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Open Consultation on HPC:Factor

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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 3:48 PM
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Greeting one, greetings all.

I have been web mastering in one way or another here in the H/PC community for many years now, I've seen a lot change and also tried to change with it.

At the end of the day this is your site as much as it is mine, Clint's and John's. So really, I'm wondering what you would like to see on it and where you would like to see it grow and progress to in the future.

I'd like to invite you all to take the floor and let us know what you think are the most pressing needs for the site both in terms of supporting your guys and in keeping the quality level of the site above the water line so that there is a credible influence from the H/PC in the Windows CE on-line community - Editorially, technically and from a presentation aspect. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

I know that the only way for things to change is for you all to be honest, but please don't be brutal in doing so.


... oh, one last thing. If you want to critique the forum, please do so here rather than in this thread, thanks.
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msafi Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 5:24 PM
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hmmm, lets see...

i don't know if i, as an ex-hpc owner, am in a position to criticize the website, but who cares!

the website is pretty slow, but that's ok since the quality of the topics and posts make up for the sluggishness.

yea, the forum is pretty much all that i use in this website after i sold my hpc.

Keep it up.

The HPCs shall make an explosive come back very soon.
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Hurricane John Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 7:23 PM
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Chris

This is probably not what you want to hear, but I think the site is pretty darn good, just as it stand - The only thing I don't like is the disorganized 'Reviews Section', it needs to be brought up to the high standards already achieved on the rest of the site.

At last count there are 65 software/hardware reviews......we need a Reviews Section that's organized and easy to navigate....until then I will continue to use my Reviews Spreadsheet with organized links, so I can quickly find and open any review at HPC Factor without having to muddle through the Reviews Section.

I hope this is something you will find the time to correct in the future, because I love everything else about HPC Factor.

Keep Up the Great Work....I really appreciate all that HPC Factor has to offer.
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 7:54 PM
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Don't mess with perfection!

I've always been impressed with your main page graphics that highlighted the review of whatever was the topic that day.

If there was anything I'd like to see, maybe a single-page site map...but I know how intensive that could be in creation....

Rich
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tsdave Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 9:01 PM
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Allright, i like this site very much, but different people have different preferences.
I prefer simplicity and compatibility over sparkle. And also as this is a HPC site
it would seem that the site could be made more compatible with HPCs browsers.
Using more text, way less images, perhaps almost no images (maybe just a header)
Use less complicated HTML (fewer tables in tables in tables) so it renders faster and
such.

Also this server tends to be so slow i dont search on it much as it usually timesout.

Also if there was a easy way to link to a help page, instead of telling a former
to go search for it.

Some of the text on some pages seems misplaces in firefox.

Overall the site is invaluable to the HPC community.Good job.
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hpcpro Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 9:24 PM
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I think a Review Section is a good idea.

I´d like to see a easy method people can use to add screenshots at forum. Not all people know how to. Screenshots are a value added.

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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 9:34 PM
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slowness has already been mentioned. it's not just the slowness but the timeouts as well

i think the HCL should be better placed so that more people can see it.

about the HCL again: email system needs repairing asap... i will not try to submit my latest find, i'll try to PM you instead, or something.

and there's the Flat view thing (so that you can see and download drivers).. i still wonder how i found that option in the HCL. i'm usually not good at noticing important stuff which is somewhat hidden... maybe others are better at it

site could be compatible with CE 1.0 and above. but i think the images etc should remain intact...

i would like to be able to search for a user's posts and not in the way it'll be in the next release (using the normal search) but a proper way should be implemented to handle this...

i can't think of anything else now. hpcfactor is really great

Edited by cmonex 2005-09-28 9:36 PM
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Yoldering Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 10:11 PM
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The only thing I would say would be to have a separate page (or expand the current page) for CE apps that users have contributed, including games. I know that is asking a lot but that is the only thing I wish for.
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tsdave Page Icon Posted 2005-09-28 11:58 PM
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Heres a few more ideas.

How about a votable top 100 tips, where users decided the most valuable tips,
browsable of course.

Also a FAQ to cover the basics. Maybe combined with a:

Wiki

:-)

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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2005-09-29 12:32 AM
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Yoldering - 2005-09-28 7:11 PM

The only thing I would say would be to have a separate page (or expand the current page) for CE apps that users have contributed, including games. I know that is asking a lot but that is the only thing I wish for.


This is a good idea. There could be a link for it on the top of the home page, separate from the Forum link. Maybe also a "Projects" page where developers could post software projects and seek volunteers to test them. I might also suggest that an index page with hyperlinked entries might help people navigate the site more easily, reduce double-posting, and reduce the need for Administrators to move posts.
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wallythacker Page Icon Posted 2005-09-29 1:46 AM
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A fair bit of stuff is bought/sold her. How about a trader rating forum?

A few less graphics, as suggested, optomize for hpcs (if there is a way)

Interactive hcl updates. I've lost count of what I've submitted and why it never appears

And when the next troll appears, mandatory registration to post in all forums

That's about it for ideas now
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tripper_11 Page Icon Posted 2005-09-29 7:46 AM
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eeerrrr, what about a j720 PIE of the forum? an optimized one, or a version that runs on j720 PIE at least for the forum...
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thcrw739 Page Icon Posted 2005-09-29 10:30 AM
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@ things i'd like to see in order first most important, a large software section for all gens of hpc's & 2nd Cuire this Lag time.....and thats all


Not asking alot is it j/k
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Nick Charlton Page Icon Posted 2005-09-29 12:05 PM
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Hi,

A CGI Text-Only renderer is what is needed, like the BBCi website has, I know you like ASP Chris (and so do I to be honest) but I have only ever seen CGI based ones. This would remove the images and speed up the whole site really simply.

The slowness is the only reason I rearly ever use this site, sorry to say.

Edit: Ok, I have done some research on the Text-Only Parser, its called Betsie and is availiable from the following sites:

http://betsie.sourceforge.net/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/betsie/

I'm trying to install it on my server, no luck so far I've only had CGI Errors.

Nick

Edited by Nick Charlton 2005-09-29 12:20 PM
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-09-29 12:35 PM
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Hello all, thanks for some great replies.
I'll get down and deal with everyone here. Please continue to post your thoughts though!!

msafi,
When John is ready for us to move over to the new server, plus the new forum core RTM's (It's in Public RC at the moment) things will improve greatly.

Oh Stormy One,
Reviews section; I've been meaning to mention this to you off-line. The good news is that it has been reformatted and has been for a few weeks. The bad news is that it'll only go up when I have the new forum core.

Rich,
Thanks, might be a good idea I agree. I will see what I can do to cobble one together!

tsdave,
Your view is noted. You are pushing up against a brick wall to some degree on this as I am a designer and have to consider the much larger demographic of users who are accessing the site via PC/Mac.
If you want the ratio, it's 56:1
There is also an issue in that I cannot write this site to be fully useful to PC users and make it CE1 compatible. It's just not possible.
I'm not disregarding your points, but I want to defer them for a couple of weeks and come back to them once the situation chances and things become more clear and apparent for all of us.

Jose,
While this hasn't changed in the new forum kernel, the process is faster than before and I will get it documented. Thanks.

cmonex,
HCL email system we've covered before privately. I have not been able to manually reproduce any missing submissions from the site.
The HCL flat view isn't the only way to get to see drivers, literally click on the 'Notes & Downloads' text in the HCL view and it'll give you the file links. This is already on the help overview.
Images should work on CE1 - chances are it's a cache issue. There are intentionally no PNG or TIFFs on this site, and that is to maintain compatibility.
This user idea of yours is the first I've heard of it. All mod's were given the opportunity to submit feature requests to PD9 using the HPC:Factor admin account from when the board was in late Alpha / early Beta. If you didn't get this submitted months ago... it's too late now.

Yoldering,
App downloads is a huge black hole, and one we've covered before. The one thing that I can categorically state on this is that download bandwidth will not be paid for by us - the site is already too expensive. There is an idea floating about to create a repository similar in structure to the old TuCows - just for H/PC. We'd provide the database and central access and you guys would have to provide the download mirrors over HTTP or FTP.
It's a virgin idea though.

tsdave #2,
Interesting idea, I'm not sure if it's something I would spend the time programming, but I will certainly throw it on the thought pile
FAQ, yes that is on cards.
No WiKi, that's beyond the editorial remit that Clint and I want for the site. Ultimately, why argue with wikipedia, it's the bee's knees already.

CE Geek,
This one was discussed some time back re a dedicated beta test for h/pc site. The idea was shouted down by those who thought it easier to use source forge to target source code and downloads to potential testing clients. Closed source applications tend not to need such testing - and dev's are welcome to create their own beta testing thread here on the board.
I don't quite follow you when you say an index page...

wallythacker,
I really do want to do this. Right now the board doesn't support sub-forums, and I don't want such a thing on the main forum catalogue. It would be confusing and rather cluttered IMO. The second that sub forums become a reality it'll happen. My word on that.
Again on the graphic's I'd like to defer this for a couple of weeks - things will become clear soon enough.
If you believe that you've submitted something to the HCL and it hasn't been processed, please drop me a PM with the items that you've submitted and vanished. I'll deal with that separately. Again, I cannot manually reproduce the error that you and cmonex are seeing, and as far as I'm concerned I am fully up-to-date on accepting / rejecting HCD's.
Mandatory board registration - This has been argued at me by some of you. The mod's have argued at me over it. Ultimately (and I don't do this very often) I'm pulling rank on this one. I don't want to close it down yet.
The new forum core will have flood control, this will reduce bot spamming - which most of the Chinese gibberish posting is. They're also pretty poor at changing the computer they post from, so I can if necessary block their access to the server - period. Right now though three posts a week isn't an issue.

tripper_11,
You've lost me here my friend. The forum works fully on HPC2000. Even uploads work.

thcrw739,
Find me some permanent download mirror hosts and we'll explore the viability of it

Nick,
Installing ActiveState on the server isn't an option I want to explore. The point of having database content is to perform strip out. The BBC use XML data services.
The main rendering problem on the H/PC is with the site layout rather than specific content images - though it may cause X scrolling. Again I point you to the above and ask to come back to this in a few weeks.

Thanks all.
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