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 Post subject: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:51 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
It's a programming weekend. I'm working my way down a list of background tweaks that will make the site more stable and programming much easier, but which won't have much of an effect on the appearance or apparent functionality of the site... those changes will only come when the foundation is stable. I realize "behind the scenes changes" are not much fun for you, and are probably equivalent to "no changes at all" to some people, so to offset this, I'll be posting updates in this thread as I go along so you can see that there is indeed progress being made.

Working in an offline WAMP absolutely rules. It took quite a while to set it up, and I'm still working my way through getting all the details ironed out, but I can see clear benefits after only a few hours. I wish I did this years ago.

I've added a modified (and working!) version of the stats window back to the home page to help us find the puzzles that David has started adding/approving. Check it out here.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:05 pm 
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Sandy wrote:
I've added a modified (and working!) version of the stats window back to the home page to help us find the puzzles that David has started adding/approving. Check it out here.

Sandy

And now the pressure is on :) Time for me to start a "How to help Dave out" thread.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:14 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
Sandy wrote:
I've added a modified (and working!) version of the stats window back to the home page to help us find the puzzles that David has started adding/approving. Check it out here.

Sandy

And now the pressure is on :) Time for me to start a "How to help Dave out" thread.

Dave


Do you think he should bring back this form?

"Help Requests & User Contributions"

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:10 pm 
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I highly doubt a whole sub-forum is needed. In fact, there used to be a thread of the same idea and a new one would probably work just as well as it did. Essentially, all he'd be asking for is picture clean-up, and a single thread is fine for that.


Sandy, thanks once again for working so hard to make this site better! Even though we can't see most of the changes, your posts like this keep us all confident that they are being made; not that we don't have confidence in you already.

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Last edited by Danny Devitt on Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Darren Grewe wrote:
Do you think he should bring back this form?

"Help Requests & User Contributions"

Perhaps. We will see what sort of process makes sense, and that might help.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Just ran a whole file full of SQL scripts, and uploaded 20-30 Perl files... all of it written and tested offline first. Man, this WAMP stuff is awesome.

1 Get stats.cgi working again
1.1 Rewrite stats.cgi
1.2 Modify What's New searches to match
1.3 Update index.shtml
1.4 Upload all changes

2 Update existing database object names
2.1 Create SQL scripts to modify all fields and table names
2.2 Modify all CGIs as required (BIG STEP)
2.3 Backup live db
2.4 Run sql scripts on live db
2.5 Upload new cgis

Next up:
3 Normalize database tables
3.1 Create new tbl and lku tables
3.2 Create SQL scripts to populate new tables
3.3 Create SQL scripts to update existing tables
3.4 Modify all CGIs as required (BIG STEP)
3.5 Backup live db
3.6 Run sql scripts on live db
3.7 Upload new cgis

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Got through a portion of task #3 over the past day or so. I'm partially done both 3.3 and 3.4, as well as a bunch of task #5 ("Rewrite the CGIs") which is closely related to 3.4. Updating pieces of the old code (implied by 3.4) while leaving the rest in a total mess is often too hard to do (if not impossible due to code incompatibilities), so I often end up writing the whole thing again. It's all progress, so it's all good.

I've uploaded a whole new batch of updates. Existing links to the puzzle database will be broken now, which lead me to add 3.8 to the above list: "Search/replace puzzledb links in the live forum".

I may go on another late night marathon tonight (to go with last nights 4am bedtime), but it is seeming increasingly unlikely given that I'm due at work tomorrow morning at 9am.

My next two weekends are booked solid. Now that I've got this WAMP stuff figured out, I should be able to get it all onto my laptop (bought especially for this purpose) and get more done during the weekdays. Now if I can just put aside a few hours to get the laptop up to speed...

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:00 pm 
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I know we've talk a lot about this in the background, but Sandy, publicly, a big thank you for all the many hours you've taken out from the family to work on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:37 pm 
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Thanks, Wayne. I thanked my family a number of times over the weekend.

I got links on the puzzle pages working (nicely normalized, too!) and fixed up a few other little bugs before going to bed at a reasonable time last night. Links can't be added or edited yet. Like so many other things, that'll come. I think that's task #6, although I don't have the list here at work with me.

I've got some time for programming tonight, but it's unlikely that I'll complete any "releasable" tasks or steps.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:11 pm 
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Thanks, Sandy. We all know how much work goes into this site and how much work programming can be in general. That's why I gave up on that major in college after all.

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:47 pm 
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I remember when I first started putting this site together... what passion I had for it. The programming was fun, challenging, and absolutely effortless. I spent most of my time for a few years adding features and content to the site, just because I loved it.

I'm riding that wave again. This is not "work" at all... it's play!

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:33 pm 
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That's good to hear Sandy. I noticed that either Dave or you did some database updating as well, so i'm glad the rust is kinda shaking off the gears. The amount of work (or play :)) that you've done so far is remarkable and i can't wait for the next update.

Also, i'm open to help with the puzzle database in any way i can. I know dave's the database moderator but i recall seeing him say he'd like accept assistance somewhere (maybe that's poorly phrased...maybe more open to the possibility of assistance). Dave or Sandy: If you want some extra help with the database i'll be glad to offer it. I know i'm fairly new to the forum and as such this probably won't amount to anything, but i just wanted to throw out the offer.

-CC10

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:51 am 
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coastercrazy10 wrote:
That's good to hear Sandy. I noticed that either Dave or you did some database updating as well, so i'm glad the rust is kinda shaking off the gears. The amount of work (or play :)) that you've done so far is remarkable and i can't wait for the next update.

Also, i'm open to help with the puzzle database in any way i can. I know dave's the database moderator but i recall seeing him say he'd like accept assistance somewhere (maybe that's poorly phrased...maybe more open to the possibility of assistance). Dave or Sandy: If you want some extra help with the database i'll be glad to offer it. I know i'm fairly new to the forum and as such this probably won't amount to anything, but i just wanted to throw out the offer.

-CC10

I am trying to figure out a good process for organizing help right now. If people start flooding in pictures (and some have started) I'll be in Sandy's shoes with overload. I keep saying I will post about it soon, and I keep getting busy and not writing that post. Sigh. OK. Later tonight (first a bit of housework need attending: Cats don't scoop their own litter...).

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:46 am 
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Sandy wrote:
I'm riding that wave again. This is not "work" at all... it's play!

Sandy


Exactly. We all excel on something when we love it. ;)

Infinite thanks to Sandy, Wayne, and everyone else who has helped build
this forum in many different ways.

:)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:04 am 
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(Wrote this last night but discovered this morning that I had not submitted it yet!)

Continued "playing" my way through task #3 this evening (specifically 3.3 and 3.4) as well as the inevitable changes to task #5 as required. Mostly completed normalizing three more tables (Inventor, Producer, Mechanism). When I said "BIG STEP" beside 3.4, apparently I really meant it. A few more hours worth and I'll be able to upload those changes. But not tonight. Tomorrow and tomorrow evening are booked full with other pursuits.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:52 pm 
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Released another "big" update today, some changes will be visible, most won't be... unless I've made some mistakes! I was surprised by some errors that only showed up on the live site, even after extensive testing offline, so let me know if you find anything fishy with puzzle searches, the entire collection manager and puzzle additions and modifications.

I'm almost done step #3... only three items left to normalize. A lot of script got rewritten during this iteration. Step #5 (rewrite the cgi scripts) is gonna be a breeze compared to #3.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:12 am 
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Another set up updates was uploaded today. Let me know if you find any bugs on the puzzle pages, add/modify puzzle forms, add puzzle price form, puzzle searches, and the collection manager.

The biggest noticable change is the price tracking system. It's fully up and running again (better than ever), including the "add recent sale price" link at the bottom of the puzzle pages. Unlike before, puzzle sale prices will no longer show up on the site until they have been approved by a content moderator. Speaking of which, there were some big changes in the content moderation code as well: nicer than before, only about half-way to how nice it'll be once I'm done building the building blocks.

About 3/4ths of the scripts have been totally rewritten at this point, including two of the four most challenging ones.

Two more items left to normalize, then I'm done step #3.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:26 am 
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You deserve a big thankyou for all of your hard work.

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Darren & Traiphum's Dual Helicoptrahedron
X-TownCuber wrote:
Are my eyes deceiving me, or is this the coolest puzzle ever?


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:08 pm 
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Well, I don't have my To Do list around these days (it awaits recovery on that faulty hard drive), but I have just released a new batch of code updates. Moderators get the bulk of the updates this time, although there are lots of minor changes here and there. A lot of setup for the creation of a seperate links page has taken place, which means the links will soon be moving off the home page to make room for new stuff I have planned for that space.

Let me know if you find any bugs so I can find someone to blame it on.

I have now rewritten every script. I still have a few sweeps of the code to make to solidy a few of the bricks in the site foundation, but this will only take 2-3 hours tops, and my notes of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it are also on that faulty hard drive. At this point, I'm considering the rewrite complete. The creation of new stuff is at the top of the new informal To Do list.

Hey, what's that new forum?!

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:14 pm 
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DMB FTW!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Another batch of updates today. Mostly stuff that you won't notice. I should keep notes, if only for these messages, because I don't even remember what all I added/fixed/changed.

One big thing I do remember (probably because I just finished it 10 minutes ago), all the site forms have been standardized and should be a little more reliable both from the user's perpsective and in what they send to the server scripts. Also, HTML tags will no longer show up in textarea fields (such as Comments and Description) when editing things like puzzles and links.

The next update is a big one that has been underway on the side for months. I expect it'll be released by next weekend at the latest. You'll definitely notice that one!

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Progress on Site Updates
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Sandy wrote:

The next update is a big one that has been underway on the side for months. I expect it'll be released by next weekend at the latest. You'll definitely notice that one!

Sandy


You care to tell us or give us hints or are you going to surprise us? Will it have different or better features?

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X-TownCuber wrote:
Are my eyes deceiving me, or is this the coolest puzzle ever?


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