Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

Not that there's much to comment on at this stage, but I think it's got potential. ;)

Basically, I've taken an enhanced off-the-shelf package from Webs.com, and am tweaking it - to see if I can ultimately tune it to meet the needs of a 7Axx community. 


The current 'Air' page header comes (as a 'given') with this, my chosen Webs template package, and whereas I do like this particular website layout - it gives me everything I might need, unfortunately it isn't that simple a matter to customise the included header. It will be replaced with something very similar-looking, and in the same colour scheme, but oriented rather more towards Seiko 7A38's and their 'numbers' in due course. 8)


If you want to see an alterative Webs template offering, check out Derek's blog site:

What's on your wrist: http://derekbartle.webs.com/


I've got a few blog entries partly pre-prepared in Word to upload soon. I've spent the best part of today playing around with the forum, trying to decide how many sections we might need, and starting a few new threads on the board, to see how well it works.


Of more anon ....


January 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

What, nobody got any comments - adverse or otherwise ? :( O.K., well you'll have to put up with more of my ramblings, then. :P

 

I don't know what the rest of you think of the forum part of the software, but it came with the off-the-shelf package that I purchased from Webs.com. It's pretty basic, easy to use, but a tad rudimentary. Let's say unsophisticated. It's a Beta product, and obviously just a modified version of a Blog page script.

 

I've got a few issues with it. In it's current form it has a few shortcomings - one is the obvious page width issue. There doesn't appear to be any means of removing the R.H. sidebar at post level. There is this supposed Side Bar Manager tool included:



 

.... but unchecking any of the options, or even turning off all side bars, which I have also tried, only effectively hides the sidebar information. The sidebar itself is still there, so it doesn't give you any more page width, as I'd hoped.


This page, indeed the whole 'Air' template appears to be optimised for 1024x768. Not got a problem with that, particularly as you compose in 10pt Arial, but publish and read in 12pt - which means I don't always have to wear my reading glasses. 8)


But how wide is was the forum post text box ? In terms of numbers of characters it's was 68.


1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890


Interesting. :/

Typing 1 through 0 TEN times (i.e. 100 characters) continuously without spaces ....

Instead of wrapping around, it disappears off the page. Maybe I'm onto something. :)

Maybe I am, but Webs don't offer CSS support for what I want to do, unfortunately. :(


Reminder note, for me to read this up later: 

http://support.webs.com/webs/topics/faq_css_modify_the_look_of_your_site_read_first

January 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

Regarding the post which I deleted from this thread early this morning ....


Perhaps I should have written that my intention, in starting this topic, was to solicit comments from the invited membership on the general look and feel; layout and user-friendliness of the site. It was NOT intended for itinerant trolls to opine their perception of my mis-management of the site.

 

My stated aim is to keep this site clean-looking, free from distractions, well-organised and most importantly – On Topic.

 

Please accept my sincere apologies if have offended any of you by my actions.

 

February 3, 2012 at 2:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

As some of you will have noticed, from the few posts I've deliberately left that way, the old narrow (68-ish character) width text box was tending to make me hit the return key rather too often. I sometimes also appear to have been writing to fit the width of the text box. :roll:


To remedy this 'width restriction', really all I had actually wanted to do was to remove the R.H. sidebar from the Forum, at 'Post' level.

Unfortunately the way that Web's template coding was written, that wasn't an option (at all). The only way to remove it from the forum pages was to remove it from EVERYTHING - including the Home page. Which is what I've decided to try - and see if the rest still works.


So now, to sign in (or for a new member to register) it's a 2-click process starting on the far right-hand side of the pale blue toolbar.

Obviously, because some icons have disappeared (along with the R.H. sidebar), it isn't quite so easy to navigate around the site.

If you want to message another member, go to 'Members'; Click on the link to the person you want to message. If you want to check your message inbox, click on your own profile. 


Friday lunchtime, I'm still checking that everything else still appears to work, or is accessible (one way or another) ....

But apart from that, I really like our new 'Wide Screen' (and even cleaner-looking) format. The photos are larger too. :)

February 3, 2012 at 7:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

jair1970
Member
Posts: 169

Hey Paul

I know you're aware of the whole idea of pages for recurrant threads and are waiting to find out if it'll occur within the threads automatically.  Also, how about the button to click you straight to the last post of a thread? I'm sure you've thought of this but just thought i'd enquire about it's feasability/likelyness in the future.

Enjoying the new site!

Cheers

February 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

James.

Please go back and read the second paragraph of my second post carefully. Perhaps I should have written exceedingly rudimentary or unsophisticated. You'll notice I didn't write my post # 2 - there isn't even a post numbering sequence. :roll:

Yes, there are lots of things I'd like to do, to enhance the functionality of the forum, but I am using an off-the-shelf Webs template -

and you are very limited as to exactly which parts of their coding you can alter (then only by using CSS - which Webs do not support).


Remember, although I paid a bit extra for their 'Premium / Enhanced' package (which apart from giving you access to a few more templates, and meaning that our website is completely free of adverts), use of their hosting and software would otherwise be FREE. That's the real point of the R.H. sidebar. On a well-trafficked free website, you can rest assured that R.H. sidebar would be stuffed full of adverts. That's obviously why they don't make it particularly easy for anybody to hide (read completely remove) it using CSS code.


Probably the nearest thing you're going to get to a 'Go to newest post' or 'View new content' facility (for the time being) is if you go to Forum Home, and select Recent Topics instead of Normal (view), before proceeding to forum / post level. 


Apart from the inherent shortcomings of the software, I'm glad you're otherwise enjoying it. Me too. :)


February 4, 2012 at 4:28 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sir Alan
Member
Posts: 451

So far so good Paul. 

It's nice to be in at the very start of something, thanks.

Simon 

February 4, 2012 at 6:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Testing-123
Moderator
Posts: 25

Testing 1-2-3. :P

Trying to find if there is any kind of automatic in-built page break, or a limit to the number of posts in a topic.

O.K. 'The Boss' has since deleted the other 15 posts (racked up in quick succession) created using this, his alter ego.

The good news is, that although there may be no post numbering sequence, a topic / thread starts a new page after 20 posts. :) 

--
This is a 'duplicate' ID created by the Site Owner - For Testing Purposes Only;)
February 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

Something else I discovered while using my 'alter ego' Testing-123 (normal 'member' level) user ID ....

You guys are currently stuck with a 10 minute (editing or delete) post time-out window - aren't you ?

I've looked everywhere in Webs 'Site Manager' package for some kind of forum control panel where I can tweak such parameters - Nada. Knowing how long I sometimes spend re-editing my own posts (as Site Owner / Admin, it would appear that I have an infinite time-out window), I'd love to be able to give you more time to compose / edit - 30 minutes would be much more reasonable, IMHO.

Especially as there's no Post Preview facility. Yet another shortcoming of this forum software. :roll:

If you get into difficulties on any particularly long post that you might try to compose, and you need me to post-edit anything for you, after the 10 minute window closes - drop me a PM. ;)

February 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

JSS
Member
Posts: 32

I didn’t see the site before the sidebar was removed, but if it looked similar to the DerekBartle site you linked to, then I prefer it this way.  To me the text looks a little cramped on that type of layout.  One thing I do like about that site though is the fact that the side borders are a different colour.  I think it helps focus your attention on the page content.  Would there be any chance of trying coloured borders here?  Keep up the good work Paul.

 

February 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

John.

I'm somewhat limited (by Webs various template offerings) as to what exactly I can and can't do with them, to alter the look of the site.

Basically, you choose a template and a colour scheme to go with it (there are usually half a dozen or so choices) .... and off you go.

This is the 'Air' template, and the colour scheme that I chose to go with it (he says, stating the bleeding obvious) were shades of blue.

The R.H. sidebars (which I susbsequently managed to make disappear - to widen the text boxes) were pale beige, outlined in grey.

Although 'beige' sounds pretty awful, they were actually quite tasteful, and enough contrast to stand out against the white background.

I actually enlisted the help of one of the software gurus at work, when I added the custom CSS coding to modify the page widths.

If you look hard on the right hand side of the screen, you'll see what at first might appear to be a dirty line running down the page.

That is all that remains, from the standard template - of part of the far right-hand border (effectively its shadow) of the R.H. sidebars.

I deliberately left it there as a right hand margin - to act as a deliniator. You may need to adjust the contrast on your monitor to see it.


As I've written umpteen times, here and other threads, this Webs template - and particulary the forum part, is best described as basic.

It's optimised for 1024 pixels screen width, and doesn't stretch to fit the page, regardless of what other resolution you might be using.

As it happens, at home I use a 15" 4:3 monitor on 1024x768 screen resolution. At work, I have a choice of (at least) two to view it on:

19" 4:3 running 1152x864 and a 17" running at its max. resolution of 1280x960 - don't ask me why, but they are meant to be for work. 

On both of those, I see that light grey line running down the R.H. side of the page - on this one, at home - I only know that it's  there.


The only way to add 'borders' outside of the 1024 pixel (or actually slightly less than that - I think it's only 984 pixels) Webs page width is by adding their 'Backgrounds' to the basic template - which are very much like the 'Wallpaper' you might use on a Windows Desktop.

I did have a look at them when I was setting up the template - and I dismissed them, mostly because the were too distracting or naff.

There weren't any plain coloured Backgrounds - like say a plain pastel grey or light blue - not that I can remember seeing anyway.

But point noted, and I'll go back and have another look, and see if there's anything worth trying. (I didn't look hard enough before).

I've still of course got to sort out the graphics for our proper header banner / logo - it's become something of a lower priority of late.

Hmmm. How about a 'ghosted' 7A38 and 'Numbers' background / wallpaper too ? You've got me thinking now, John. Dangerous. ;)

February 12, 2012 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

John.

At your behest, we now have plain pastel blue side borders (as a background). It's only temporary, but I trust it's to your liking. ;)


February 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

JSS
Member
Posts: 32

Nice one Paul.  I just think something like this makes the content of the page stand out.

Thanks

February 12, 2012 at 2:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

If you view it at 1024x768 on a 15" 4:3 monitor as I do, John - the page (with just a hint of those light blue borders) is all you see.

When I'm at work on Tuesday (and using the larger 19" monitor), I'll try tweaking it again - maybe to a light grey or even beige.

Funnily enough, I went back and had a quick look at RLT today, and their pages are predominantly Navy Blue and Beige too. :lol:

February 12, 2012 at 3:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

Last night, apart from making a few posts on the forum, and starting a couple of threads in yet another new forum sub-section ....

I gave a little attention to the Links page, which had previously been somewhat neglected: http://www.seiko7a38.com/otherlinks.htm

It's a start. Apart from the obvious scans of User Manuals - is there anything else the membership would like to see on that page ? 

February 14, 2012 at 2:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

garacs1
Member
Posts: 508

I only noticed this thread now, Paul, so sorry if you've already covered the issues I am about to post - some of which I do understand, from reading old posts, cannot be fully addressed with this "free" template.

Actually, I will not list the "suggestions" but go blatantly to the big question, that could solve them all: is there any particular reason why you chose this forum engine, against phpBB or even vBulletin?

They are both Open Source, and highly configurable, and you'd have much more "admin" powers than apparently you do now have, reading your posts about theme/template limitations forced upon you by webs.com free/pro account.

February 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

Simply because all I originally planned this website to be was a Blog. Having seen Derek's pages: http://derekbartle.webs.com/

I soon discovered Webs templates are pretty straight-forward and easy to use, so that's what I started with. After a couple of days playing about with it, I realized they had a forum module and so added one - mainly because I thought I'd miss the interaction with other watch enthusiasts. This thing has gone further 'off plan' since then - in that the forum took over, to the detriment of the other sections.

February 13, 2013 at 2:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

garacs1
Member
Posts: 508

Yes I read your introductory note. This was born as a blog + forum, but turned out to be a forum + some small additions... :P


You could easily still migrate to a different platform, though, like the ones I suggested, bringing all the posts and images, and still being able to keep a similar structure.


If you need help, let me know ;)

February 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9333

Thanks for the offer, George, but I've decided to stick with the Webs template set, because it's something I can mostly tweak myself.

One thing that I've been remiss in improving since the site started, was the header, which apart from the text is standard Webs 'Air'.

I've toyed with a few ideas - along the lines of embedding overlapped fogged images of 7A38's to the right hand side of the header.

But then earlier this week, I saw something on another website that convinced me exactly what our site needed - a clock applet.

It's going to look something like this, only better - and with a Seiko 7A38 (or three), rather than a Dreadnought or 6139-6002. :)


http://testseiko7a38.webs.com/

April 12, 2013 at 5:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

garacs1
Member
Posts: 508

No problem, Paul. Actually I've seen the watch applet in quite a number of forums, even in users signatures. It is a great applet, I like it a lot, but you have be careful since it can slow down the initial rendering of the browser, that is, when the visitor of the website visits the website for the first time since the last session. Having it just on the header wouldn't cause major problems, but if you'll allow users to insert in their signatures the applets in the future, do consider a little bit of "limitations", as per the number of applets and size.


April 12, 2013 at 5:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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