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9 comments

1 Political Atheist  Sat, Aug 7, 2010 7:06:02pm

Agreed. Amazing place.

2 Dancing along the light of day  Sat, Aug 7, 2010 8:12:15pm

Charles is so awesome, for giving us the beauty & simplicity of his designs. He works hard at it, and it SHOWS!

3 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Aug 8, 2010 7:21:32am

I haven’t been a programmer for nearly twenty years but I haven’t lost my appreciation for good code and design layout. LGF is one of the best I’ve seen.

Your comments about clean code resonate with me. I worked hard to make my code as clean as possible. It was hard work but worth it as every bit of code in the world gets modified sometime in the future. One of the main reasons I stopped being a programmer was because I got so weary of modifying code that should have been put out of its misery long ago.

4 Interesting Times  Sun, Aug 8, 2010 10:46:35am

Great post CL! Agree especially with your comments about the color scheme - it has such a pleasing, “easy on the eyes” feel. I have a background very similar to yours, and getting just the right colors (that are not only user-friendly, but suitable to the “mood”, purpose, and, if applicable, company branding of a site) is a challenge to say the least.

That said, what do you think of the following feature suggestions? I think they would take LGF from “great” to “crushes the competition like Godzilla on steroids” ;)

1) “Liquid layout” for the main content column - that way, articles and comments would stretch out to take advantage of widescreen monitors and save wear and tear on one’s scroll wheel :)

2) Ability to save Pages-in-progress and publish them later. This would be especially useful for people who don’t have time to complete an in-depth page in one sitting.

3) Notification area in the top-left “logged in” box that tells you how many new comments are waiting on your Page, or a Page/Article you’ve previously commented in (or favorited, or otherwise “subscribed” to). This is the only feature common to other sites I find myself missing over here (New Comments notifications could also make it easier to stamp out the dreaded “dead thread” trolls)

I do hope #3 wouldn’t be an absolute nightmare to code given the site’s existing framework, because of all the items I listed above, it would be the one I’d most like to see.

5 Charles Johnson  Sun, Aug 8, 2010 12:04:00pm

Thank you very much for the great review.

To answer one of your questions, the LGF Blog software is completely built from scratch. In the very beginning, I used one of the early blog programs called Gray Matter, but it didn’t scale well for heavier traffic. In fact, it had lots of bugs that could cause data corruption, because it used flat files for storage and didn’t address the inherent problem of concurrency. At that point, I started writing my own system, that originally used the same flat file format as Gray Matter, with techniques that eliminated the concurrency issues.

Eventually, though, traffic increased to the point where it was necessary to move all the data in those flat files into a MySQL database, so we could split the web and data into two separate dedicated servers. That was a big chore, but definitely worth the effort in the long run.

6 Charles Johnson  Sun, Aug 8, 2010 5:20:36pm

Here’s the launch of the MySQL version, March 31, 2007:

littlegreenfootballs.com

7 CuriousLurker  Mon, Aug 9, 2010 5:07:33am

re: #4 publicityStunted

I’m glad you liked the post! The features you mentioned would indeed be nice, and I agree that #3 would be the most useful.

And, yeah, the dead thread trolls are a major PITA.
Image: Rob-Steenclungevom.jpg
;o)

8 CuriousLurker  Mon, Aug 9, 2010 5:18:34am

re: #5 Charles

Thank you very much for the great review.

You’re welcome—it was my pleasure.

To answer one of your questions, the LGF Blog software is completely built from scratch. In the very beginning, I used one of the early blog programs called Gray Matter, but it didn’t scale well for heavier traffic. In fact, it had lots of bugs that could cause data corruption, because it used flat files for storage and didn’t address the inherent problem of concurrency. At that point, I started writing my own system, that originally used the same flat file format as Gray Matter, with techniques that eliminated the concurrency issues.

Eventually, though, traffic increased to the point where it was necessary to move all the data in those flat files into a MySQL database, so we could split the web and data into two separate dedicated servers. That was a big chore, but definitely worth the effort in the long run.

Wow, very interesting. And impressive. I can only imagine how many hundreds (thousands?) of programming hours you’ve put into this site. Thanks for the synopsis.

re: #6 Charles

Here’s the launch of the MySQL version, March 31, 2007:

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com…]

Yay, more details—thanks!

9 wrenchwench  Mon, Aug 9, 2010 9:00:35am
Heck, I’m still discovering stuff that is new to me, like highlighting what I typed and then pressing Crtl+B or Crtl+I to make my text bold or italic (which I did as a reflex last week, not realizing until then that it would actually work).

I wonder how much I don’t know….

Thanks for the help for the non-geeks. (Watching Star Trek used to be enough to qualify.)


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