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Site revamp

Posted by ckknight Jun 17, 2009 at 18:45 UTC

Hey beautiful people, ckknight here.

I've been working on the revamp of WowAce for a long time now, and I've gotten to the point where I'm comfortable launching it as the main site.

This is the largest change to happen to the codebase since WowAce moved from its old technology to the new CurseForge-based one.

Apart from the following, many, many bugs were fixed in the process.

  • There are gradients and rounded corners now. This provides a feeling of weight to the widgets on the page. (also: I'm pretty sure this makes us Web 2.0)
  • New color scheme for WowAce and CurseForge (though they do borrow some shades from the old).
  • Widgets are more spread out than before, allowing an easier eye-travel path.
  • Streamlined pages where every page of the same type (e.g. details, listing, main page, edit) have the same feel, rather than differing from page-to-page.
  • Many various layout fixes.
  • Improved form layout, as you can see on http://www.wowace.com/create-project/
    • the most important field (Project name) is larger
    • icons show where they make sense, e.g. on the categories and languages.
    • Many-to-many editing pages are far, far easier to use. Examples would include project membership assignments.
  • Tab-based navigational interface instead of a pseudo-tabbed interface or dropdowns.
  • Visible user actions in the upper-right corner of every page, this replaces any dropdowns that the user might experience.
  • Easy to access, but hidden by default, admin actions, below user actions. This would appear only if a user has special rights to an object.
  • Listings: (good example: http://www.wowace.com/projects/pitbull4/tickets/)
    • Much more advanced filtering system
      • Icons in some filters
      • More advanced filters in most cases
      • Date-based filters
      • Per-page specification (if you are an author or QA person and want to see all the tickets on one page, you can. This is limited to authors so that the database doesn't become overloaded unnecessarily.)
      • Bulk editing is a lot cleaner and easier. This is used for ticket management.
    • Better visibility of sorting and pagination
    • Heavy use of icons for graphical feedback.
    • Create links on the top-right. e.g. On the projects listing, "Create project" shows up. On a tickets listing, "Post a ticket" shows up.
  • Use of openable widgets, e.g. post a comment. Instead of seeing a big white box before all comments, you click "Post a comment" first.
  • Contests system, for if we have code contests (which we just finished one), or image-based contests (if we want a logo contest or something along those lines). (http://www.wowace.com/contests/)
  • Theme system, which handles the styles of a site, where each site has a separate theme, but users can create their own themes and post them for others to use. (http://www.wowace.com/themes/)
    • This is very powerful and will allow custom theming of sub-sites (e.g. atlasmod.com or support.curse.com) very easily.
  • Greater consistency for posting. Previously, the "Preview" of a post might look very different from the final result, now, they look exactly the same in both situations.
  • Due to the hidden admin actions, more actions can be placed inside. On a project, the mainline repository is far more accessible because of this. Many authors had issues figuring out what was possible before, but this alleviates most worries.
  • Categories have all been given icons. This was mostly in anticipation for the upcoming Curse Client 4.0, but it's also adopted on the new CurseForge as well. Everywhere a category would show, its icon shows now. (Eventually, Curse.com will sync these icons as well.)
  • Comments
    • banning options have been added to make it easier to fight The War on Spam.
    • direct linking of comments now provide links that will work regardless of pagination.
  • Users now have all their IP addresses tracked, rather than just one. This will allow us to better track gaming of the system, but mostly for spammers.
  • Sites have much better management, so that if we want to launch a new site based on CurseForge tech or change an existing site, this is very viable. This will become more prevalent later, if we launch a non-addon site (since CurseForge's technology is a very good project management system), a ticketing-only site (perhaps for support.curse.com or potentially other sites), or for authors to host a site with us based on one or more of their projects (e.g. atlasmod.com).
  • Implemented a data caching system. This should make page loads quite a bit faster overall, but their shouldn't be any horrible invalidation issues (here's hoping).
  • Set up for localization of the whole site. Every string is properly wrapped, but it doesn't hook into the localization app yet. That is low-priority and a few months off, after some more important things are taken care of.
  • Implement CCIP support (used by Curse Client 4.0). On files pages, there is a "4.0 Install" button in the top-right. Once CC 3.0 supports CCIP, the standard psyn links will be replaced with CCIP links.
  • Add icons to projects, as specified by the project owner.
  • When hovering over images that have been shrunk down, show the full image in a popup. (e.g. http://www.wowace.com/projects/)
  • When making a large comment, the textarea size will expand as you make more lines.
  • For search boxes, add an eyeglass icon as well as a grayed out "Search" text.
  • More Semantic HTML, which should help Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a bit.
  1. 18 comments

Site Enhancements

Posted by Ackis Jul 23, 2009 at 14:50 UTC

Over the past month, there have been many enhancements to the site. Here's a quick list summarizing the major changes:

  • Search enhancements. Yes searching will no longer suck, there have been substantial enhancements in the searching algorithms to make search results more accurate.
  • Private messaging system. Some of you may have noticed the private messaging system on up the top right. You can now message other users on the site.
  • Rendering optimizations. There has been a lot of changes to the back end to allow for faster rendering of the site, themes and whatnot.
  • Addition of experimental projects. If you want to try something out, you can now request experimental status. Projects won't syndicate, but it allows you to try out new ideas.
  • Addition of themes to the site. You can now customize how the site looks and feels.

There's a few new changes coming down the pipe. There was a [[announcements:curse-client-4-0-sneak-peak|preview]] of the new Curse Client released a little while ago, plus there are a few other nifty features which I can't talk about now.

  1. 1 comment

Server Maintenance Window

Posted by Kaelten Jun 15, 2010 at 22:01 UTC

Hi guys,

We're going to be doing a brief server maintenance in a few moments during which the main site will be unreachable, the repositories will still be up and working.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

UPDATE: and we're backup, sorry for the downtime there guys :)

  1. 1 comment

Site Migration

Posted by Kaelten Sep 30, 2010 at 15:20 UTC

Hey guys,

Tonight I'm beginning the migration of the sites to our shiny new servers. This will unfortunately require that services will be taken offline as needed.

I'll try to keep everyone notified as things progress.

Thanks for understanding, and sorry for the inconvenience.

Going to start posting updates below, if I forget all times given should be GMT-5 (except when Ackis posts).

Quote from Update Thursday 3:19PM GMT-5:

Know it's been a while since the last update. I wanted to let people know that we're doing good on stabilization front.

The Packager is up and running, and the approval queue is fixed. I'm keeping an eye on the error logs so that we know where we're at as far as that, and I'm about to bring the next round of services back online.

Quote from Update Thursday 9:55AM GMT-6:

There are still a few issues being worked out. File approvals can't be processed just yet, there's a few issues with the repo's as well. These are being worked on. If you do see any issues, please create a ticket (search first to see if an existing one is there) under the "Site Issues" link up top. We're getting everything fixed as fast as we can. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Quote from Update Thursday 3:55AM GMT-5:

All existing repositories are up and functional, however creating new repositories and packaging are still having issues. I'll be getting back on these things first thing in the morning.

Quote from Update Thursday 3:05AM GMT-5:

Hg is fully up and functioning. Please notify of any issues using it.

Quote from Update Thursday 2:05AM GMT-5:

Git is fully up and functioning. Please notify of any issues using it.

Quote from Update Thursday 1:11AM GMT-5:

Svn is fully up and functioning. Please notify of any issues using it.

Quote from Update Wed 11:30PM GMT-5:

I know it's been a long time since my last update but rest assured I'm still working.

I'm glad to say that svn+ssh access is now back working, I'm starting work on svn: now.

NOTE: if you use any of the ssh auth methods you may run into issues because the servers key has changed. On Linux based systems this can be found at /.ssh/known_hosts. I'm not sure about how windows handles that.

Quote from Update Wed 8:46PM GMT-5:

Got several issues worked out including one related to manually uploading files and the virus scanner. Sorry for those who got error messages.

Quote from Update Wed 6:27PM GMT-5:

We're seeing some packet loss in the new datacenter, but we're working on hard on getting it resolved.

Quote from Update Wed 6:00PM GMT-5:

If you're seeing this update you're on the new servers!

Repositories are still down, I'm working on a few things I'm noticing that are off and will be updating you guys shortly.

Quote from Update Wed 4:44PM GMT-5:

Repository access is disabled and a final copy has been started. Sorry for the inconvenience guys.

I don't have a solid ETA yet, but I'll update here when I do. I'm going to be brining the site down for a transition over to the new servers shortly.

Quote from Update Wed 4:25PM GMT-5:

I'm going to be disabling repository access shortly

Kaelten

  1. 9 comments

Server Migration Complete

Posted by Kaelten Oct 05, 2010 at 21:43 UTC

Hey Guys,

I know that I stopped updating a few days ago when things started slowing down, so I wanted to officially say that the transition is done and that all services are online in our new datacenter and running on the new hardware.

At this point there may be a few known issues here and there, and of course there's always more to do. But if you're experiencing anything please make a ticket, and we'll get to it as soon as we can. If you're having some more urgent issue please feel free to PM me directly.

Thanks for the understanding as we've been transitioning everything and stabilizing things. Enjoy the shiny new hardware!

Kaelten

  1. 5 comments