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myff admin

Weeks progress October 6th

I guess on one level I am not where I hoped to be a the end of the week.

But a lot of things have really come together in terms of working function, and the interface itself is getting both more robust and consistent.

There is now no further distraction from getting the core messaging/chat feature, and if we were to allow one week for that, and then another week for the code to integrate peoples forums into the system, then allowing for a week planned holiday, we would be 3 weeks from a very functional release.

One nagging fly in the interface ointment is adverts, I don't want to start something and then have to throw more adverts at people when it turns out that a very small advert is inadequate A such I have developed a new layout:




There are benefits to this layout.

1) The old layout used two 100 pixel wide columns, this layout uses just one 160 wide column. So despite more ad space, it does not cut into user space.
2) We only use horizontal ad layouts on the forum, the 160 wide skyscrape format should therefore give a bit of useful variety.
3) As already said, we won't have people feeling cheated by us having to increase the adverts, we start off with what should definitely be sustainable.
Nick(NR)

Gotta say boss, it is coming along very nicely, just curious tho I assume it will be usable by outside users, i.e. non forum members?
myff admin

I guess it should be, currently that is not coded, but it is not exactly a lot of work to do so.
Nick(NR)

Well I was just thinking if it were open to non forum members, it could possibly tempt them into a forum Wink

I like that big picture
myff admin

Found a nasty road block, the ajax framework is xajax with a Joomla wrapper based on .24 xajax.

This leaks memory like a sieve, newer releases with memory fixes are available, but the Joomla wrapper has not been updated, and does not seem like people are rushing to update it

This is not insurmountable, as I could do this work myself, but it is definitely a hold up, things are not releasable with that level of leak
myff admin

Partially because of this I am pushing on more heavily with things like the chat room interface and generally improving the engineering of the other bits.

Whilst I would be very nice to have this online asap, there is no question that if it went online soon, it would be far from complete.

As a crude scope of the work involved, the number of database tables can be used. Standard phpbb2 has 32, this project is now up to 12. e.g. it is significantly less complex that a full forums system, but no small amount of work.
myff admin

Sometimes the little things are satisfying

I now have a system where if you make an error in an input field, the error will appear in red by the field.

No big deal in itself, but the way it is done is to assign the input field a class of "inputfielderr", the client side javascript then sees this and adds the relevent html to deal with error conditions and changes the class to "inputfield". The server side can then use ajax to assign values to the error condition with a simple call.
In practice this will means a small reduction is page load times as the client side creates part of the page. But more to the point it makes for quicker and less error prone writing of the code.
myff admin

Another screenshot, showing the complete chatbox creation interface. All nicely interactive.




You may seen the screen is somewhat less complex, and even now "New Friends" is on the hit list for removal.

Whilst chatbox creation works, the code to let people see what chatboxes they are allowed into, so they can join a chat room, and for that matter the code to create the chatroom is not done.

But we do have the messaging class done, and so the new bits are not much more than cut and paste. This is part of the benign way coding speeds up as you go, each project should consist of a lot of routines that are very similar, and as you go you create both building blocks that can be reused, or code that you can cut paste and change a bit.
myff admin

Have coded up and got working the bookmarking of chat rooms

and code the actual chat room I feel the need for a nice strong cup of tea before running it though as these sorts of cut and paste jobs spend an hour falling over before coming alive.
myff admin

Well blow me down with a feather, chat boxes are up and running.

Within the scheme of the features currently live. What is missing is:

1) Ability to search for friends using the "interests" system.
2) Ability to request friends from forums you are on, when they have not registered yet on myfreefriends.
3) Ability to approve comments.
4) Moving the find a friend dialog into the my friends dialog.
5) Internet explorer testing.
6) Automatically created forum chat rooms.
7) seeing who is onlne.

Last but not least fixing the leaks in the xajax framework.

This is what you might consider to be the 90% complete mark, which tends to mean that 90% more time is needed
myff admin

forum chat rooms added

It is quite nice the way you can have several chat windows open at once.
myff admin

Just added the "whosonline" function, rather an empty display currently
myff admin

Bit of an admission that all was not done, but I have added the means to approve comments, and delete certain messages where appropriate. Have also added the "Comments Recieved" tab which was missing in the "My messages" area.
myff admin

Well after a few days break it is slowly back to the coal face

As I left it, the "make a friend" area was due an overhaul to promote it from a window I was thinking of removing completely, to instead being a bit of a hub of activity.

It will now separately allow people to invite people from forums, myfreefriends and even to email requests.

I am also going to introduce some idea of "Notes" allowing you to have public/private notes.
myff admin

On the notes idea, the database is set up for wiki style collaborative editing, this will be one hell of a feature, but will not be there in more than token form in the initial release. It will take a month to write and cannot be allowed to hold things up.

Meanwhile the priority is the request area/email notifications etc. The things that put the social into social networking as you can encourage other people to join.

The javascript frame work has also been tweaked a bit more, so that it successfully recalls windows z-order as well as position.
myff admin

You can now request someone on any (myff) forum you are a member of to join and they will get an email.

Code is also in place but not tested for the email of notifications of friend requests from within myfreefriends.

This leaves direct request to email addresses and the whole processing of the links in the emails for joining/accepting/rejecting etc.

Quite a bit involved here, but even allowing for the idea of "notes" it is beginning to look like a clear run to having something quite interesting to release.
myff admin

email notifications are working

Though I am uncomfortable with some of the code, its a little messy for my liking. Livable with so long as no more complexity is added.

Still need the direct to email requests and all the processing of the email links, but I think logically the processing is next and that is not one to start on at this time of day. Joining is in general just not as slick as it should be and needs a good eye on things.

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