site issues

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Hi Everyone. So, you may have noticed that MSP was temporarily down this morning. That was due to some MySQL database issues (bloat from past plugins). I think I’ve resolved the database issues at this point, so the site should be up and running fine now.

You’ve probably also noticed that MSP looks a little different. I had to apply a new theme due to some code issues that also involved outdated plugins. The new theme “works” but I’m not keen on making it permanent. If you have any suggestions for new themes or if you’d like to go back to the old theme, please make your thoughts known in the comments. FYI, the modifications I had made to the old theme were slowing the site down a bit, as was the MySQL bloat. The site does appear to be substantially faster now. Even so, if the general consensus is to go back to the old theme, I can try to make that happen. I wouldn’t mind switching to a new theme, however, if that is what people prefer.

36 thoughts on “site issues

  1. I’m not to keen on the color of the comment bubbles. It makes quote blocks unreadable unless you highlight the block. Having the comment bubbles is fine, but I say remove the color and just have them be white with a black outline.

    I like the titles and headers. I do kind of miss the links that you had to the right, but I’ll get over it if they don’t come back; it looks cleaner without them anyway. All in all, I call it an improvement.

  2. Also, I liked the ability to track what the latest comments are from the home screen. That no longer applies and I’ll miss it.

  3. I would prefer the theme from before, but that’s mainly because it matches outer blogness…

    I am Internet dumb, but I’m confused at how a theme and CSS would slow down a Site, rather than plug ins, lack of caching, media, or something else in the code.

  4. Andrew — I think it was indeed a plugin (possibly the one that updated the header image).

    I’m not so thrilled about this particular theme, but the good news is that we may have eliminated whatever it was that was making it load so slowly. (It’s loading a lot faster for me, too.)

    I think the trick will be to define a new look-and-feel that we like, without accidentally re-adding the feature that broke it. 😉

  5. yeah, as far as plugins and themes go, as long as there is comment subscription by email, and comment numbering…I probably couldn’t care less about everything else.

  6. The theme is OK, I guess (although it would be cool to be able to access comments without clicking back to the main page), but the colors need tweaking. Blockquoted text is illegible with the current color scheme. The bright green — especially the white text on bright green background used for author comments — literally hurts my eyes.

  7. Some responses…

    Andrew (RE #5): Chanson explained it correctly – we had a plugin that required hard coded javascript to be included in the theme. That plugin, combined with the modified theme, reduced load times.

    I’ve switched from the awful green theme to this one for now, and just added numbers to the comments. I’ll keep looking for a theme that is similar to the one we had before. Hopefully this is more manageable than the last one until I find a permanent replacement.

  8. I’m trying not to have a kneejerk rejection of the new and different, though like Wry, I’m still sort of freaked out every time I come here and it looks so unfamiliar…. Still, I will bravely deal with whatever becomes the new normal. But I would nonetheless like to see something more Mormony about the theme, if that’s possible.

  9. I did just notice that formatting has disappeared from comments–can something be done about that, or is all that blockquoting some of us were so careful about including just gone forever?

  10. re 10,

    profxm,

    hardcoded javascript? Blech. Are there themes that let us have a single header image (e.g., not rotating, no weird stuff)?

    That could probably help the site look more distinctive without slowing things down.

    personally, I would be fine if we just copied and pasted the outer blogness css font/colors over…not really all that picky.

  11. Re: 12, this is terrible. If blockquoting and other formatting is retroactively removed, a significant percentage of all past comments will be rendered completely incoherent.

  12. re: 15: Yep. All sorts of comments now make absolutely no sense. So I hope Andrew is right, that something can be restored that will make that stuff work again.

  13. A couple things gone I think should return:

    (1) Truncated posts (that use “Read the rest of this entry “) as opposed to full posts on the main page.

    (2) Archival by author — (and maybe by theme, but this might not actually be useful/necessary, since there were something like 200 themes, which was getting a little out of hand)

  14. Definitely need the block quoting back! I may be the only one that checksin on my iPhone, but this is a nightmare in both mode. Any words over 8 letters gets brokenup.

    Havingall of each post on the front page makesit both longer and harder to navigate, since all the links are down at the bottom. I actually came to look for a few older posts and some of the comments about those posts, to quote in a personal blog post I had hoped to post tomorrow. After half an hour I have only found one, and I probably will just do withoutthe others.
    I agree with others that I will get used to new things,but the lack of block quotesand ways to searchas easily, will make it less of a resource.

  15. Yeah. Definitely need a bigger comment box. And it would be nice to be able to include spaces between paragraphs without having to type in an asterisk or something to stand in for normal paragraphing.

  16. Okay. Blockquotes in comments are back with this theme. The general theme colors are back as well. The comment box is bigger. I’ve also added back the sidebar, but don’t have dual sidebars at this point. Still working on a few other issues: fewer and shorter posts on the home page.

    Also, no need for putting asterisks in between paragraphs now.

  17. Thanks for all your work on this. But I have one more request: could you set the RSS feed back to full? I like to read every post, but I don’t always feel I have time to click over to the site.

  18. chanson (RE: #29): I haven’t been able to figure that one out. I think that was theme specific. I’ve looked for some plugins that will do that, but haven’t found them. I don’t see it as a standard option in the settings. I’ll keep looking.

  19. This will not help you for now, since I don’t know anything about php, but while article excerpts are theme-specific, it is possible to implement them custom in themes that don’t currently have them.

    BUT

    you have to edit the php for the theme. If you can make heads or tails of this vague WP page, here’s more information: http://codex.wordpress.org/Excerpt

    Child themes is also going to be relevant to you eventually, if you’re finding yourself making a bunch of changes to themes: http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes

    Unfortunately, I don’t know how to manually implement either, because I don’t know php enough to NOT break stuff. This is also why W&T is running a theme and version of WordPress that is a few versions old (yeah, I know, shame on us)…I am aware that there is a way to preserve the extensive thematic customizations that we’ve made through upgrades/changes to themes, but…I’m not confident in actually making those changes.

  20. Andrew, I found a plugin that does the trick. Seemed like an easier solution that modifying the php.

    Chanson, how does it look now?

    The plugin allows me to adjust the number of characters shown in a post before it generates the “read more” text and cuts it off.

    Thoughts?

  21. Yes, looks good. If you can, I’d suggest also putting the links for < --Older Comments / Newer Comments--> at the tops of the 50+-comment threads (right now those links only appear at the bottoms of threads, which means anyone wanting to start at the beginning of a 50+-comment thread must scroll to the bottom of the page first).

  22. FYI, bought a tablet recently, and noticed that on Android, the comments on MSP aren’t numbered. So, it makes it hard when people say “@4” or “@12” to follow the conversation.

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