Bil Browning

Kick the tires and take us out for a spin

Filed By Bil Browning | July 02, 2007 11:43 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: new design, re-launch, site news

[ED NOTE: I popped this back up to the top of the page to solicit more comments on the state of the site. Keep telling us what's working and what isn't, folks. We're working thru the list! Check the other comments for known issues.]

Welcome to The Bilerico Project! Think of this unveiling as your time to kick the tires, rev the engine and take the site out for a little spin. But be warned, we meant what we said by "beta week." Not all of the pages are finished. Some of the bells and whistles are missing. You might find navigation a little difficult for a day or so. And I'm sure you'll find lots of bugs. But that's the fun of beta week; its your chance to say "Hey! Over here! I found another crazy somethin'-or-other!"

So take this as your chance to explore. Look around and see what works and what doesn't. Tell us what you like and what you don't. The main point of our experiment here at The Bilerico Project is to show the amazing powers of communication and empowerment. This site will be your site too, so don't be shy. We want you to feel welcome. Beta week should be a group effort to make this the sort of site we want to visit often. And since you're a part of our community, be sure to leave your input!

In fact, I'll tell you the things we know still aren't quite right:

  • The "Contributors" and "Archives" main pages are missing
  • The BlogAds column looks strange
  • There is no footer and Terms and Conditions page
  • The main page needs paginated for easy navigation
  • News feed still looks horrible
  • The search box looks funny on Windows

See other things? Leave them in the comments. We'll be checking up on every comment left. Please let us know what operating system you're using and what version and type of browser.

But it's late now - or early - depending on how you look at it. We've been working on this since early yesterday and need to go catch some shut eye. We'll be back at work on the site after a few hours.


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Faithful Reader | July 2, 2007 8:19 AM

What a great new look. Congratulations.

Ha! You two stayed up really late. I suppose I should be providing content now....

Seriously, it looks good. I like the way you two worked out the size/font issues on the little categories button on the front page.

Dave Wene | July 2, 2007 10:38 AM

I hate change!

The format does look great and I like the organization too.

I am not sure how to explain this. As I go down the second column of articles, the further down I go the more the left hand margin and first letters disappear. So starting with Homotexual down the first letter to letters of the first word of each line is missing.

It is also happening of the first column but not as much and I have to go much further down to notice it.

So far everything I have tried seems to work.

Good job.

Dave Wene | July 2, 2007 10:45 AM

I have something else.

I just left a comment. When I hit post, I went to a page that said:

Movable Type
An Error Occurred
Rebuild failed:

I did a Preview, Back, made a correction, then did Post and that is when I got the above page. I was able to enter your address and I can see that the comment posted. I am making this post.

Thanks, David, for your help. What browser/OS are you working with?

Bil and Jerame were up late, so I'm probably the only one on the site now, but I'm sure they'd ask that if you notice a technical error like David did, could you please tell us what browser and OS (Windows, Mac, etc.) you're running? That sort of info helps a lot as different software loads up the site differently.

You sure got a purty site! [/redneck accent] Seriously though, this is a wonderful looking design and I can tell you guys worked hard on it. I really like the way you have everything organized into 3 columns, it's a very intuitive way to navigate through the site and makes it easy to find everything.

I've been poking around for about 5 minutes and have yet to run across any bugs or anything, and the bugs reported above seem to be fixed already or are not buggin' me. Great job! I think this design is a winner.

Dave Wene | July 2, 2007 12:05 PM

Alex,

I am using Windows.

Also my screen is slightly smaller, widthwise, than the published screen. Maybe 1/8th to 2/8th smaller. So I have to use the scrollbar at the bottom to get to the right edge.

Also, all the Premium Advertisers are not on the right side of this edit page, they are below this edit box. (nor sure if that is a problem or "working as designed")

Thanks for the compliments and constructive criticism, guys!

Dave, someone else wrote in and said the same thing about the text stopping on the left side. We'll get right on it.

So what does everyone think about moving some of the regular posts to their own spots on the blog? Those sections rotate as to who's on top (ha, ha, gay blog - good joke) and don't appear in the regular column. Will you remember to click them?

And after leaving that comment, I see what Dave means by the comments being a little screwy this morning. Didn't see that one coming! LOL

Dave Wene | July 2, 2007 1:15 PM

Bil,

I was mistaken about the width of the screen. My screen was not open all the way.

OK, the following should be fixed, if not, please let me know:

(Note: The site was designed for 1024x768 screens and up. If you are using 800x600 anything below 1024x768, you will need to scroll to see the page. 1024x768 is the minimum standard for web viewing. Contact me if you don't know how to change your screen resolution.)

I have tested in the following browsers and operating systems:
Mac Safari 2&3
Mac Firefox 2

Windows Internet Explorer 7
Windows Firefox 2

I do not have and would like to hear results about:
Mac/Windows Opera
Older versions of Windows(2000, 98, ME, NT, etc) any browser
Any particular issues with IE version 6 (I don't have IE 6.)

- Text should not be disappearing anywhere (unless your Internet Explorer on Windows, sorry folks, that browser just really sucks and I have to customize for it. Be patient.)

- There should be 3 columns on every page for every browser. If this is not fixed, please indicate which browser and operating system.

- I'm testing the commenting problem with this comment. It should be fixed shortly if there is still a problem.

- Nothing (text, images, videos, etc) should be flowing outside of any of the boxes. If so, again, please indicate which OS & browser.

- None of the boxes on the front page should be broken now. Some of the older entry pages will have display problems because of custom code in those that will need to get cleaned up over time. With over 3000 entries, cleaning up the older stuff is just going to take time. All new content should be fine.

Known issues (not exhaustive):

- The search box looks funky in a few Windows browsers. Again, it's all about Microsoft and their inability to follow the rules.

- The box around the logo displays oddly in Internet Explorer 7.

- Many of the underlying pages (individual entries, archives, author pages, etc) are still being tweaked and will display random errors from time to time. These don't need reported unless they remain for more than 24 hours. (Remember, sometimes you need to reload once or twice to see the newest version of any page.)

- The ads in the right column do not display properly yet. This is a bug that appeared out of nowhere and that shows persistence that is unnatural.

- There is no Archives page for the Archives link in the nav bar. It's getting built soon.

- Windows does some odd things with unordered lists. Again, probably another gotta customize for IE situation.

- Some of the author pages aren't linked to properly. This is a name mapping issue that will be resolved soon.


Please get rid of the "Thanks for joining the discussion at The Bilerico Project..." that appears at the bottom of the comment section. You should put that on a separate page or something. Every time I read the comments I start reading that section as well thinking it is another comment. This is so extremely annoying that I can't even explain it. Probably doesn't bother others as much, but it really drives me insane. I visit every day -- do I really need to read this that often?

Also, maybe it is just my browser, but when I go to the site the title is just gigantic and there is a lot of white space. I have to scroll down before actually getting to the top of the blog.

And the "Premium Advertisers" are appearing at the bottom of the first column rather than as their own column.

Hope that makes sense. Looks good overall -- a definite improvement.

Okay, I think it looks gorgeous, except for those hideous RealJock ads, perhaps I will write an entry about them :) -- I'll have more to comment later, but for now I have the same error as Dave every time I try to post a comment:

Movable Type
An Error Occurred
Rebuild failed:

I'm using Windows XP and my screen is very large, so there shouldn't be a problem with that particular aspect. In my screen resolution is 1024 x 768...

Oh, I do have one other comment -- the menu at the top is hard to notice, maybe larger text or a wider bar would help -- or, something more boisterous...

Ellen Andersen | July 2, 2007 7:29 PM

Great look guys. Consider hot linking "The Bilerico Project" to bring folks back to the main page. That's commonly how I navigate through sites.

Also, when I try to preview a post, the preview works but I get the following message at the top:

You have reached an old version of The Bilerico Project. This page is no longer being maintained. Please update your links. Here is the current version of this page.

And I just tried to post a test -- it did not post, even though "Entries" says that it posted.

Also, I'm guessing that Ellen is having the same problem when trying to post a comment...

Movable Type
An Error Occurred
Rebuild failed:

Because her comment just posted three times...

Okay, now I have to go out in the sun, more later...

Oops, I'm still here -- I think the text on the posts looks great, very easy to read...

I tried to view "Fear of Fucking" from the highlights list, but instead came a black screen with a square or timer in the middle, rotating in a circle -- nothing else.

Or maybe that is the fear of fucking...

I like it! Really a lot! The one complaint I have is that it just seems... kinda cluttered. Like there's too much in the page. The elements just don't seem to have quite enough breathing room.

Hey guys!! The site looks great!! Congrats!! I am on a Mac and the page loaded quick and clean. No hang time for anything...I do have to agree with the Jock ads from an earlier comment...:)

Jerame~ The ads still appear at the bottom, but only "after the jump", not on the front page. You know what I'm on, lol. Maybe there shouldn't be a border around the logo, like no one can hold back TBP, y'know? I don't know many other sites that use a border for their logos....

Mattilda~ Yeah, you know that Sheila Kennedy, post-modern cyber performance artist, lol.

And the Google ads, well, that site bought up the word "gay" completely it seems. It's like the only thing on my other site, and no one clicks through because of it, since most of my readers there are straight. It's funny how on The Nation's website all of the google ads are for Ann Coulter's column. Or how for a week on this site a few months back they were all for male douche.

And Ellen~ I agree on the clicking on the logo to get back to the main site. I usually do that as well.

I noticed the blogroll isn't as robust as it once was. Noticably absent is taking down words.

The new site format is stunning. It's very clean and professional-looking.

Thanks for the kind words, folks! We have some things fixed now:

The archives page is up - but not pretty yet. Same for the main contributors page. All contributor bios are up, but some of them have strange formatting issues we're working on. (Something about the plugin that created them...)

The comments section is still acting up this morning, but was working last night. (That plugin from above messed the whole thing up - even comments!)

Some more modules will be added today.

To answer some of the questions:

Blogroll - since the new format for The Bilerico Project is strictly LGBTQ, we've removed any links that weren't queer or featured a lot of queer content.

Comments disclaimer: It has to be there. We'll make it a smaller type, but it helps folks to know what the rules are for posting a comment here. We've had issues with this in the past, so it's a necessary evil.

Mattilda: Some of the problems you're seeing are backend problems. E-mail those to me off the site, please. Site users can't use the Preview screen - that's why you had issues with Sheila's post.

Keep the comments coming, folks.