SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 351 posts
Sun 6 Dec 2020
at 14:19
Re: RPoL Design Update
Awesome jase, I'm relieved to know that the timestamp is only for GMs no matter what, and that we're looking at keeping two-mode cast lists (yay!). I'm also okay with Tag(s) only being in the dropdown menu, since it seems my games must be one of the very few that actually use that for anything - it would be *better* (for us) if it was displayed in the list, but I could live with it in the dropdown, as long as it's viewable somewhere.

With regards to last login, though...

MalaeDezeld mentioned above that having it in the dropdown list for players only creates "security by obscurity" - that is 100% true. It's not secure. But it's better than having it all out there in the open for people to easily spot trends. The only way to make it secure would be to remove last login from players' view entirely, and I'll admit that I have never been more excited about a development potential than I was when jase mentioned yesterday morning that he wasn't sure if players needed last login information because it does eliminate a lot of hassle with regards to obscuring character control.

Currently, if you are a player, all of your characters (PC or NPC) login every time you refresh a game site. If you are a GM, every character you control that isn't your GM alias (NPC, or PC) logs in randomly as far as what players see on their Cast List. Posting in a public thread (PMs don't work, but fixing that is on jase's To-Do List) will force-update a GM character's last login to 'Today', but that's the only way to control it. After that point, they'll float between 'Today' and 'Yesterday' (sometimes they'll stay there for a few days, changing each night at midnight to 'Yesterday' again, which is really amusing) and then they'll eventually start to fall off after a few days to 2 weeks of that and cease keeping up at all...until the next time they make a public post.

The problem there is that the GM *can't* see that. On the GM's side of things, it looks like every character that belongs to them logs in every time they log in, which creates a serious disparity particularly in the case of GM PCs - "Bobby doesn't look like he's logged in for weeks, GM. Is he okay?" "What are you talking about, he logged in Today?" It's shockingly difficult to manage if you don't have someone like a spouse in your game that has non-GM status to check and see what the actual player cast list shows so that you know what your players are seeing. If players couldn't see last login at all, that would be entirely eliminated.

So, I figured I'd list some Pros and Cons of having Last Login visible for players - if the consensus still remains that players *need* to be able to see that, so be it, the 'security through obscurity' dropdown option of making it harder for them to see it is better than nothing - but I was so excited about the prospect of it being completely removed yesterday morning that I have to try.

Pros of having Last Login information be GM only:
1. Jase can strike 'Fix PMs to force-update GM-controlled characters last login' off his To-Do list. =)
2. GMs won't see different Last Login information than their players do with regards to GM-controlled characters, eliminating the possibility of them accidentally outing themselves in conversation.
3. GMPCs that haven't posted in a while won't make the cast list look like it has inactive people on it to players. Remember that the GM can't see the same GMPCs' last login information that players do, so they often have no idea a PC looks inactive from the player side.
4. No more gloom-and-doom posts from players of 'Did we lose Bobby?' or 'Looks like Betty's quit' just because those characters haven't logged in for a week or two. (This is shockingly common, and really irritating.)
5. GMs will be able to post for players that *are* absent without other players realizing that it's the GM posting for them. Currently, when a GM puppets a player character, Last Post is updated, but Last Login isn't, making it pretty obvious it was a puppet post. (It can be nice to know that even if you have to tell your GM you lost your job & internet/have to go to the hospital/whatever, it doesn't become everyone else's business too.)
6. Players that control multiple PCs (or NPCs) will have zero fear that someone will notice login trends that are outside of their control.

Cons of having Last Login information GM only:
1. Players can't check other players' login activity.

If you're using logging in as an indication of player activity in a game you're thinking about joining, I think you're doing it wrong. In my experience, if people are logging in every day and never posting, they're just clearing red. If you're an actual player looking to see if another player has seen a post, there's an easy workaround for that. If it's been a few days/week/whatever and you've been waiting for Betty to post, and she hasn't - PM your GM and ask 'Hey, I was waiting for Betty. Has she seen the last post? Is it cool if I go ahead and go again?'

There is *a* workaround for GMs with regards to tripping logins for their characters even when they don't have something to legitimately post in a public thread, but it's a massive pain in the behind to utilize. It involves putting all of the GM-controlled characters into a Group, and making BS posts with all of them on a regular basis to trip their last logins - and even that doesn't work well when Groups are visible to players, because more than once an astute player has said 'Hey, why is Betty in <random unused Group>?' Which means the workaround when Groups are visible to players involves putting the GM-controlled characters into a Group long enough to make a post and then removing them right away, and hoping no one noticed. It's doable (we have to do it every time a GMPC needs to respond to a PM, currently) but man, is it a pain. Not to mention that it requires GMs to remember to do it regularly. Unfortunately, even that won't help obfuscate multiple characters for players, since their problem isn't *not* logging in.

This message was last edited by the user at 14:46, Sun 06 Dec 2020.

Low Key
 subscriber, 247 posts
Sun 6 Dec 2020
at 15:36
Re: RPoL Design Update
While that was a very eloquent argument for taking the last login information (day only) away from players, I'd be very upset to see it go.
So I feel compelled to offer a counter point.

I should note, I am in favour of the two different views, if that helps.
And would not be against a more 'zoomed out' version for players (maybe last logon of 'within the last week' or 'longer than a week', if coding doesn't make that a crazy suggestion) as a middle ground.

So:

Pros of having Last Login information be GM only:

1. Jase can strike 'Fix PMs to force-update GM-controlled characters last login' off his To-Do list. =)
Can't argue with this. Although we're also adding 'code a way for players and GMs to see two totally different cast lists' which may not be less work and may be a pro for leaving last logon visible to players.

2. GMs won't see different Last Login information than their players do with regards to GM-controlled characters, eliminating the possibility of them accidentally outing themselves in conversation.
I've never been in a discussion where there would be a risk of this. Unless the GM is regularly quoting logon dates and times I don't see why a quick proof read to check they're not providing unnecessary information doesn't also prevent this. If your players are asking 'when did so and so last logon' direct them to the cast list. If that doesn't work, the problem sounds like the player not the information in the cast list.

3. GMPCs that haven't posted in a while won't make the cast list look like it has inactive people on it to players. Remember that the GM can't see the same GMPCs' last login information that players do, so they often have no idea a PC looks inactive from the player side.
If I'm a prospective player, I check the cast list to see if there are some active players. If some characters look inactive, that's fine (and, honestly, expected). If I'm in the game, I'm going to want to check characters I'm posting with. Who, presumably, if they're GMPCs, will be posting, so also not a problem.

4. No more gloom-and-doom posts from players of 'Did we lose Bobby?' or 'Looks like Betty's quit' just because those characters haven't logged in for a week or two. (This is shockingly common, and really irritating.)
An engaged player base who care about the people they're playing with is a problem? If this is really irritating to you, and you want to maintain the illusion that an additional character (belonging to GM or a player) is a unique character, then make the occasional OOC post. Eliminates the problem of people worrying about their absence, and builds the illusion that they're a separate entity.

5. GMs will be able to post for players that *are* absent without other players realizing that it's the GM posting for them. Currently, when a GM puppets a player character, Last Post is updated, but Last Login isn't, making it pretty obvious it was a puppet post. (It can be nice to know that even if you have to tell your GM you lost your job & internet/have to go to the hospital/whatever, it doesn't become everyone else's business too.)
This is fair, and I can't argue with it. If a player is absent for RL reasons they wish to keep private, and the GM is posting on their behalf to enable that, then yeah, the cast list may make it clear it was the GM not the player posting. A work around would be a generic 'AFK' post from the player giving no details. I'd also say, most times, the stylistic differences in the writing would give away that someone else wrote the post.

6. Players that control multiple PCs (or NPCs) will have zero fear that someone will notice login trends that are outside of their control.
Ok, but how much fear is there about this? Honest question. I don't care, and will be honest about who I'm playing unless there's a reason not to be. And I've been in a small game, where there was a reason not to be, and where my timezone was distinctly different. I managed to successfully 'stealth' as an additional character for a month or two, when the stealth character died (as planned) and I could reveal all OOC. There are usually far more obvious tells than the logon on the cast list. Writing style, punctuation/formatting quirks, posting times, OOC posts, and probably others I can't think of right now. I'll accept that the cast list is the only one of those the player doesn't have some sort of control over, but in my experience it as also very minor compared to the others. And, unless you happen to refresh the cast list at the exact time another player is logging on it's a long way from conclusive. If you've got players obsessively refreshing to catch the moment someone else logs in, again, the problem is the player not the cast list.

Cons of having Last Login information GM only:

1. Players can't check other players' login activity.
Well yeah. And the above list can be summarised as 'it makes some things more difficult for GMs, and for players with secret characters.
So I'm going to expand on what this means means for me:

- I'm a prospective player in your game. I want to check my compatibility with the current players to make sure I'd be a good fit for the game and it'd be a good fit for me.
With last logon information I can look at the characters who have logged in over the last week, for example. Read the descriptions. See how I feel about the characters I'd potentially be playing with.
Without it, I pick a few and guess. Or read the whole cast list, which in some games is a lot of characters. And I hope that if I join the characters I was excited to write with are active and the ones that raised red flags are either inactive or greatly outnumbered by the ones I liked.

- I'm a new player in a game and I need to jump in somewhere. Having an idea of who has logged on in the last few days, and who hasn't logged on for months gives me an idea of who to approach (IC or via PM) as I figure things out. If the GM thinks a GMPC who isn't showing as active would be perfect for this, then they can approach me as that GMPC, or suggest as GM 'hey, what about whoever'.

- I'm a player in a game. My scene partner has gone silent. Was my last post terrible? Or am I being impatient? If the cast list says they haven't logged on for a few days, I need to cool my jets. If they're logging on daily but not saying anything, it might be time for a polite and friendly PM asking if everything's ok and if I can do anything to help them post.
Yeah, without the information I can PM the GM to give me the information the cast list currently provides. But, if players asking if other players are ok is irritating, players asking 'what would the cast list say if the information hadn't been removed' will get far more irritating.

- I'm a player in a group scene. A character has been quiet. Do I post again or do I wait? As above, and other people have covered this.
The OOC is a good place to check this, but if someone isn't posting IC or OOC it's hard to check in with them. The cast list let's me know if they're clearing red, or if they've not had a chance to log on. I can use that information to inform my response.

While I see the pros and cons to both sides, I play more than I GM. So I want the cast list to be useful to me, a player.
I find the cast list really useful, and would be very sad to lose 'last login'.
I run the old version of the site on my phone so I can still see last logon at a glance if I need to.

From Jase's list of the five bits of information the cast list currently shows, I'd order them (from most to least important to me, as a player):
Name - the rest of the information is meaningless without this
Last Logon - for the reasons outlined above
Last Post - potentially gives a bit more information about activity. But not vital
Tag/Group - I've never been in a game where, as a player, this mattered. Reading this thread, some people have, and I'd have no objection to prioritising one/both of these over Last Post
# Posts - Other than letting me know who is brand new and has never posted, this tells me nothing without further context. And that further context tells me more than this number.
Obviously this is my list, my opinion, and it's totally subjective :)
nauthiz
 subscriber, 687 posts
Sun 6 Dec 2020
at 17:21
Re: RPoL Design Update
The "time on hover" feature looks like a good idea generally.

Though we still get this bit here on mobile

https://i.imgur.com/dHMhxPB.jpg

The content of the GM area doesn't vertically align, and the extra column in the Editor area really squishes things together.  This doesn't affect functionality at all (or at least maybe not much), mostly just aesthetics.




Like Low Key, I'm pro Last Logon for everyone (even if it's only revealed on tap/click/hover/etc).


Based on opinion and anecdote.

I don't think I've ever been in a game where players are watching/checking the cast list intently.

The only time I think it's come up is when someone's gone AFK.  Then you do get the posts about "Did so and so quit?" or more often "have you heard from so and so?" but that's generally been due to people being in a scene with "so and so" and them needing to make a decision (or have the GM do it) about how to proceed either moving things forward, or knowing when to expect things to move forward.

Most of that is solvable through GMs having an absenteeism policy and enforcing it, so everyone knows if a player hasn't posted in X days what the next step should be/will be.

The other time it's been useful as far as people going AFK is when the GM does it.  A GM that's logging in but not posting hits differently than a GM that just stopped logging in with regards to whether a game is temporarily in the doldrums, or statistically more likely to join the pile of games that die off without explanation.


As someone joining a game in progress, it's helpful to know who's around.  There is a difference between someone checking a game and not posting vs not checking a game.  When a game is in a holding pattern due to mid-game recruitment, GM being busy, etc there's plenty of times people check the game to see what was posted but have no reason to reply.  In that case they're usually just waiting for the game to actively resume.

Yes that might be a red flag, but it's much less of one to me as a prospective player than looking into a game that's recruiting and only having "last posted 4 weeks ago" to make some judgements as to the health of said game vs "Last logged on yesterday, last posted 4 weeks ago".


As a player I've also used "last logon" many times when GMs are looking for players to pick up characters that have had their players dropped or at least giving that as an option.  Not every GM is good about communicating all the information needed for that decision (which is instructive about the GM, but that's another matter) and popping into a game, and checking the cast list to suss out what characters the GM was talking about is much easier via Last Logon than Last Post.


Maybe I don't play in enough games that have "secret players"/"Secret GMPCs" but I've never really had that come up in such a way that it needs to be obfuscated more than it already is.  This gets back to my experience with people not really tracking the cast list very intently, or at least rarely offering comment or evidence that they're doing so.  Of the few times I know there's been "secret players" for second characters (because it was me) nobody ever commented or took any actions that made it seem like they were aware or that it otherwise seemed to effect the game.  In one specific instance a player actually stepped up and took over a game as GM and then there was a bit of confusion because they had had no idea as a player I was running what looked like 2 separate PCs, and the way the info on the GM side looked it wasn't very clear either.


Likewise, unless a character has gone quiet and I'm waiting on them, I don't think I've ever noticed that a GM has stepped in to run a character in such a way that they were trying to keep that action a secret.  Which may mean it's never happened, or may mean as a player I didn't notice because I'm not actively looking for such things.
jase
 admin, 3788 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 12:12
Re: RPoL Design Update
While I appreciate the voracity and volume of your replies (and haven't had a chance to fully digest them) there's one thing I will remind you all... if adding or removing a feature is contentious then I won't do it unless there's an overwhelming vote to do so (or it's just otherwise unavoidable).

So we'll be sticking with last logon available, I'll just have to tweak so last post (which affects obfuscation calculations) includes private messages.
Skald
 moderator, 920 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 12:55
Re: RPoL Design Update
Just a thought re the note on the top of the page:

Hover over a row (or click on touch devices) for additional information.

Could we tweak the terminology to:

Hover mouse over a row (or tap on touchscreens) for additional information.


:>
Low Key
 subscriber, 248 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 14:25
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thank you Jase! :)
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 352 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 15:08
Re: RPoL Design Update
Understood, jase, but I had to try! =)

With that in mind, however, I would like to request two compromises that I don't think anyone will disagree with (if you can make them happen).

One, since we have a player view and a GM view cast list, can we keep the Last Login information in the part that requires you to mouseover to view it on the player view? That's not a removal of anything, since that's how the responsive cast list works right now for everyone. You'd just be *adding* the non-mouseover view for GMs.

Two, can we agree to remove the groups from the player view? (At least for characters other than your own.) No one seemed to have a problem with that, and it would help take care of handling last-post-tripping via hidden groups in the meantime while you work on getting PMs to work. Not to mention that it's pretty handy for other purposes, anyway, like letting parties split to handle secret side quests/missions without everyone knowing they're going on/who's involved, etc.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:11, Mon 07 Dec 2020.

JohnB
 supporter, 2105 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 15:37
Re: RPoL Design Update
SunRuanEr:
Two, can we agree to remove the groups from the player view? (At least for characters other than your own.) No one seemed to have a problem with that, a


I do  :)
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 353 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 15:41
Re: RPoL Design Update
You said it was important to you as GM, JohnB. I'm not suggesting removing it from GM view. =)

JohnB:
As a GM, I rarely use 'No of Posts' - I am much more interested in details of the last login and post.  'Groups' is much more important to me than 'Tag' (I  know the status of my players and NPCs)

JohnB
 supporter, 2106 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 16:00
Re: RPoL Design Update
Yep.  But I also use it as a player to monitor who is in the same group as me  :)
Locke1221
 subscriber, 51 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 16:53
Re: RPoL Design Update
@JohnB, you can do that in other ways, like posting a response in a thread and checking the check boxes below the formatting, which will list every character (PC or NPC) that has access to that thread and thus that group.

I'll preface this by saying I've not been a player in a game on rpol for about three years, the few games I've put a character in dying before play started. I have been an active GM for several games for the last seven years though, and that has been my primary participation on the site for the last three. So my needs/desires/perception is all wrapped up in the GM side.

As a GM, I find its been much like teaching a classroom, which is the job I participate in outside of rpol. My second job as it were. It is a balancing act of placating here, firm lines here, massaging egos there, and boosting confidence to that other side. I've found groups to be a great tool in helping to weave the stories my players create together, such as when the evil characters in my D&D game went off to rob as a side quest, they were able to do so secretly.

Because players, even the best players, have a hard time divorcing themselves of their out of character and in character knowledge, and rather than run into the issue of characters being treated differently I like to keep some things close to the chest. However, I have also had players go nuts over knowing that x characters were in a group they weren't, and how I must be playing favorites.

Now sure, someone could say just remove the player who had the fit, or don't keep things secret, but my experience is that warm bodies who post and remain with a game are rare and that people can't keep what they know from being what their character knows or acts on.

In conclusion, and as a final point, you already can't see a post that is in a group you are not in, why should a player have access to knowing who is in a group they are not?
JohnB
 supporter, 2107 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 19:32
Re: RPoL Design Update
Locke1221:
... why should a player have access to knowing who is in a group they are not?


Why not?

*Shrug* I have  played and DMed here for the last 20 years or so, and have also spent a large chunk of my life as a teacher -  I currently train apprentices in Digital Marketing.

I have always been a very 'Student Centred' teacher, full involving all of my students in all of my classes -  and being very honest with them all the way through their courses.  I do the same in my games.  A game belongs as much to the players as it does the GM -  without the players, there isn't a game, they have a right to have an input into all aspects of the game.  In my game, rules and settings change according to input from players.  I am just working out how to run a mini arena (something that I personally dislike intensely) because that is something my players want.

I wonder is, as you haven't participated as a player for a while, you might be somewhat divorced from the way that players feel and see games?  As a player, I have had good GMs and bad GMs.  Some games I  have remained in for years, others I have left quite quickly.  I have had DMs that post quickly, others who post to a schedule and some who seem to struggle to post at all.  I like to have some element of control / involvement in games I join.  I suspect there are quite a few players like that, who don't get involved in this board.  TBH, I am only here at the moment, because one of my players noticed a specific problem in the way languages were display
led.  Otherwise, I would he completely oblivious of this discussion.

In my own game, I move characters between parties and groups.  I leave players in groups that they don't participate in actively (because they want to refer to old threads that they did participate in) and I have a couple of players who like to 'monitor' everything that goes on in-game.  I don't have a problem with that.  After all, they should all know the basics of what happened in the other threads when they get back to town, and they listen to the general gossip.  And I believe that Players are entitled to know who is 'lurking' in their threads

*shrugs* it is a communal / group game - even though I am in charge and the main creator.

But, why the need to get rid of the Groups  field, when (as you point out) there are other ways to find out that information?
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 354 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 20:01
Re: RPoL Design Update
JohnB:
But, why the need to get rid of the Groups  field, when (as you point out) there are other ways to find out that information?


I don't think that's what Locke was saying, JohnB. You were stating that you liked, as a player, to be able to see the people that were in *your* groups. Locke was pointing out (correctly) that there's a way to see who is in *your* groups without having Groups listed on the cast list - open a post in a thread for one of your groups, and you'll see every character that has access to that group at the bottom under the 'Make this post private' option.

So, yes, there is another way to find out what people are in *YOUR* groups.

What there isn't, without having it listed in the cast list, is a way to find out what people are in groups that you *AREN'T* in.

I can't see posts made to threads that are in groups that I don't have a character in, right? By the same token, what need is there to be able to tell that other characters can see posts that I can't? I can tell that you're a reasonable person, as most people that wind up in Development are, so I'm sure you're saying to yourself 'What does it matter?' because you - as a reasonable person - wouldn't abuse that knowledge.

Not every person is that reasonable. Not everyone is content to know that other characters might be doing something on the side that they aren't, or to not see that characters X, Y, and Z are all in the same group, and start looking for a reason why/try to figure out what those characters have in common that explains why they're all in the same group. People metagame, it's a sad fact of RPoL. Why make it easier?

Moreover, there's precedent already for hiding group information - see the Language Groups, or even just the game menu itself. There's nothing at all that lets me determine who has access to *my* language groups, not even a series of checkboxes at the bottom of the post page, much less seeing who has languages that I *don't* have. By the same token, someone that isn't in Group X won't see threads set in that Group on their game list at all, they have no idea it exists...until they see 'X' next to another character's name on the cast list and start wondering 'What's going on in Group X that I can't see?'

...so, what Locke asked, and I'll ask again is - what *need* is there for a player to know whether or not other characters might be in groups that said player *isn't* in?

This message was last edited by the user at 20:12, Mon 07 Dec 2020.

Zag24
 supporter, 660 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 20:13
Re: RPoL Design Update
Imagine running a Mafia game, where you have one group that is the Mafia group.  It's rather important that the people who are not in that group can't tell who is in it.

Hmm.  Maybe I'll run a Mafia game here on RPoL.
JohnB
 supporter, 2108 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 20:27
Re: RPoL Design Update
*grin*  I have said my bit.  That you guys don't like my reason or that you don't run or play games in the same way as I do - isn't my problem - and it is not something that I am going to debate  with you at length.

I come to RPoL to play games -  not fuss about how other people play games  :)  I am sure that Jase will make whatever decision HE thinks is best for the site and the vast majority of the people who use it.

PS:  I played in a Mafia game here once.  It didn't enjoy it much  *shrug*
Locke1221
 subscriber, 52 posts
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 22:24
Re: RPoL Design Update
@JohnB, I think we're passing in the night in regards to our arguments. I agree that a player should be able to see who is in their groups. I don't believe they need to see who is in another group that they are not.

I simply pointed out that there were alternative ways to see that other than the cast list showing the group listings to every player.

You're right, we don't all play the same way, but we do come here to debate in a civil fashion so that Jase has the ability to see what arguments exist on the site, especially when he specifically asked for feedback on this matter.
JohnB
 supporter, 2109 posts
 Demigod of the Stunties
Mon 7 Dec 2020
at 23:09
Re: RPoL Design Update
TBH -  I responded to

"With that in mind, however, I would like to request two compromises that I don't think anyone will disagree with (if you can make them happen)."

I wanted to point out that wasn't accurate, I disagreed with it *shrug* and that the people who come here to 'debate' aren't really representative of the RPoL community.  Discussion groups never are.  BUT, it got turned into something pushy with reams of 'argument'.  I get fed up with that quite quickly.

TBH, if I wanted to run a game where players didn't know who was in other groups - I would set up half-a-dozen fake groups and pop people into them at random.  I wouldn't even bother putting a port into the group -  but it would obscure  'secret' groups quite nicely.

There are other ways to manage your groups, without hiding anything.  *shrug*   :)
theseeker
 member, 30 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2020
at 20:30
Re: RPoL Design Update
Printing threads from the responsive site has significant difference to legacy. One thing I like about it, is that it will do a page break to start a post on a new page when it will not fit at the end of the current page. However, there is a, possibly related problem. It also truncates a post that will not completely fit on a single page. Instead of continuing on the a new page, the remaining content is just thrown away.

Another, more minor complaint, is that it includes the full menu page at the top. When printing, that should be suppressed.

So for now I switch (after making sure to log out) to the old site to print (to pdf).
Chernobyl
 supporter, 137 posts
 Area of desolate waste,
 Mutation Central.
Fri 1 Jan 2021
at 13:47
Re: RPoL Design Update
Love the responsive site in general. Wish that I had the option for the regular site to redirect to the responsive site if I had it selected in my profile.

Iím sure Iíve seen it before, but the cast screen is significantly worse as you canít see when a player last logged on without clicking each member one by one. The old one was way better.
jase
 admin, 3791 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 01:40
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 426):

I believe the roll links use square brackets to encapsulate the results.  The first "]" will close the private message as the old site is ignorant to embedded rolls.  Not much I can do about that without trying hack at the old site while it's in production, which is a risky proposition at best.


Due to ongoing performance issues with Perl (the pages with a ".cgi" extension) and also an overall desire to move to PHP (the pages with ".php"), I made the rash decision to rush moving game.cgi to game.php.  You should now find all game.php (which is the screen that lists the threads for each game) loads/renders faster (general testing shows down from around 0.7 seconds to under 0.3).

That page is the second most popular at 25% of all page views, so if you add the front page (which is top at 35%) then 60% of all our page hits are now PHP.

The responsive site is essentially the second level of testing (lucky you!), with me being the one and only first tester.  I think I got everything migrated successfully but I hope you'll let me know if anything is amiss.  This is only relevant for game.php pages.  Though a simple post to write, the change was pretty heavy.

Other changes:
  • I also detected that a lot of pages were being rendered without a "doctype" which means some browsers were activating "quirks mode".  Quirks mode makes all sorts of old compatibility quirks happen.. basically some layout tweaks/oddities.
  • On top of this I also tweaked some font sizes and some padding/spacing.
  • Added red notification text to the "rMail" top nav menu on new rMail.  The additional menu block that comes up has stayed.
  • Additionally a check for new rMail is now performed when on the game menu (and will alert the same as above).
  • Further changes to the cast list based on feedback, tried to find the best possible compromise.
  • Printing a page removes the navigation, side and footer menus, page navigation row, up/down arrows.  Additionally sets the post information and content to be one after the other and also tries to keep an entire post on one page whenever possible.
  • Goodness knows what else I've messed with and "tweaked"!


Regarding the quirks mode fixes -- If you see any slight adjustments to page layouts then hopefully it's an improvement, if you think something has taken a turn for the worst then let me know.

This message was last edited by the user at 01:56, Today.

Skald
 moderator, 923 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 05:14
Re: RPoL Design Update
Not sure if it's me or the update or it was happening before ...

On Responsive, just noticed if I view a thread in Technical Discussions and then go back to the forum menu, the unread flag is still present.  If I then go to the main menu it correctly shows no unread messages for that forum, but when I return to the Technical Discussions thread that unread flag is still there.

Reloaded old site and it all works fine there - unread flag cleared as expected when return to forum menu after viewing thread.

Technical Discussions just happened to be where I was at the time when I noticed it, don't know if problem extends elsewhere.

Win 10, Firefox 84.0.2.
jase
 admin, 3798 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 06:03
Re: RPoL Design Update
Haven't fallen into the trap of being logged into rpol.net at the same time, have you?

r.rpol.net sets cookies for the domain r.rpol.net while rpol.net (and the www variant) sets cookies for plain rpol.net.

Unfortunately when browsers retrieve settings for subdomains they'll also grab any cookies for the parent domain.  So when a webpage at r.rpol.net requests a list of the cookies it'll return a combination of r.rpol.net and rpol.net cookies.  As far as I can tell in a random order, and the order also seems to differ between PHP and Perl (though haven't done any testing on that).

So when the page asks for a list of the threads that have been read it can either use the cookie set for r.rpol.net (which is correct) or the cookie from rpol.net.

Furthermore we rationalise cookies as we go, but that uses the information we've grabbed from the browser to collate the relevant information and then trim the list.  So we can ask for the read indicator cookie, get the list from rpol.net (the wrong cookie), rationalise it and then set it for r.rpol.net.  Then we've got cookies set for r.rpol.net poisoned with what was retrieved from the rpol.net version of the cookie.

I've done a work-around for the beta site to avoid the cookie conflict but I can't do the same on the responsive site.  I suppose I could just use and set the cookies for rpol.net... will have to contemplate whether that'll cause any issues.  Can't actually think of any issue at the moment.
Skald
 moderator, 924 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 08:10
Re: RPoL Design Update
I did have both sites open the first time I noticed it, but subsequently closed the old site and retried a couple of times and couldn't get the flag to close ... but it might have been too late by then if the cookie had already been broken ?

Edit: just had a new forum thread pop up and have been able to open and view and clear flag on responsive ... so yup, jase is right yet again, it's the old/new/simultaneous trap.  Something to ignore.  ;>

This message was last edited by the user at 14:12, Today.

SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 357 posts
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 17:00
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to jase (msg # 464):

Thanks for all the updates, jase, especially the new red rMail notification.

I do feel that the player-view cast list is a step backwards, since it returns Last Login to being automatically viewable (when it previously required a mouseover on responsive), but I appreciate the removal of the groups from the automatic list so I suppose it's a wash in the end. I'll just have to accept that I'm in the minority about wanting stuff less obvious to players, and deal, I guess. =)

(Any kind of rough ETA on having PMs trip Last Logins for GM-controlled characters?)

As a complete aside, just noticed an interesting glitch with the Last Post for characters that have never posted publicly...

quote:
Wed, 31 Dec '69

This message was last edited by the user at 17:06, Today.

Locke1221
 subscriber, 53 posts
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 17:19
Re: RPoL Design Update
Thanks for the updates Jase, I imagine it's been busy and I appreciate the effort.

Acknowledging that I'm in the minority in regards to last login as well, I do have to say that the current bareness of the Cast List, showing -only- last login and last post is jarring and not terribly attractive.

I also have to put a request forward for Tag to return to being automatically displayed. In my current military games, I use those for player rank, and find that being obvious rather than the players having to mouse over for the dropdown to be far advantageous. I feel like I'm probably not the only one who uses it in some way that feels like it's more integral to the game than either login or last post.

Is there any possibility of GMs getting to select what is visible for their games? Not knowing what sort of coding that would require, I can understand it not being so, but it sounds like a great compromise if it is.