More changes at UPSU.net

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

Things have been changing on UPSU.net, but most of the changes have been behind the scenes, so there's not much point me saying much about them here, but I'll skip over them to (try to) prove I've been working... ;o)

  • The news system has been tweaked again: each news article is made up of two parts; the introduction (which is shown in the news listings pages along with a picture) and the main body (which is only shown when you click a link to view a news article).

    Previously, we would write the introduction and the main article separately and save it; the website would then concatenate the two blocks of HTML together, but this led to some display problems, especially when we started using templates this week and found the image in the intro text was overlapping the text in the main body.

    We were also limited to using a 128px-wide image in the intro text, which looked a bit odd at the top of a news article, making it hard to work out what was in the image.

    By adding a "hook" into the code which checks for a certain "tag", we can now create our main news body and, by inserting a short word inside curly brackets, we tell the site to strip all the HTML from the introduction - leaving only the words - and insert it into the main body of the document; now we don't have to worry what will happen when out intro text is tacked on to the start of the news body, and it's completely backward-compatible. Check out the first example of this system working here. Boring, huh?

  • I've also added a hook into the news and webpage system which checks to see whether an article's description META tag has been set; if it hasn't, the first 200 letters of the introduction text are used as the META description. It's crude but, for well-written articles with a good introduction, it works well.
  • Another area to see some work has been the blogs, with the right format of date/author info displayed at the top of individual blog entries now - a-la blogs homepage, plus I've added a set of "< prev | main | next >" links to let you browse around a member's blog more easily. I still have to design the code for the calendar and tagging system, and also create a homepage layout and finalise the homepage's functionality, so blogs are a fairly long way from being even nearly done yet. Still, I hope it'll be a nice "thing" once it's done though!

I'm off to catch up on Lost. If you're still reading this, you really must be painfully bored... ;o)

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