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Author Topic: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC  (Read 54200 times)

Keyrocks

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2008, 05:17:21 PM »

For those who might think breaking snews engine functions into more files in folders other than the "root" location is some sort of taboo or breaking the "original" vision of sNews... I would like to set the record straight - it isn't.  :)

I still have complete, default file-sets for versions 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 on hand, and I had reason to look back into them today.

Version 1.2 had an "engine" folder with three files in it - config.php, functions.php and an index.php. All php functions were not consolidated into one snews.php file until version 1.3.
- config.php contained 93 variables (72 were language variables) defining values used throughout all of the functions in functions.php.
- functions.php contained several small functions, just 257 lines of script in total.

The index.php file has an interesting structure. It was NOT template independent. It contained the bulk of the code - 429 lines in total. It...
1)  Starts the PHP session and includes config.php,
2)  Checks password login attempts. If too many or wrong, it displays a "Login Failure" message.
3)  If login is OK, generates an HTML "Admin" template with the CSS included in its <head> and login panel in its <body>.
4)  Once login is successful, it generates another HTML Admin template with the following:
     a) A simple menu at the top with links to "Home" and "Logout".
     b) An "Admin" title, and links to Admin functions - articles, new article, images, and comments.
     c) Case-based sub-functions for New and Edit articles (content),
         processing, images, image uploading, comments, logout, and a default Admin view.

sNews 1.2 was (and still is) the "Lite Blog" version of sNews - only 38.KB. installed. :)
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codetwist

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2008, 09:48:52 PM »

One or more files isn't an issue, at least for me - I go for more files anyway, multilingual sites and heap of mods/external libs as well. What's causing problems for me - it's cases when items x,y,z from core suddenly ceases to be present or behaves completely different moving from one minor version to next one. Doesn't matter where they are stored in one version or another - if only they are usable in the same way at both versions.
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Keyrocks

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2008, 10:20:40 PM »

One or more files isn't an issue, at least for me - I go for more files anyway, multilingual sites and heap of mods/external libs as well. What's causing problems for me - it's cases when items x,y,z from core suddenly ceases to be present or behaves completely different moving from one minor version to next one. Doesn't matter where they are stored in one version or another - if only they are usable in the same way at both versions.

I hear ya Codie... I hear You loud and clear.
Your point(s) have been documented in another location where they (and others) will remain as a constant reminder of "what not to do".   ;D
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lessismore

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #78 on: April 14, 2008, 07:23:14 AM »

Thanks everyone for this fine piece of work.

Please don't take this as a flame - I respect sNews & the contributors immensely,  but I have one bone to pick with the RC candidate:

* The CSS file is ~600 lines long and is too complex.

I wish I had a perfect answer of what to do about it, but I don't - I'm a CSS idiot.

However, I hate those who give negative feedback with no ideas for solutions so I'll try:

* Since the one file hurdle has been broken - maybe the CSS could be broken into multiple files too:

Examples, reset.css, layout.css, admin.css, contact.css, styles.css.

In summary, the complexity of all the CSS jammed into one monster file freaks me out.

Thanks for the consideration.
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Sasha

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #79 on: April 14, 2008, 09:03:34 AM »

css files in snews is easy to use.you have to know css to use css.you cant work with css if you dont know what is for what?so start learning css  :)
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Sasha

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #80 on: April 14, 2008, 09:06:06 AM »

can some one make this avatar biger...this shit is to small ....thanx
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Keyrocks

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #81 on: April 14, 2008, 02:15:33 PM »

Thanks everyone for this fine piece of work. Please don't take this as a flame - I respect sNews & the contributors immensely,  but I have one bone to pick with the RC candidate:

* The CSS file is ~600 lines long and is too complex.
 - maybe the CSS could be broken into multiple files too:

Examples, reset.css, layout.css, admin.css, contact.css, styles.css.
Thanks for the consideration.

And thanks for offering your suggestion in a positive light. :)
As you've likely determined... by reading back through the posts in this thread... Fred K. volunteered to provide a different template for the 1.7RC package as the Dudes thought it would give the next version a different identity to help tell them apart. The one down-side with Fred's template is that it does require a lot of CSS to make it work. It is provided as a possible option for the eventual release of 1.7 stable but... everything about the RC is open to discussion and critique... and can be changed.

For the present... you still have the option of switching back to the default template used in sNews 1.6... or any other template you may wish to use. Swap the CSS stylesheet and index.php files. Just be sure that your replacement index.php file contains the same function-names as used in the default 1.7RC index.php file. I think the only one that's changed is the one for "extra".
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Fred K

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #82 on: April 14, 2008, 03:03:44 PM »

Thanks everyone for this fine piece of work. Please don't take this as a flame - I respect sNews & the contributors immensely,  but I have one bone to pick with the RC candidate:

* The CSS file is ~600 lines long and is too complex.
 - maybe the CSS could be broken into multiple files too:

Examples, reset.css, layout.css, admin.css, contact.css, styles.css.
Thanks for the consideration.
... it does require a lot of CSS to make it work. It is provided as a possible option for the eventual release of 1.7 stable but... everything about the RC is open to discussion and critique... and can be changed.

The bulk of the css actually has to do with making the admin area and comments/contact areas look a little more appetizing than normal, not so much with "making it work". The reason I opted for a separate IE-specific stylesheet was so that the "standard" stylesheet can use tried and tested techniques for modern browsers while satisfying IE with the separate stylesheet. It also provides you with a natural place to put other IE-specific CSS "hacks" (most* standards compliant browsers don't need hacks.)

In the final moments before releasing the RC, the standard stylesheet did get a little too bloated due to some late additions, but then (Armen!) it's an RC, not cast in stone (yet). Plus, you know, you always have the option to use an entirely different theme or template for your sNews site. 1.7(RC) is no different than previous versions in that respect.

I would also like to echo Saha's opinion: you do need to know some CSS to make changes. But, how's that any different from having to know some PHP (and now even more than previously!) to make changes in the core PHP engine? CSS is code, same as PHP is code, they just do different things (and, some might argue, are different in complexity. Be that as it may.)

*) Opera being something of a special child in this regard, sometimes demanding extra treatment.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 03:06:53 PM by Fred K (agentsmith) »
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lessismore

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #83 on: April 14, 2008, 07:23:53 PM »

The bulk of the css actually has to do with making the admin area and comments/contact areas look a little more appetizing than normal, not so much with "making it work". The reason I opted for a separate IE-specific stylesheet was so that the "standard" stylesheet can use tried and tested techniques for modern browsers while satisfying IE with the separate stylesheet. It also provides you with a natural place to put other IE-specific CSS "hacks" (most* standards compliant browsers don't need hacks.)
I test in IE last and went to your separate IE sheet to change a few things and it worked - what might have taken a long time to find took minutes - thanks.

The admin/comments/contact area look good - my comment was more that if some of the "bulk" was separated out based upon usage (like the IE sheet) it could make working with the existing CSS and/or adding custom CSS to a more minimalist "style.css" template file easier. 
I would also like to echo Saha's opinion: you do need to know some CSS to make changes. But, how's that any different from having to know some PHP (and now even more than previously!) to make changes in the core PHP engine? CSS is code, same as PHP is code, they just do different things (and, some might argue, are different in complexity. Be that as it may.
Agreed.

All in all, I like what I see in the RC and think its great the Dudes let the non-dudes kick the tires.  I think the non-dudes should provide feedback - especially their first impressions (as everyone only gets one of those), but it should be civil. The whole purpose of a RC is to get testing & feedback.

More first impressions are the "extra extras" and the ability to call functions via articles built into the editor are great new features.  Also, the core seems fast and stable (I'm using php 5.2.1 and mysql 4.1.22 on CentOS 4.6) and the only things that have shown up in the error_log have been self-inflicted wounds.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 07:28:48 PM by lessismore »
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jlhaslip

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #84 on: April 14, 2008, 07:53:30 PM »

Quote
self-inflicted wounds

collateral damage? :lol:
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Fred K

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2008, 01:33:25 AM »

I test in IE last and went to your separate IE sheet to change a few things and it worked - what might have taken a long time to find took minutes - thanks.
No problem. Glad it helped.

The admin/comments/contact area look good - my comment was more that if some of the "bulk" was separated out based upon usage (like the IE sheet) it could make working with the existing CSS and/or adding custom CSS to a more minimalist "style.css" template file easier.
True. The stylesheets weren't really supposed to be so bulky and I take responsibility for that, even if I wasn't the only one involved. The attempt that was made with this template, to give end-users more choices in terms of easy styling (for instance, did you know that you can change the template width just by changing the name on one div in index.php?) might have been a little over the top... oh, well. The good news is that --at least if the rumblings are true-- you might not be troubled by this template in the release version.

bla bla bla ... CSS is code, same as PHP is code, they just do different things ... bla bla
Agreed.
Just so you know, less, I wasn't aiming at you in particular with that remark. It seems to be a general sentiment, that since CSS is less complex than -for example- PHP, it's easy to dismiss. (It's just style, right? How hard can it be?) So the remark was aimed at anyone. ;)

Thanks for your other remarks (on behalf of all who's tinkered with the RC), it's appreciated.
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lessismore

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2008, 03:01:13 AM »

Did you know that you can change the template width just by changing the name on one div in index.php?
Absolutely, I'm using the public.php/admin.php separation idea and am using pageflexi for admin and using the page778 for public - awesome - keep up the good work.  It's also a great feature for quick testing.

The blokes with the idea to separate the admin style from the public style are on to something good - some of my CSS hacks customizations have hosed up the admin pages - having a consistent admin style could be very attractive to developers and those supporting customers websites.

It's an RC, I'm an engineer too - hey, if you want it perfect you have to wait - maybe forever.   I'm glad the Dudes had the cojones to lay a RC out there even when they knew it wasn't perfect - that is what is best for the project.

On another point, I now think CSS is more complicated than PHP - PHP is at least more consistent across OS's than CSS is across browsers :)

You may choose to completely ignore the next suggestion, but I think using horrible colors during development using the standard 16 names is a good idea. I know what color "red" is, but not what #001913 is.  When I play with templates and CSS, I usually select gross colors mixes on purpose.  It comes down to choice - are you producing a "developers tool" or an "out of the box" application?

If you choose "developers tool" it would be unfair for people to flame you for bad (or even basic) color choices if  that was your *intention* - but it would probably happen.  :(
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Keyrocks

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #87 on: April 15, 2008, 03:19:08 AM »

1)   The blokes with the idea to separate the admin style from the public style are on to something good - some of my CSS hacks customizations have hosed up the admin pages - having a consistent admin style could be very attractive to developers and those supporting customers websites.

2)   It's an RC, I'm an engineer too - hey, if you want it perfect you have to wait - maybe forever.   I'm glad the Dudes had the cojones to lay a RC out there even when they knew it wasn't perfect - that is what is best for the project.

3)   On another point, I now think CSS is more complicated than PHP - PHP is at least more consistent across OS's than CSS is across browsers :)

4)   You may choose to completely ignore the next suggestion, but I think using horrible colors during development using the standard 16 names is a good idea. I know what color "red" is, but not what #001913 is.


1)   Well... I'll drink to that. Add me to the list of those in search of an Admin template that works independently of the "public" template(s).  ;D

2)   We knew it wasn't perfect. We knew (at least I suspected) there'd be some controversy over some of the changes in the RC. And... by jumpin'... we got it. And that's just fine... no matter how hard anyone tries... you cannot and will not satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time. It just isn't possible. So we take the criticism and skim the good stuff off the top.

3) Like most who get started making websites as a hobby... I started witha WYSIWYG web page appie (FrontPage) and thought tables and cells were cool. I just never reaslized it was possible to make pages with a lot less code... until I fell into this relationship with sNews. I knew sh**t about CSS and even less about PHP... so I can proudly say that I learned (almost) all of what I know (and it's far from a lot) here with the sNews gang over the past 2 years. Let's face it... when we stick with something for a good length of time... we learn from it and our skill-set becomes broader. I'm now at the stage where I seldom look at my CSS cheat-sheets... I'm increasingly able to type CSS from scratch.

4)  A simple color scheme would be white and black with one other primary color - red, brown, purple, green or blue... with shade of grey. One does get used to using the 6-digit color numbers though when working in any graphics application on a regular basis. Heck... you will even get to remember some of those off by heart as well... like #ff0000 for red.  ;)
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invarbrass

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #88 on: April 18, 2008, 05:39:40 AM »

* The CSS file is ~600 lines long and is too complex.

I wish I had a perfect answer of what to do about it, but I don't - I'm a CSS idiot.

However, I hate those who give negative feedback with no ideas for solutions so I'll try:

* Since the one file hurdle has been broken - maybe the CSS could be broken into multiple files too:

Examples, reset.css, layout.css, admin.css, contact.css, styles.css.

In summary, the complexity of all the CSS jammed into one monster file freaks me out.

Thanks for the consideration.

I don't think this is a good idea. with the world moving towards CSS sprites for faster web performance, increasing the number of additional files seems like a step backwards.

while designing you could split up CSS, JS anyway you like. but it's always a good idea to splice them up before deploying on live servers. I contributed some code to compress CSS scripts, it's in the snews 1.6 mods forum IIRC.
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Fred K

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Re: Pros & Cons: Changes in sNews 1.7RC
« Reply #89 on: April 18, 2008, 11:15:11 AM »

...with the world moving towards CSS sprites for faster web performance...

It is? Sheesh, must've missed that train... ;)
Personally, I'm waiting for the CSS3 train, but (like the Sprite train) it'll be a while ...erm, 7 years maybe... before all the cars are assembled and all Very Important Passengers are on board...

Compressing the CSS is generally a good idea though. I guess time constraints in this particular case lead to us not thinking in those terms -- I know I didn't (it's not second nature to me yet, but I'll try make it so, because as I said, it is a good idea.)
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