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#1 2014-07-19 23:20:37

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 886
Website

ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

As some of you already know, when we launched this site we were working to a strictly limited time frame. As a result there are many features, tweaks and optimisations that we didn't have time for. Internally we've been working on a revision to the site that introduces many of these improvements. We initially called it "Workspace" but now we're simply calling it "ThinkClassic v2".

Today, we would like to make ThinkClassic v2 available to everyone as a Public Beta.

This revision introduces more than a hundred improvements in the areas of usability, functionality, efficiency and aesthetics. Some of these improvements are still incomplete and some of them we simply couldn't test thoroughly on our test server. Plus, we wanted your feedback so we could take it into consideration before the launch.

We couldn't possibly list off every improvement we've made here, but there are a few notable ones:

  • We've completely rewritten the template files and stylesheets from scratch, using FluxBB's Air theme as the foundation.

  • We've managed to reduce the amount of code required to render the same on-screen elements, while also removing many of the hacks and workarounds we needed to use in earlier revisions.

  • We've remade the site graphics and icons from scratch, introducing a few new ones in the process.

  • Site graphics and images are now optimised for Retina Displays on supported devices.

  • Sticky Topics are now Lime Green instead of Burnt Orange.

  • Hovered links are now Green instead of Red, including the sidebars in Profile settings.

  • The Page Links and Post Buttons (Post New Topic, Post Reply, etc) have been swapped. Links are now on the left, buttons are now on the right.

  • We've completely redesigned the Quote and Code blocks.

  • Some buttons (such as Post New Topic) have been redesigned.

  • Post controls (such as Quote, Edit, Delete and Report) now have coloured icons to make them easier to find on screen.

  • We've increased the standard font sizes on many elements, including forum links and the navigation trail links.

  • When performing searches, the search results now visually indicate whether a topic is new or has new posts (unread), is locked or a sticky topic.

  • The standard window title separator is now a dash ( - ) instead of a slash ( / ).

  • ThinkClassic has an all-new post editor. Based on WysiBB, complete with colour palette, emoticons and on-screen dialogs to make it easier to create formatted posts. It uses Javascript, but like our old editor, it will degrade back to the standard text field on older browsers or with Javascript disabled.

Some features are still incomplete or are not enabled in the Public Beta, including:

  • The appearance of Category Titles on the Forum Index are still not finalised. We're still considering how these should look, so feedback is encouraged.

  • Page Titles (like on Search, Rules, Member List, etc) are currently incomplete and lack custom styling.

  • Some elements may still need to be aligned by a few pixels.

  • The Google Search and Facebook optimisations haven't been included in this Public Beta.

  • The toolbar links don't appear inline when viewing the site in Classilla.

  • The site header and footer code is carried over from our previous version while we continue work on redesigning and tweaking those portions of the site.

  • Redundant CSS has been marked for deletion, but has not yet been removed. Page loads are still a few kilobytes larger than they should be as a result.

  • Images still use an older compression algorithm. Page loads are still a few kilobytes larger than they should be as a result.

  • The Post Editor switches to a vertical toolbar when the browser viewport is too narrow. This still needs to be corrected.


Anyone that wishes to test the Public Beta can enable it in their profile / settings by choosing the "Display" area in the Profile sidebar menu and selecting "PublicBeta" from the drop down list. You can return to the current version of the site by selecting "Default" from the drop down list instead.

dwalqf.png


Keep in mind that this is a Public Beta - it will almost certainly still have issues and some rough edges, so proceed with caution. If we need to return all users participating in the beta program to the standard version of the site for any reason, we reserve the right to make the change without warning or prior notification.

This thread will remain open for general comments and feedback.


Cheers,

Michael (iMic)

Last edited by iMic (2014-07-20 20:38:38)


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#2 2014-07-20 00:06:22

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 816

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

Just changed over to it, looking good. smile Will let you know if I have any issues.

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#3 2014-07-20 02:02:53

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 571

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

I like the bigger buttons!

Overall, it looks pretty similar to v1 of the site. However, looking closely, it seems many of the visible changes are quite subtle. I like it!

Keep up the good work! I'd help in the more technical stuff if I could, but I suppose my feedback is helpful enough....

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#4 2014-07-25 01:10:37

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 886
Website

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

We intentionally made only subtle changes to the appearance since most of our users liked the current design but disliked only a few key areas. While the changes to the appearance are subtle though, the changes to code underneath are substantial. Only a fraction of the code from the previous version was retained, and the code we did retain was audited and cleaned up to remove redundant CSS properties. We wanted to make the site load faster, feel more responsive, look better in both older and newer browsers and make it all easier to use at the same time.

We have more changes in the pipeline that run deeper than just the appearance. We're removing some redundant code from the forum engine and cleaning up the low level components of the forum. Once these revisions are in place, we'll have a much more solid foundation to build the community within the coming weeks and months.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#5 2014-07-27 06:33:12

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 886
Website

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

How about a sneak preview of what's to come...

CgXiLZc.png OdX4LbC.png


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#6 2014-07-27 07:37:34

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 968
Website

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

I think Charles just fainted


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#7 2014-07-28 02:50:53

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 571

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

You need to do a ceramic SMD next!

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#8 2014-08-02 18:14:14

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 886
Website

Re: ThinkClassic v2 Public Beta (July 20th, 2014)

We've completed the site revisions and have now made them standard across the board. You can find out more information about it here. Thank You to everyone that participated in the Public Beta test.

Please note that we've already gone ahead and switched you all over to the new site, so no further changes need to be made in your profile to start using the finished version.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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ThinkClassic specialises in the maintenance, repair, restoration and modification of Vintage Apple and Macintosh computers. Ask questions and find answers about classic Apple desktops, laptops, accessories and peripherals.