The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sitenews

  • Pin It
Floydm's picture
Floydm

I upgraded the WYSIWYG editor on the site today.  It now has a spellchecker (yay!) and should work on newer versions of IE.  I think.  

Please let me know if you run into any trouble.  If you can include browser and platform information in your comment it would be most helpful.

Thanks!

-Floyd

Floydm's picture
Floydm

By the way, a week or so ago I added a new email notification feature that I think is really handy.  If you go to:


My Account >> Edit >> Email Preferences


and check the box and save you can get a notification any time someone replies to a thread you've started.  I'm finding this a great way of keeping track of responses to blog entries I made weeks or months ago that otherwise I'd miss.


That bring up to 3 the types of email notifications you can have here.  The other two are "Notifications," which sends you a digest of all of the days activity by email, and "Subscriptions," which allow you to subscribe to all updates on a given thread or content type.  Having of these options is quite confusing, I recognize.  Every time I think about doing away with one type of notification or the other to make things simpler I talk to someone who says they really like getting that type.  So I'm not certain what to do, long-term, but it is worth experimenting with the different types of notifications to find the one that fits your reading habits best.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I recently set up m.thefreshloaf.com so that I could monitor the site while away from the computer.  It isn't perfect, but it works fairly well on cell phones or other portable devices like the Kindle


I'll be surprised if there is a huge audience for this but, then again, it could be handy if you want to pull up a recipe or a photo of one of your recent bakes when you are over at someone else's house.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

There has been a marked increase in the amount of spam (particularly with "adult" themes) that is posted here in the last week or so.  Dstroy and I and the other members who can moderate content delete these posts as quickly as possible, but sometimes that is not before they get sent out in the site digest emails or they show up in syndication.   My apologies if you've been on the receiving end of some of those: not what I want to find in my Inbox before I've had my first cup of coffee either.   Know that we try to kill them and close the accounts that posted them as quickly as possible.


Using the "flag as offensive" link at the bottom of such posts would help me.  I think if 2 community members do that, the offending posts will get unreleased and will disappear for the rest of the site visitors.


I could make it more difficult for spammers to sign up, but of course that would make it more difficult for new folks who legitimately want to participate in the baking discussions to sign up.  So I'm hesitant to make it too tough.

Floydm's picture

New Advanced Topics Forum

March 2, 2008 - 3:36pm -- Floydm
Forums: 

Based on feedback I've been getting, I've set up an Advanced Topics forum. Feel free to get as wonky and food geeky as you'd like in there. I will only intervene in the discussion if people are getting truly nasty or personal.

I've also created a couple of new front page blocks about half way down that monitors this section and the Professional Concerns forum, which should make it as easy to keep an eye on those sections as it is the rest of the site.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I made a few layout changes today. I'm trying to make more efficient use of space without reducing readability.

I also enabled user icons. You now can go to "My Account" and upload a small gif or jpeg to represent you. It will show up on any forum or blog posts you make, as well as in your comments.

Let me know if you run into any problems.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I applied a bunch of system patches, did a server reboot, and upgraded to the latest version of Drupal today. The server took about 5 minutes to come back, which is longer than usual, and just long enough to make me worry that I was going to have to spend the rest of my day emailing back and forth with tech support. Happily, it looks like everything came back fine.

Please let me know if you run into any problems.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

As you may have noticed, in the past couple of days I've replaced a few of the ads on this site with ads for Food Buzz.

The folks at Food Buzz approached me a month or so ago to talk about sponsoring the site. After chatting with them I agreed because it seemed like a mutually beneficial relationship. Food Buzz will include The Fresh Loaf as one of their Featured Publishers, thus increasing the exposure of this site. Presumably that'll increase traffic here and expose more people to the great content we're creating here.

For us it establishes a relationship with a vibrant, growing food portal. Their site is structured more like a social networking site and includes a lot of features I'll be unlikely to add here, thinks like geographically tagged restaurant reviews and photos. It seems like a good place for some of us who have other food-related passions than just bread to go find other like-minded folks to share our enthusiasm with.

This relationship should also improve the finances of TFL. I'm afraid I'm not able to quit my day job to devote myself full-time to The Fresh Loaf or anything like that yet, but I should be able to do things like migrate the site to a faster server or pay for a backup service in the next few months without going into the red. I have a few other projects I've been meaning to work on here too, and this increases my incentive to get on it as soon as I can. So it seems like a good thing all around.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

A right sidebar! We have a right sidebar! Whoo hoo!

Ok, if you aren't a geek you probably don't care, but I think it is neat. If you are running at 1024x768 or less you won't see it, but that is ok because it isn't critical information. If you are running at a high resolution, it is an added bonus.

Of course it looks perfect in Safari and Firefox but a bit funky in IE. If you are still browsing in IE, I beseech you to download Firefox. Even non-techies find it a much nicer browser than IE.

The right sidebar gives me a good are to show off many of the beautiful things people have baked and posted to the site over the years. I'll be digging through the archives and adding more thumbnails into the rotation in the next few days. Not tomorrow though: jury duty.

I baked a miche tonight. Probably the prettiest I've baked yet. I'll try to get photos in the morning.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I made a few changes to the layout over the weekend. The logo has changed and is now dynamic, I've reduced the padding between some of the elements, and, most significantly, I've fixed the width of the body.

Non-nerds may not care about this, but whether web pages should have a fixed width so they look the same on all machines or a flexible width so that they can take full advantage of large monitors is one of these debates that web designers discuss endlessly. I've always been in the flexible width camp, but of late I've begun to move into the fixed width camp.

For me, the big advantage of fixed width isn't the design consistency, it is the readability. When text flows over 1000 pixels before wrapping, it becomes very difficult to not lose your place. Think about newspapers for a minute: if they printed copy all the way across the page rather than in columns it would be much more difficult to read. A consensus is emerging that as the web is becoming more and more of a reader's medium, designers should do whatever they can to improve readability. So with that, I'm sold on fixed width.

The screen resolution stats on people who visit this site are interesting:

The vast majority of us have large, high resolution monitors now. So with that I'm making sure 1024x768 is well supported. I may add perks for folks with even larger monitors, like a rail to the right of the content that could include links to favorite stories or something. We'll see.

Any issues with the new layout, please let me know.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - sitenews