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Finally, we've changed! (Including some tips)
by Dani Moure - Saturday, October 4th 2003 [Updated: Tuesday, October 7th 2003]

Category: Site News

Update: And I forgot to mention last night that there are some new features with regards to the news posts. They are now all categorised, and wherever you see the category listed (be it the archives, the news item itself, or the headlines on the main page, you can click it to drill down and show all news items in the category. Also (as you can see), updated posts are marked as such.

It was a long haul. Made ever longer by my work commitments (starting a new job isn't necessarily the best time to try to schedule a major site rewrite), but for better or worse (hopefully you'll agree that it's better), we have indeed finally changed.

And not a moment too soon. It recently came to my attention that the odd piece of old news that should've been in the archive hasn't been displayed (so while it's there, no one could read it). And indeed, I know I made a news post late last night to say the re-launch would be delayed until today. Alas, it doesn't seem to be here.

The past week has been a bit of a blur. I finished major coding before last weekend. Then had a bit of cleanup and additional stuff to do. That took longer than expected. Then came the importation. I've imported everything manually, to (try to) ensure that all the links work. Nevertheless, you may come across the odd news piece, in particular, where a link to elsewhere on the site is broken. Likewise on some of the other pages. If you do, please bear with me, and drop me an e-mail.

But backing up a second, as you can see, we've changed. Every page on the site now ends with ".php", which means we're running off a database, and all the code that brings the content to you was written by me (something I'm rather proud of). It should still be easy enough to find what you're looking for - just navigate in the normal way. A few sections have changed slightly - notably the convention coverage and upcoming list have moved to their own section on the navigation menu to the left, the layout of the main page has changed, and there are several other tweaks.

I will say, though, that I'm not done yet. For a start, the merchandise release list is currently empty. I am aware of that, I just didn't have time to add anything there, and I wanted to launch tonight. Same goes for the store.

The news section is also incomplete. Currently, there are only the news items added since August 2003. That will change gradually - I'll keep adding as much as I can until it's done (but it's no small task - we have posted over 600 news items sine we began). So with the news archive, you'll have to bear with us.

A few other things need to be implemented, too. A couple of coding modifications to make things better, and also the usual featured ads you see in the top right of every page but the main page. They will be re-added as soon as possible, too. But the main thing is the vast majority of non-news content has now been re-added.

There are a couple of old pages still lingering around (and that means some of the links will be bad). Don't worry about that - I haven't deleted any of the old pages just yet because I'm not done. They will, of course, be going shortly.

You may be wondering why I did this at all. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, I like change. I liked the challenged. But the main reason for doing this was to customise the site to exactly how I want it. Many sections are now fully automated, especially those like upcoming conventions and TV schedules. In those cases, I just add cons/episodes, and only upcoming ones are displayed. It makes my life a lot easier, and allows me to add content quicker and with less hassle. So it's worth it, at least to me.

I really, really hope you like it. It has taken a while, and I know I said it'd be coming much sooner than it did, but I'm sure you know how life can get in the way, and I didn't want to do a half-assed launch.

Now please, go check things out and see how you like them. There's a "HELP?" link in the top right of some pages - if you're confused by the options on the page and see it, then click it and it should explain what you can do. Some of the nifty things include being able to filter certain things, like only displaying a certain season in the episode guide, and also, the episode credits withing the infolink/synopsis/review/second opinion pages now all link the people responsible to the databank. It's a little buggy in places, but I think it's cool.

And finally, I have to apologise if this is a little incoherent - it's very late here! I will be getting to my e-mails very soon now; I've been neglecting reading them and the forums, but that will change now this is almost done.

If you have any problems and/or feedback, please e-mail me.

Thanks for your patience.

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