufficient to make it more accessible on a smaller touch interface, like a smartphone, without making it so huge people might accidentally remove a game they don't mean to while just trying to scroll the page.
jase
 admin, 3628 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Tue 25 Jun 2019
at 09:18
Re: RPoL Design Update
At a glance having a wide image will fix some stuff but I think it'll end up oddly aligned.  Also as mentioned the whole image would be the hyperlink which will mean blank area will be a clickable area, plus it'll mean wrapping has to compensate for the entire length.

I think we can do the same with image alignment, padding and margin.
Skald
 moderator, 849 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 29 Jun 2019
at 04:38
Re: RPoL Design Update
I'd like to see the functionality moved to the preference screen - its more intuitive to keep all that kinda stuff in the one place.  But definitely automatically add and manually remove.

Looking at the responsive site on a desktop, there's a nice empty third of the screen to the right where that could sit - I'm imagining a scrollable list of games, with a single checkbox next to each - if checked it shows on the main screen, if not checked it doesn't.
jase
 admin, 3629 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 07:59
Re: RPoL Design Update
It'll still be there under the user preferences but if we can keep it on the main menu then I guess why not.  I've tweaked the plus/minus symbol on the main menu, should flow nicely now.  Image probably still needs to be a little larger, but not much.  I generally have to enlarge the screen to be able to click the minus but I think that's mostly a good thing.

Bunch of other things I've messed with, so much I've generally forgotten.

The one obvious change is I've made the colouring a little less like candy for the header/footer/bars.  Will let that sit for a while and see how it goes.
nauthiz
 subscriber, 606 posts
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 08:35
Re: RPoL Design Update
The symbol is way easier to actually interact with now on a mobile device.  Still have to zoom in, which I think is a good feature rather than a bug, but it's not right up against the side bezel now, so it's much easier to use it if you need it.
jase
 admin, 3630 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Tue 2 Jul 2019
at 13:52
Re: RPoL Design Update
I've increased the max site width by a bit under 10% (1,100 increased to 1,200 pixels).  Seems good for reading threads but a little wide in other areas (this compose screen for one).  As with the new colours I'll see how it sits after a bit more use.

I've also updated the custom theme page so you can now set a width between 1,000 and 2,000 pixels.
jase
 admin, 3631 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Wed 3 Jul 2019
at 14:57
Re: RPoL Design Update
Have added "lightboxes" to images in game threads.  That is, if you click on an image it'll popup a full screen version of it (if it's large enough).

Unavoidably requires javascript.  If you don't have it (enabled) then it'll just open up the image instead.

If a single message has multiple images then there'll be next and back icons (> and <) to navigate through them.  Left/right arrow also does the trick.

Also did a tweak to the front GM menu.  Needs to be prettified (is that really a word?!) but should otherwise not be so horrible as it was.

A bit aimless with what I'm fixing/tweaking/making responsive at the moment, feedback is always welcome (and sometimes quite necessary!!).
nauthiz
 subscriber, 607 posts
Wed 3 Jul 2019
at 17:46
Re: RPoL Design Update
Bug Report: I RTJ'd a game.  The GM replied to my RTJ but didn't add me to the game yet.  From the responsive site I have no way of accessing my private messages for that game.

The Game Menu that normally would have the link to PMs has the following options

-Game Menu
-Request Access
-Mark all as Read
-Request Access
-Die Roller
-Game Map
-The Cast

Both of the "Request Access" entries take me to the initial RTJ page where I can create a new RTJ message.

---
On the Character Details page, when you add a portrait to a character, the formatting breaks slightly with the "View and Edit Description" text now overlapping the border line that extends from the character portrait area.

No Portrait
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pc42...NO_Portrait.jpg?dl=0

With Portrait
https://www.dropbox.com/s/67gk..._W_Portrait.jpg?dl=0
jase
 admin, 3632 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Thu 4 Jul 2019
at 05:59
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thanks.  PM link should now be there if you've sent a request (and the banner at the top will also go).  I've tried not to change any of the underlying logic but when there's some big changes it can creep in.

Have removed all those multicoloured borders on the character profile screen, that was just for me lining things up.  Screen still needs a bit of tweaking but the red, green and blue should be gone!
nauthiz
 subscriber, 608 posts
Thu 4 Jul 2019
at 10:14
Re: RPoL Design Update
Tested, and looks good on both issues.

However there's still two entries for "Request Access" on the game menu.
jase
 admin, 3633 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Thu 4 Jul 2019
at 12:08
Re: RPoL Design Update
Whoops, missed that bit of your message.  Should only have one now (before you RTJ) and none after (replaced with "Contact the GM").

Also removed a bunch of thread management links that were there for everyone, not just GMs.  Didn't work if you clicked on them, but shouldn't have been there to begin with.
seraphmoon
 member, 66 posts
 I've Been Touched By
 His Noodly Appendage
Thu 4 Jul 2019
at 22:15
Re: RPoL Design Update
On the responsive site, “Private Messages” doesn’t show up in the This Game menu on the map, cast, or introduction pages. Using iOS; can screenshot if necessary.

ETA: Also on iOS, the post button says "Post Mesage" :)

ETA2: On the Private Messages screen under Thread Details, entires are listed as "private thread by with X replies." Again, on iOS.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:42, Thu 04 July.

jase
 admin, 3634 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 03:10
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thank you!  Can you elaborate on when you're not seeing the "Private Messages" links?  I can see a bit of inconsistency between some of the screens (which I'll fix) but I'm seeing the PM link.

Is it for a game you're a GM?  Player?  Lurker?  Have a RTJ submitted or just a plain old visitor?
seraphmoon
 member, 68 posts
 I've Been Touched By
 His Noodly Appendage
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 21:56
Re: RPoL Design Update
Had to go back and check. :)

On games I'm a player or GM of, it shows up on all screens. On games I'm not a member of, it vanishes. On the old site, it also vanishes in those games but sticks around on the bottom bar. It doesn't seem to matter whether I've got an active RTJ or not, but the one I am RTJ'd to still shows "Request Access" on the Map, Cast, and Intro pages instead of changing to "Contact the GM." Only just noticed that part. :) I'm not a lurker in any games, and there is no difference between desktop and mobile, nor is there a difference between desktop Chrome and Safari.

I know I'm not the most articulate of persons, so if screenshots would help let me know.
jase
 admin, 3635 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 6 Jul 2019
at 10:01
Re: RPoL Design Update
I've fiddled with the layout of those menu options.  You should see "Request Access" if you've never sent a PM, "Contact the GM" if you're a lurker and lastly "Private Messages" if you've ever sent a PM (or play in the game, which generally will require you to send at least one PM!).

They all should now be higher up on the list, think they were a bit low before.
jase
 admin, 3636 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 02:03
Re: RPoL Design Update
Updated a bunch of tables with responsive-friendly div's yesterday and tweaked a whole stack more other layout "things".  Lack of complaints leads me to believe I didn't break anything majorly, which is always nice!  Got some more to do (ones I avoided as they were a little more complicated) which I'll get onto next unless (kicks the dead horse) there's any other feedback about major usability issues.

Edit:  Also fixed the autosuggest list for the game systems when searching for game (on the main menu), creating a game, searching Wanted - Players and editing your game details.  Moved from a javascript system to HTML5.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:54, Tue 09 July.

nauthiz
 subscriber, 609 posts
Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 21:45
Re: RPoL Design Update
I assume this issue will be resolved if/when the responsive version of the site becomes the only version.

Currently however the site doesn't recognize the r.rpol.net domain when it comes to auto generating links in messages from URLs.
jase
 admin, 3637 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 13 Jul 2019
at 03:55
Re: RPoL Design Update
Could be due to the https.  Made a small tweak, let me know if it makes any difference.

Search results on the main menu should also be a lot better now.  Removed the old tables and created the same format as the normal game listing (with additional details as it's a search).
Imladir
 member, 1 post
Sat 13 Jul 2019
at 08:18
Re: RPoL Design Update
Two problems on character sheets:
- On small screens (phones & tablets), the background / page isn't enlarged when the text doesn't fit
- The display of lists (maybe only consecutive or nested lists?) is seriously messed up: https://i.imgur.com/jD8bM9y.png
Regarding the list, the problem seems to be in the generated html (too many ul tags opened, not enough closed).

This message was last edited by the user at 08:37, Sat 13 July.

nauthiz
 subscriber, 611 posts
Sat 13 Jul 2019
at 08:37
Re: RPoL Design Update
<testing>

RPoL faqs (rubbcode)  <-rpol.net

https://r.rpol.net/help/?t=faqs&page=rubbcode  <-r.rpol.net

Is it the "www"?

https://www.imgur.com

https://imgur.com/

nope!
Skald
 moderator, 851 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sat 13 Jul 2019
at 13:25
Re: RPoL Design Update
I'm also seeing a problem with characters sheet using easy tables and embedded list - to an innocent bystander it looks like it's having issues with the fourth and subsequent \n line breaks inside a list item tag [*] ... actually now I compare that with the old site, I notice that responsive doesn't seem to be inserting the dot point for the list items either.
horus
 member, 805 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 14 Jul 2019
at 00:43
Re: RPoL Design Update
I'm noticing that Easy Tables tend not to render their box-lines.  The write-up I did a while back on this subject will have to be re-written almost entirely due to formatting differences between responsive and original sites.

HTML-based or HTML-wrapped tables seem to render okay, but bare Easy Tables and Grids do not render their line that I can see.

This message was last edited by the user at 00:47, Sun 14 July.

jase
 admin, 3638 posts
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 Carpe stultus!
Sun 14 Jul 2019
at 02:17
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thanks for all the feedback, it's appreciated.  Some of it is stuff I just haven't gotten to yet so I'm not surprised, but either way it gives me something to concentrate on and fix so thanks.

See if character sheets are better now.  It was applying the wrong overall style (there and probably a few other places).

The whole flow on that page for small devices isn't right, will have to tweak that.  Also note that when getting really narrow that character sheets might force a sideways scroll on the entire page.  I'll get a fix for that in too.

r.rpol.net isn't linking because of the short "r.".  Will see if I can tweak that but want to get a much better link detection in place so will take a while to fiddle.

Easy tables/grids I haven't paid any attention to yet so will have to give some love to them.
Skald
 moderator, 852 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Mon 15 Jul 2019
at 05:13
Re: RPoL Design Update
That fixed it, thank ye kindly. On respsonsive site the character sheet text inside easy table is now showing/flowing correctly, and dot points are back in play.   :>

While looking around I found another character's sheet (in one of my games) which is very wide which is overlapping with the the right hand sidebar menu, but I'm not sure what can be done about that as I don't think we can call that a coding problem - either live with it or set a maximum character sheet width ?
jase
 admin, 3639 posts
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Mon 15 Jul 2019
at 09:38
Re: RPoL Design Update
I'll be popping in a horizontal scrollbar for when it's really wide.  Does it here already I think, if a message inside a thread is too large (or a table within a message) then it'll make that scroll rather than mess the entire page.

I think that's what I did anyway.  (c;

I'm current changing a bit with the flow, getting rid of left floats and replacing them with inline blocks (for those in the know) which improves some of the layout and the logic behind it.  I would use "flexbox" but 95% browser support is too low and I can do it with inline blocks and some floats fine, it's just easier with flexbox.

That's a long winded way of saying I'm adjusting a bit of stuff so have taken a small step backward, once I get that sorted then I can proceed with other fixes.
horus
 member, 809 posts
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Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 07:12
Re: RPoL Design Update
jase:
Easy tables/grids I haven't paid any attention to yet so will have to give some love to them.


Please let us know when to check again... I checked just now and bare Easy Tables and Grids are still not rendering lines.  I figure you may not have gotten to this yet, or my browser (a Chrome derivative) is to blame.

Thanks,
D
Imladir
 member, 2 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 07:25
Re: RPoL Design Update
It's just borders. And it's much better to not have borders by default, that way it's possible to align things in a page without it being obvious it's a table. There's probably an option somewhere to define the border style.
horus
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Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 15:28
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to Imladir (msg # 180):

Not here to argue, but:

They may be "just borders", but those borders are part and parcel of how Easy Tables and (especially) Easy Grids are supposed to work.  I know of no way to turn off the borders except using the responsive site, and I'm pretty sure that's not by design, hence my interest, and my reports.

There are numerous character sheets and other documents in Heaven - Gaming Resources that depend on this functionality.
Imladir
 member, 3 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 15:38
Re: RPoL Design Update
But it's not the HTML default. And the default should be to have nothing, but allow the addition of stuff. Like by default, your text is just plain regular text. But if you want, you can bold it, color it, enlarge it, etc.

It's the same for a table: by default, it should only put stuff in cells. Everything at the top of the cell, with the text left aligned, the cells just as big as their content, etc. But if you want, you can center things, resize the cells, have some span multiple columns or rows...or have borders. Which is exactly the case for the tables on wikis for examples.

The fact that on the main site you have borders by default is the problem, not the other way around. It may come from the fact that it's not easy to define what the border is supposed to be, so a choice had to be made between border or no border. And maybe it's a choice that will have to be made again. And there are arguments to go both ways.
horus
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Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 15:59
Re: RPoL Design Update
Imladir:
But it's not the HTML default. And the default should be to have nothing, but allow the addition of stuff. Like by default, your text is just plain regular text. But if you want, you can bold it, color it, enlarge it, etc.


HTML-based tables should work the way they always have.  Easy Tables and Grids are a technology unique to RPoL.  Two different things.

quote:
It's the same for a table: by default, it should only put stuff in cells. ...


Not really.  The whole point of Easy Tables was to make it easier to make tables without having to learn HTML.  As I said before, anything you can do in HTML elsewhere you should still be able to do here.

The standard in use, by the way, is XHTML 1.0.

quote:
The fact that on the main site you have borders by default is the problem, not the other way around. ...


I would respectfully submit the above assertion to jase for evaluation.  We disagree.
jase
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Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 05:10
Re: RPoL Design Update
Ok so a few updates which I've rushed out, so usual disclaimers...  Auto link to r.rpol.net is still broken, neglecting that one for now.

Character sheets should now scroll rather than force the content wide.  Individual elements within the sheet or the entire sheet might have a scrollbar left/right depending on the element.

Easy tables and grids should also now side-scroll in messages and grids shouldn't reduce their width to try and fit in with the content

Speaking of, I appreciate the enthusiasm around easy tables and grids.  The simple fact of the situation is that the main website currently renders borders and I'm not about to change how they work.  I can't make such a wide retroactive change and exclaim "surprise, all your old tables no longer have borders!".

With that in mind you should now find your easy things now have borders.
Imladir
 member, 4 posts
Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 05:15
Re: RPoL Design Update
Is there a way to set borders width to zero?
horus
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Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 06:31
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to jase (msg # 184):

Thank you, jase.  Is there a trick to getting a new color scheme to render in the responsive site?  I've changed mine a number of times (I prefer a dark red scheme for use at night), but I seem to be stuck with the same old default pale blue set.

(Flashpeak Slimjet Version 23.0.9.0 (based on Chromium 74.0.3729.108) (Official Build) (64-bit) under PCLinuxOS 2019.02...)
jase
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Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 09:32
Re: RPoL Design Update
Easy tables/grids always have borders, however you can use normal full <table border="0"><tr><td>blah</td></tr></table> to not have them however.  Border can be 0, 2 or 3 (1 is the default).

I think we've previously discussed schemes in this thread, they aren't working as I don't want to constantly update 16 themes.  It's all fluid at the moment so I'm just sticking with the one theme.  You can however create your own custom theme, just be aware that it might quickly get outdated (but I'm ok with that as now you have to edit it rather than me! :)
horus
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Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 17:21
Re: RPoL Design Update
jase:
Easy tables/grids always have borders, however you can use normal full <table border="0"><tr><td>blah</td></tr></table> to not have them however.  Border can be 0, 2 or 3 (1 is the default).

I think we've previously discussed schemes in this thread, they aren't working as I don't want to constantly update 16 themes.  It's all fluid at the moment so I'm just sticking with the one theme.  You can however create your own custom theme, just be aware that it might quickly get outdated (but I'm ok with that as now you have to edit it rather than me! :)


Thanks.

Just to be clear, <table border="0"><tr><td>blah</td></tr></table> means to wrap the Easy Table/Grid content with the table border tags to control display width of border lines, as in:

<table border="3">
<tr>
<td>
| Some quick Easy Table Content here |
|
</td>
</tr>
</table>

would yield:


Some quick Easy Table Content here


and replacing the "3" in the above with "0" would not draw border lines at all.  Neat!  I'll add this to my articles.
DaCuseFrog
 member, 62 posts
 SW Florida
Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 03:07
Re: RPoL Design Update
I am not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but the headers on tables are not auto shading like on the main site.  Is that working normally?

Code
Table


Easy
Table

horus
 member, 816 posts
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Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 06:02
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to DaCuseFrog (msg # 189):

I'm going to venture a guess here:  perhaps this is theme-related?  The background for headers chooses the color for header backgrounds from the "header background" attribute of the theme in use.

We know, from what jase told us, that themes, per se, don't yet work on the responsive site.  This problem may fix itself given time?
jase
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Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 08:21
Re: RPoL Design Update
Correct!  Have a cookie.
nauthiz
 subscriber, 613 posts
Thu 18 Jul 2019
at 22:58
Re: RPoL Design Update
Unsure if it falls under "thing that will work once element X is fixed" or not, but currently the RTJ blurbs/instructions that appear on a game's RTJ page are allowed to freely sprawl horizontally rather than being constrained within the space the rest of the page's elements stick to or be given a scroll bar.
jase
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Sat 20 Jul 2019
at 13:37
Re: RPoL Design Update
No that's definitely something that needs to be fixed ahead of time... and I hopefully just did.

I've deployed a rather large update to the layout for the informational boxes and tables, a lot have now been converted to the newer format (but not everything at this stage).  You should notice that most of the informational boxes now take up the available page width but no more.  This may result in some being wider than the text itself dictates, which I can worry about as a minor improvement going forward.

There were about 100 old tables that have been converted to divs so I've undoubtedly messed up a few so please do let me know if anything's wrong.  I did some other tweaks/changes along the way and though it was good stuff when I did it, however I don't have a clue what it was anymore!  (c;

I also made all the textarea (i.e. the area you use when submitting a message) as wide as the screen can cope.

Lastly, and fairly importantly, I've changed the responsive points.  Previously as the viewport width shrunk the content would rewrap and then if it went even narrower the menu would collapse, however now it's the other way around (and the way it should have been all alone).  Content has the priority so the first thing to give way is the menu and then the content will wrap.

If you want to see what I'm on about then go to the main menu or game menu and start reducing the browser width.  First the content will squeeze up a bit and once it starts to get a bit too cramped the menu will collapse up to the top.  Keep on going then the rows will change and you'll have the game/thread information over two lines rather than one.

Enjoy (I hope!).
Skald
 moderator, 853 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 04:44
Re: RPoL Design Update
Actcherly, I do like the main/game menu collapsing to icons in the header.  Very nice.  So much so that it'd be good to have a "always show menus as icons" option under user preferences so they always did that.  When we have the leisure to add features, and the worries of conversion are behind us, of course.

Which reminds me - is setting up the fixed header still on the to do list ?  I think there was some suggestion that it might not be possible in the responsive format, but disabling fixed headers is still there as a user preference, so I live in hope.  ;>

The collapsed menus would work better with a fixed header ... currently there's a bit of scrolling required to find a menu (ie to move screen back to top or bottom as the case may be), but with a fixed header and menu icons they'd always be just be one click away.
jase
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Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 04:54
Re: RPoL Design Update
Fixed header needs to be removed from the options actually... possibly something that could be look at later along with the hide-the-menus option.  Maybe.  I'll tighten up the user preferences now actually, all the colour schemes also give people the wrong impression (I'll add some more back later but probably not as many!).

I realise the menus do get left behind with all the scrolling which is why there's a "top" link (as well as main and game links).  If there's other links that would be good in the footer then that's exactly what this thread is for!
Skald
 moderator, 854 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 05:27
Re: RPoL Design Update
I shall continue to live in hope, but not hold my breath then.  <grins>

I see the reasoning that I'm most likely down at the bottom of the thread, having read all the new posts and then I hit post reply ... and on the reply screen the menus are at the top with the compose message box, so I can easily open up say character sheet, game map and dice roller in separate tabs, so all the functionality is there.

On the old site I open everything I'm going to need including the post reply screen from the game thread and then switch to whichever open window I need to go to first.

So responsive layout is just a different way of working for me that'll take some getting used to.  :>

Main menu, game menu, top, post reply ... that probably covers most things.  Unless we have collapsed menu icons in both header AND footer, which would give us everything at both ends of the page !  But that might be greedy.  ;>
jase
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Tue 23 Jul 2019
at 13:31
Re: RPoL Design Update
I contemplated having the side menu try to stick in place but as it could sometimes be too long for the screen height I thought perhaps that would be a bad idea!  Might see if it's possible (probably with a bit of javascript) at a later stage.  For now you'll probably need to change your habits to clicking reply at the bottom and then opening up all the different pages from the compose screen.

That kind of stuff I'd probably wait until after the responsive site is finished in its first form.  Then all the outstanding feature requests before looking at any layout tweaks.

Have tweaked a more more things.  Input boxes should now use the site's font besides the "textarea" inputs (what I be using now) as that's normally better off with a fixed-width font.  Should just make the prompts for subject, bios, character name, dice roll information etc etc just a little nicer.  Slightly larger font too and increased the padding so it's not so squished.

Also changed the game search on the main menu from an old table to a div/responsive friendly layout.  Mostly the same look though as I didn't think it needed much tweaking otherwise.

As (well, rather if) I get feedback on areas that need fixing I'll concentrate on them otherwise I'm now at the stage where I'm just working my way through the site to check each screen and fix them as I go.  Main menu is obviously the first and then the signup/logon pages, create a game, game itself, viewing a thread and so on.
Imladir
 member, 6 posts
Sun 28 Jul 2019
at 17:08
Re: RPoL Design Update
Portrait selection with keyword search doesn't work unless something is entered in the free text area.
jase
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Fri 2 Aug 2019
at 15:09
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thanks.  Got carried away with the "required" tag in HTML5!  (c;
nauthiz
 subscriber, 615 posts
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 09:28
Re: RPoL Design Update
So, my luck finally ran out and I accidentally broke my phone.  I figure it was about time since my streak has been going since I got my first nokia brick back in the day, which doesn't really count as they were nigh indestructible anyway.

But that has meant an opportunity to find new bugs and other issues.

I'm now using a device running Android 9.0 (Pie) and it's currently using Chrome 75.0.3770.143.  I also tested this particular issue in Firefox 68.0.

Bug Report: Chrome for Android doesn't play quite right with the "post message" screen.

When you first enter the page everything is fine.  Then when you press in the text box and begin entering text, the box expands slightly in size and covers most of the "preview/delay post" and "post message" buttons.

As seen here: https://i.imgur.com/moyz7v4.jpg

You can type normally.  The buttons themselves still work, if you press the "preview" button either the small bit that's still showing or the area of the text entry box where the button is, it will work as intended.  It does not work correctly if you have typed enough that the text entry area that covers the button now has text in it.  In that case pressing the screen just puts the cursor where you pressed, you must instead press the small bit of button poking out the bottom to make it work.

Once you have reached the "preview" screen the text box behaves normally, and the buttons are fully accessible.  Entering/deleting/etc text in the box does not seem to trigger the issue, nor does subsequent presses of the "preview" button.

When I tried to replicate this issue in Firefox I could not.  Of the two browsers only Chrome seems to have this issue.


I was running an old Windows Mobile 10 handset for the past few weeks in the interim, so I don't know if it's strictly a software/browser issue or something due to one of the updates to the site made in that time period.
Imladir
 member, 7 posts
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 09:40
Re: RPoL Design Update
Something a bit annoying is the inconsistency in the "This Game" menu. For example:
- it's impossible to directly access private messages from The Cast menu,
- on the Cast page the link for The Cast disappeared, but on the Character Details page, the link for that page is still there.
jase
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Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 14:17
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thanks nauthiz.  Certainly doesn't happen in my (exact same) version of Chrome on my phone.  Is it when you click in the message area or after you type the first character?

Menus certainly need a little tweaking, Imladir.  Will see if I can do a little more.
Imladir
 member, 8 posts
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 14:19
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thanks.

Nothing urgent there obviously.
nauthiz
 subscriber, 616 posts
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 18:43
Re: RPoL Design Update
When I type in the first character.  Up until then it's fine.  Additionally if I delete all the text that has been entered, the text entry box returns to its normal size/position.
jase
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Thu 8 Aug 2019
at 05:42
Re: RPoL Design Update
Can't make sense of the textarea resizing.  There is the alert to remind you if you cancel away from a composed message that will set a javascript variable to 1... but that should not affect anything to do with the HTML.  Realised that wasn't working actually (depending on which cached version of the javascript file you had) so have updated that, who knows lets see if that fix miraculously does something!

...

Have changed a the way the HTML/CSS works a bit, hopefully not much/any difference.  HTML has this lovely way of calculating widths (and heights, but it's the width that's the kicker).  An area has margin, border, padding and finally the actual content.  If I set something to take up the page width (by making it's width 100%) then that's calculated according to the content and padding around it.  Only those two.  If I add a 1px border around this content then it's width is left border + 100% + right border.  Horray, it's width is now 100% + 2 pixels.. i.e. it's wider than the screen and we have a scrollbar or overlapping sections.

Even more fun when I try to make two boxes sit side-by-side by making their width 50% each.  If I have a border then they're actually both over 50% so they're rendered one above the other.

It's crazy and doesn't make sense.  The way around it was to use a "calc" entry in CSS which has about 98% browser compatibility.  You'd figure your border and margin and then set your width with "width: calc(100% - 2px);" or whatever you needed to shrink it by.  Change the border or margin?  Go back and edit the width as well.  Painful and for me has never been intuitive.

Anyhoo there's a CSS setting which is "box-sizing: border-box;".  Knew and forgot about it until recently.  This makes the box size calculations include the margin and border... oddly enough this is how IE6 used to do it.  The nice thing about this option is the browser compatibility is about 99%.

So... I've gone through all my horrible "calc" entries and removed them whenever possible, setting nice sensible widths of 100%, 50%, 33.3% and so on.  Now it's all much easier.

...

In amongst doing all that I fixed a bunch of other stuff.  Honest.  Problem is I can't remember what I've done...

Added Earthdawn: Age of Legend and Zombie World to the dice roller.  If you're using the responsive site you can now use these systems on the roller.  People on the traditional site can see the entries in the log file but can't use the system to make their own rolls unless they switch to r.rpol.net.

Stuff.. things, tweaked stuff.  Have had a cold for over a week so it's hard to remember!

See how stuff 'n' things are now, hopefully haven't made anything worse!
jase
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Thu 8 Aug 2019
at 09:50
Re: RPoL Design Update
Oh yes, updated the cast list.  Now hides the info that probably doesn't need to be seen at a glance.  Hovering/clicking shows the additional information that's hidden.. plus a few extra links now.