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 Post subject: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Hey. While the new sidebar is a really nice feature and is handy to see new posts before logging into the forum, it really feels redundant once you're here - and on smaller monitors it cuts off a lot of images too. Would it be possible to have an option to remove or hide it?


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:34 am 
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Not sure I like it there all the time either, all this stuff should stay only on the home page, or just the main board index - not every single thread and individual post.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:36 am 
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Kelvin Stott wrote:
Not sure I like it there all the time either, all this stuff should stay only on the home page, or just the main board index - not every single thread and individual post.
I'll third that. I've always really liked the simple, sober, intimate layout of this forum -- almost like chatting with puzzling friends in someone's living room. At the moment a TV or games machine is on in the background (admittedly with the sound turned off), and I'm reaching for the off button but I can't find it. And as Jared points out, we losing out on significant width too. Not a huge annoyance but would be nice to switch it off. I hope it's an easy change to disable the sidebar for the forum.

Either way, many thanks for expanding the overall frame to the whole screen, Sandy. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:48 am 
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Yeah a minimize would be fine. I wouldn't get rid of it though. It's nice to see what new things are done to the site and I would have never known about it unless I saw it in the sidebar.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:52 am 
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I like the sidebar. I can see if I want to read a new post without having to open the thread. I'm lazy sometimes!

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:10 am 
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Ironic in my opinon because I would like to be able to minimize it but I would have never found this topic without it.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:25 pm 
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reeeech wrote:
Yeah a minimize would be fine. I wouldn't get rid of it though. It's nice to see what new things are done to the site and I would have never known about it unless I saw it in the sidebar.
That would be perfect. We'd always see the sideboxes (or "WidgetColumn" as named by Sandy in the source :) ) every time we visit TP, but with the option to minimize/close it for the rest of our TP browsing session if we wish.


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:23 pm 
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I have disabled
|http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/forum-widgets.cgi
with ABP in Firefox, but of course the resulting white space takes part of the screen.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Well, as should be obvious, I shamelessly created the Shop sidebar module as a way of converting the forum traffic into shop sales, so let's just get that out on the table where everyone can avert their eyes and point at it in disgust as yet another example of how capitalism is invading our humble little niche. When you're done with the averting and the pointing, it is customary to accuse me of witchcraft and burn me at the stake, but please hold off on the burning part until I come back from my fishing trip this weekend... I generally like to be relaxed and well rested whenever I'm being lit on fire.

The Community module was designed primarily as a method of getting non-forum users interested in becoming forum users. I agree that the value of the module is diminished within the forum context (as distinct from the rest of the site) but until more useful sidebar modules were built I figured it had some potentially useful info here, so I included it on a whim.

So I have three ideas of how to integrate what you guys are saying with what my motivations were.

1) Remove the most redundant fields in the forum context and just leave "members online" and "some recent posts". This presupposes that redundancy is an issue as the OP suggested. I don't really believe that to be the case, but I figured I could easily address it anyhow.

2) Make the sidebar collapsible (sort of like this). If you were logged in to your forum account, you could hide them and they would stay hidden (perhaps during your session, or perhaps until you clicked to show them again). If you were not logged in to the forum, you would always see the sidebars. Everything except the "stays hidden" bit would be easy with the architecture I already have in place.

3) Scrap sidebars in the forum and redesign the Shop module to become a "header bar" that appears in the top right blue area of each forum page and/or at the bottom of each forum page.

Personally, I like #2. I believe having the sidebar is a good idea and I also think it's a good idea to allow members to choose their own experience where possible. Even though it is currently only ever showing the same two modules, the sidebar allows me to flexibly and powerfully highlight areas of the website to all its users. More features are coming to this site some of which are ear-marked for future sidebar appearances. So I don't want to get rid of it.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Sandy, I LOVE the #2 option. That way I get maximum of the screen real estate, and I can always just click the button and take a peek on what's new or interesting in the store.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:43 pm 
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Ditto, I vote option 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:01 pm 
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I also concur.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Yeah, #2 looks like the best option.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:02 pm 
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I also like option #2. #3 seems a little excessive and #1 is still a little redundant because you can see who's online from the main page of the forum.

And uh... I didn't mean to come across so rudely... sorry. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:03 pm 
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I vote #2 as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:20 pm 
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numero dos! (number 2!)

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:50 pm 
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#2, for sure. I like it, but it's obtrusive when reading the forums.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:02 pm 
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#2 for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:36 pm 
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Sandy, thank you for providing the link in possibility #2. That's a great option.
I am so used to see the forum without avatars and signatures, that I felt uncomfortable seeing always the same (for me) useless information on the right of the screen all of a sudden.
I find it perfectly adapted on the main page http://twistypuzzles.com/
I really like the look of it and the possibilities that are built in.
It's just the forum that *I* want to keep clean of "unnecessary" things like avatars, signatures a.s.o.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:24 am 
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Sandy wrote:
Well, as should be obvious, I shamelessly created the Shop sidebar module as a way of converting the forum traffic into shop sales, so let's just get that out on the table where everyone can avert their eyes and point at it in disgust as yet another example of how capitalism is invading our humble little niche. When you're done with the averting and the pointing, it is customary to accuse me of witchcraft and burn me at the stake, but please hold off on the burning part until I come back from my fishing trip this weekend... I generally like to be relaxed and well rested whenever I'm being lit on fire.
Don't worry Sandy, I doubt that anyone is disgusted or averting or pointing, certainly not me. And your rest is well deserved! I see nothing shameless or distasteful about drawing people's attention to the shop or other site features -- it's just the "in your face the whole time you browse the forum, taking up space, with no way to get rid of it" that we were commenting on.
Sandy wrote:
2) Make the sidebar collapsible (sort of like this). If you were logged in to your forum account, you could hide them and they would stay hidden (perhaps during your session, or perhaps until you clicked to show them again). If you were not logged in to the forum, you would always see the sidebars. Everything except the "stays hidden" bit would be easy with the architecture I already have in place.
Option #2 looks like a winner and thanks for offering it. As there's a benefit to everyone seeing the latest TP site info if they come straight to the forum, and it takes so little effort for us to click on an x, my suggestion is that we always see the sideboxes when visiting the forum (i.e. when hitting a forum page, see if $hideWidget exists, if not, create it and set it to false), then if we hit the x it stays hidden for the rest of the session.

[Edit] Rox makes an excellent point below, seeing the bigger picture, so I withdraw the following: Would it be necessary to make people login to have the option to kill the sideboxes though? Sometimes, especially during quick breaks or lunchtime at work, I like to quickly browse the latest posts without logging in, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this.


Last edited by Julian on Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:14 am 
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I say keep the shop in the sidebar for one simple reason: Many non-forum members view the forum every day. It may help to support our favorite place on the web if they see the shop and buy from it.

As for me, option 2 is fine, but if other non-members can't get rid of it, they may buy from Sandy!

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:02 pm 
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I agree, the option #2 should be made available to those who logged in only. Forum visitors should not be able to see and use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:09 am 
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I'd like to propose an option 3. Instead of making it a side bar, make it a top bar. That way the information would still be there for those who are interested, easily skippable for those who aren't, and will still allow people to view messages all the way across the screen, especially important for the afforementioned pictures. It would be as simple as making a layout change, which from top to bottom could be the title bar (as it is now), then Community, then Shop, then the rest of the page content (or however you feel is best). This layout would also make it possible to print the site in Portrait mode again instead of Landscape.


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:39 am 
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Sandy wrote:
2) Make the sidebar collapsible (sort of like this). If you were logged in to your forum account, you could hide them and they would stay hidden (perhaps during your session, or perhaps until you clicked to show them again). If you were not logged in to the forum, you would always see the sidebars. Everything except the "stays hidden" bit would be easy with the architecture I already have in place.


katsmom wrote:
I say keep the shop in the sidebar for one simple reason: Many non-forum members view the forum every day. It may help to support our favorite place on the web if they see the shop and buy from it.

As for me, option 2 is fine, but if other non-members can't get rid of it, they may buy from Sandy!


Aleksey wrote:
I agree, the option #2 should be made available to those who logged in only. Forum visitors should not be able to see and use it.



I would love to have option #2 available.



Q

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:25 am 
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I would also like to see option 2 implemented.

There also definitely needs to be something done about the sidebar going over forum content. Even if you could get to said content by collapsing the sidebar it would be bad but it would be especially bad if not everyone is going to be able to collapse it.

As far as I know the only time the sidebar covers up content is when a picture has stretched a post beyond its usual size. Would it be possible to either move the sidebar out of the way in such cases or automatically resize pictures to fit in the space available?

Right now if I want to read a post with a large picture in it I have to highlight the post, copy what I highlighted, and then paste that somewhere else. I can settle for seeing only part of the picture, but it's hard to understand what the post is saying when you can see only part of the sentences.


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:37 am 
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I love the idea of auto resizing and if a picture is inteded to be big for detail you can just click it and get a full sized image. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:30 am 
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The sidebar can now be hidden in the forum by logged-in members. Here's how to do it:

  • Visit your User Control Panel.
  • In the menu on the right, choose "Profile". (Yeah, I know, it actually belongs in "Board preferences". However, this method was signficantly "easier", which means it only required about 5 hours of trying the wrong things before I stumbled upon the right one.)
  • Look for "Forum Side Bar", the last field at the bottom of the Edit Profile form.

Fair warning: To satisfy my evil capitalistic impulses, I'll be working on adding a "header bar" of shop product teasers in some of the empty blue space at the top of each page. To avoid redundancy, such a "header bar" would probably only show up for those who hide the sidebar in order to avoid redundancy.

(A joke about redundancy containing redundancy... how original of me! And there's the classic self-depricating joke to top it off!)

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:40 am 
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It seems to be permanently switched off, regaardless of which option I select. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:50 am 
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Works perfectly well for me (FF 3.0). Thanks a lot Sandy!

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:20 am 
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I can only see the sidebar on the homepage. I can't see it on the forum :cry:!

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:40 am 
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I dont see the sidebar either! :(

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:04 am 
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I want it back :cry: :cry: :cry:!

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:52 am 
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And you'll get it back. It was never Sandy's intention to disable the sidebar all the time. This is just some kind of glitch.


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:43 am 
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If it's not working for you, the first thing to try is to clear your cache.

If that doesn't solve the problem, I'd appreciate it if you could search the page source for a comment that includes the word "sidebar". For example: <!-- Sidebar hidden by user settings. -->. Post the comment text along with the make and model of your browser.

Discouraging!

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Cleared cache, not working.

<title>TwistyPuzzles.com Forum &bull; View topic - Option to disable sidebar?</title>

Firefox 3.0.11

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:17 pm 
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cleared cache, not working.



<title>TwistyPuzzles.com Forum &bull; View topic - Option to disable sidebar?</title>


firefox 3.5.2

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Thanks for the attempt, but you're looking for something that looks like this:

Code:
<!-- Sidebar hidden by user setting. -->


With those exact characters before and after the sentence.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:07 pm 
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All I could find about sidebar hidden was what you have actually written.

e.g "looking for something that looks like this:<br /><br /><div class="codetitle"><b>Code:</b></div><div class="codecontent">&lt;!-- Sidebar hidden by user setting. --&gt;</div><br /><br />With those" part of what you wrote.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Same as above.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:35 pm 
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permanently off for me as well, I don't see those characters anywhere in the forum except for where you actually posted them.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Okay, this is getting confusing. Logan, your setting is currently set to "hide". I don't yet see why this would work on some computers (all four of mine!), but not others.

If someone is willing, clear your cache again, reload a page, then copy and paste into a "Code" block the 40 lines (approx) that appear ABOVE the following line (which is very close to the bottom of the page):

Code:
<TD CLASS="InnerLayoutFooter">


Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:08 pm 
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Yeah, I set mine to hide to see if it was backwords. It didn't work on show either.

EDIT: I can't do that Sandy. It has too many characters. Also, at the end of the message, the letters start to turn backwords....weird.

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Last edited by Logan Kelly on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:12 pm 
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just reset cookies and everything, still not working.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:23 pm 
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OK. This is it. It's AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA LOT!

(Ack! That's why I only asked for 40 lines! Lots of code deleted to make this thread readable again. -- Sandy)

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Last edited by Logan Kelly on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Code:
<!--
   We request you retain the full copyright notice below including the link to www.phpbb.com.
   This not only gives respect to the large amount of time given freely by the developers
   but also helps build interest, traffic and use of phpBB3. If you (honestly) cannot retain
   the full copyright we ask you at least leave in place the "Powered by phpBB" line, with
   "phpBB" linked to www.phpbb.com. If you refuse to include even this then support on our
   forums may be affected.

   The phpBB Group : 2006
//-->
<BR>
<div id="wrapfooter">
      <span class="copyright">Forum powered by <a href="http://www.phpbb.com/">phpBB</a> &copy; 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
   </span>
</div>

      </DIV>
    </DIV>

          </TD>




        </TR>
      </TABLE>

    </TD>

  </TR>
        <TR>

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Last edited by Logan Kelly on Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Okay, thanks. The code is definitely missing. It's supposed to appear between the </TD> and </TR> which appear just beneath the three consecutive </DIV>'s in the middle of the code block shown above.

There must be a flaw in the code somewhere... but I can't think of what it may be, and I haven't been able to duplicate it. I'll have to take another look at this when I get in front of my development computer later on.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:21 pm 
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oops... sorry about that. I didn't read thorough enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:37 pm
Location: Canada
For some reason mine disappeared, and I want it back!

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:17 pm
actually im a little mad
mine is gone and i cant get it back

and i have been to the upc and
the sidebar is enabled

what do i do?

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 Post subject: Re: Option to disable sidebar?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:30 pm
Mine's gone too. It disappeared a few minutes ago. I am sad... I use it to see current activity while I'm on here about 50x times a day. :P

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