The New Message Board

If it has to do with The Zork Library, then youll hear about it in here!
Zork is a copyright of Activision

Moderator: KM3K

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:12 pm

It is great to see the Message Board back on line. It'll take a little getting used to the new interface.
There is one thing I seem to be having trouble with: The message sorting.

I have selected it to be according to the post time, in descending order. But the listing shows several older posts at the top instead of the latest posts, which are farther down. Is the sorting feature not working, or are those older top posts 'sticky' posts or something that are always on top?

User avatar
DataAngel
TZL Founder
TZL Founder
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:25 am
Location: USA

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DataAngel » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:00 am

I have no idea, ill look into it. I am just happy to have a much better board instead of Yabb, its been a long time coming, thanks for everyones patience. Ill be working on theming it at some point. I am also looking into a redesign of TZL if that happens then ill try to match the forums as best i can.

^^ the sorting works fine, those are stickied topics...

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:04 am

It looks like the sorting is ok. A few of the posts are older but at the top, but they seem to have a different icon than the rest of the posts, so they are probably sticky posts that are taged to always be on top. I didn't notice the different icon at first, and it just seemed like they were out of sequence, but I'm pretty sure they are tagged to be that way.

Anyway, I'm sure glad the board is back. We might have to send emails to some of the old members to make them aware that the board is back up.

User avatar
DataAngel
TZL Founder
TZL Founder
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:25 am
Location: USA

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DataAngel » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:52 am

Would anyone be terribly distraught if i took the easy route and combined the TZL site into the forum? It would make a forum theme much easier than a site redesign. That and it would not take much time to organize the files etc. into the forum.

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:15 pm

Would anyone be terribly distraught if i took the easy route and combined the TZL site into the forum? It would make a forum theme much easier than a site redesign. That and it would not take much time to organize the files etc. into the forum.
I don't understand what you mean. My first impression is that I would be terribly distraught, but for selfish reasons and I also may be all wrong about what the implications would be.

As you may recall, I made a 3D version of The Zork Library site as a way to show off the 3D web technology that I developed. Almost as soon as I got the 3D page up and running, the Zork Library went offline - completely frustrating all my efforts.

Finally, after about six months, TZL is back online and my 3D demo works again. Great! But now, no sooner is it online, you want to change everything again. Well, maybe not. This is what I don't understand what your plan is. Will what you want to do kill all the links in my 3D library again? Also, why do you need a site redesign in the first place?

I have a few ideas about site design I'd like to share with you, but first, I'd like to understand better just what you're talking about so far.

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:21 pm

Another question: If I send someone a private message, will they be alerted via their email that they have a message waiting?

Not_Afgncaap5
Uh oh, my sword is blowing glue!
Uh oh, my sword is blowing glue!
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 10:20 pm
Location: 0
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by Not_Afgncaap5 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:47 pm

DrPaul wrote: Also, why do you need a site redesign in the first place?
Because it looks incredibly dated.
DrPaul wrote:Another question: If I send someone a private message, will they be alerted via their email that they have a message waiting?
Yes. DAT sent me a test message and I was notified in the email that I have with this account.

User avatar
DataAngel
TZL Founder
TZL Founder
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:25 am
Location: USA

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DataAngel » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:17 am

The purpose of moving content into the forum is simple, I will always have a forum for TZL and placing the TZL content into threads where I can easily link/add files makes a lot of sense. Furthermore doing a theme for the forum would be far less work than redesigning the site and then themeing the forum to match. As for if/when i do it is up to debate, hence this thread. Of course whatever happens, there will still be html pages of content which do not transfer well. The 3D application could still be available and linked etc. However I am just thinking it makes more sense to place things in the forum rather than on several pages of html files.

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:31 am

The purpose of moving content into the forum is simple, I will always have a forum for TZL and placing the TZL content into threads where I can easily link/add files makes a lot of sense. Furthermore doing a theme for the forum would be far less work than redesigning the site and then themeing the forum to match. As for if/when i do it is up to debate, hence this thread. Of course whatever happens, there will still be html pages of content which do not transfer well. The 3D application could still be available and linked etc. However I am just thinking it makes more sense to place things in the forum rather than on several pages of html files.
I hope you don't mind all my questions about your redesign plan. I'm still not sure if I'm clear on the concept.

You refer to designing a theme for the forum and then integrating the other TZL content into the forum threads. Here's what I think that means. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The forum entry page, as it is now, is just a list of top-level threads and doesn't really have any Zork theme. I'm guessing that you would be redesigning the Message Board entry page to look like what a Zork Library web page might look like. Then, what is currently a simple listing of the four main MB threads (TZL News, Zork Chat, Zork Help, Non-Zork Chat) will become some sort of clickable buttons or other objects integrated into the entry page. Hence, the message board entry page would look like a Zork Library home page and access to the message board threads would 'feel' like links from the TZL home page when, in fact, they are just links from a fancier message board entry page.

Meanwhile, the non-message board content that is currently residing on the present TZL web page would continue to be available, but instead of existing as they presently are, they would somehow be reborn as other threads in the message board. To do this, I assume that it is possible to create threads which contain rich html content. To the user, it would look like he/she linked to another web page when, in fact, the link was to an html-rich topic thread. These threads would probably have posting permissions disabled in order to maintain their integrity.

You also refer to some of the existing pages that would not transfer well. I suppose that, for these, you would embed links that connect directly to the pages wherever they happen to be on the server.

Am I anywhere close to understanding how this restructuring/redesign plan would work?

Thanks.

User avatar
DataAngel
TZL Founder
TZL Founder
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:25 am
Location: USA

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DataAngel » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:20 pm

Thats pretty close. The theme for the forum is pretty easy and doesn't require much of a redesign; for example the forum is already a different theme than the original. I don't plan to modify the forum code only integrate the TZL content into threads. So where we have the current forums ill add one such as Downloads and in that thread have one page with all the downloads organized there, music, pics, etc. Then i might add another forum called Fan Books and there ill place all fan related content. Then perhaps another forum thread that has Links or Other Content.... anyways thats kind of the idea. Currently I have several html pages with 2 links on them and i could just organize it on to one page in a thread.

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:13 am

Thats pretty close. The theme for the forum is pretty easy and doesn't require much of a redesign
Do your mean that the forum theme would be very similar to how it looks now? Because there is, essentially, no theme right now. Or do you mean that you have a forum design mostly worked out, but we haven't seen it yet?

Here's my idea of what I would do if I had to redesign the Zork Library. Tell me what you think.

You know how to make hot-spots on an image with html, right? I would take the Hotel New Zork's library image:

Image

and modify it so that the book titles are legible, and then make each book a linkable hot-spot. Also, each hot-spot would have some associated text, so that when you roll the cursor over any book, information would appear. When you click a book, it goes to the associated content. This wouldn't be hard to do. The page would simply be one graphic, with any number of linking books in the graphic. You could easily have a number of spare (not linking) books scattered throughout the library, so that it would be easy to add new links as the need arises.

You could make the library feel quazi-3d by having left and right hand views. The left and right edges of the image would link to views of the west and east walls, effectively tripling the potential number of books. This could all be done with no more than three images and simple html coding. Something like this would really 'feel' like a Zork Library and would be fairly easy to do.

What do you think?

User avatar
DataAngel
TZL Founder
TZL Founder
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:25 am
Location: USA

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DataAngel » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:34 am

Your idea sounds very similar to the 3d library you made, which whats the latest version look like? And did you needme to host it or link to it etc.? Id really like to see it. The only problem I see is that websites tend to either be functional and not very pretty/artistic or non-functional but pretty/artistic. If there is a way to make it functional and still pretty/artistic im game. That is what the redesign of TZL is supposed to be. I am not an artist or a programmer, so.... ???

User avatar
DrPaul
Grue Slayer.
Grue Slayer.
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 3:52 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DrPaul » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:40 pm

The 3D library I made looks like this:
Image
but I wouldn't recommend it for a several reasons. First, it requires visitors to have Java 6 and Java 3D installed on their computers. So people couldn't view your site until after they downloaded and installed these Java updates. Also, Java 6 is not available for Mac OS except for the very latest version. So many Mac users would be locked out. I think I can get around that, but I don't think it's worth it. Second, as you yourself noted, the library is too big and it's a bit of trouble to navigate around to find what you want. It is more practical for sites that have hundreds of links.

What I was describing in my previous note doesn't require any Java, and would be viewable in any browser. As an example, take a look at my personal home page here:

http://home.comcast.net/~pdrallos131681

Pay particular attention to the graphic and the different objects in the picture. Note that when you roll your cursor over different items in the picture, they become clickable and if you hold the cursor steady over one, a little text box appears with information in it. The html code for that is extremely simple. Look at the source code that starts on line 74. Anyway, you just define the coordinates of an area in the image and associate it with an href and a title and that's all there is to it. So you could have a simple, static 2D picture of, say, the north wall of a library. Any of the books on the shelves can be mapped so that clicking on a book will take you to a page. The sides of the picture can be set so that clicking on the left edge will take you to another page that looks exactly like the home page except that it shows the west wall book cases. The right hand edge can link to the east wall book cases. It would feel like 3D, but it's just simple html and three 2D images.

Since they're just 2D images, anyone with some good drawing or painting talent could paint you a beautiful library like the one in the Hotel New Zork. It doesn't have to be done with computer graphics.

If I get a chance, I'll try to make a working mock-up. Instead of a photo-realistic library, I'll just draw a library with a pen or pencil. The books on the shelves will actually be clickable and you will be able to click for different views (north, west or east walls) or even to different rooms. You will be amazed at how easy it is. In fact, this is exactly how the Hotel New Zork web pages used to work.

This would be better than my 3D library because it would be accessible to anybody. Meanwhile, we can also make a real 3D version in parallel, like the one I posted on my site that is pictured above. The 3D library can exist without interfering with the function of the 2D version.

User avatar
DataAngel
TZL Founder
TZL Founder
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:25 am
Location: USA

Re: The New Message Board

Post by DataAngel » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:19 pm

After my last post I went to your site and reviewed the library again. I don't mind having a 3D version available to advertise your work as you did do all the coding for the TZL books etc.

As for image hotspots, that is how I did the hades telephone html pages, so I understand how it works(So don't spend any time creating a demo of that). I am just trying to think of the best way to go about things. I think a nicely painted/drawn library would be a nice way to go. I have a friend that I was going to use to help with the redesign as she is an artist and I am not. :(

Not_Afgncaap5
Uh oh, my sword is blowing glue!
Uh oh, my sword is blowing glue!
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 10:20 pm
Location: 0
Contact:

Re: The New Message Board

Post by Not_Afgncaap5 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:38 pm

Ugh, it's like Microsoft Bob all over again.

If you're going to go that route (and I don't think you should) you might as well use Flash.

Post Reply