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  • Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

    Hello,

    The defcon forums are due to receive a major upgrade soon. When that happens, the old styles/themes that we have available will be lost. There is no path to "upgrade" these into the new major version because the way these are stored, and set has changed significantly, and the "domains" of operation for one item in a config to make a change in color impacts the colors in other spaces in unexpected, often harmful ways.

    I am presently only working on two styles:
    * "Classic1" : This is an attempt at approximating the "Legacy" look and feel from several major upgrades in the past. I've continued to try to keep this available through major upgrades because there has been a large demand to keep it. If you want to preview it, we have it available on https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=7 as "styleid7". If you visit that URL, you should see an attempt with Classic1 to replicate "Legacy"
    * "High Contrast Dark" : There have been complaints with every style we have had in the past about the theme being hard to read. https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=6 This style's primary goal is NOT to make things look pretty. The goal in creating this style is to provide a high-contrast interface and make it easy to read. For this style, "readability," is not to be sacrificed for, "looking pretty." This is meant to be about pure functionality. Because of issues with Red and Green, for red-green color-blindness manifested as an something as simple as an inability to differentiate between these to risks of these blending into backgrounds when other colors are chosen. The colors I am working with for this are Black, White, Gray, and Yellow. (Blue is hard to read on dark backgrounds unless it is power blue.)


    Classic will be changing. The drop-down menus in the nav-bar present use a background color that interferes with other pop-ups or displays, so I will have to alter these away from what "Legacy" has in order to not break "blogs" and "find new posts". The primary goal here is to try to replicate as much of the look and feel of the "Legacy" style without breaking readability. Constructive criticism within this space is welcome.


    The High-Contrast style's primary purpose is readability. I will accept feedback on, "this looks ugly, and this is why," but if the suggested change makes readability worse, then it will not be applied.


    Lastly, I have no ETA on availability of the present default theme on the forums that was originally created by Neil. An overwhelming majority of users use this default style. If I have time before the upgrade, I may take a stab at this as a third style, but I probably will not have time. If Neil want's to replicate it, he is welcome. He is probably going to be better off creating a brand new style, but that is up to him. (The addition of extra styles increase the complexity of upgrades, sucking up time that could be better spent on other projects.

    As with all things we implement on the forums as tests, if they suck, we can abandon them or change them or change and then abandon them.


    This thread is for you all to provide feedback on the styles. The bottom left corner of the tamperevidentwiki forums page provides a drop-down selection to allow you to try other styles.

    Constructive criticism can be posted as a reply here. Around mid November is a deadline I have set. I plan to perform the major upgrade some time in the middle of November. Once that happens, there is no reference of these forums under these older styles for you to compare. No constructive criticism means that you do not care, or you like the proposed styles.

    If we have no replacement for the present default, then all users using the present default will be moved into the high-contrast until a new default is created.

    Comments?
    Last edited by TheCotMan; November 3, 2011, 22:06.

  • #2
    Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

    I'd *love* to be able to see it. I really would. Could you just please provide a non-https version, since I don't have a browser that's willing to go to the site, and cannot even retrieve the certificate to permit me to provide an exception (I blame this on stupid people, without which these safeguards would not be necessary). Yes, I still need coffee.

    I'm going to try a few older browsers in an attempt to get past the "helpfulness" of a browser that refuses to go to what I'm sure is a perfectly okay site, but (as one of the people who truly appreciates the "legacy" version of the site) I really would like to see it. The SSL is probably unnecessary to just provide insight into the various choices.

    [Editing]

    Okay, I finally got through. I really hate the new choice. The (relatively) uncluttered look of "Legacy" is nice, but the part I really appreciate is the gray background, which is much easier on my aging eyes. Other than the banner at the top of the page, the two choices look the same to me. Take a look at the front page, after logging in, for the legacy choice. It's not my favorite, but much more tolerable than the stark white on black that you've selected for the new look.

    Personally, I'd love to get past all the "black is cool" look, and go with something easier to look at, and read. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's tradition.

    I do appreciate the work you're doing, and hope that others will also check out the options and provide input.
    Last edited by shrdlu; November 1, 2011, 05:48.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

      i think style choice #6 (the second one) is great for me eyes... perhaps, though, it's just the text that can have the "super high contrast" coloring? things like the horizontal rules and other table elements could perhaps be slightly subdued?
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

        It would be nice to have a theme that was dark text on a light background, as an option. On a low-backlight laptop screen, the old theme was unreadable. The high-contrast is an improvement, but still difficult to read.
        It's not stupid, it's advanced.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

          I browse the Forums with the "Defcon Legacy" and am comparing to the first link (https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=7)

          The first thing I notice is the font looks different.

          Digging deeper and inspecting the CSS for the post text I see the current "Defcon Legacy" as

          color: #CCC;
          font: 10pt verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif;

          And the new design as:

          Color: White
          font: 13px/1.231 arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif;
          with a
          font-family: Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; on the body


          I understand the font color changing if the background changing, but can we try keeping the font/size consistent to the new theme?

          Having said that, I'd like to see the background and font color not change.


          Also.. is "No Upgrade" an option? Or does the new software give bug/security fixes/support/features that you really want?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

            Originally posted by Tacitus View Post
            Also.. is "No Upgrade" an option? Or does the new software give bug/security fixes/support/features that you really want?
            Not really.. We have held off about two years, and the new features and compatibilities are getting too great to stay on the "Legacy" 3.x tree. For example, the new series supports a custom android or iphone/ipad app. We could publish a defcon forums app for people who like apps more than web interface. Also we will try the new photo gallery features and if people like it better we will stop using the pics server.

            DT
            PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

              Originally posted by Tacitus View Post
              I browse the Forums with the "Defcon Legacy" and am comparing to the first link (https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=7)

              The first thing I notice is the font looks different.

              Digging deeper and inspecting the CSS for the post text I see the current "Defcon Legacy" as

              color: #CCC;
              font: 10pt verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif;

              And the new design as:

              Color: White
              font: 13px/1.231 arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif;
              with a
              font-family: Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; on the body


              I understand the font color changing if the background changing, but can we try keeping the font/size consistent to the new theme?

              Having said that, I'd like to see the background and font color not change.
              I can try to integrate that into the new way that styles/themes are done in the new software.

              For other people replying, I am also taking these into consideration for the next round of changes. If I create another high-contrast style hat is black on white, then we can have a vote to see which is preferred. I won't support 2 different high-contrast styles. Do you see how much trouble we have with supporting "Legacy" in this transition, and we still don't have the current default style in the production forums replicated to TEW? These complications are also evident future upgrades and slow down updates.

              Also.. is "No Upgrade" an option? Or does the new software give bug/security fixes/support/features that you really want?
              Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
              Not really.. We have held off about two years, and the new features and compatibilities are getting too great to stay on the "Legacy" 3.x tree. For example, the new series supports a custom android or iphone/ipad app. We could publish a defcon forums app for people who like apps more than web interface. Also we will try the new photo gallery features and if people like it better we will stop using the pics server.
              Yep, what he said.

              We've been putting this off for many reasons:
              * New software means new bugs, while old software is more often, "stable."
              * New software means more frequent releases and upgrade schedules.
              * New Style system means abandoning the present styles and either making new ones that emulate the old ones or breaking with tradition entirely.

              Now, 2+ years later, we face the real problems that, "soon," the production version of forum software will be at an, "End of Life," for updates and support. When that happens, we can choose to try to maintain this software on our own, or upgrade in a planned way while we have time to make a thoughtful transition, or suddenly be forced to apply an upgrade, when we are all too busy to care about what users think.

              We are going the conservative route with this, and asking for user feedback to make the transition kinder to the users and avoid a last-minute push to get services upgraded. This is a great time to do this. The few people checking the forums are mostly the "hard core" Defcon people, and choosing to upgrade in the lull of November-December before we start the roll-out of DC20 content.

              We've really tried hard to make sure the fundamental upgrades to services that are required by the forums lead to short down-times and are mostly transparent to end users even though some of these upgrades were forced on us through hardware issues, but this time, the forum software itself made it impossible to hide this upgrade from users.

              Thanks for your feedback. I'll try to include these ideas in the next round of revisions on TEW, probably this weekend.

              Thanks for the comments and constructive criticism! Keep them coming!
              -Cot

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                If I create another high-contrast style that is black on white, then we can have a vote to see which is preferred. I won't support 2 different high-contrast styles.
                Also, if if make a second high-contrast demo with black text on white backgrounds, I will shift from yellow-links to dark-blue-links because dark-blue on white is easier to read than yellow on white. High-contrast "light" would be black-gray-white-blue while High-contrast "dark" would remain white-gray-black-yellow.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                  Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                  Also, if if make a second high-contrast demo with black text on white backgrounds, I will shift from yellow-links to dark-blue-links because dark-blue on white is easier to read than yellow on white. High-contrast "light" would be black-gray-white-blue while High-contrast "dark" would remain white-gray-black-yellow.
                  Actually, that sounds great in any case. Could you take a moment to explain *why* you are concerned with "high-contrast" and how that differs from "what I see right now with legacy" ???

                  I like the least clutter possible. I would say that 90% (or more) of the capabilities of this (or any) forum software are wasted on me. I like being able to subscribe or unsubscribe to threads, and other, similar things that are offered on most forums that I've seen.

                  I do appreciate the work that you do, and know that everyone else does, too. Thanks for keeping us all up to date. :-D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                    Tacitus and others:

                    last night I included some of the requested changes to "Classic1" on TEW. There are still issues with the font, but it is closer with colors and fonts.

                    Font sizes and padding for cells need to be addressed to change spacing. Please provide more constructive criticism on changes to the present, "Classic1," to better approximate the, "Legacy," style in-use here on the forums

                    Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                    Actually, that sounds great in any case. Could you take a moment to explain *why* you are concerned with "high-contrast" and how that differs from "what I see right now with legacy" ???
                    To be clear some definitions:
                    "Legacy" refers to the specific style in production on the present forums.
                    "Classic1" refers to an attempt to replicate much of the look at feel found in "Legacy" and port it to a new version of the forum software running on TEW: https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=7
                    "High-Contrast-Dark" is the style I have created in the new forum software as a demo: https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=6

                    My concerns with High-Contrast come from problems with minor and major upgrades in the past. We've invested a lot of time to continue to migrate "Legacy" from older versions of the forum software, and it continues to take more and more time to replicate as we get further and further away from when it was first created about 8 years oft forum software releases ago, suffering through 4 major, and many, many minor updates. This has been time consuming, plain and simple. Adding High-Contrast as a style to this may mean that the amount of time consumed for these upgrades will be doubled by adding another theme that people will expect to have updated and upgraded. Adding two high-contrast themes (High-Contrast-Light and High-Contrast-Dark) would triple this burden.

                    When Neil introduced a new style to match the theme, it was under a condition that he would be responsible for maintaining it and upgrading it through newer version. I described how much work it is to support styles, but there was enough interest to support it. I have helped him out and upgraded it a few times when the upgrades were not too time-consuming, but this round I probably won't have time to migrate his theme in addition to "legacy" to "classic1"

                    I am spending time working on migrating "Legacy" to "Classic1" for a few reasons. First, some of our long-time members continue to use "Legacy" and would be made significantly unhappy at its loss. Next, there is an element of, "I can do this," as a challenge which excites curiosity to complete, ONCE. Once I have used this as a learning opportunity, upgrading any others would be, "busy work," , "boring," and eat into time I could spend on other things.

                    I do not use "Legacy" on a day-to-day basis. I switched over to Neil's theme when it went live and have been using it as a default since the switch. A majority of forum users use Neil's creation, which is the default on the forums.

                    Back to the topic of high-contrast....

                    I do not want to support two different high-contrast styles. The present "classic1" and "legacy" are not high-contrast. They make excessive use of grays and seldom use just black and white. The first attempts at "High-Contrast-Dark" is heavy with "black and white" with little use of gray, and a switch to ugly yellow links because they are easier to read on dark backgrounds than variations on blue.

                    Anyway, I can probably make another high-contrast style called "high-contrast-light" and let users vote on it vs. "high-contrast-dark" PURELY on the point of readability and go with majority rule. Then once one is selected, we can take user feedback to improve it and make the survivor more readable and usable. Finally, if there are, "enough," users that choose to use it, then I'll accept it as another burden for upgrades like "legacy" to "classic1" and try to keep it up-to-date through major and minor upgrades.

                    I like the least clutter possible. I would say that 90% (or more) of the capabilities of this (or any) forum software are wasted on me. I like being able to subscribe or unsubscribe to threads, and other, similar things that are offered on most forums that I've seen.
                    Unlike most of the other styles provided, it makes sense to have a, "high-contrast," style where the primary goal is usability, and NOT how it looks. Hopefully I'll have enough time to maintain it in addition to "Classic1" :-/

                    I do appreciate the work that you do, and know that everyone else does, too. Thanks for keeping us all up to date. :-D
                    Thanks :-)

                    I'll keep working on both and if I have time, introduce a, "High-Contrast-Light," over the weekend.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                      We have about 2 more weeks for comments to allow for changes based on comments. In around 2 weeks, I plan to upgrade these forums, so we will want to get our proposed styles evaluated and refined.

                      This schedule is imposed by me. If there is a good reason, I can push it back, but I really want these upgrades rolled out and in-place before we roll out the Defcon 20 content, which historically has happened some time between mid November and late December.

                      Any comments on the present "classic" or "High Contrast Dark" ?

                      I plan to work on these over this weekend, so get your constructive criticism posted!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                        We have about 2 more weeks for comments to allow for changes based on comments. In around 2 weeks, I plan to upgrade these forums, so we will want to get our proposed styles evaluated and refined.

                        This schedule is imposed by me. If there is a good reason, I can push it back, but I really want these upgrades rolled out and in-place before we roll out the Defcon 20 content, which historically has happened some time between mid November and late December.

                        Any comments on the present "classic" or "High Contrast Dark" ?

                        I plan to work on these over this weekend, so get your constructive criticism posted!
                        Not sure whether others have been having the same experience, but twice now, I've been set to make comments after looking at other features, and the tamperevident whateveritis site plays spin and go puke (from merry-go-round days). I'm about to attempt a review from memory, so please forgive me if I get it wrong.

                        You have a new choice, which is a white (or light) background, with gray text. This one is a better choice (for me, at least), but I wonder if the text could be made just a bit darker. Other than that, it seemed easy enough to look at, which is the idea, after all. It seemed like I had more comments, and I'll try to check back in tomorrow morning, but didn't want to miss telling you this one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                          Both Classic1 and High COntrast Dark beat what was there before ( https://tamperevidentwiki.com/forum.php?styleid=5 ), by leaps & bounds in my book. I like Classic1, but I, too, find the totality of the black background to be less than ideal, as it exists in all options. Somehow, it seems too... retro?

                          Perhaps not; green on black is always my choice, but I had not considered red-green blindness, so that's an issue. But I did really dislike style #5 (still can't post to it as a team BTW), so I'm happy with any change, and either should be good for the DC forums.
                          The f*ck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon? - chs

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                            Major upgrade announced in the "forum announcements thread" and that will happen this weekend. We can refine the Styles/Themes once the upgrade is finished. I'll also introduce the light high-contrast style/theme after the upgrade.

                            Once this happens, I'll be looking for feedback, and try to work in suggested changes as tests as we try to approximate what is desired.

                            Thanks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Major upgrade coming soon: Styles/Theme will change

                              Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                              Major upgrade announced in the "forum announcements thread" and that will happen this weekend. We can refine the Styles/Themes once the upgrade is finished. I'll also introduce the light high-contrast style/theme after the upgrade.

                              Once this happens, I'll be looking for feedback, and try to work in suggested changes as tests as we try to approximate what is desired.

                              Thanks!
                              Major upgrade complete. The 2 serious problems introduced with "Classic1" have been resolved. There is a bug in the software, but I don't have time to finesse the code to reveal the exact location right now.

                              I am now ready to accept constructive criticism for improvements to the "Classic1" and "High Contrast Dark" styles which are now available as user-selectable.

                              You can do this here and now by scrolling to the bottom of the page, and looking to the bottom left corner for a pull-down menu selection. There you can choose from the 2 Styles that should mostly be working.

                              A third style is not yet complete, but you can choose to use it if you don't mind an unusable style, so far. (Many text-links are presently light font colors on light backgrounds and you may not even know they are there unless you know they are supposed to be there or happen to highlight them.

                              I am accepting feedback as constructive criticism on the 'Classic1" and "High Contrast Dark" to make them better.
                              Once I finish with a base for "High Contrast Light" I'll post a followup here again, asking for constructive criticism for it.

                              Goal for "High Contrast Dark" is : What can be done to make it most readable. Art takes a back seat to function. If artisict value decreases readability, it won't be used here.
                              (High Contrast Light will be the same, but with a dark text on mostly white backgrounds.)

                              The Goal for "Classic1" is an attempt to provide a style as close to the original Defcon forum style that people from 2004 through 2008 remember as the forum default style.

                              Neil has been busy, and I am not sure if he is willing and able to make another style like the last style we set as default from 2008 through to 2011, or if he plans to make one that is entirely different. It is up to him if he wants to support a theme.

                              I only plan to support 2 themes, initially: classic and one of the two competing high contrast themes.

                              In a month or so, I MAY introduce a new, "mobile device," theme. If I do, the focus will be on smaller size (if possible) and readability.

                              Comment

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