Downloads

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by team a, Jul 17, 2008.

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  1. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh, right. Didn't test in IE, I don't like IE. But I'll get around to fixing this, eventually.

    Actually I just tried to see if doing this is at all possible without too much work and any changes to the original markup (if you disable javascript, the original messed up page is still there). It is possible, but not for IE.

    edit: Put some more work into it, had a few laughs at IE's expense. Made the menu-thingy work in IE. Damn that piece of crap makes my scripts all laggy and the layouts messed up. I hate IE. Also fixed some issues with folding menus and tried to make it a bit brighter (using the least effort method).

    I think this could use some textures, but the original TA ones make it look kinda like the early '90 internet. No offense, they look great in the forum, and worked for the original layout. Any pointers on where I could steal some Arcanum'ish art for section headers and stuff ? I'm not big on applying graphics to pages, but this one could definately use some.

    Any Ideas on what to do next ? The thing I don't like about this version is that it takes two clicks to actually get to any downloads. And a lot more to find what you came for... An index maybe ? Or some overgrown tooltips, telling what is what. This is slowly turning into the javascript sandbox I've mentioned earlier. Please kill me the moment you see a streak of confetti following the mouse cursor on the test page.
     
  2. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    It works. If I had to choose between that and the wall, I'd choose that. The indented bits are a little too far to the right though. Yes, it takes two clicks to get anything but they're two fast clicks and you know what you're looking at when you click it. I think what's really missing is a few paragraphs to describe what each of the downloads actually is.
     
  3. Vorak

    Vorak Administrator Staff Member

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    I like it.

    Although can you possibly extend the page below the menu just a little? The Mystary files get squashed right along the bottom of the screen and its easier on the eyes to pick them out against a blank background rather than squashed against the bowsers border.

    Its a minor issue really and if its to hard then don't bother, its not like many people download that file anyway.
     
  4. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Done. I'm Considering a footer there to close the page, but can't think of anything other then the archve link to put there.
    I moved them a bit. is that what you had in mind ? Or do you mean when they extend (to 60%) when a tab is opened ?

    the updated version. Also fixed the roll-down code to work for all sections (now it's on h2-to-h2 basis, not next few elements).

    As for descriptions - What should they be like ? I mean, they can be generated, like a listing of subsections (useless), number of downloads (kinda fancy), maybe show all the downloads marked as important ('.awesome' actially), that kinda stuff.

    If they're to be anything useful and descriptive, then maybe add it as a h4 tag next to the first h1 in each div. That is, add it as that little description text that goes right before each file list, but right after the section name. Grabbing that would be easy, but what then ?

    Ideas:
    [1] always visiable under section name
    [2] appears under section name on mouseover
    [3] appears on mouseover as a giant pimped-out tooltip
    [4] use two tags, h3 and h4 for short and in-depth descriptions. First one always visiable, the other one appears on mouseover.

    The last idea got me thinking WTF, this is just a download list, there's no point in adding so much information. But then I realy liked the idea of fancy boxes sliding in with lots of tiny letters.

    Thing is, adding extra stuff in there would up the complexity of that page another bit. It ain't that bad yet, but is close to the point where no human should be directly updating it. And it ain't getting any simpler, the current div-header-list design is as clear as they get.

    Ideas and comments wellcome. Only 5 days left for me to get it ready.
     
  5. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/d ... nload.html

    Update. I've added some tooltips and info, altough someone will have to come up with the stuff to actually put on the page.

    Also, it's currently broken under IE - looks kinda bad and the extra box doesn't show up. Opera can handle this stuff, but barely. Firefox and Safari appear to be doing well, to my amazement Safari actually renders the page better then firefox. Damn does Safari look gay.

    The questions to get me on the right track:
    [1] is the tooltip idea/realisation ok or should I think of something else ?
    [2] What downloads should get the recommended tag ?
    [3] Do we need/want more categories then 'recommended' ?
    [4] Any ideas as to what section descriptions (long/short) should be ?
    [5] Was moving A:WIP and CARCNUM to the new 'main module extensions' subcategory a good idea? Any thoughts on this ?
    [6] Any ideas for a background image ? The page makes use of the opacity (transparency) property, so it would look nice and confusing.

    There ain't much time for me to finish this, and I'll probably have better things to do after the weekend. Unless THE WALL (a good name) has a lot of fans here, I'd like some feedback.

    Edit: Fixed IE and Opera problems, now this can actually be considered to work. By fixed i mean to say Opera handles this fine, altough a bit laggy compared to Firefox and Safari, while the page looks kinda ugly under IE, keeps flickering and makes the overall impression as if it was about to fall apart and crash through the screen, making a terrible mess on the keyboard. Actually I think this happens a lot to people who use IE.
     
  6. Vorak

    Vorak Administrator Staff Member

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    Only the first 3 tooltips are in english.
     
  7. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Fixed
     
  8. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    I just took a look at it with IE and have a couple things to mention.

    I, personally, liked the pop-up suggestions. As a navagation aid, this feature would be helpful to the newcomers, although a mention of how to access the main listings might be needed.
    I have no trouble imagining a answering post saying, "You have to click on the section name for more choices."

    The idea of A:WIP and Car-Arcanum being together like that is a good one. Sooner or later, there will be one or two more.

    This is petty: Typo in the A:WIP listing - There's only one "s" in bugfixes.

    Beyond that, it's shaping up nicely.
     
  9. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Added titles to section names and the descriptions, they should be of some help.

    They are a bit annoying though, do we want to make that sacrifice for a bit more accessibility ? Any other ideas on how to do it ? Maybe making the section names light up inder the cursor would be a good enough hint.

    Fixed. I take it you're ok with the current descriptions for A:WIP and your other stuff ?

    Thanks !


    Also, I've shoved Mystary!, ToEE and the Bloodlins download (that got mixed up with ToEE stuff) in the Other Troika Games section. Added links to gamebanshee(for ToEE) and official site (for Bloodlines). Any better ideas for links ? I know T-A has some info on these titles, but it's reather unimpressive compared to some other sites.
     
  10. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    When I checked this time, there was a small pop-up that said click to open. I can't recall seeing it on the last check, but I think that should be sufficient. It gets the instruction across for those who refuse to think without making the page too cluttered.

    And having the names brighten when you mouse-over sounds like a good idea.

    As for the listings of my stuff - Yes, I like it as-is. Thank you.

    There is one small thing however - This part is not only for you but admin as well: Eventually someone else will be adding new artwork. Since the artwork section is already divided up nicely, perhaps the section title should be made generic and thus avoid the hassle of creating a new section for So_and_so.
    Perhaps something like "Fan-Created Art for Use in Mods"?

    Also - If this suggestion is acted on, there's no need to rename my artwork or create a special subsection, since I'm modding just for the fun of it and not having my name attached to everything and it's brother is no problem. Just seeing my work in someone's mod one of these days is good enough for me.
     
  11. Vorak

    Vorak Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't forget circle of eight as a TOEE link:

    www.co8.org/
     
  12. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    These tooltips you noticed are in fact what I reffered to as titles - adding a title='someText' attribute to a HTML tag makes the tooltip saying someText appear when the cursor is put over that element.

    Changing the section name to say Fan-Created Art... is a good idea I think, I'll get to it when I'll have some time. That and section name highlighting.

    Most of my questions from the previous posts are still valid, and all hints/opinions will help me make the right decisions. I don't want to end up tailoring this page to my tastes only.

    Also some section descriptions would really help.

    edit:
    I'll add it soon.

    edit edit: I've decided to at least give it a try, and see how would it turn out if I tried writing a simple PHP script that would generate these sections. Here's how a declaration of (a part of) the arcanum section looks like :
    http://pastebin.com/m3407b411 (of course it's just a test version)

    basically adding a file there looks like:
    Code:
    $sections['arcanum']->addDownload(2,0, array( 	'name' => 'Unofficial Patch',
    								'link' => 'http://nowhere/upatch.exe', 
    								'description' => 'Latest unofficial Arcanum patch', 
    								'credit' => 'Drog Black Tooth', 
    								'category' => 'awesome') );
    More intimidating at first, but after a more careful look it's just copy/paste and replacing fields with other data. More structured and readable then HTML. Of course at the same time much easier to break by a misplaced single quote.

    This has nothing to do with the javascript-powered menu, as it generates exactly the same structure as the one used in the normal page. I'll put it up on the test server sometime soon, but really, it looks and feels the same.

    DE, do you feel like you could use this way of managing downloads instead ? It's basically entering the same data, but without jumping between HTML tags. If so I'll convert the current download section into this format and see how it turns out.

    And yeah, I do realize I've just reinvented the wheel, and did so in quite a crappy way. I needed a PHP refresher.
     
  13. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    Update:
    http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/d ... /dload.php

    So I went ahead and converted it to PHP anyways. I sure hope we got PHP5 here.

    Anyways, Not much in the way of other improvements, but overall the page got structured - I mean, now it really spans multiple files, one for each section.

    here's the compressed version for review: dwn.zip
    file list with descriptions: files (text file)

    As I've stated earlier, the way of defining stuff is IMO just as confusing as before, but this way it's clear what goes where.

    Adding subsections and download lists may be a little more tricky, but overall it's just copy-paste and +1 to subsection/list index.

    BTW regular expressions are damn awesome for this sorts of conversions.

    edit: the new php version was updated. Now it's no longer behind the one in HTML.
     
  14. DarkUnderlord

    DarkUnderlord Administrator Staff Member

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    Nope. I'm pretty sure we're running whatever the latest PHP4 is.

    That kind of seems overly complicated for something that's not connecting to a database or such. Actually, even if it was connecting to a db, that seems overly complicated. :/

    Plus it jiggles when you hover over things.
     
  15. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    That would be a bummer. Still, it's just one file that needs to be changed so I'll manage, should the PHP version be decided on.

    Actually it's pretty simple, just split into files to keep the 'work area' clean.

    the dload.php looks like
    Code:
    <?
    include 'classes.php';	
    
    $sections = array();
    
    include 'sections/arcanum.php';
    include 'sections/modules.php';
    include 'sections/modding.php';
    include 'sections/doa.php';
    include 'sections/rroyoart.php';
    include 'sections/bonus.php';
    include 'sections/other.php';
    
    include 'page/top.php';
    include 'page/dindex.php';
    
    $sections['Arcanum']->display();
    $sections['Modules']->display();
    $sections['Modding']->display();
    $sections['DoA']->display();
    $sections['rroyoArt']->display();
    $sections['Bonus']->display();
    $sections['Other']->display();
    
    include 'page/bottom.php';
    
    ?>
    
    While classes.php defines the 4 classes that are used here - in 155 lines.

    As for the jiggly part - I only get it in IE. If I'll find the time I'll clean up the js code and rewrite the righthand box code. It tries to squeeze itself between sections when it appears.

    Anyways, 3 days left untill I'm outta here, so we'll need a decision on which version to use. Also rounding up some dowloads for me to add to the list would help.
     
  16. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm done here

    Well, seeing this is slowly losing public interest and I'm pretty much on my own rounding up all these ancient files, I've decided it's time to leave it for now.

    It's nowhere near being compleate, and the javascript code is a total, humiliating mess. That being said, I've fixed most of the problems with the menus being all jiggly, branched the animation code for IE and the rest of the damn world that can handle a simple javascript animation without dying. Damn I hate IE. That means, the poor souls using IE will get simpler eye candy, which will possibly reduce the amount of artifacts they will see. Possibly not.

    As for PHP versions - I made it work under PHP4, no problem here after all. Also, I've made two versions of the script, both php4 compatibile, one being normal, the other generating extra HTML comments and nicer code.

    I used the second version to generate the HTML page that can be used instead. Just in case PHP is a no-no.

    Other modifications include adding better placeholder descriptions, some links in descriptions - online versions of arcaum manual and AMTUT being the more noteworthy. Oh and yeah, I've added a bit more fancy rolldown animation. It even works in IE, if slowed down 3x.

    So much for my ramblings, here's the stuff:

    current page: http://tentaclemonster.freehostia.com/d ... /dload.php

    HTML version: download.html.zip

    PHP4 version: download.php4.zip

    PHP4 version /w comments: download.php4.comments.zip

    I'm still in town for the next 2 days, but unless I get a list of things to add or fix, this is what's gonna have to do for the next two weeks.

    edit: well, I'm off. I'd be happy to this up by the time I get back.
     
  17. team a

    team a New Member

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    Thanks for all the hard work creating and figuring this stuff out, The_Bob. Enjoy your time away.

    I like most parts of the new downloads section - it fixes a lot of the navigation problems we've been having. My only issue would be when opening the "directory" immediately above where files are contained, where the deeper red sections appear.

    Instead of suggested downloads appearing to the right of the page, could the actual file appear there? This way, any descriptions/authorship info could appear in one place and not clog up the navigation at all. The dark red panel with the link to the actual file could be replaced by a button that if clicked, would display the info in the left (along with the download link).

    This selecting the actual file could allow use of shorter titles for each item, because there will be more than enough fields on the right side to display info, like version #, Date, author, description, etc. or whatever needs to be there, or links to the retired content page. I imagine that the file list on the left could look like how the subsections pop out from the main sections, with a similar color/font, etc. The file being selected could be highlighted, maybe with a very light red? Etc.

    Anyway, I just think this would help navigation a lot more, and provide both quick downloading for people who know what they want and details for people who came here for the first time, and want to know what they are going to be getting into
     
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