Posted by: Kevin | July 5, 2007

W2 Updates

It’s been a while since this blog has actually seen some news, so here it is.

AirHead and I are hard at work on w2, the next generation of Wintendo. The backend is getting completely rewriWintendo Litetten, much better optimized and getting the bug fixes that users have been complaining about since the original beta was released. Meanwhile, I’m working hard to try and bring the site fresh new designs that will hopefully appeal to almost anyone’s tastes, while ensuring they will work in all the popular browsers. I’ve got the default theme done, and the report on it will follow shortly. However, I’m also eager to elaborate on another feature of wintendo — IRC and MewServ. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat–the largest and most widely-used protocol for connecting users live, and it is what we use for our live chatrooms. Recently we gained two new IRC servers that are ours to use for allowing users to chat in realtime. With this, we also must develop with IRC in mind, and that’s where MewServ comes in. MewServ is an IRC bot that was programmed by myself almost a year ago; long overdue for additional features and support for website integration. Well, I’m very proud to say that MewServ will soon be integrated with w2, making it much easier to connect users and allow them to access a wide variety of features right from the chatroom. Additionally, with our own servers, MewServ will also be used for many other features like creating private chatrooms for users engaged in a match scheduled on the site, guiding users who would generally be very shy to the IRC network through its features and allowing them to take advantage of its full potential.

Well, as promised, here is the report of the new design for Wintendo.

  • Design Summary
    • w2’s default design is light, featuring blue highlights and soft gray tones. It is very easy on the eyes and with support for different hues, this should appeal to almost anyone’s tastes. The layout is attractive and allows for specific features to be displayed where they need to be, reducing clutter and keeping things organized and easy to use.
  • Pros
    • Coded in the most modern web technologies, the design is standardized so that it will work in almost every web browser, through the use of XHTML 1.1 Strict and CSS 2.1, with additional features being supported by Javascript and AJAX.
    • The design uses only CSS for styling, so it can easily be adapted and modified; additionally, as CSS stylesheets are cached by the browser, the design is optimized and with minimal images, pages should load quickly without sacrificing quality.
    • The final version users will see will utilize Javascript to make things very user-friendly and attractive, without slowing load times or slowing browsers.
  • Known Issues
    • While the site is optimized to run in all browsers, due to the lack of support for alpha PNG transparency in Internet Explorer (excluding version 7), shadows on some elements have been disabled. While this is not crippling, it does make a difference and the addition of shadows on specific elements add a lot to the design. However, there is no known fix for this as the filter provided in IE 5.5+ does not support repeating background images, and as the shadow image is small: 11x1px, and the only other way would be to extend the shadow to a length of 2000 pixels or more in length, which would increase the filesize and slow the load times even more for the images in Internet Explorer (the filter takes a bit longer to load the PNG image than it would normally). Additionally, forum images such as user avatars and signatures that are in PNG format and contain alpha transparency will not be displayed properly, although in the future we plan to use javascript to fix this.
    • Additionally, in Internet Explorer, certain elements lack features like hover and mousedown support as Internet Explorer browsers lack support for most CSS psuedo classes. While this, again, is not crippling, it does make a difference; however, this does have a know fix and it is using javascript to activate the mouseover and mousedown events, which may eventually be implemented.
    • Finally, there is a concern with alignment on the internet explorer rendered design; input buttons are not aligned properly with CSS’s text-align, nor do they align with the addition of <right /> tag. Because of this, I’m going to leave the buttons as they are for the time being until I can find a hack for IE that aligns them to the right when I need them to be. Additionally, for some unknown reason, the tables that set up perfectly fine in standards-complaint browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera) lose their shape in internet explorer and look, quite frankly, terrible. I’m working on this and I will have it fixed before the site is launched, for sure.
    • Other than the above issues in, not surprisingly, Internet Explorer, the design loads perfectly fine in the standards-compliant browsers and works much better than expected, actually.

That is all I can reveal for now. Expect further updates from AirHead on the backend soon.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. So Internet Explorer strikes again. Microsoft should look to the other browsers and learn from them – their mistakes are just so big. I actually wouldn’t mind if you did what you did before and just blocked the site on IE. Or just give them the “It works!” page. 😛

  2. But unfortunately, the majority of the site’s hits originate from Internet Explorer. There’s just too many people out there that are either (a) too lazy to get Firefox, (b) don’t know enough to get Firefox, or (c) can’t get Firefox for some reason. They would just rather use the browser they already have instead of installing a new one.

  3. Reroute them to mozilla.com. 😛

    Yeah, I see your point – too many people are too lazy to switch up. And the sad thing is that IE is the saddest browser I’ve used yet.

  4. Well for one thing, Firefox will not install on some older computers, plus because we are a gaming website there are some kids who use their parent’s computer and their parents won’t let them install something (this happens A LOT, even with teenagers). And furthermore, some people browse from places like school or the library and therefore are stuck with Internet Explorer. So it’s not always just about being lazy, some people simply cannot use a different browser, and to deny them access to a website based solely on that is just plain wrong. (PS: Jon still uses IE)

  5. Well, one of my friends (in NY) has the parent problem – he’s not allowed to download it. And schools and stuff – well, I guess if there’s free-browsing time, I guess they could come on over.

    How old does a computer have to be to be Firefox-incompatible? I mean, if it’s so old that the vast majority has moved on from it, then that shouldn’t be a problem.

    Man, IE has been a thorn in your side for a while, hasn’t it?

  6. Believe it or not, some people still use older computers like Windows 98 and Windows ME. As far as I know, Firefox is incompatible with those operating systems. Almost every school and/or college has some sort of free period or study hall and they seem to be very popular times for users to come and quickly check up on new PMs, responses to forum posts, etc. Our goal is to allow EVERYONE to be a part of this community, remember, not just those who have Firefox/Opera/Safari.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: