Richard

New features

33 posts in this topic

I have had a chance lately to layout the framework for a number of new features that will be coming to Parkz in the coming days/weeks/months. Obviously since Parkz's launch we've had a chance to reflect and modify things to better suit the site. Redesigned / revised index page It's important that the index page has the scope that makes it capable of providing adequate coverage so that when there is a lot of new content it's all reasonably accessible. Everything that is 'good' about the current page will stay but the way news is displayed in particular will change significantly. We've invested in a special piece of software that I think will vastly improve the functionality of the site. I'm really happy with the beta version and I hope to have screenshots and/or the final release before too long. New 'Construction HQ' Construction HQ will be a gateway to all the latest construction content we have available. In recent months it has become clear that to be able to effectively cover a large number of different projects we need an easy-to-use and prominent place where users can keep track of content. In addition, to make this feature work effectively, the way galleries are organised will be slightly altered. Pages will be ordered from oldest to newest, so for instance if you post a URL to 'page 11', its content will not change when new photos are added like it currently does. 'Partnership' coverage More on this later, but think of it for now as a way to vastly expand how much content we can offer. User content profiles Yes this feature will finally be made available. Each user who has submitted content (photos, articles, database entries) will have their own profile that displays all their content. I expect these features (as well as a number of minor improvements and adjustments) will be rolled out over the coming month or so if all goes well. Comments/suggestions are welcome as always.

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I think all of these improvements sound great. It's good to see the continued commitment you have to Parks \ R-C \ TT Richard, and i'm sure we're all very thankful for your ongoing efforts to give us the best that we can have. My only concern with the ordering of the gallery pages. I realise the posting of a link to the gallery page will break the link as time goes on, but when viewing images, I don't want to have to page through all the old pages to get to the new stuff if it hasn't been posted. My thoughts here in the links to the gallery page itself would be perhaps there could be two links to each gallery? One that links "view images of <attraction>" and "view newest images of <attraction>" so that there is a shortcut to the most recent images?

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^You could click on the highest number to jump straight the most recent...eg at the time of posting in the Jet Rescue gallery you would click on "10"....I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to tweak it though so the page numbers go 1 2 3 ... 8 9 10, with a drop down menu to jump easily to any other page number (so if you wanted to get to page 6 for instance you aren't having to click through two gallery pages.

Comments/suggestions are welcome as always.
This is a 'mega' feature request (I know it is not some easy tweak, but something that would take time to build and implement...sort of a blue sky idea) But the ability to comment on photos could have so much potential, and really add to the 'community' aspect of the way the galleries are on here. Edited by Gazza

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The default page for any attraction will still be the most recent photos and the photos will still be ordered from top to bottom newest to oldest. The only difference is when you go to the next most recent page of photos it'll be labelled page 9 instead of page 2 (in the case of Jet Ski Rescue). The navigation will also remain the same in that you go from left to right to get from newest to oldest, so there will be no change to functionality, only the naming, which will add the ability to meaningfully link to a page of photos, knowing that its link will be cemented, just like linking to an individual photo/article/etc. I also want to see photo comments as I totally agree that it'd be of great benefit to the community. It's probably not as difficult as you might think. The framework used for the article comment system could in fact be ported across with zero modifications. The underlying problem is managing what would be literally several thousand different topics, but once I have that worked out it could be relatively easy to accomplish. You've got me thinking about this feature a bit more so I could possibly get it up and running along with the other features listed.

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Forum integration is ultimately the best way to go about comments when you consider that it by default allows for a whole lot of very important features that'd be a huge task in implementing otherwise, including: editing/deleting abilities, including user info (avatar etc.), incrementing post count, moderation functions, censorship / spam protection etc.

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Something else I noticed, but "SeaWorld Orlando" has posted a bunch of very good photos of Kraken etc...i'd imagine that this is the park itself doing these photos, is this what you were getting at with partnership coverage? PS Richo, dont be outdone, upload that "two part under lift hill photo gallery" from Total Thrills ;).....and the rest. Edit: Read my mind.

Edited by Gazza

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Yeah the "SeaWorld Orlando" pics seen was a mistake I made -- I uploaded a few publicity pics of Manta and decided to add some of my own while I was there and forgot to change the name back to mine. But this is an indication of what the partnership coverage will be like, albeit a bit more prominently advertised.

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Hey richo in the new updates thing is it possible to get the vidoe link working? Only if it is no hassle because I am not trying to put pressure on you.

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Just on recent changes, I was wondering if there could be a "light" version of this site in the future, which is less graphic intensive for the mobile users? I've been away for the past couple of weeks, and have been catching up on this site reguarly on the iPhone, and on the 3G connection, it takes quite some time for the home page load all the way down to the bottom for the latest posts (also takes a toll on my mobile data usage). So a mobile friendly site would be very welcome from me. So is there any chance of this happening?

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If you're going straight to the latest posts section, have you considered simply bookmarking the View New Posts link? Alternatively, you can syndicate with the RSS link down in the bottom left corner of the forums. A mobile version of the site would probably be a good idea. The two issues I see is that technology in this area is rapidly improving, and this site is naturally a very media-intensive so in some respects there'd be little to gain in developing a site dedicated to mobile users because much of the content would either be lost or scaled back to a point where it's no longer effective. In terms of keeping current on a mobile device, RSS feeds would probably be the best way to go about it. We had them on the old site but I'm yet to get some done for this one (aside from the aforementioned Forums feed).

Doesn't everyone use Youtube now anyway?
That's my thoughts as well. If/when the video section comes back to this site, it'll be if we can work out a way to get relatively regular high-quality "official" videos happening. It'll all come down to having the time needed to both work out the logistics and then actually do them. It's been something I've wanted to do for years now.

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I guess what you could call phase one is currently up and running -- pages of photos are now ordered from oldest to newest. The biggest difference is that to keep pages static the first page is often only partially complete. Example: http://www.parkz.com.au/photos/AU/Gold_Coa...e/construction/ If anyone runs into any problems/bugs with it let me know. Construction HQ is nearing completion and I'm really liking how it's turned out. Hopefully it'll be running by the end of the month.

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I guess what you could call phase one
Rev 1 :Ppost-88-1224133098_thumb.jpg There's my thoughts on it. The idea of static pages and listing newer photos on higher pages is a good one, but I guess there is going to be a compromise somehow in having page numbers running highest to lowest. Edited by Gazza

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pages of photos are now ordered from oldest to newest.
Um I don't know why but for me it is newest to oldest. When I clicked your example the first page to come up (p10) had the newest photos down to the oldest photos on (p1) Have I made a mistake :blink:

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Rev 1.
How about phase one of rev 1? In regards to the screenshot, not sure of your browser but in IE7 and Firefox 3 the "But wait there's more..." box is properly spaced. With page navigation perhaps a dropdown list is in order. I probably agree with ordering them from left to right rather than right to left. The ordering carries on to the individual photo page navigation but it's easily adapted whichever way the navigation ends up going.
Um I don't know why but for me it is newest to oldest. When I clicked your example the first page to come up (p10) had the newest photos down to the oldest photos on (p1)
Ordered from oldest to newest meaning page 1 is the oldest, page 2 is slightly newer, page 3 is newer again etc.

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More paint doodling. What do you think of having the link highlighting full width? (like on the red article comments part) post-88-1224209315_thumb.jpg You could even continue the rave colour scheme the site has at the moment: post-88-1224209699_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gazza

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Interesting you mention that... the design for Construction HQ does indeed feature more colour in the titles. I think in this case the highlighting works better as only the length of the title, but you might be onto something with making them full width on the index page (and the database section to the right). There seems to be a bug where the name dexter appears with blood spatters around it. How perculiar.

post-1-1224210072_thumb.jpg

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I was thinking more about the photo ordering, but what if the way it was set up just mirrored the way a forum thread works...have page numbers ascending 1, 2, 3, x etc with higher pages being newer photos, and make the dark red link on the front page jump straight to the highest page number available, much in the same way the orange link works in a forum: post-88-1224404174_thumb.jpg

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