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< Piro >

vroom! New MT site BETA!

"New MT Website BETA"

Wednesday - October 10, 2007

[Piro] - 17:00:58 - [link here]

 [Edit: Since the site has now been entirely switched over, this is decidedly not a beta anymore. The next paragraph declares otherwise, but you can ignore that. -Kalium]

(Welcome to the New MT website BETA!  Note that if you are reading this particular rant, you are already at the new BETA page.)

--- 

As you might have picked up from some recent posts, the new Megatokyo site is now in beta and ready for serious testing:

Megatokyo BETA website

I won't say much about it yet other than to say go check it out, use and abuse it. We want to see how the new site reacts to load, so poke around and try out the search function and other stuff.

Most importantly... please note that the Drop Down of Death is no more. And there was much rejoicing. :)

We did a smaller release last week and fix and tweaked a lot of things based on initial feedback, so it should be functioning pretty well. A few things about this new MT website... most of the work is in the backend and it is based on the CSS re-design and tweak of the site i did a few years ago. It is not drastically different in appearance from the current site, nor does it challenge the boundries of web design. I'm the one who designed the original MT site, and i did the re-design, so don't get your hopes up about it being anything amazing :P.

The main upgrade is in usability. The hope is that this far, far more robust backend will make reading the comic easier and more enjoyable. There are many things that need to be tweaked or fixed in the database, so don't worry too much about errors there (we're working on them).

Please send all comments, complaints, kudos and other feedback to core@megatokyo.com, where it will be read, enjoyed, acted upon or ignored depending on how the webmonk33z feel. If you have problems with the site please post your operating system and browser version so they can troubleshoot effectively.

Special thanks to the mtwebmonk33z crew - thanks for all your efforts and patience with the difficulty in getting productive feedback from me :P

CountAlpicola, the Big Cheese
Kalium, the Search Ninja
codepoetica, Captain Compatibility
Dark Morford, the Module Man

(PS: the rant photo is from here, a heavily modified Honda Canopy GYRO. If you are curious, here's more info on largo's current ride. :)

< Dom >

"Sigh..."

Thursday - August 23, 2007

[Dom] - 10:30:00 - [link here]

So not only has pixiebell been riding me for a month to write a new rant, but her sister Kuromi is now in on the act. And since her sister actually lives within striking distance of me and has deadly accuracy with a dodgeball, I find myself slogging through the MegaTokyo back end again.

You see, that's what's really keeping me from ranting more often - it's not that I don't like the writing. I LOVE writing. I have started writing for myself again (though it's for a D&D campaign, at least it's motivating me to work with weekly deadlines), and I still contribute to Newtype. Heck, I've been asked to write for some indie rags, and I think I just might take them up on their offer.

It's not that I don't like MegaTokyo, either. I love this site, and I love working with Fred. I've been here since the beginning, and if things go well, I'll turn off the lights on the way out.

But as you may or may not know, Megatokyo as a site was never designed to be as big as it was. So it's a giant patchwork, and it really shows on the back end.

Here's the process for writing a rant:
Step 1: Open up a browser and navigate to the SQL back end of MT, and create a table entry in the database for the rant. Write the rant, using appropriate meta-data.
Step 2: Assuming that I'm not using the default graphic (the charming picture of me you see above), find an appropriate image, resize it to 300x245 (and seriously, what the hell kind of proportion is that?) via some kind of image editor and save it.
Step 3: Open up a secure FTP program and hit up the MegaTokyo file server, navigating from /home/Dom to the /rantpics folder way somewhere in /htdocs. Pray that the server is accepting files at the moment, and keep that window open.
Step 4: Log into MegaTokyo via a shell, as root. Try and remember what the correct command and path is to run recache.php, and wait 5 minutes as everything runs.
Step 5: Remember that secure FTP client? Go back into it and dig into the RSS, then hand-edit the RSS feed, save it, and quit out.

In all, this process takes about an hour beyond writing the rant itself, and good god does it get tedious. Note that it involves at least 5 programs and two instances of praying that I don't break anything.

And that is why Fred and I haven't blogged since last month.

However! With the new MT site coming up, hopefully I'll be able to write my little piece, usually in under an hour, hit "publish" and voila!

So yeah, whenever that happens, I actually will rant more. Until then, I'll see you guys in the forums.

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