Ad Changes

Sep 29 2008, 12:00 AM

You might’ve noticed that google ads show in the topic layout now by the post buttons. We will be testing these, and possibly some new ad placements over the next week. To put it in simpler terms, I’ll just be honest: google hasn’t been doing as well. Obviously the state of the economy right now probably does not help Google either. This wouldn’t be such a problem except for the fact that I’m looking to invest in a better network provider in the next two weeks. I’m getting a little tired of the current provider’s antics which I’ll go into detail about in a later date for anyone who really wants to know.

We need a new one at this point, but it’s more expensive. The service needs to generate a little more revenue than it is currently to do that. Ad changes will make sure it’s always covered.

Before anyone gets any ideas, no, I’m not looking to flood all the sites with annoying ads. That is NOT my goal; don’t expect popups or anything crazy like that. And no, I’m not going “bankrupt” or anything else either, and this isn’t the “end of the service soon” or anything like that. I’m only mentioning those things because I know some people have a tendancy to freak out about wonder what’s going on under the hood, but those are the facts, straight up from me. Obviously there will be changes in the ads such as the ones in topic, or changed positions, but I’m going to try to keep everything as unobtrustive as possible and find what works best. I don’t like having a forum with annoying ads just as much as the next person, so actual thought is going into this. In fact, the topic ad change is actually pretty traditional of most forum hosts now and seems to be widely accepted, so that’s what is being done first.

By the way, obviously if you pay for Ad Removal and have it turned on, then you can just ignore this post. In addition, even if we add something such as the topic ad, you will not be charged additional views or anything like that, so everything will be the same there.

I’ll see what works and does not, and your feedback is ALWAYS welcome on this post during the tests — after all, you guys are running the forums. Keep it constructive and we’ll take note of it. smile.gif

IRC/Chat Server DNS

Sep 23 2008, 12:00 AM

The main server of the Nightfire IRC network, vader.ircnightfire.net has been moved to a new server. DNS information may not update right away so if you can’t connect to nightfire, please use irc.jcink.com. Note: If you’re using Mibbit live chats from our site, you are already covered and don’t have to do anything.

After 24 hours, this notice should not matter anymore and everything will be working.

OS icons w/ Browser

Sep 12 2008, 12:00 AM

Small update to the forum service while tinkering; I noticed that the ‘browser icon’ code that displays a small icon of what browser the user was running on the online list was surprisingly inefficient. I decided to rewrite the code, and the page sees an improvement speed wise (went from around 800-1000 ms to around 200ms only.)

While I was at it - I threw in a feature right quick that displays the operating system of the user with little icons such as for windows and for Linux. Thought it may be cool to see what OSes were being used as well. It was enabled in the online list only for a while by default until I worked out any issues, but now I’ve made an option in the JFB Admin CP.

Also, while I was at it, I added a few more browsers to the known browser database for the code, including the new Google Chrome

Having this information is mostly just fun to display but it can also be really useful to see what your overall audience uses. This helps when making decisions on how to add codes for your board that may not be cross browser, or even OS compatible at first.

New Macros Page

Sep 9 2008, 12:00 AM

The macro page update is finally finished. With the new page, you will now find that you can instantly edit any macro without leaving the page you’re on. Two modes exist now - simple, for quick and easy image link pasting, and advanced for the power users who just like plain old raw HTML that they’re used to. In addition, Macros now have normal names for the default set, and can no longer be removed. In addition, the images are now set to all display the preview by default.

For a long time, the macros page has remained as is. It isn’t a bad page but it’s not a great one either; particularly there are a few aspects that are confusing. For one, some of the names of the items are vague and don’t mean much of anything. I mean really, what would a person think of names like BF_NEW and BF_NONEW? Naturally the easy way to figure out all the images was simply to enable image previews - that makes everything easy to work with. Though you always have to go to admin preferences to enable that.

On the new page, that is changed. Every element is named something normal now. No longer are there any oddly named ones. I’ve also decided to just go ahead and make previewing the macros turned to ON by default because it’s just so much easier to see everything all laid out, despite the titles.

There’s another pressing issue with the current macros page, and that was the fact that you could only edit one macro at a time. The process was like this, you visit the page, click edit -> do the work -> save changes -> click macros again -> edit the skin set macros to get the page again.

Not anymore.

This is the possibly the coolest revamp to the page and it was the hardest to do. See the edit button? Well, now you can just edit right in place. When you click edit, the text box will instantly pop up on the macro you’re editing. Hit save, and the button updates for you right there!

By the way - you may notice that the admin CP prefs section is gone - I decided to just pull it since the template feature did not work, and neither did the save ACP state. The last feature there is the macro previews option. I decided that most people have been enabling this already to even be able to edit properly - I can’t imagine many wanting to turn it off especially since the logo macro now properly resizes itself. However, if you DO want the feature to disable previews back, please let me know why and I will if it is a major problem for you.

Network Outage

Sep 4 2008, 12:00 AM

There was a network outage today from our bandwidth provider lasting from 1:00 AM EST to 1:24 AM EST.

Although short, apologies for this outage; it was emergency system maintenance from our provider’s end and nothing we could control, so we were not able to give advanced notice.