February 2005 in the Life of Ben (Blog)
Google Site Search (27th February 2005)
I added the Free Google Site Search to all the Project Cerbera pages yesterday using TextStudio. I revised it after finding some validation errors (Google uses incredibly poor markup) have uploaded the whole site again today. Because it is a free service, the only way to get back to Project Cerbera from the results is either clicking a result, jumping back through your history, typing the domain back in or rummaging through your bookmarks to return here.
It is not ideal but it is far, far better than having no site search at all.
Site Updates (24th February 2005)
TextStudio now has Find and Replace routines which will run through all the opened files the user selects from the dynamic list. I have been using this functionality to replace all instances of messanger with messenger and .RAR with .rar to make the site more accurate and consistent. These changes will probably take weeks to complete so I will make other updates whilst working on these in the background.
You may have noticed that the subheaders are now emboldened and links use different saturations of blue rather than completely different colours. This is to make the headers more obvious and the blue-based links mean that visited links do not look like they perform a different function, which is what it may have looked like when they were purple.
Self Employment (24th February 2005)
On 2005-02-18 I went to my first group workshop run by InBiz to learn how to start my own company making web sites. The great thing is that all the members of the group would benefit from having a site when they start up their own companies, so I could well begin already having a classfull of clients. Plus the dental surgery.
No News is Good News? (20th February 2005)
Hardly any news articles have been added to the site this month because I have been so busy actually working on stuff. Last month I was saying that I was writing far too many articles which were each far too long but now I think I have gone a bit too quiet. Did somebody say “flip-flop” over there? Anyway, I think aiming for roughly one or two updates per week depending on how my projects are going is reasonable now that I split the news articles up more regularly.
TextStudio (20th February 2005)
Today I managed to finally complete the multi-file Find and Replace functions. I also found elegant solutions for a couple of infinite-loop errors which could sometimes occur on multiple file opening. I have been using this revised version of TextStudio to overhaul the news section here on Project Cerbera from being quarterly by year to being monthly by year.
Conventional for GTAForums (20th February 2005)
It has been coming together faster and faster over the past couple of weeks. Yesterday was particularly productive as I got the Moderator Control Panel sorted out, which is one of the most complicated parts of all. Overhauling the main search form has made it much more consistent with other parts of the board. The new results listings by posts and by topics both practically made themselves; everything just seemed to fit back together logically and has created a really cool layout. Even if I do say so myself.
Segosa, illspirit and Ashdexx have been doing bits of testing on the skin for me. Segosa has registered himself at the boards and intends to go over it all with a fine-toothed comb. I hope he doesn’t scratch his monitor…
Gouranga Moderating (20th February 2005)
I was removed from the Gouranga! moderating team on 2005-02-## for reasons which I do not think justify that decision. The staff did carry out my main recommendation of creating a small policy to let users know where they stand. I drafted out a 3-point policy which described what the root causes of staff action were. However, the policy they went for is a vague list of several very short, bullet-pointed symptoms which will need to be expanded continually to cover everything. They may as well have not bothered, in my humble opinion.
MTAVC Moderating (20th February 2005)
Ransom created a staff guidelines thread which I re-formatted and neatened up. IJs changed the subheader style, all the staff agreed that the revisions had improved it and that is now what we are using.
There has been a bit of confusion over the swear filter because I was told by Ransom that I could change it from inserting
:O in place of profanity. However, a day later he went back on that, turned my topic about what I was doing into a poll and deleted my changes before I had a chance to reply to the thread. I spoke to IJs about this and it seems that Ransom acted out of line, so the swear word filter is still up for discussion.
Progress on the new policy has not been fast but it has not been zero, either. The internal staff guidelines topic should go a long way to demonstrating the benfits of a carefully structured and considered policy for members.
Curveshire Intersection v3 Designs (14th February 2005)
After months of research and design, I have finally gotten a new sketch for the East and West intersections from the Curveshire motorway to the normal roads. If I could only find someone to actually model them!
Dumped by Emma (9th February 2005)
When we got back from Basingstoke town on 2005-01-08, Emma told me that I was not going to be going back to her house again. I don’t understand why this is because just a couple of days earlier she was telling me that she loved me. Lots and lots and lots, in fact. Confusing stuff.
Still, the bright side is that I can now concentrate fully on my GTA, programming, internet and website stuff fully. Well, until I start a new self-employment training course later this month!