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New Design Possibly Ahead

#1 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:55 PM

One of the things "not quite done" is the theme. It's actually a step back from what we had previously; some customizations such as rotating Myst images in the top right and a wide banner in the top left are gone (but might return).

In the longer term, I envision a complete makeover. Previous attempts at this weren't particularly fruitful, but let's give this another chance — with a twist.

The new design, if it does happen, will happen in three phases. (All good things come in threes, of course.)

The first is a fund raiser. That may sound weird at first. However, making a good design — including a unique logo, one or more color fitting themes, a complete set of templates, a large array of fitting images and perhaps even emoticons — takes a huge amount of time and effort that you mustn't underestimate. And, we've got many members who I know for a fact wouldn't mind honoring this effort. This can easily and effectively be done with money. A published sum of money will be collected into an account. You can either add to it anonymously or by name. The fund raiser will have a deadline.

The second phase is a draft contest. Designers interested in this task can create a sufficiently clear draft, showing off their level of skill and commitment. This will be done in form of a contest, with a deadline as well.

Finally, the winner of the contest gets to finish their draft into a complete design, and eventually to retrieve the money as a prize.

I'm interested in feedback on this concept, and I'd also love to see how it pans out, which we'll try should no unexpected concerns come across. Keep in mind that MYSTcommunity is, and always has been, essentially operated without privileging those with more or less money; likewise, there are also no ads. This is a community site, operated by volunteers, and as such explicitly non-commercial. This particular fund raiser, shall it take place, doesn't change the non-commercial nature of MYSTcommunity in the least.

Cheers!
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#2 User is offline   River 

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 10:53 PM

chucker,

what can I do to help?

You've done so much and with such little recognition. We all appreciate you and every little thing you do! (and the 'update' looks shiney!) :hugs:

But again... what can I do for you?
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#3 User is offline   J'ohn 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 12:59 AM

Does this mean that the skin for the old board is completely unsalvageable in its components (the forum icons, the logo, etcetera)? Or that it simply cannot be ported automatically?

SBS :)
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#4 User is offline   albino 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:29 AM

This is my first reply since the update, I have to say that this looks shiny and promising!

I'm curious about this design challenge... As I have never ever tried to make a full (ehr, or even partial) Invision board skin, I think it would be foolish of me to enter and try it all by myself now, but if its possible I could try to help out with something. I could make an attempt at a design if someone else would be willing to actually implement it. I could help out designing buttons, images, logos, etc.
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#5 User is offline   Jesthar 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 05:31 AM

View PostRiver, on Aug 9 2006, 05:53 AM, said:

chucker,

You've done so much and with such little recognition. We all appreciate you and every little thing you do! (and the 'update' looks shiney!) :hugs:

Seconded! Nice one, chucker! :)


View PostRiver, on Aug 9 2006, 05:53 AM, said:

what can I do to help?

If my memory is working correctly, don't you do fancy advanced things with various graphical packages? I suspect that may come is useful... :(

Like albino, I lack the time and ability to do a full board makeover myself, but for emoticons and other small graphic creation/manipulation (buttons, icons etc.), count me in! I know we also have a few smilies which only have one colour version (one of mine included :) ), and I'm up for modding those too. So yeah, just chuck suggestions my way and I'll see what I can do. ;)

~Jes :laugh:
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#6 User is offline   albino 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:52 AM

This random idea I just had, which would give the theme a distinct Myst connection: What about using a loose page as a symbol for "add reply", a book for "new topic" and also the icons representing topics, and then perhaps a book shelf or the Myst library as icons for the different forums? As blue has come to be the colour of MC, perhaps the theme could be based on Achenars blue book?

Just some random ideas. :)
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#7 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:01 AM

View PostRiver, on Aug 9 2006, 06:53 AM, said:

But again... what can I do for you?


Just be the great man you are. That's all I could ask.

View PostJ'ohn, on Aug 9 2006, 08:59 AM, said:

Does this mean that the skin for the old board is completely unsalvageable in its components (the forum icons, the logo, etcetera)? Or that it simply cannot be ported automatically?


It can't be ported automatically. It's there in the database, but it needs lots of adjustments. Personally, I'm against using it as a base design, mostly because it was the standard IPB design anyway.
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#8 User is offline   Tay 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:26 AM

I think posting some links to guides/how tos and some instructions on how to make a skin would be helpful in getting people started.

I would probably attempt to make a skin. I've never done one before, but I'd like to try.

Tay :)
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#9 User is offline   Tweek 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:28 AM

Interesting idea chucker.

Hmm, I kinda like the blue book idea but I dunno, moving MC away from blue to a new colour would be nice I was looking at the test colours for previously (Tay posted a link to them) perhaps using one of those colours would be an idea (not the entire range just a selection of say 4 shades).

Tay: I have been working on a tutorial for skinning forums but its for 1.3.+ and not 2.1.+ should proberbly make one for the new forums too.

Tweek
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#10 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:37 AM

I guess it would also be possible to let multiple people do this together and share the money equally.

As for skin development, well, you will want to know HTML and CSS, and perhaps even some JavaScript. Generated markup from WYSIWYG editors will not be of much help, although it might be usable as a starting point, but you aren't working on complete pages, but rather snippets that are put together dynamically (which also means that, while working on a particular piece, you won't see the end result unless you insert it and try it out).

It's possible to allow the designer(s) access to administrative functions related to skinning throughout this challenge.

 <!--Begin Msg Number {$post['pid']}-->
<table class='ipbtable' cellspacing="1">
	<tr>
		<td valign="middle" class="row2" width="1%"><a name="entry{$post['pid']}"></a><span class="{$post['name_css']}">{$author['members_display_name']}</span></td>
		<td class="row2" valign="top" width="99%">
			<!-- POSTED DATE DIV -->
			<div style="float: left;">
				<span class="postdetails">{$post['post_icon']} <img src='{ipb.vars['img_url']}/to_post_off.gif' alt='{ipb.lang['to_post_alt']}' border='0' style='padding-bottom:2px' /> {$post['post_date']}</span>
			</div>
			<!-- REPORT / DELETE / EDIT / QUOTE DIV -->
			<div align="right">
				<span class="postdetails">{$post['ip_address']} {ipb.lang['posted_on']}
					<a title="{ipb.lang['tt_link']}" href="#" onclick="link_to_post({$post['pid']}); return false;">#{$post['post_count']}</a>
<if="ipb.member['is_mod']">
| <a href="#" title="{ipb.lang['click_for_mod']}" onclick="topic_toggle_pid('{$post['pid']}'); return false;">{$post['pid_start_image']}</a>
</if>

				</span>
			</div>
		</td>
	</tr>
	<tr>
		<td valign="top" class="{$post['post_css']}">
			<span class="postdetails">
				{$author['avatar']}<br /><br />
				{$author['title']}<br />
				{$author['member_rank_img']}<br /><br />
				{$author['member_group']}<br />
				{$author['member_posts']}<br />
				{$author['member_joined']}<br />
				{$author['member_location']}
				{$author['member_number']}<br />
<if="author['custom_fields'] != """>
{$author['custom_fields']}
</if>

<br />
				{$author['warn_text']} {$author['warn_minus']}{$author['warn_img']}{$author['warn_add']}
			</span><br />
			<img src="{ipb.vars['img_url']}/spacer.gif" alt="" width="160" height="1" /><br /> 
	   </td>
	   <td width="100%" valign="top" class="{$post['post_css']}" id='post-main-{$post['pid']}'>
			<!-- THE POST {$post['pid']} -->
			<div class="postcolor" id='post-{$post['pid']}'>{$post['post']}</div>
			<!--IBF.ATTACHMENT_{$post['pid']}-->
			{$post['signature']}
			<!-- THE POST -->		
		</td>
	</tr>
	<tr>
		<td class="formbuttonrow" nowrap="nowrap">
			<div style='text-align:left'>{$author['online_status_indicator']}{$author['addresscard']}{$author['message_icon']}<!--{$author['email_icon']}--></div>
		</td>
		<td class="formbuttonrow" nowrap="nowrap">
			<!-- PM / EMAIL / WWW / MSGR -->
			<div style="float: left;">
				{$post['report_link']}<a href="java script:scroll(0,0);"><{P_UP}></a>
			</div>
			<!-- REPORT / UP -->
		 	<div align="right">
		 		{$post['delete_button']}{$post['edit_button']}<a href="#" onclick="multiquote_add({$post['pid']}); return false;" title="{ipb.lang['mq_title']}">{$post['mq_start_image']}</a><a href="{ipb.script_url}act=Post&CODE=02&f={ipb.input[f]}&t={ipb.input[t]}&qpid={$post['pid']}" title="{ipb.lang['tt_reply_to_post']}"><{P_QUOTE}></a>
		 	</div>
		 </td>
	</tr><tr>
	<td class="catend" colspan="2">
	<!-- no content -->
	</td>
</tr>
</table>
<script type='text/javascript'>
//<![CDATA[
if ( ajax_loaded && use_enhanced_js )
{
menu_build_menu( 'edit-but-{$post['pid']}',
	new Array(  img_item + " <a title='{ipb.lang['edit_full_desc']}' href='{ipb.script_url}act=post&do=edit_post&f={$post['forum_id']}&t={$post['topic_id']}&p={$post['pid']}&st={ipb.input['st']}'>{ipb.lang['edit_full_title']}</a>",
				img_item + " <a href='#' title='{ipb.lang['edit_quick_desc']}' onclick='return ajax_prep_for_edit({$post['pid']}, event);'>{ipb.lang['edit_quick_title']}</a>" ) );
}
//]]>
</script>


This is the template bit "renderrow" from the template group "skin_topic". It may look overwhelming at first (and it isn't really written all that well, another reason to replace it :) ), but you could compare it to the end result by looking at any topic's source. It defines what the HTML for every single post looks like. There is a piece of JavaScript at the end, there are several hooks to CSS through class attributes, and there are a lot of references to variables pulled from IPB's backend. For example, "{$author['members_display_name']}" gets filled with the nickname, e.g. with "chucker".
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#11 User is offline   Tay 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:57 AM

Would there be restrictions like "must be dark on light" or anything?
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#12 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:06 AM

There are no color theme preferences, no. Offering people multiple options (even if it's merely by shifting hues) would be preferable, but if it's only one choice but a great one, that's fine too.
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#13 User is offline   CAGrayWolf 

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  Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:16 AM

View PostRiver, on Aug 8 2006, 09:53 PM, said:

what can I do to help?

You've done so much and with such little recognition. We all appreciate you and every little thing you do! (and the 'update' looks shiney!) :hugs:

Agreed, Chucker you have so much for MC and the community. Tell me what I can do to help out and I will be there. MC is my home forum and will be for all duration. And I'm glad you chose the version with the "quote" button options. This makes it so much easier for multiple quoting.

View Postalbino, on Aug 9 2006, 03:29 AM, said:

I'm curious about this design challenge... As I have never ever tried to make a full (ehr, or even partial) Invision board skin, I think it would be foolish of me to enter and try it all by myself now, but if its possible I could try to help out with something. I could make an attempt at a design if someone else would be willing to actually implement it. I could help out designing buttons, images, logos, etc.

Neither have I, but I'm willing to help out where I can. I do not care for the cash prize, and would gladly help where I can ... regardless. As you said Chucker, this is a community run my volunteers.

View Postalbino, on Aug 9 2006, 05:52 AM, said:

This random idea I just had, which would give the theme a distinct Myst connection: What about using a loose page as a symbol for "add reply", a book for "new topic" and also the icons representing topics, and then perhaps a book shelf or the Myst library as icons for the different forums? As blue has come to be the colour of MC, perhaps the theme could be based on Achenars blue book?

I really love this idea and would love to see this implemented. I love the look of the forums previous to the upgrade and would love to see this come back, but with more customization like what albino is suggesting ... to give this forum that more polished Myst feeling. :)
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#14 User is offline   Yali 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 12:14 PM

I was thinking that something a little darker would be cool as a new design. Oooh, I can picture it now, Gehn's bedroom desk could be the top banner image that would fade into a brownish black that would essentially be the new colour scheme for the boards. Maybe we could get some D'ni text in there, and I was thinking that the symbols on the side of each forum could be a small Moiety dagger that would light up when there are new posts. So, whadya think?
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#15 User is offline   chucker 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 08:47 PM

So, aside from the suggestion of having multiple people wint the contest, then design together, are there any further comments?
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#16 User is offline   Fireymarbles 

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:20 PM

I think it sounds like a really good idea, and I know that we've got some awesome designers here so I'm sure the end result will be stunning.

I have very little eye for design, and only minimal experience using graphics packages to make buttons etc. However, I have a reasonable knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP and MySQL, as well as quite a bit of experience with customising IPB boards in particular, so if someone more design- and graphics-oriented wanted to collaborate on a skin I'd be happy to work with them on it. Or alternatively, I'd be glad to just generally be of assistance to the admins for minor coding stuff, but I know there are a lot of people around here much better for that job than me.

Anyways, it's great to see MC on newer and more secure forum software, and many thanks of course to Chucker and all the other great people who have been working on this over the past few days- we all really do appreciate it greatly. And I'd be happy to donate towards the prize for the design, depending mainly on when the deadline for donations is- right now I only have cash sometimes.
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#17 User is offline   christopherger 

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 08:37 AM

I will be happy to contribute to the re design, my only general suggestion would be to keep a lighter background and darker text, I have real difficulty trying to read the forums and sites that have a dark background and lighter text. Otherwise, as Firey says, we have some very talented folks here and I am sure they would come up with an awesome design.
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#18 User is offline   Aloys 

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  Posted 10 August 2006 - 06:39 PM

OMG all these people trying to help, that's wonderfull. In fact that's just too much. Is there anything I can do to slow you down or otherwise hinder your work? :)
Ok maybe not. :laugh:

(Seriously though I look forward you whatever you all guys/gals/people will do. MC with a new theme will certainly be.. interesting. ;) )
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#19 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 08:15 AM

View Postchristopherger, on Aug 10 2006, 05:37 AM, said:

my only general suggestion would be to keep a lighter background and darker text, I have real difficulty trying to read the forums and sites that have a dark background and lighter text.

LOL Chris, I'm exactly the opposite preferring a darker backgroud and lighter text. The brightness of a lighter background hurts my poor aging eyes kind of like a white out in snow.

Perhaps we can eventually have different skins to choose from? Although overall I'm enjoying the update very much, for me it is so bright & I'd prefer not to have to change my monitor brightness since I have it calibrated to a special white point balance for my art work.

Just another opinion being tossed into the mix. :)
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#20 User is offline   Tay 

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 08:40 AM

View PostArianna, on Aug 11 2006, 10:15 AM, said:

View Postchristopherger, on Aug 10 2006, 05:37 AM, said:

my only general suggestion would be to keep a lighter background and darker text, I have real difficulty trying to read the forums and sites that have a dark background and lighter text.

LOL Chris, I'm exactly the opposite preferring a darker backgroud and lighter text. The brightness of a lighter background hurts my poor aging eyes kind of like a white out in snow.

Perhaps we can eventually have different skins to choose from? Although overall I'm enjoying the update very much, for me it is so bright & I'd prefer not to have to change my monitor brightness since I have it calibrated to a special white point balance for my art work.

Just another opinion being tossed into the mix. ;)


Perhaps we could make a bunch of polls related to differenty things a skin could be like (light on dark vs. dark on light.... or a poll of a bunch of colors for the main color). Just to see what everyone's preferences lean towards.

Also, I think it would be cool if everyone who makes an acceptable skin got it included in the available skins. Just, the winner is the default/guest skin.

Tay

p.s. :) @ Aloys :laugh:
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#21 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 09:39 AM

View PostTay, on Aug 11 2006, 05:40 AM, said:

p.s. :laugh:


Oh Look! :)
Tay's previewing the soon to be released new MC Tomato skin!

;)
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#22 User is offline   christopherger 

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 09:54 AM

different skins sounds fine, good idea
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#23 User is offline   CAGrayWolf 

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  Posted 11 August 2006 - 10:18 AM

View Postchristopherger, on Aug 11 2006, 08:54 AM, said:

different skins sounds fine, good idea

Choices are always good. I also have the same issue as Chris does, in that I find it very difficult to read the forums that are light font on a dark background. For me personally, I would love the see the skin we had just before the upgrade, but more finished with more MYST-like details (ie: linking books for buttons, etc). I feel the blue hues have become a part of this forum, as it has pretty much always been this way (since I have been a member) and is as much apart of MC as the people are. Reds, browns and beiges work well though too (not saying specifically like UO or GoG). More like some of the Ages in Myst.

I really do miss the MC banner we had. :)
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#24 User is offline   Yali 

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 02:01 PM

View PostCAGrayWolf, on Aug 11 2006, 09:18 AM, said:

I feel the blue hues have become a part of this forum, as it has pretty much always been this way (since I have been a member) and is as much apart of MC as the people are.


I hear you Gray! :) But actually, I wouldn't mind something different. Completely different. The white backround, although uplifting, hurts my eyes. I think our best solution would be to have multiple skins that we could choose at our own will.

btw, I think there should be a thread where we could post our design ideas.
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#25 User is offline   albino 

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 04:36 AM

If BLACK on WHITE is bad for some people, and WHITE on BLACK is bad for others, what about GRAY on GRAY? :)
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