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Free Republic Software Update for November 25th, 2003 (Update #4)

Posted on 11/25/2003 5:17:51 AM PST by John Robinson

Edited on 11/25/2003 7:59:47 PM PST by John Robinson. [history]

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To: John Robinson
Thanks John, very pleasant look!
51 posted on 11/25/2003 5:58:18 AM PST by GrandMoM ("Without prayer, the hand of GOD stops, BUT, with prayer the hand of GOD moves !!!)
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To: MinuteGal
I'm still pining for the day that the number of the comment I'm replying to comes up along with the poster's name.

Oh Leni.....it's been there forever!

Look at the line underneath my name at the the end of this post and you will see a blue [To 33] which tells not only which post you were replying to, but if you click on it, it will take you there.

52 posted on 11/25/2003 6:02:15 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: John Robinson
John, If you're tinkering in the search area, or personal preferences, one thing that has always annoyed me is when I do a search on a keyword and automatically get a sort by relevance.

Many times I would rather have them sort by most recent but have to do a second search to accomplish this. How about an option or preference to allow the user to specify how he wants it done?

Thanks
53 posted on 11/25/2003 6:03:02 AM PST by Vermonter (If you're not part of the solution, you must be part of the problem)
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To: John Robinson
Thanks for the changes. The search feature at the top of the page should alleviate double-posts because it's easier to use AND searches by multiple relevant words.

Nice changes. Well done!
54 posted on 11/25/2003 6:06:19 AM PST by Fierce Allegiance (Happy Thanksgiving, all!)
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To: John Robinson
John, the sidebar's color is good. Adds contrast.
55 posted on 11/25/2003 6:07:23 AM PST by pt17
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To: Stop Legal Plunder; jellybean; sweetliberty
Check it out ping.
56 posted on 11/25/2003 6:09:21 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: John Robinson
Nice. But my computer still doesn't dispense coffee.

I know, I know....it's all Bush's fault...
57 posted on 11/25/2003 6:12:14 AM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: OXENinFLA
"Oh great, Kennedy is on the floor....................."

I hope someone gets him up soon or PETA will show up en masse and try and roll him into the Potomac.

58 posted on 11/25/2003 6:14:41 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
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To: eastforker
That's on the longterm todo list.
59 posted on 11/25/2003 6:14:42 AM PST by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
Way to go John! Thank, thank you, thank you for fixing the pager. Also, for working on the browse all forums feature. I noticed the sidebar right off this morning. It's unobstrusive. I'm okay with it.

Thanks for all your hard work John. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

60 posted on 11/25/2003 6:15:59 AM PST by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: John Robinson
"That's on the longterm todo list."

Great, but what about the potty attachement? Its a long way to the bathroom ya know.

61 posted on 11/25/2003 6:16:39 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
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To: MinuteGal
This would save the reader of my comment endless scrolling up, up, up, to find the original reply that I'M replying to.

Did you try clicking on the "to 231" link, below the post itself?

62 posted on 11/25/2003 6:17:36 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: HairOfTheDog
Hey, check it out. John fixed the pager!
63 posted on 11/25/2003 6:19:17 AM PST by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: John Robinson
Looks great, John. And the keyword searches now drill much further back in time than they used to! It bothered me before that we were "losing" so many articles that had been keyword indexed.

As a suggestion, I wonder if it would be possible to have some kind of "find related topics" function associated with keyword searches. That is a function that would bring up a list of keywords most commonly used in conjunction with the one the user is searching for.

Along similar lines, how about a keyword index page? This would alphabetically list all keywords used in the database (of course limited somehow, e.g. to the 5,000 or 10,000 most frequently occuring ones).

64 posted on 11/25/2003 6:19:21 AM PST by Stultis
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To: John Robinson
Excellent!
65 posted on 11/25/2003 6:20:25 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: smith288
And we still get notified of our own comments we just made? Any timeframe on that fix?
This is a much more complicated problem than it seems at first. I have two possible solutions. It all has to do with the database. I'll see about fixing that soon. It annoys me to no end.
66 posted on 11/25/2003 6:21:00 AM PST by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
Niiiiiice!
67 posted on 11/25/2003 6:22:02 AM PST by MileHi (+)
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To: John Robinson
Looking good. Thanks for all you & John et. al do. A happy and blessed Thankgiving to you all...
68 posted on 11/25/2003 6:22:29 AM PST by eureka! (Rats and Presstitutes lie--they have to in order to survive.....)
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To: RobFromGa
Click here

You should have a little window open. Just keep that minimized and it will alert you to new posts to you, FReepmail and you state message board, if you have your state set on your profile page.

69 posted on 11/25/2003 6:25:27 AM PST by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: Stultis
Neat ideas, I'll keep them in mind. Thanks.
70 posted on 11/25/2003 6:25:40 AM PST by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
Now, about that coffee dispenser.....
71 posted on 11/25/2003 6:31:05 AM PST by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: John Robinson; eddie willers
"By popular demand"

Hmmm...I can't imagine anyone on Free Republic ever demanding anything; we're such a sensitive bunch. Nonetheless, I apologize if I contributed any excess enthusiam for my preferred new feature...

And thank you very much for supplying it anyway.

72 posted on 11/25/2003 6:31:50 AM PST by Stop Legal Plunder
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To: John Robinson
Looks good. If I could make a suggestion: reduce the column width on the response pages to about two-thirds of its present full-screen width.
73 posted on 11/25/2003 6:32:03 AM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: nicmarlo; Budge; PeaceBeWithYou; Mo1; null and void
Check out the cool stuff John did now.
74 posted on 11/25/2003 6:33:13 AM PST by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: OXENinFLA
Oh great, Kennedy is on the floor.....................


Well someone help him up and give him a drink!
75 posted on 11/25/2003 6:42:05 AM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: John Robinson
Any thought given to the search function? How about making the default setting be search by 'date' not 'relevance.'

Everytime we want to check to see if an article has been posted, we have to do TWO searches in order to get the articles listed by date.

Also, why not have the 'search' function listed on every page? Within each thread and within our Comments page?
76 posted on 11/25/2003 6:46:28 AM PST by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: John Robinson
* NEW By popular demand Browse All Forums (Search is on the todo list.)

EXCELLENT!

* FIXED The pager now alerts on new comments to you in any forum (it used to only alert for the News/Activism forum.)

Better than EXCELLENT!

* CHANGED General Interest now General Interest (Chat).

Good, if you're going to move things to chat, you should call it chat!

* I added color to the sidebar, tell me (politely!) what you think.

Nice shade of blue.

* Lots of misc. things under the hood.

Oh? Like what?

77 posted on 11/25/2003 6:46:33 AM PST by null and void (In my wet dreams...)
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To: John Robinson
Thank you JohnRob! I love the fixed pager most of all...

and the rest looks lovely!
78 posted on 11/25/2003 6:48:08 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: Tijeras_Slim
You mean it's not General Interest (Hobbits 24/7)?

Hobbits are not 24/7. All those big meals and pints make us sleepy.

79 posted on 11/25/2003 6:50:01 AM PST by HairOfTheDog
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To: John Robinson
The comments page has been very slow to load for two days now, any fix of that on the way?
80 posted on 11/25/2003 6:51:09 AM PST by AxelPaulsenJr (Excellence In Posting Since 1999)
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To: Mad Dawgg
Fixed your typo:

I hope someone gets him [Kennedy] up soon or PETA will show up en masse and try and roll him into the Potomac Chapaquidick.

81 posted on 11/25/2003 6:51:21 AM PST by null and void (SPLASH...)
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To: HairOfTheDog
I know you Hobbits work in shifts. :)
82 posted on 11/25/2003 6:51:32 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (SSDD - Same S#it Different Democrat)
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
Everytime we want to check to see if an article has been posted, we have to do TWO searches in order to get the articles listed by date.
Just paste in the full title of the thread and hit search. The relevancy check will bring similar titles to the top.
83 posted on 11/25/2003 6:52:17 AM PST by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
I added color to the sidebar, tell me (politely!) what you think.

I think the colored sidebar is a little distracting.

84 posted on 11/25/2003 6:54:24 AM PST by John123 (The Governator is gonna clear a lot of the deadwood in Sacramento!)
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To: AxelPaulsenJr
I have my eye on that but don't know what is wrong at the moment.
85 posted on 11/25/2003 6:54:34 AM PST by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
I like the new color on the side bar. The two blues together are easier to read than the blue on white.
86 posted on 11/25/2003 6:55:43 AM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: John Robinson

Great, I'll definitely use this. Will there eventually be a way to select specific forums for the "Browse All" option? For example, if Daily Threads gets its own forum, as they are so popular, I'd go for a "browse all but Daily" option, if that was available.

Will keywords eventually work across all forums? Can keywords be retained when threads are moved from News to Chat, or to the Backroom? I realize it's sometimes necessary to move threads, but sometimes they contained info and keywords that are still useful as a resource.

  • FIXED The pager now alerts on new comments to you in any forum (it used to only alert for the News/Activism forum.)

Cool, thanks, I've wanted this.

Something I've noticed recently is that when I'm browsing, "new posts to you" gets highlighted for my own posts to others. I don't think it was always like that, so lately I've had to do extra clicking, only to find out the new post was my own. Can this be changed back to the way it was?

Another good improvement. There's still a source of "GI" confusion when posting News articles. When I get to this field:

Topics Comma-separated list of topics; or press "Choose" to select from list REQUIRED

It takes me to a page with this heading...

Choose any number of topics
 
General Interest  

If you scroll down, "News/Activism" is a subheading of this "General Interest." Since this isn't same "General Interest" as General Interest(Chat) -- I don't think, anyway -- this might be confusing to folks who haven't posted many articles.

  • I added color to the sidebar, tell me (politely!) what you think.

No opinion. Might be helpful if the sidebars had different background colors, to enable quicker scrolling. Just a thought.

Oh, the other day, someone posted a link to something like a "My Sidebars" page. I forgot to bookmark that, can you repost? Also, is it possible to have more than just the three main sidebars on that page?

  • Lots of misc. things under the hood.

Looks good so far.

One feature I've thought would be helpful is a shortcut to "My Bookmarks," that could appear next to "My Comments" and "My Mail," when I'm browsing. Unless I'm missing something, I think the only way to one's bookmarks, as of now, is through one's profile page.

Keep up the good work. Thanks, John.


87 posted on 11/25/2003 6:55:52 AM PST by Sabertooth (No Drivers' Licences for Illegal Aliens. Petition SB60. http://www.saveourlicense.com/n_home.htm)
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To: John Robinson
What would be way kewl would be a pull down menu on the tag lines so a poster's frequently used tag lines could be switched back and forth without retyping...
88 posted on 11/25/2003 6:57:00 AM PST by null and void (Spelinng? What do yuo mean my sppeling's lousey?)
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To: John Robinson
John, thanks for listening to your fans and for all the work you do. Nice changes.
89 posted on 11/25/2003 6:59:27 AM PST by Unknown Freeper
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To: Tijeras_Slim
You mean it's not General Interest (Hobbits 24/7)?

In Chat, no one can hear you scream.

90 posted on 11/25/2003 7:04:48 AM PST by socal_parrot (Hail to the Victors!)
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To: John Robinson
Good stuff, John.
I'll use the "All forums" alot.

is there any plans to use css for the thread pages? The white background is hard on my eyes, and the beta test a while back was wonderful change. Thanks.
91 posted on 11/25/2003 7:05:08 AM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: prairiebreeze
Who is this guy, General Interest? Is he any good?

As a matter of fact, he is a West Point graduate, a Rhodes scholar, and, by the way, did you know he served in Vietnam.

He was born a poor black boy whose father was a millworker and staunch union member as well.

92 posted on 11/25/2003 7:10:52 AM PST by Inspectorette
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To: John Robinson
Just paste in the full title of the thread and hit search. The relevancy check will bring similar titles to the top. But as you know, the same AP story can have a different title on ABC News, CNN or Newsday.

Keyword searches can be much more accurate.

And why not set change the default? A lot of people on FR have mentioned it. Would it cause a technological problem?

93 posted on 11/25/2003 7:11:39 AM PST by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: Stultis
As a suggestion, I wonder if it would be possible to have some kind of "find related topics" function associated with keyword searches. That is a function that would bring up a list of keywords most commonly used in conjunction with the one the user is searching for.

What if you were to automatically generate keywords? You could take the article text, run it through an automatic summary generator, filter out really common words from the resulting summary (I, you, he, him, they, your, we, a, an, the, and, or, that, his, my, her, et cetera, et cetera), and then index whatever's left as a set of keywords for the article. Add any user-defined keywords that don't already appear in the automatically generated list, and you ought to wind up with a fairly extensive index of articles. Allow Boolean searches of the keyword-index, and you should get something that's very much like a full-text search, and nearly as powerful, except that you don't actually have to parse the full article during a search to do it - you just have to parse it once, during the summary generation. It wouldn't be a 100% solution (summarizers can require a fair amount of tweaking, and they're not absolutely perfect in any case), but it strikes me as a valid possibility...

94 posted on 11/25/2003 7:17:54 AM PST by general_re (Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance.)
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To: John Robinson
Excellent changes! Thank you.
95 posted on 11/25/2003 7:26:50 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firemackbrown.com, www.firecarlreese.com)
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To: John Robinson
The Browse All Forums feature is excellent! Thanks!
96 posted on 11/25/2003 7:34:46 AM PST by Solamente
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To: John Robinson
LOOKS GREAT, AS USUAL, JOHN.

MUCH appreciate all your labors of love. And all this so soon after our recent discussion is very timely.

BTW:
Is your mouse/trackball REALLY comfortable? Or would you like me to try and track down another of the type I use from Taiwan?
97 posted on 11/25/2003 8:00:43 AM PST by Quix (WORK NOW to defeat one personal network friend, relative, associate's liberal idiocy now, warmly)
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To: John Robinson
I added color to the sidebar, tell me (politely!) what you think.

It's Purdy

98 posted on 11/25/2003 8:05:22 AM PST by Mo1
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To: sweetliberty
Thanks for the ping Libby
99 posted on 11/25/2003 8:06:06 AM PST by Mo1
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To: John Robinson
You can choose your own color for each topic subscribed in your sidebar. See the subscriptions gadget (All but blue is probably dog ugly. Feel free to suggest new color schemes in standard web hexadecimal (one color for the background of the title the other for the background of the links)

I wouldn't quite say dog-ugly. I like the gray combo, but the red one needs some work. Might I suggest #990000 for the title background and #FF0000 for the links background?

100 posted on 11/25/2003 8:09:35 AM PST by steveegg (Voter ID? Since Craps Doyle vetoed, RECALL - countdown is now 36 days)
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