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Isn't it about time?

     
9:47 am on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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...that WebmasterWorld stopped using 2002 era HTML, tables, bgcolor, valign, font (!) and all the rest of it?

I thought about this today looking through the badges thread and seeing people complaining about distracting, pointless hard-to-read badges. Why doesn't something get done about the core of the site itself, the code it's built on? It's 2014, this should be a lean, mean responsive-design running on code that hasn't been 50% deprecated.

It sends out a bad message to the users on here. It's quite a pointed example of "do as I say, not as I do". Drag the right side of your browser in, what happens? Collapses in a heap. That shouldn't happen to a leading webmaster forum in 2014. Why should a new user stick around seeing that happen? What 'best practices' are they going to learn here?

So come on, it's no longer 2002. Friends isn't on TV anymore. As Chandler might say, can WebmasterWorld's tags be any more deprecated?
11:38 am on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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4:00 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This topic comes up from time to time. I'm not against change, just happen to like it the way it is. From real world experience with all kinds of forum software/implementation I generally find the more bells and whistles the less stable.
4:50 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Why doesn't something get done about the core of the site itself, the code it's built on?

In the "badges" thread that was mentioned - and predating the opening post by 8 hours - one of our esteemed Administrators appears to have indicated that:

we'll be upgrading to full HTML 5 soon

That would seem to cover the point, though I suspect it will not be a quick and easy process.

I'm not against change, just happen to like it the way it is.

I liked the way it looked before the silly badges arrived.

But the point of this thread is not about cosmetic appearance, rather about what is "under the hood".

And it seems well-argued and entirely valid.

...
8:50 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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HTML 5, using non-deprecated html tags, responsive design, using tables for what they should be used for...not one of these things would you file under "bells and whistles".

Multiple coloured, fuzzy, hard-to-read badges? They are in the bells and whistles folder.
9:02 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Meanies - it still works!

Though there is not much work in doing the responsive design thing so the site works in mobiles. A good 50% of visitors are using mobiles these days. I did all my sites last year.

I'm only really posting to see if I get a badge.
Edit: Oh cool - yeah. 10 years. Has the internet been going that long?
9:28 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Meanies - it still works!

Indeed it does..which is all search engines actually ( despite their protestations otherwise ) care about, even broken code made in FP can and does rank ( try "view source" on many of the sites on page one for many money terms and you'll see what I mean ), plus most of us don't come here to look at the source code..



Though there is not much work in doing the responsive design thing so the site works in mobiles. A good 50% of visitors are using mobiles these days. I did all my sites last year.

Places like this are harder to "update to HTML5 responsive" all in one go than your average site..and many new visitors may well be using older browsers to get here.."here" ( as it is ) works in all the old ones ..and the new ones..
I'm only really posting to see if I get a badge.

You should already have one ( not that I'd know since blocking their display ;)) for 10 years..
9:51 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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You should already have one

I think he meant that you can't see your own badges unless you're looking at a post of your own. And, since he doesn't have 10000 posts' worth of blather, that means posting to the present thread to see what comes up.

But really, generated pages such as forums should be the easiest HTML to fix, since you only have to change things once, in one place. Throw in a couple of @media rules in the stylesheet-- which, er, doesn't seem to exist yet-- and you're good to go.

Now, personally I think Forums (in general) are a perfectly legitimate use of tables, because there's your horizontal and vertical relationship. In fact, if page content requires setting {display: table-anything} all over the place, there's a good chance you should have been using a table* in the first place. But a forced width in pixels, let alone a <div> inside a <td> ...


* Do as I say. Not as I do. I have a bunch of (a) grammatical tables (b) parallel translations and (c) alternative MS readings. Those are all legitimate tables in my book. But I've also got a table-based navigation footer that I've never got around to changing :(
10:38 pm on Nov 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This argument has been made many times, and I've personally tried and tried to get things updated... I finally gave up. I also used to be a mod here, and eventually decided to step back for many reasons... one of which was that I was frustrated with trying to push good practices that were falling on deaf ears.

we'll be upgrading to full HTML 5 soon

"soon" is a relative term, one which I've heard before. I'll believe it when I see it.
12:21 am on Nov 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No matter what you do or don't do, somebody ain't gonna be happy. But there is stuff going on behind the curtain. Some stuff makes administration easier. Some stuff benefits members. Some stuff will be easier to notice than other stuff.
10:52 am on Nov 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm no designer, I'm a programmer.

The minute someone hands me a RWD template built in Twitter Bootstrap that duplicates the WebmasterWorld layout, I'll bolt it on.

However, while we're discussing "under the hood", it sure would be nice to use Google Analytics like every other normal website, or Google CDNs for jQuery, etc. but some would come unglued.

Have some social media features would also be nice but people flipped when Brett tried it.

Besides, what's wrong with maintaining Netscape compatibility? ;)

Backwards compatibility it what it's all about!

Why do people care what's under the hood? What tables are being used for? Or any other thing as long as it works?

I'm not fan of the HTML being used and some measures are being taken to start transitioning from deprecated tags to CSS so if/when that HTML 5 template ever drops in my lap it'll be much easier to make the switch.
2:48 pm on Nov 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The minute someone hands me a RWD template built in Twitter Bootstrap that duplicates the WebmasterWorld layout, I'll bolt it on.

I'd be happy to donate some time to this effort, but not having access to the existing templates, I'd be guessing based on the HTML that *I* see on WebmasterWorld. It might make for an interesting talking point to publish the front end templates on Github, though. Just a thought.

it sure would be nice to use Google Analytics like every other normal website, or Google CDNs for jQuery, etc. but some would come unglued.

Do you mean that some users would be unhappy with this site using GA or jQuery? Why?

Have some social media features would also be nice but people flipped when Brett tried it.

I think that was because of poor execution. It had a negative impact on performance. There are tons of sites that use social media links without affecting performance.

Backwards compatibility it what it's all about!

That's fine, though there comes a point when you have to ask "is backwards compatibility to support browsers that less than 1% of people still use costing me more in performance?"

Why do people care what's under the hood?

I can think of a few reasons.
1. Performance: Bloated HTML code that could be greatly reduced by eliminating tables and markup with inline attributes and styles that can be cached when moved to the correct (presentation) layer.
2. Lead by example: A community of "Web Masters" should be representing a mastery of the web. Mastering HTML 3.2 is *not* what I'd have in mind there.
3. Sure it works... but can it work BETTER? I think so.

Like I said, I'd be happy to donate some time, but it'll be more difficult to do without the existing templates.
3:07 pm on Nov 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Do you mean that some users would be unhappy with this site using GA


Exceedingly. Just take a look at any of the Google forums.
3:17 pm on Nov 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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it sure would be nice to use Google Analytics like every other normal website, or Google CDNs for jQuery, etc. but some would come unglued.

Do you mean that some users would be unhappy with this site using GA or jQuery? Why?

Because they enable G to track members, posters, lurkers by IP ( many of us are on fixed IPs ) and ID "nicks" to real world names and owners of websites.. G ...don't think that they would ? ..tracking and identifying is 99% of what they do..Many of us do not use Ganalytics on our sites so as not to submit our users to such tracking and ID collation..
Have some social media features would also be nice but people flipped when Brett tried it.


I think that was because of poor execution. It had a negative impact on performance. There are tons of sites that use social media links without affecting performance.

That was also because so called social buttons track the specific IP of every viewer with every page loaded that has their buttons on..makes it so easy for G or Facebook or any other so called social media to know which IP posted which comment, read which comments, and who is really the owner of each of those IPs..Again, don't think that they wouldn't do so..that is what their entire business models are based upon, plenty of countries and their inhabitants ( many of whom are members here ) who don't think that it is "too late for privacy"..

In the countries ( all, of the EU for example ) in which many of us live, such tracking is either already illegal, or under investigation..
6:25 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Some people like the pub to stay the same, and others want to see a better food offering, and a greater selection of drinks. The regulars are the ones most likely to be affected by changes.

No matter how something is updated, there will always be somebody that doesn't like the change, and some that do. There will be no satisfying everyone.

At last, there have been a number of changes made "under the hood" that have made the moderators job a great deal easier. That was badly needed in order to help you, the community, have a better experience. Thanks to Jim and iBill for helping make that happen.

Over recent times we talked about moving to alternative software, and then that alternative software suffered from being hacked. For that reason, it raised a red flag, and it's probably a good thing we didn't go that route.

We looked at what updates we could make, quickly, and easily, and, as I mentioned, some of the changes under the hood were the most urgent.

We improved the home page to make it easier to find all the great stuff around the site.

You'd be surprised how long the under-the-hood changes, the awards, and the new home page takes to produce, especially when working with legacy software.

We did spend time on investigating RWD, but, unfortunately, the developer pulled out from the task just before we were to press the button.

There are a number of other aspects coming, and i'm not going to say "soon" or be pressed into when, precisely, but there are improvements coming.

I know that Jim really wants to give the WebmasterWorld community the vehicle in which to have our conversations, and I do, too. But it's always going to be tough as we can't satisfy everyone, all of the time.

Let's be more positive that we're trying to make improvements, albeit they are taking longer than we'd all like.
7:32 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Wasn't HTML5 formally completed only a couple of weeks ago? Seasoned programmers and webmasters wait until the job is done and tested before jumping into unproven technologies. That saves a lot of money and time and is overall more secure in the long term.
7:45 pm on Nov 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Positive comes in the wake of notifications (as above). This falls into the update category. Personally, I appreciate any new info regarding WW and development when it appears. Some of the recent changes make me scratch head and wonder (badges, really?) and some are noticed only in better performance for some tasks (which I appreciate).

What I see more than anything, when this topic comes around from time to time, is some "coders" think pure CSS/HTML (and maybe jquery) is better than tables. That's a range war I have no desire to engage as both are perfectly correct for the RESULTS the user/member seeks when on site. And either is correct as far as SE legibility/indexing. Six or half-dozen either way.
10:18 am on Dec 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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No matter how something is updated, there will always be somebody that doesn't like the change, and some that do. There will be no satisfying everyone.

That's true. I remember being annoyed trying to find my way around Windows 3.1 but I would not like to go back there.

We were on Windows 95 when this forum was created! ;)
2:49 pm on Dec 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Got Milk?

"It's not about bits and megahertz" - Steve Jobs [youtube.com...]

"Getting people to engage in conversation in forums? It's not about pixels, fonts, and tables." -me ;-)
3:26 pm on Dec 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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That's a great quote, Brett! That quote is perfect. Steve Jobs is a great example. :)

Definition of aesthetics:
"concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty."

An excerpt from an article about Steve Jobs' attention to visual aesthetics [fastcodesign.com], where it was important for the beauty to extend beyond where people will see it and carried through to places where typical clients may see it once a year or maybe never ever see it:

Under Jobs, Apple became famous for a level of craft that seemed almost gratuitous: For example, on the "Sunflower" Macintosh of a few years ago, there was an exquisitely fine, laser-etched Apple logo. ...Jobs spent a lot of time making the circuit boards of the first Macintosh beautiful...

"For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."


That level of detail inspires pride of ownership and confidence in the craftsmanship. I believe that the way a site looks reflects upon the upon the user of the site in a similar way. If the user doesn't like it they'll find another site whose reflection of who they are is compatible with how they feel about themselves. That's why some sites have a feminine feel because that's who it is reflecting. Yes, that's somewhat superficial, especially to utilitarian types like myself who don't give a damn about how a site looks as long as it's easy to navigate and use. But it's not about me or others like me.

It's not enough for the cake to taste good. The frosting must be attractive as well. Style is important.

Consider reading the article, The 6 Pillars Of Steve Jobs's Design Philosophy, [fastcodesign.com] it's quite relevant to this discussion.
5:18 pm on Dec 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it's all right for us to say it's not about pixels, fonts and tables :) but personally I think the look of the site may be responsible for the large drop in traffic here. Those of us who have been around for a long time know what WW is all about but new people don't.

We should be more aware than most just how important it is to have a well designed and current website. I can just see new people's bemusement on arriving here from a web search and thinking that there cannot be much web design expertise around these here parts. ;)
1:51 am on Dec 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 3 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/webmasterworld/4724648.htm [webmasterworld.com] by engine - 9:43 am on Dec 25, 2014 (utc 0)



System: The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4719320.htm [webmasterworld.com] by engine - 9:36 am on Dec 25, 2014 (utc 0)


Happy Christmas MichaelP and everyone else,

but what happened to WebmasterWorld....

A decline i'm afraid.Since buying the forum there has been no innovation and the site is not responsive as well.

Simply a case of buying a property and then through mismanagement letting it sink.
2:15 am on Dec 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Internet Marketing Ninjas now own webmasterworld. I guess they are experts at seo and gags myself from further comment.
6:00 am on Dec 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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experts at seo


= buggy whip manufacturer
9:57 am on Dec 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There are some changes coming, and I know some are impatient, just as I am. To say there has been no innovation is misinformed. As I mentioned, the under the hood changes were badly needed, and many of you would not have seen them, but the moderators and admins would have seen them to be able to manage the site more effectively.

Changes you would have seen include a new home page, and we have new awards. As I mentioned, early in the new year there will be many more visual changes coming. Please be patient, and you'll see soon enough.

Thanks
Neil
5:08 pm on Jan 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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BeeDeeDubbleU, have you ever heard of Facebook? How about Twitter? Does Instagram, Pinterest, or What'sapp ring a bell? Google+ in the mix for you? Have you seen these things they call Mobile smart phones?
You might want to check those out before commenting on social traffic. I think your opinion my radically shift knowing that 90% of peoples internet eye ball time has shifted in the last 8 years. That has affected every major forum on the web. Slashdot traffic is off 70% in the last 5 years. You can do that with EVERY major established forum on the web. It aint got squat to do with pixels.
5:43 pm on Jan 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Do you honestly think that there is a chance that I may not have heard of Facebook and Twitter?

Of course I agree Internet usage has changed radically over the last few years. I think we could all agree on that but up to about two or three years ago traffic remained high in here. I would spend a lot more time in this community but there is not much being discussed. This is a specialist forum, which IMO should not have been affected to the extent that it has. I am sure that you will have looked at the reasons for this.

I think changing habits may have been a contributory factor. People throwing in the SEO towel after April 2012 is another. In my opinion there is a third. New visitors to the site are much less likely to stick around when they see an interface that is many years behind the times.

The forum software is no problem for those of us who have been around for many years and who know its quirks but to sustain it going forward we are not the people that it needs to be sold to.
 

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