Site Updates: November 2008

Alright. It got mentioned in passing last night that I may implement user accounts. Well I've now done that. As of right now, user accounts exist on this site. Hopefully everything is in place and working ok. You might notice though I have not supplied a self-registration link just yet. That's partly because I need time to shake down the profile system and to shake down access levels to the site to make sure everything is kosher.

The following breakdown now exists:

Anonymous Posters

Anonymous posters are able to submit comments to existing blog, gallery, and download entries ( when those finally get that ). They cannot do anything else. This ends the practice of picking bogus names to either be silly or to attempt to impersonate a legitimate user. All posts made anonymously will simply be tagged as such. Anonymous posts are subject to spam control by the Akismet filter. Chances are if you're anonymous, and your post is flagged as spam, I'll be treating it as such from now on.

Regular Members

Regular members are one step above anonymous posters. They are able to create an account, post to existing blog entries, choose an icon, set a homepage URL, and create a signature. Regular member comments are still subject to Akismet spam control. Most ordinary users who post occasionally will end up in this category once registered. This is also where spam bots who defeat the measures I'm going to use to filter registrations end up, so they'll still have severe difficult spamming even if they manage to get in.

Privileged Members

Yes, elitism abounds, even here. Privileged members will have all of the same abilities as regular members. However, these members will also be able to post comments without interference from the Akismet filters, and down the road they will be privy to blog entries, downloads, and gallery entries that are not visible to the public at large. Admission into this group will not come lightly. You need to be a family member, good friend, or a solid regular member I can trust not to turn into a spammer. I shouldn't need to point out who's likely to get this. It's also not something that will happen automatically, I need to manually intervene to allow this. You can feel free to ask, but don't expect it unless I've gotten to know you. And for the record, elitism isn't politically correct. But you already know how I feel about PC'ness :)

Contributing Members

Contributing members will have all of the abilities of the previous groups. The one obvious addition is that these people, when/if they should ever be designated, will be allowed to contribute blog entries, downloads, and gallery images of their own. They will be limited to being able to edit or delete content they submit, and if I can work it out, they'll also be in charge of determining if comments posted to their entries are considered spam. Don't expect to see too many folks getting access at this level though since it's not likely to actually get used here. It's more for the software development side of things right now.

Administrators

Officers in the Imperial Guard. Or, simply put, people who have complete access to all portions of the site. There's a very VERY slim chance of that ever being conferred on anyone but myself here. In fact, your odds of winning the Powerball lottery *AND* your state's own lottery on the same day with the same set of numbers are probably better. :)

So with that in mind, those of you who got emails already, if you could poke around and see what's what and make sure your stuff works. If you're going to set icons, keep in mind that those will be restricted to 40x40 in size, and the code will forcefully set that when you submit it. So pick something that's not going to be mangled by the process and we'll all be happier for it.

One other thing to note. I have of course included permissions support on the user accounts which can and will be further developed should my laziness result in people doing shit I don't want them doing. I reserve sole discretion on what that may be, so just use common sense if you have any.

Also be aware there will be bugs. The process of transitioning all the old data may have left some places with missing information. Please report those as you find them.

And opportunity knocks, the window is open for suggestions. I suggest if you plan to submit one, you be as detailed as possible and get it in before I lose interest in working on this code again.
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
« Dear Mr. Obama
The Marxist Revolution »

Posted on Nov 2, 2008 6:55 pm by Samson in: | 29 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Samson, just a little quick superficial feedback for you. :)

I love the idea of you having added user accounts, and the breakdown of user levels sounds terrific. (In fact, if you'd done this back when I was still using Sandbox, Dragona and I probably still would be using Sandbox.) The icons/avatars a very nice touch too, btw. Finally, the post count in the profile is just entirely way too cool, thank you for that one! ;)

The only downsides I'm seeing so far are:

  • When I post, it assigns http://www.iguanadons.net/Conner rather than http://tcdbbs.zapto.org/conner as listed in my profile which probably would be very nice if that was a link to my publicly viewable profile page rather than a dead link...

  • If, after posting, and then foolishly clicking the link mentioned in the previous notation, I click back in my browser rather than fixing the url and hitting enter, it reposts my last post... which I have no means to delete the now present duplicate...

  • The recent comments list is a tad bit less useful with the vast majority of comments being by Anonymous, though I suspect that as folks get registered that will improve.

  • The register link is non-functional, but I expect that you're already well aware of that and working on it.

  • Lastly, when I submit changes to my profile the continue link is broken.



As for suggestions, well, something cooler for the recent comments box would be really awesome... ;)
Otherwise, maybe some sort of member list (sortable by post count and/or date joined along with the standard alphabetically and by user level...) and profile read-only access to profiles that aren't ours by those who are registered members might be cool. Oh, a post preview feature of some sort would be absolutely fantastic since it sounds like very few folks will be able to edit their posts after hitting the "Post Comment" button and the nifty editor lets us add bbcode but doesn't have buttons for all the possibilities.. like lists. ;)

That's about all I got for you at the moment, great job on the user account stuff so far though! :)

       
Edited by Samson on Mar 22, 2010 5:29 pm
Hmm, ok, guess I got the wrong code for lists in that one, but I think I figured out the problem with the link.When I update it in my profile it changes for all my posts/comments too, but when I post a comment like this one it changed it to just Conner, though it appears to have fixed itself now for this comment. Go figure, must be a cookies thing. :shrug:

(I'd suggest something about smilies, especially for :shrug: but, we've had that discussion before...)

       
StifflersMOM said:
Comment #3 Nov 2, 2008 8:44 pm
There is still no way for anyone to register. Where is the link.

       
StifflersMOM said:
Comment #4 Nov 2, 2008 8:46 pm
Errrr forget that, i cannot read. Saw the part where it says there is none for now.

       
Test. Also, this is very cool.

Conner seems to have hit on all the bug issues. I'd have mentioned the bullet points on the side, but they appear to have come and gone since I first checked, so ok.

Hadn't realized my post count was so high.

       
Yes. The registration link is "broken" because it doesn't exist. The module isn't even written yet. :) Probably a good thing too since there's a few bugs to clean up first.

Erm. I guess I'll see what it does when I finish this response but that shouldn't happen. The old cookies that stored name and URL aren't going to function anymore. EDIT: It posted my URL just fine. Perhaps a fluke?

Clicking back on the browser should not have resubmitted the POST request. Which browser were you in when that happened?

The profile "continue" link will be fixed shortly. That should have pointed back to the profile page but the link didn't quite work.

I don't know if I really want to expend effort on creating ways to view profiles belonging to other people. I was toying with a quick site stats type of page that would show a few interesting bits, but had no real plans to generate member lists and such.

A post preview shouldn't be overly hard. There are also plans to allow all registered members the ability to edit their comments. I probably should have made that a tad more clear. But I will be imposing a short time limit on how long you'll get to be able to do that so we don't end up with information sabotage.

And if you'd like me to pre-register you, feel free to use the contact form to provide a username and email address to do that with. It's better than nothing for now until I can get the registration module written.

       
Hora catch you catch you catch me catch me matte~

Avatars make the world go 'round.

       
Well that went quicker than I figured. The new user registration link is now active. So if you want to register, you shouldn't have anything other than the captcha and an Akismet screening to get past :)

       
Ah, PHP. There was a bug in the user registration code that prevented registrations from working at all. Seems it plays differently for me but then breaks remotely. Go figure. Anyway, it's been fixed and folks should be able to register now.

I've also fixed the Anonymous posting somewhat so that anons can at least provide a name, but they will be tagged with [Anon] following that name to prevent being mistaken for a legit user if they should happen to try and do that. I realized pretty quickly that if we get multiple anons it would be impossible to follow a conversation with them without at least some way to identify them.

       
Dwir said:

Hadn't realized my post count was so high.

*L* Tell me about it, I knew I'd posted frequently here and even occasionally wondered how much so, but I hadn't realized it was quite as high as it seems to have become yet. :)

Samson said:

Erm. I guess I'll see what it does when I finish this response but that shouldn't happen. The old cookies that stored name and URL aren't going to function anymore. EDIT: It posted my URL just fine. Perhaps a fluke?

Seems to be working just fine now, so I'm perfectly willing to accept that it might have been just a fluke or self-resolving glitch, maybe part of the new feature settling in process. :)

Samson said:

Clicking back on the browser should not have resubmitted the POST request. Which browser were you in when that happened?

Chrome

Samson said:

The profile "continue" link will be fixed shortly. That should have pointed back to the profile page but the link didn't quite work.

I thought that was probably the case, but felt it better to bring it to your attention just in case.

Samson said:

I don't know if I really want to expend effort on creating ways to view profiles belonging to other people. I was toying with a quick site stats type of page that would show a few interesting bits, but had no real plans to generate member lists and such.

Your call, I like numbers like that so it'd work equally for me either way. (Though I would think that the member lists, even if only presorted by join date or alphabetically by name, but also listing post count would be beneficial from time to time for site administration too... or maybe solely.)

Samson said:

A post preview shouldn't be overly hard. There are also plans to allow all registered members the ability to edit their comments. I probably should have made that a tad more clear. But I will be imposing a short time limit on how long you'll get to be able to do that so we don't end up with information sabotage.

I agree, it's a blog site, there should be no reason someone needs to go back and edit their posts more than a relatively short period after (you hit submit and realize you typo'd something, or the next poster points out a glaring error that you really should fix) posting, but having a post preview would all but eliminate even those cases.

Samson said:

Anyway, it's been fixed and folks should be able to register now.

Gratz! That didn't take nearly as long as it probably felt like it had to those anxiously awaiting it. ;)

Samson said:

I've also fixed the Anonymous posting somewhat so that anons can at least provide a name, but they will be tagged with [Anon] following that name to prevent being mistaken for a legit user if they should happen to try and do that. I realized pretty quickly that if we get multiple anons it would be impossible to follow a conversation with them without at least some way to identify them.

For what it's worth, I like you're solution. The [Anon] tag still adequately alerts everyone that the poster was not registered while providing a name so we can distinguish between the posters who don't register.

       
Your call, I like numbers like that so it'd work equally for me either way. (Though I would think that the member lists, even if only presorted by join date or alphabetically by name, but also listing post count would be beneficial from time to time for site administration too... or maybe solely.)


Oh, I as an administrator already have such a list if I need to see it. It just isn't of that much concern really. This is a blog site after all, not a forum :)

I'll have to be quite careful with the allowance for back-editing. Under normal conditions a 30-60 minute grace period would be enough to spot your own typos. But that's more than enough time for information sabotage. But I'm hopeful that registered users won't abuse the privilege when it comes. Otherwise I'll have to restrict it further to the elitist cadre of people I appoint to higher positions :)

       
Ok, then just a nifty stats page will have to do. ;)

Agreed. We'll live with whatever has to be done, but hopefully it won't become an abuse problem. Frankly, after all this time without the means to edit or preview a post, the addition of such even on a very tight time limit would be a great privilege. :)

Have I mentioned that I love the fact that most browsers are now including built-in spell checkers finally? :D

       
Hey, I don't have to log in every time I come to say something witty -- that's a definite plus.

       
Have to agree with Whir on this one, it is very nice to be able to just stay logged in.

       
Samson: small bug or something.. When I tried to add an icon from Linux it will not add.. I can click on choose and pick the one I want and when I click on open the box goes away and nothing is in the file line.. :( Works fine from winblows, but I use linux for most everything...

       
Have to agree with Whir on this one, it is very nice to be able to just stay logged in.


That wasn't really a deliberate decision. Cookies are like that. If you were to stay away long enough it would eventually expire. But I think it's like a year or so before that happens. :)

When I tried to add an icon from Linux it will not add


That sounds more like a browser bug than anything. Which browser were you using? There should be no difference in how a file upload box is handled based on OS.

       
Samson said:

That sounds more like a browser bug than anything. Which browser were you using? There should be no difference in how a file upload box is handled based on OS.


Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.0.3) Gecko/2008092510 Ubuntu/8.04 (hardy) Firefox/3.0.3

       
Samson said:

That wasn't really a deliberate decision. Cookies are like that. If you were to stay away long enough it would eventually expire. But I think it's like a year or so before that happens. :)

Be that as it may, we both know that you could've set the cookies to expire at the end of the session or for a MUCH shorter span, so Whir and I were expressing our gratitude and pleasure at the fact that you'd set it to long enough that we don't have to log back in each visit or even each day.

       
Next time I'm in California, I'll express my... "Gratitude" in person. ;)


Also, you haven't been on ICQ, so... Go buy Fallout 3.

       
Heh. Whir. Why do you suppose I haven't been on ICQ? :)

Way ahead of you. Pre-ordered the Amazon.com exclusive edition back in March. Might even post a review of it soon.

       
I've every indication that I'm getting a copy of Fallout 3 sometime between now and my birthday (in two weeks), so soon I'll be right there with you killing Rad Scorpians and such again too. :)

       
Protip: The first time you play, level small guns and repair to 100 first.

I have very few complaints with the game. The only major one being the absence of a flashlight-like tool. I'm way too accustomed to Gordon Freemaning my way through dark underground places.

       
You mean that they've made repair that useful this time? Kewl! :)

It arrived and got given to me as an early present! She got me the collector's edition that came with the Pip-boy bobble-head & the art book and the making of DVD in the tin lunchbox, so, I guess I won't be around quite as much. ;)

       
(Sorry, for any who don't already know,the she I referred to is Dragona, my most wonderful fiancee.) :)

       
Sorry to be the bubble burster, but no, they didn't make repair "useful" in a meaningful sense of the word. In fact, shit breaks way to easy and got to the point of me downloading and using a cheat mod to put an end to that problem. Oblivion may have been too dirt simple, but they swung that pendulum way too far the other way this time around.

And I'd have to agree with Whir, level up small guns ASAP because you'll be using that throughout the game. Not that I've come anywhere close to finishing it, but thus far, energy weapons are proving to be a huge disappointment. Unless I simply haven't found any decent ones yet.

Develop stealth ability quickly as well. You'll have more fun most of the time staying low and out of sight while baddies fill each other full of holes instead of all filling YOU full of holes :)

       
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