RedesignIt’s been a long time coming, it’s later than planned, and not everything is ready … yes, if proof were needed that I am a software developer by trade then here it is!

So, what’s new?

  • Light background, dark text, larger font » Requested by Sal as he’s old and his eyes ain’t what they used to be, this style change also means my monitor won’t flicker annoyingly as I switch between coding at work and checking my site making it less obvious that I’m not working.
  • Sections, sections, sections » Yes, the old design had sections too but these have been revamped. New for this design are the Music, Style, and Politics sections. Web is a general purpose section that supercedes the Link Of The Day and some of the various feeds of the earlier incarnation.
  • Plugs » The old system of Picture, Video, Game, and Link of the Day have been changed to a less rigid plug system broken down by section. This means less work for me with the potential for more relevant and longer exposure for plugged content.

To Do …

  • Section padding » Some of the sections have no content in them at the moment but it’s coming. I figured I’d wasted enough time tweaking the code and decided to launch half-ready. Hey, who doesn’t?
  • RSS » At time of typing the site is only reading from a couple of video-sharing sites to retrieve their feeds and aggregate them. More site feeds will be switched on in the various sections shortly as they are checked for quality and parsing issues.
  • Older content » Old content from the previous design will be coming across as soon as it’s converted to fit in with the new code. This includes previous pictures, videos, games, and links of the day.
  • Links and resources » Each section will have relevant links and resources added as soon as I get around to it. I.e. MP3 blogs in the music section, photo-related sites in the pictures section, etc.
  • Other users! » I’m prepared to let other people add content to this site. I already have a couple of contributors lined up but the content-submission pages for them are not complete.
  • Optimise CSS » It’s a bloody mess at the moment.

So … still loads to do. Expect a few days of fleshing out the various sections and then … a real update!? Really?! Maybe!

Author: Mark

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  1. >Requested by Sal as he’s old and his eyes ain’t what they used to be

    also, i smell of wee

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  2. oooo, is all readably and legibyl and stuff! wheeeee!!!!111 (smell of)

    also, your under-the-hood stuff sounds highly nifty. impressive, the more so because it’s purpose-directed rather than gadget/tech/meme-led.

    >this style change also means my monitor won’t flicker annoyingly as I switch between coding at work and checking my site making it less obvious that I’m not working.


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  3. Christoph, thanks. Assuming you’re referring to this shit and not your shit. Oh hell, thanks anyway.

    Sal, thanks also. For letting me know always to stand upwind of you.

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  4. Love the new look. I’m completely jealous of all this techy-ability; all I can manage is messing about with bloggers stupid template. Feh. It’s just not fair.

    It really is lovely, though. Also, new page seems to load faster, too (old design and dialup took AGES). Yay!!

    Still hate having to do math to comment, mind you. You won’t get rid of me that easily. Tsk.

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  5. I like the way this is layed out. Much more readablitly goin’ on here. It’ll take a bit of getting used to not seeing the the actual posts in their entirety on the main page. But I have found, and I think you would agree, the bandwidth usage, ease of loading, and more productivity as far as readership improves greatly when you break it up like this. I always like to bait the hook so-to-speak and tuck the fleshy, pulpy goodness inside. Very well played old man. Well played indeed.

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  6. Babs – Thanks. Glad the site is faster; I made a lot of streamlining changes in the code and the new design helps by reducing the content on each page. As for the maths question (We say maths over here; you say math. How odd.) … I’ve got some ideas on removing it in the near future so you might just get your wish.

    Malice – Cheers old fruit. I’m certainly hoping for more visitor productivity once I get the other sections of the site bloated out a bit more. I’m certainly already seeing an uptake in visitors to older posts at the moment (primarily the religion articles and stories) which is good and wasn’t occurring in the old design.

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  7. Hmm, stuff on the left is difficult to read and my neck is sore from reading section headings.

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  8. Lisa – thankzzy

    Drf – are you part of the great "aargh! small fonts!" conspiracy that have already reared their (ugly) heads? Okay, point noted … maybe … maybe it’ll become clearer soon … maybe …

    DD – no, you’re arty – which is bad enough – and you’re (*gasp*) "oop north" too these days. The combination is lethal where maths is concerned. I’m sorry, though, but the Jentina and Lady Sovereign posters needed culling some way.

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  9. Oh ne0n, you’re the ctrl d that leads to the bookmark folder of my heart.

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  10. But you’ll notice that i got the maths question right then 😉
    That means that i lack confidence rather than intelligence. Or something.
    And leave off with the northernist comments. I’ll always be a Southerner at heart

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  11. Lookin’ better and better man. Ever consider sessions variables instead of all this math stuff? I have my commenting system in beta right now and I really can’t see how it would be prone to spamming. It’ll never be able to be directly linked, but who links right to the comments funtion anyway? Food for thought. Also, your thoughts on the closing of TMYK? If any.

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  12. And I tried in FF as well as if that had anything to do with it but still not being able to edit my own comments. Don’t make me come out there.

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  13. I was using a type of session variable – if you view the source of the comment form you’ll see some hidden fields keyed to an IP address at a specific time (more or less the same sort of unique id for a session) – and it had succeeded in obliterating all the comments with faked IP addresses but a new breed of comment bot uses zombie PCs and does actually make a GET request for the page first (therefore grabbing the id or session variable). I had to shift to something with human interaction; at least for the time being. On the one hand it means that any attempted comments are from the actual machines in question and the IP address could be logged and blocked, but on the other hand who wants to wait five seconds while I match incoming page requests against a list of IP addresses ten miles long?

    I really don’t know why editing doesn’t work for you. Didn’t seem to work for someone else recently either. I will definitely be taking a look at that. Sometime.

    By Jove! I think I’ve sorted out the editing!

    TMYK seems to be back now. Might have been just waiting for transfer to JmanX’s server and DNS to propagate.

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  14. This is a test of the neonbubble commenting system.

    AND THERE YA HAVE IT! Yeah it’s a complete bitch running down variables in a page like this so I really do feel your pain. And as far as session variables go can’t you set client sessions with php? Not the hidden form field non-sense I mean actual client variables you can pass from page to page or just make global? I’ll bet the farm it’ll get rid of the pesky comment spam. Not that I really ever see any here to begin with. Give it a spin. Works like a charm over here.

    Now, the comment about zombie rougue W/S’s doing comment spam I would have to see detailed stats on that. My guess is it’s just some moron doing it manually. Either way just add something to the index, loop a querie, and authenticate against it. Shouldn’t really take up all to much on the resource tip. But then again my sites don’t do all that too much traffic to be begin with. Just ditch php, MySql, put your data on another server instead of your main webserver, and that should just about take care of your problem. LONG LIVE TMYK. Even though somehow I have another username that used to be Wil’s? A little confused right now. But look forward to the new Music section. (hint to a mod).

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  15. Don’t go betting that farm! The client sessions are susceptible to the type of bots I’ve seen. From the raw logs there were a whole slew of single GETs to the page (i.e. no styling, no image requests) followed – exactly – 20 seconds later by a POST. Whether there are hidden fields or client side variables, the GET "gets" them, and uses them in the resulting POST. Not manual, definitely automated script, anywhere up to 20 a minute at the peak of traffic; it was only thanks to most of the comments trying to plug casino and drugs sites that the majority was getting blocked by my commenting system by default. The handbags and watches were getting through initially until I twigged the problem. Regardless, it’s stopped now and you can edit to your heart’s content. For 15 minutes.

    And hint taken, don’t worry. I only have a few more bits and pieces to finish off, then post a real update (I’m overdue, I know), and then roll out the Other User Posting Routine 3000 Extreme Deluxe System (name subject to change).

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  16. More potentially bad news. Um looking at the layout at the home [strike]page[/strike] homescreen it appears in IE6.shit the left hand box is @ the bottom of the middle box. In FF it looks just swell. Even though I hate this browser and have been using it for developmental purposes. This is exactly why using pure CSS has made my life hell for few months. Look into it will ya? Thanks buddy.

    EDIT: By the by young Mark how exactly do you deploy the strikethrough in this commenting system. Or is it just for you and you alone. WHich would be not fair one bit. Dammit. Look forward to driving your readership away with some nonsensical rants that contain the word asshole… a lot. First title that comes to mind is "Your Web 2.0 is Bullshit." Complete with illustrations…but of course.

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  17. Ta for that. I will check IE6 this evening as I’ve got it installed somewhere home. Made a few changes today so it shouldn’t be too difficult to sort out with a bit of luck. So far, the best browser is – and I hate to admit it – IE7. Even FF2 has caused me some heartache with having to add in extraneous code.

    Strikethrough is the s tag. Full list on the help page.

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  18. What? YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHHWOHOOOOOOOO! Jerk. And yes, it has become very evident to me as well that IE7 is defintely a hell of alot easier to dev for. You saw an example of that with my little issue over on the forums. I’ve since sorted it all out but yeah. Too much code to make all of it cross browser compatible. I really wish I didn’t give a shit and just go forward with it. But hell, I need my "A" game to compare to this new layout. Thanks for raising the bar ass face. When I say ass face I mean I hope to kill your cat some day. Speaking of which I almost got that Idiot Guy to mash a cat with a hammer. Then he wimpled out. That’s some bullshit right there.

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  19. Okay. Fucking IE6’s box model. Added a couple of pixels width to the style sheet. Looks okay now on my IE6, FF2, and IE7. That should do it.

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  20. Mark. Just wanted to say how much I love this site in its new form. Can’t say I understood more than about 2% of your exchange with Malice regarding the technical aspects. I understood 100% of the words as individual entities since I do actually speak English, and I even got 90% of the acronyms/abbreviations with the help of Google – it was just the general meaning behind the seemingly random collection of words that escaped me. But, you’ll have to excuse me – I’m fairly new to this internet malarkey, and this is only the second time I’ve ever posted anything (other than a couple of googlewhacks for which I was admonished by a resident geek (and I use that term admiringly) for borrowing one of “his” words to make my whack. Crikey, like he owns “Narcotrafficker” or something). Anyway, I got kind of bored (and if I’m honest, frustrated to the point of uncontrollable rage) trying to find googlewhacks and gave up after about three, deciding it was better to have a life (if that is indeed what my paltry existence qualifies as) rather than spend every waking hour trying to find two word combinations that met all the ridiculous whacking rules.

    It was by sheer luck that I chanced upon neonbubble in its pre-redesign incarnation. I was trying to find a tasteful wallpaper of Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud for my newly commissioned PC and your site came up on Google. Oh OK, I was actually trying to find a sexy picture of her to inspire some self-flagellation (damn my compulsive honesty) and your article on Girls Aloud seemed to promise the world. After my initial disappointment (and to be quite frank Mark, my considerable annoyance) that it wasn’t what it purported to be, I put aside my plans to report you to Trading Standards for misrepresentation (I doubt they would have done anything anyway as you’re not actually selling anything – although you did on this occasion, pedal bitter disappointment) and read the article. It was most amusing indeed, and I felt so moved as to bookmark your site.

    I’ve since noticed that you are based in Pompey, which is rather close to my locale of the Wight. Don’t worry though – although I have a deeply rooted obsessive-compulsive behaviour disorder the restraining order Kimberley Walsh took out against me a year or so ago has taught me a valuable lesson with regard to stalking. Besides if you know anything of us born and bred caulkheads you’ll realise I’m not lying when I say I now no longer venture any further north on my tractor than the village of Niton.

    Anyway, over time, as I learn more about this new fangled web thing I might post again, and will possibly experiment with exciting things such as BBCodes too (now that I know what they are). In the meantime there’s a whole back-catalogue of informative neonbubble articles for me to read and digest – fantastic, I’m learning so much from them. Oh, and just one more thing – the mathematical “moron filter” doesn’t appear to be working (have you read the comments on Jentina or Lady Sov?), might I suggest you enhance it by asking for the solution to a complex polynomial, or perhaps a derivation of Fermats theorem for example?

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  21. Grazor, thanks and don’t worry about the exchange with Malice. Nobody understands more than about 2% of any exchange with him.

    I suspected you were very nearly a neighbour of mine as I saw the Nynex Cable and Wireless NTL VirginMedia IP address for Cosham show up in your comment statistics which just so happens to be a server we both go through to reach the wide and wondrous ocean that is the internet.

    The "moron filter" is a very recent addition to the site – hence the mudslide of drivel prevalent on those particular articles – but has had a noticeable impact on the Lady Sov and Jentina commenters since its implementation. That said, its purpose was not to reduce dreadfully-spelt declarations of incomprehensibility – since some are unintentionally hilarious and quite entertaining – but unforeseen benefits are gratefully accepted.

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