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Site Updates

Discussion in Website Feedback & Bugs started by Brian, Feb 27, 2012

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  1. Jun 4, 2006
    Got tired of bumping the new site news post every time there was a little site update, so instead I'm going to dump everything in here, starting with the most recent change!

    Attachment Viewer - You may now browse and view all attachments you've uploaded and re-use them anywhere on the site. This will help with redundant file uploads in scenarios where users wish to re-use an already uploaded file. You may also see the post you originally added the attachment to. You can access the viewer here: http://plaguefest.com/attachments/mine - or via the user menu:


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    • Brian
      This message by Brian has been removed from public view. Deleted by Brian, Apr 8, 2013, Reason: no longer applicable.
      Mar 14, 2012
    • Jun 4, 2006
      Floating Top Arrow

      Small update but involves a preference option so might as well mention it...

      Added a little 'Top' floater button that appears once you've scrolled down far enough and if clicked, will send you to the top of the page (duh yo!). I often find myself in the middle of a long thread only to want to go to the top quickly to go to a new page via the navigation, but I'm left with either scrolling furiously to the top, or continuing my journey to the very bottom to hit the top link in the footer (or use one of the footer links if applicable).

      Instead I put up a 'floating' top button which will always be there off to the side in case it's needed.


      How close it is to the actual thread / page depends on your screen resolution, I re-sized mine in order to get it close just to showcase its position.

      If you don't want this to appear, you may disable it:

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      • Jun 4, 2006
        Enhanced Search

        Site is now running an enhanced search which in turn will improve the overall search functionality, accuracy & performance.

        • It uses a stemming analyzer which allows a search for "tests" to automatically match results for "test", "testing", "tested", and other similar words. With this words are reduced to their roots before searches are performed.
        • There is also no minimum word length, you can search for words under 4 characters in other words, a common limitation with full text mysql searches, which is what the majority of forums & sites use (unless they're huge).
        • Eliminates most SQL I/O which will in turn reduce the load on the MySQL server when users are searching the forums.
        • It also provides support for returning results based on how relevant they are, you can select whether to search by relevancy in the advanced options: enhancedsearch
        An example of how much of a difference the Relevance option makes:

        Search Query: Map Suggestion Thread

        Most Recent Results:

        Relevancy Results:

        A quick way to switch from recent to relevant after making a search is to just hit the "Search Again" button on the upper right, this will take you to the advanced options. I'd do this if I were looking for something, I'd try most recent first, if it's not on the first page I hit the good ol searchagen and set it to Relevant and usually after that I've found what I wanted. If not, change terms.

        Hopefully we won't run into any issues with it, but that's always a possibility with anything especially anything new. :sidefrown:
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        • Jun 4, 2006
          Chat / Shoutbox

          You may have noticed the chat / shoutbox on the front page / forum index. This may or may not stick around depending on how things turn out, but figured I'd post some quick notes about it.

          • On the Chat tab there's a full size view of the chat - and also a Popup version: popup
          • The 'members chatting' block on the Chat tab does not update live - only on page load will it show who's currently chatting and it's only within the past 15 minutes.
          • Chats are logged & archived to a private forum thread for the time being.
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            Brian, Mar 30, 2012 Last edited by Brian, Jun 10, 2014
          • Jun 4, 2006
            More User Features

            Here's a list of some new user-related options / features.
            • Thread Title Edit - You may edit the thread title of threads you start within a 5 minute time frame. This is in case users misspell / fuck up their thread title and don't want to look like a moron.
            • Thread Prefix Edit - You may change the prefix on a thread you start in case you chose the wrong one.
            • Add Poll to Existing Thread - You may add a poll to any existing thread you've created.
            All of the above options are accessed by editing your post and then hitting more options...

            Also note there is now an "edit reason" box, however this is entirely optional and will only display to yourself and the forum moderators.

            • Change User Name - You may now change your own user name once and once only. This is primarily for those who wish to alter their name slightly, e.g. Brian6582 to Brian or similar. Please note if you misuse this feature you will be stuck with your new name and/or a ban is possible depending on the name you choose (follow site rules - common sense stuff here). Also realize this is the name you need to login with, ensure it's easy to type and DON'T FUCK IT UP. You may change your name here: http://plaguefest.com/account/UserNameChange

            All actions with any of these features are logged. If anyone misuses them they will be dealt with, even though it's fairly difficult to with time limits in place and such given you're not trying to be a deliberate asshole. E.g. if Chris changes his name to 26 capital O's... he's gonna get slapped. Hard.

            There's some other new features as well, mainly dealing with post edits but these are meant for moderators+ so if you're a mod make sure you check out the Guides & Info section of LSA forums for more info on this.

            Please let me know via PM if you come across any issues. Thanks!
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              Brian, Apr 16, 2012 Last edited by Brian, Apr 16, 2012
            • Jun 4, 2006
              Very Minor Update / Informational Post - Online Indicator in Threads + Viewable Deleted Placeholder

              We had an online indicator in the thread view before the site was ready for launch, but it wasn't the best looking nor was it added via the best means. Decided to give it another go and ended up adding a simple, small green bullet after your username which will indicate that the user is currently online (respects whether or not your online status is hidden).

              This work for you, huh @Kyle ?!?

              Also just as a note, anyone can see if a message was deleted, however you cannot view the post content of course (this would defeat the purpose of deleted posts).


              In the above example, @That Guy's post is no longer slightly confusing at first for those who couldn't see the deleted post placeholder (originally everyone except mods). Only moderators+ can view the actual post content of course. All regular members can see is the placeholder, knowing that a post once existed but was now deleted (by either the author, a moderator, or admin). It'll show the reason too if one's supplied. Being able to view the deleted post may or may not stay, so if it suddenly disappears don't be surprised. Just trying it out and seeing how some more 'open moderation' goes, within reason.

              Das all 4 nowz. :nerd:
              • Good Idea Good Idea x 2
                Brian, Apr 18, 2012 Last edited by Brian, Apr 19, 2012
              • Jun 4, 2006
                Gift Upgrade

                You can now gift a donator upgrade to a friend via the user control panel. It can be accessed via http://plaguefest.com/gift or as seen below:



                After purchasing you'll just be redirected back to the site with no further instruction. Just let your buddy know you got it and they'll have it in-game by the next map change.

                For the most part only registered users who are regular members can be gifted. You cannot gift yourself, current subscribers, management, lead server admins, server admins, and a few other conditions. If you experience issues in your attempt to purchase a user donator feel free to PM me.

                While this may seem obvious, please don't gift upgrades unless the user knows beforehand that you are doing so. Some players simply do not want any perks in-game, free or not. I would presume in all instances the gift will be worked out beforehand by both parties.

                Additionally the forum's software was updated today including mostly bug and security fixes:
                • Flood check multiplier did not work on discouraged users
                • AddThis publisher ID not sent through correctly
                • Plain BB codes didn't always work correctly when nested
                • PHP 5.4 incompatibilities
                • Missing forum info when merging posts
                • Dots are not removed from integer params in URLs in all situations where necessary
                • In-page navigation with quote attribution links does not change browser history correctly
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                • Jun 4, 2006
                  I haven't been updating this lately with any of the recent changes, but here's one I think I should mention otherwise most probably won't know about it.

                  Quote Selection

                  You can now quote based on your selected text in a thread. Useful if you don't want to quote an entire Vadleon Post™, or if you wish to create multiple quotes at once. Hitting the 'quote selection' button will not take you to the bottom of the page where the editor is like the normal quote buttons do, you'll have to scroll down yourself, or just continue reading the thread until you get there, perhaps quoting more people as you go. Reason it doesn't auto-scroll is in case users wish to select more than 1 area of a post, or multiple posts, before writing out their reply.


                  There were other changes/additions as well but nothing worth mentioning or anything that needs an explanation.
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                    Brian, Oct 2, 2012 Last edited by Brian, Oct 30, 2012
                  • Jun 4, 2006
                    Quick informational update.. small user preference change regarding text colors in forum and blog posts.

                    Previously if someone wanted to get rid of awful bright colors, s/he would have to go to their preferences and enable the option to convert colors to a black shade.

                    Now bright colors are converted automatically by default, but to a darker shade of the original color:

                    --- Originals ---

                    --- Converted ---

                    Only affects colors above a certain threshold, so for example, Vadleon's color is unaffected:


                    His color was actually the color that helped determine the threshold value, if the threshold affected his color, it was slightly too aggressive. So it was set just above Vad's color, since anything brighter than that would start to become difficult to see. The threshold value may be altered still if I find it's affecting colors it probably shouldn't.

                    It also affects blog post content:


                    If you don't want colors to be affected at all, you can disable the feature in your user preferences http://plaguefest.com/account/preferences

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                      Brian, Oct 21, 2012 Last edited by Brian, Oct 21, 2012
                    • Jun 4, 2006
                      Quick post about a previous update - http://plaguefest.com/threads/site-updates.9426/#post-132539 - The deleted posts placeholders are now public again:
                      We had this previously but had to get rid of it due to an issue where deleted posts would appear in Taptalk*. Since this has been addressed, the deleted post placeholders are now public again.

                      Also the lights on/off switch now redirects you back to what you were previously viewing (instead of loading the forum index), so it should be less annoying now for those that use it often.

                      If you're an LSA+, you can view this thread for moderator updates.

                      * Users browsing via Taptalk will not see the deleted post placeholders, as the Taptalk app itself likes to use the entirety of the post content itself as the placeholder, so that's no good.
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                      • Jul 11, 2007
                        Germans hear rumors of new Plague Fest servers page

                        Thanks to me be bored and having nothing to do, I told @Brian to give me something to keep me busy. He ignored me and disappeared offline. This did not solve my boredom. I became curious in how easy it would be to make a server information page and the next thing you know I had some proof of concept pages for Brian to look at. We were soon communicating well. The new servers page was born after a little collaboration with me writing all of the fun back end that makes it work and Brian formatting/styling it all to make it pretty. Somewhere along the middle I was easily convinced by Brian to write a Mumble status sidebar. Ta-Daa!

                        If you go to the front page / forum / servers section you will find a Mumble sidebar showing who is connected. This status is cached on the front page / forum and will update every four minutes. The Mumble sidebar on the servers page will be live. The game servers are all cached on a timer of five minutes. Caching reduces the load on the servers to ensure everything is speedy. Anything that is cached will have a timer of when it was last updated. For servers you will find it under the title and for the Mumble sidebar it will be at the bottom.

                        Note: The "Joined" player times are based on your forum account's timezone setting. If you are not logged in or your timezone setting is incorrect, joined times may seem a bit wonky.
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                        • Jun 4, 2006
                          Color Coded Usernames

                          Outside of forum threads, profiles, or conversations there is no indication as to what group a user is in. Color coded usernames will be colored based on the user's group and appear in various areas of the site (not all) where the usual management, lsa, server admin, donator, et cetera group badges are not displayed.

                          This feature can be enabled via your preferences:
                          colors1 colors1_light

                          Width Toggle

                          This is something that's been on the site for over two months now - I just never posted about it. At the bottom of the site there's a "+" where you can toggle the width of the website between fluid and fixed:

                          This can also be set via your preferences:

                          Who Replied

                          This is minor but I'll mention it anyway. Clicking the reply count of a thread will open an overlay displaying the users who have posted in that thread and how many posts they've made. Clicking the post count will display only their posts in the thread.


                          Misc Changes / Updates

                          New Forums
                          Hardware & Software was split up, Technical Support is no longer a sub forum, and some additional forums were added. The new sections are as follows:

                          - Hardware Hangout
                          - Software Sanctuary
                          - Media Devices
                          - Android
                          - iPhone/iOS
                          - Networking
                          - Technical Support

                          Tagging Updated
                          Support for apostrophes and quote marks has been added.
                          You can now receive e-mails when you're tagged if you want (off by default):

                          BBCode Media Embeds
                          BBcode media embeds have been updated including some new ones.

                          Blogs Slightly Restyled
                          The layout of blog entries has been touched up a tad. Added support for colored usernames.

                          Tabs Code Fix
                          Added patch to editor in order to support tabs in code pastes. See this post for details & instructions: http://plaguefest.com/threads/moving-spawn-points-ze-multiple-levels.14730/#post-190714

                          Steam Badges Updated
                          The site's steam integration has been updated including performance improvements, session cookies, and new buttons to view a player's screenshots, videos, inventory, and so forth:

                          Attachment Changes
                          Removed .bsp from accepted attachment extensions. If you're going to upload a map, compress it! .bz2 still accepted.

                          Forum Node Icons
                          Forum icons were updated from a simple image sprite to pure CSS. Individual icons defined for each forum for easier identification.

                          Ratings Updated
                          - Tapatalk likes feature not functioning has been fixed.
                          - Bug where news feed/recent activity would incorrectly show 'your post' when logged out, and sometimes 'user x's post' when logged in as user x has been fixed.
                          - Bug where ratings you've received / given pages would have slightly more pages than actually existed in certain circumstances has been fixed.

                          Tapatalk Updated
                          - 'Last Seen' on membercard overlays now shows where on the forums they are via taptalk, instead of just "On Taptalk" as it did previously.
                          - Online features optimized.
                          - Option display optimized.
                          - Push feature optimized.
                          - Smart banner feature added.
                          - Support for multi-quote function added.
                          - Rename topic function for moderator added.
                          - Increased compatibility with other modes.
                          - Register function added including register, change password, forgot password, and update email.
                          - Tapatalk app alert/smart banner display optimized.
                          - Permission status issue of topic title edit fixed.
                          - Permission status issue of ban for mod fixed.

                          Forums Updated
                          - Stronger spam prevention & admin only links in profiles.
                          - No more blank pages when rebuilding templates.
                          - Adjusted Skype custom field to support Windows Live addresses (they merged).
                          - Fixed conversation recipient counts being changed in incorrect scenarios.
                          - Improved HTML parsing in RSS feed imports.
                          - Improved performance in calculating banned/discouraged IPs.
                          - Fixed spam cleaner not working correctly when used multiple times without reloading.
                          - Fixed spam cleaner not deleting soft deleted posts.
                          - Performance improvements updating thread/attachment view counts.
                          - Fixed required profile fields being skipped on registration.
                          - Various other bug fixes & improved compatibility.
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                          • Jun 4, 2006
                            Two new forums have been added:
                            • Programming (C, C++, C#, Java, .NET, Visual Basic, Python, Ruby, SourcePawn, Lua, etc.)
                            • Web Development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc.)
                            A new rating, Programming King, has also been added and is available in all forums.

                            The new forums are for you to discuss programming or web development, ask questions, share your work, get feedback, and so forth.

                            Any structure/format, rules, stickies, etc. will be created as needed. Off the top of my head I can foresee rules/stickies regarding homework assignments, format of thread titles (such as including the language(s) you're working with in the thread title, e.g. `[Java] Need help getting this function to work`), and maybe marking question threads as answered (a prefix the OP can set perhaps). This will depend on what type of content people are posting and how the forums get used.

                            Mega threads are allowed & encouraged, e.g. 'What are you working on?', or 'What are your editors of choice?', or 'What tools do you use often?', or 'Favorite Sublime Text packages', or 'Share your development setup', et cetera.

                            Please post any suggestions or bugs in the Website Feedback & Bugs forum.
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                            • Jun 4, 2006
                              24-Hour Time

                              Just a quick post to let everyone know that 24-hour time is now available as a user preference. You can enable it here by changing your Language preference: http://plaguefest.com/account/preferences

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