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  1. #91
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    updates are still in progress

    First, thank you all for being patient. This is the first time we have changed hosts and server setups in many years, and the site is ten times as big as it was then. It has been a bear and a beast. Thanks to Khurrum, Jacek, and Ben who have been such a tremendous help and super thanks to Arshes and BlackSpot for constantly kicking me into gear on this. We are going to be seeing some great stuff in the coming weeks. Lots of new tech is done. Getting it all installed is going to be patient, and we will open such things up when they are done. I am so glad that everyone is getting back in and sharing ideas...super appreciated and inspiring too. You all rock.

    Sometimes patience wins all. Much of the crits were over issues which are being resolved as we complete the skin installation. The uber dark stickies for example were not designed that way but showing up too dark as an error as we upgraded the systems. That is better now. There are still a lot of adjustments to make. So do bear with us...we will get this place nice and spiffy, with your thanks totals, badges, smilies, and everything else in place.

    I will keep you all updated. Much to do. Much appreciation too.


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    I love the grey and tan color scheme. It's bold and tasteful imo, unlike every other boring looking forum out there. It really pops out color and complements good greyscale drawings. I hope you guys use a nice subtle texture in the end, like the previous design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
    I'm sorry, but I do see it is the same thing as putting a piece of art in the WIP section. You can't put it up and then get mad when people say they think something is off.
    It's a direct parallel to the guy who puts something in the WIP forum, gets critique, and then screams "WHATEVER, GUYS! IT'S OBVIOUSLY NOT FINISHED!".
    Well, yes and no... This is a website, and revamping a website is a massively complicated process, especially if you're also revamping the underlying system. I suspect that most of what you're seeing is the gradual re-skinning of the default system (generic VB stuff, I'm guessing.) So this is not the final skin yet, some of it is whatever came with the system. Re-skinning all the parts is bound to take time, and critiquing stuff that's going to be re-skinned is a bit silly. Patience!

    If you want an art analogy, it's like painting a new mural on top of an old mural, and critiquing the old mural before it's all covered up.

    And yeah, maybe it would be more slick if the site didn't relaunch until it was all shiny and finished, but then we'd all go into stark raving CA withdrawal. I'm just glad it's back. And mostly functional. I've been needing my CA fix!

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    The forums are loading faster, it's great.

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    I was a bit doubtful before but it's looking much better now and I can't wait to see the finished version, definitely missed reading stuff here for all the time it was down.

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  6. #96
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    Jason Manley is online now Administrator Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Yeah it is much faster. So far so good.

    We will keep at it. We have lots to do.

    Here is an outline of what has been done so far.

    a. redesign new server structure incorporating cloud servers for faster international site speed.
    b. analyze old server system, determine any and all issues with code, database structure, security, and systems.
    c. negotiate with various hosts to see maximum bang for the buck.
    d. handle contracts and financial matters (which was EXPENSIVE...and thanks to the crew, not as expensive as it could have been).
    e. move all data (which went from a 3 day to almost 3 week experience), reanalyze system, rebuild new structure based on having the best foot forward for the future. Move data again.
    f. upgrade all code in the system, from the PHP and CENTOS to the vbull code.
    g. Change DNS and restart site before google starts deleting the millions of back links we have taken years to get in place.
    h. Fix skin, and make adjustments to the visual portions of the site.
    i. analyze entire system for integration of the new technology and CA 4.0.
    j. create partnership with another firm to handle item i.
    k. slowly put it all back together, and start implementing the new tech in the coming weeks (where we are now). Also fix skin, add mods/upgrades to the forum (like the thank yous), and revisit site design for the new features coming up.


    That is kind of an overview of whats been happening. Moving a site with this much data, and this many users is a serious undertaking. Rebuilding it from the bottom up, is an even more serious undertaking. We will get there. CA will be a gem of a website in a very short time. So happy to see everything coming together and the new forums is only the start.

    Thanks to everyone for your patience and please do share your works, ideas, and help folks here in the community. You all make this effort worthwhile, even the lost nights and weekends. I am happy to help...and so are the rest of the team. Super excited for where things are headed and to see what you all do with the opportunities ahead.

    Back to work!...for me at least


    Gnite


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    Can you put the donate button up? I think some of us appreciate how much it costs.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Can you put the donate button up? I think some of us appreciate how much it costs.
    Yeah, good call.

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    The following user says Thank you to Jason Manley for this useful post: Lord Louis

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    thanks a lot guys for all your hard work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLouis View Post
    The following user says Thank you to Jason Manley for this useful post: Lord Louis
    Haha. Nice. I'll second that.

    Also, a donate button would be cool because I'd definitely use it, even though I'm skint and it wouldnt be much. This is a huge site and not just a display/critique forum for people's art, it's so much more than that and seeing how hard people behind the scenes here are working to make it the best place they can, the least I can do is offer a little bit of financial support along with my thanks.

    I also completely agree with whoever said getting the place running again as soon as possible, even though there's still work going on in the background, is the best way forward. Don't think I could handle being away from this place much longer. The attitude towards learning and improving here always makes me up my game and I've really missed that.

    So yeah, great stuff and thanks again!

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  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    And yeah, maybe it would be more slick if the site didn't relaunch until it was all shiny and finished, but then we'd all go into stark raving CA withdrawal. I'm just glad it's back. And mostly functional. I've been needing my CA fix!
    I was actually being sarcastic. It's like people were complaining it was up with viruses, complaining it was down, complaining that they couldn't complain instead of just letting the work just take its place. I don't mind that there's work to be done. I've done this before on other sites and know there's always a process and some of the stuff is just better to be live to immediately see the effect - so you can optimize the database. But complaining over and over about the obvious (like the CSS) it's kinda like... "Programmers aren't blind"

    There's a point when it gets kinda depressing...

    So I'm glad to see the site back and progress being made, even if it's not at full capacity now. I enjoy the community and the people on the forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Manley View Post
    e. move all data (which went from a 3 day to almost 3 week experience), reanalyze system, rebuild new structure based on having the best foot forward for the future. Move data again.
    Wow, I can't even imagine how massive the data for this site must be... Especially with all the huge images. Must have been grueling to move it all without losing anything.

    I mean, I've been working on a site with mostly text data, and one import of a subset of that data takes a couple of days... So moving all of CA's data twice? Yeah. Not surprised it took three weeks.

    Carry on, it's looking good!

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    Yes a lot of progress has already been made this this thread was started.
    The only reason I made the two posts that I made is simply to try to explain one side of it. The staff is (understandably) VERY attached to this upgrade.

    While I agree that the "mural" comparison probably fits a little more than mine, I could very easily see staff getting upset with the userbase quickly. All I was trying to point out that any time anything changes and isn't at 100%, people *will* have comments.

    The only thing you can do is A) Ask for patience or B) Shut the forum down until it's ready.
    Option A is obviously more ideal, but if that is the case, patience must be shared on both sides. That is my only comment.

    Again, the place is looking great!

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    So far I love the bulk uploader. Only thing I miss is like others have said the thumbnails on the sketchbook threads. Kind of gives you a little peak into what's in store or draws you in.


    But so far seems good. Great work Jason!

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    Haha, there are the good ol' gratuitous banners

    Site is shaping out nicely though, good work and many thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    The main thing that led to it being axed at the site I'm referring to was the fact that when the rep system was first added, it was completely anonymous. That just spells trouble.

    After a little while, the rep system was changed to be a little closer to the thanks system, with the member's name being attached to it for all to see, but the only drawback is that you can't negate a + rep after 5 minutes or so. Not much of a problem, but it's nice to be able to change your mind about how you feel about a post.
    I can only recall bad experiences with a negative voting system. I think there is good reason that facebook doesn't introduce "thumbs down" as well.
    If you want to see madness, register on thestudentroom- the voting system there is linked with how active/important you are. So if 30 new users upvote your post with +30 and one moderator downvotes it, you get like -800 points and red (as opposed to green) squares next to your avatar. It's insane. It has led to people becoming very popular for having like 8 red squares on their profile- it basically is recognition for trolling.

    I understand that the thanks system creates a kind of favorite-system in which more thanks seem to suggest the person is popular and is in return more likely to get thanks for just about anything they say. But I'd argue that it affects only a handful of people here and it is just a small pay-off for having a system which allows recognition without effort. For example, people "thank" users in the challenge area if they like the drawing. Just no downvotes... people take it personally or feel it's unjustified (I certainly would, I have a big problem with the concept of "I downgrade you" = "I disagree with you") and it'll be a drama fest.

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    Sketchbooks and other threads got back their thumbnails. Great to see looking forward to see what more is gonna happen


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    When the bulk uploader is ready, can somebody give us the heads up. I can't wait to try it.

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    Well depends what you mean by bulk. Right now you can select multiple images at once. Bu you still have to fill in all the information one by one. Can't just have a preset, or apply one to all.


    Also yeah I liked the thanks system. Down votes would be terrible. But hell, when I'm reading around and I see a post with a lot of thanks I stop and read for a second. Usually it's either a great joke or something fairly insightful (depending on the thread)

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    Yeah the info form is pretty pointless. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm just selecting random options at this point. I'm not sure what purpose it serves.

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    To help in a copyright or theft issues I suppose. Since it shows the details of your piece which you can refer to when you uploaded it to CA.org

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    I don't think the genre and media info is relevant to copyright though. I think the only three pieces of information that would be useful to prove ownership are date, time and the creators name. Also I'm sure in a dispute, the original multi layered PSD and maybe WIP's would be all that's needed for proof of ownership.

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    Thanks for all the hard work to everyone working on getting things upgraded, and I look forward to the finished CA!

    I have one question, and that's: will there be a big announcement/e-mail sent out/will it be obvious when things are finished? I'd prefer to stay off the forums until everything's ready, but I'm worried that if I don't keep checking back I'll miss the official OK!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amarok View Post
    Thanks for all the hard work to everyone working on getting things upgraded, and I look forward to the finished CA!

    I have one question, and that's: will there be a big announcement/e-mail sent out/will it be obvious when things are finished? I'd prefer to stay off the forums until everything's ready, but I'm worried that if I don't keep checking back I'll miss the official OK!
    Why? The forums are perfectly functional at the moment.

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    Buttons as badges or badges as buttons!

    i said this in another thread but what about somehow making the Weekly Challenge badges into links to that person's winning entry.

    if they have more than one win (stars) maybe make each individual star a link or make the whole badge setup a link to all that person's winning entries, oldes-newest.

    just a thought. I can't imagine if it'd be easy or hard to do, or what is involved with the badge's coding.
    Somethingg like this though
    \/
    \/
    \/



    and yeah thanks a bunch everyone who makes this forum functioning and possible

    Last edited by Shahan; September 22nd, 2012 at 03:15 PM.
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    Re: Like/Dislike buttons. We already had something like this with the "rate post" feature at the bottom of the posts. It was largely useless except as an identifier for harsh critiquers whom special snowflakes didn't like. Although that part *was* mildly entertaining.

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    Looking great! It looks really good at the moment. The skin has a sort of sleek look to it. Thanks to Manley and the other crew members who put in the hard work. Can't wait to give the new bulk uploader a go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Eater View Post
    Why? The forums are perfectly functional at the moment.
    The big yellow announcement at the top says they're still under construction. Why would it be odd that I would then think they're not totally functional? Just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amarok View Post
    The big yellow announcement at the top says they're still under construction. Why would it be odd that I would then think they're not totally functional? Just saying.
    I dunno how to address this since ..it's more of the obvious complaints like "HEY MY SKETCHBOOK IS MISSING IMAGES" during the migration and "THE FORUM LOOKS FUNNY" and "WHERE ARE MY THANKS" and stuff like that since it's not fully done with getting everything up. There were people assuming "Forums turned on = everything migrated" and too many complaints before letting the dust settle.

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