::: MENU :::

NewEnigma goes mobile!

The website has under gone a few changes recently making it much more useable on mobile and tablet devices. Any screen sizes less than 960 pixels wide should pick up the changes, as long as they support CSS media queries. This should be all the latest browsers on phones and tablets, as well as all the latest desktop browsers.

Here is a screenshot of how one particular page displays on a mobile device.

Mobile screenshot

There have been a fair few changes made to the stylesheets, and the jQuery javascript version has also been updated. Therefore, if something is not appearing right or not working, chances are your browser is loading cached versions of the stylesheets or javascript files. Either clear your browser cache, or a force refresh of the page should be sufficient.

Site Enhancements

This post is just to give an update on a few site enhancements that have been made recently.

  • Site has been moved to a much more powerful server, so should be faster.
  • Searching using the search form at the top of each page in the header has autocomplete on it. It will search as you type (minimum of 3 characters must be typed before the autocomplete kicks in) through albums, artists, movies, tv shows, enigma titles, enigma numbers and blog posts. This should come in handy if you want to quickly go to a particular enigma page.
  • Most of the form fields have been updated to use some of the new HTML 5 attributes. This will probably only be noticeable to you in the main search form field at the top of each page, where the default text of 'Search Term...' appears. This is done using the new 'placeholder' attribute. You should be able to see this change in any decent modern browser.
  • Help on using BBCode in the enigma responses has been added to the site. This can be seen by clicking the green 'i' icon just above the response textarea box, which will open up a popup/modal window.
  • Previewing an enigma response is now done using AJAX so the whole page does not need to be reloaded anymore. The preview should now be much quicker to display. This requires Javascript to be enabled in your browser, so if you have Javascript disabled, the preview will not work.
  • When receiving an email notification of a new enigma response, and clicking the link in the email, it will now take you to that particular response. Whilst this is how it normally behaved before, it failed when there had been more new responses which had taken the responses on to a new page, causing the response in the link to be on a previous page.

The following are planned updates which I will start working on as soon as possible.

  • Ability to unsubscribe from receiving emails when a new enigma response is added to an enigma question where you have previously left a response.
  • Ability to subscribe to an enigma question to receive emails whenever a new response is added to it, even if you have not previously added a response on that enigma question.

Pagination on Enigma responses

Pagination has finally been implemented on the enigma question responses. This was one of the last sections that needed it doing. It is different to other sections in that by default, the last page of responses should be shown rather than the first page. So if there are 50 responses, and 25 to be shown per page, then when arriving on the enigma page without specifying any particular page, then the last 25 comments should be shown.

If you preview or submit your response with errors, it will automatically load the most recent responses for the last page, even if you weren't on the last page originally. This is intended behaviour.

If anyone notices any bugs with this, please let me know, but from what I can tell, it all seems to be working as expected.

New site design preview

I have been working on a new design/layout for the site and below is a preview of what it may end up looking like. It's not finished yet and there is a possibility it may end up looking nothing like the preview, but for now this is what the preview looks like. The page shown in the preview is the albums index page.

Hopefully, the new design will be ready soon. I am hoping to have the site running under the new design in the next month or two.

Another minor update that has been done is to the accessibility of the site. I have added an icon to appear after any links which open up a new window to an external site. An example is shown here: Google

Another update has also been made to the login page. This will now redirect you to the page you came from when you clicked the login link. So for example, if you clicked on an enigma question link and were not logged in to the site, the page would provide a login link to click. After clicking this and successfully logging in, you will get redirected back to the enigma question that you were originally on. Before this was implemented, the login page always took you back to the home page, so this change should improve the user experience.

Image display issues on the enigma question pages

A recent comment posted in a response to an enigma question mentioned information on how to post images in the response. This particular response mentioned that only .jpeg images seemed to be allowed. I was pretty sure that .gif images were also allowed, so I went and checked the source code just to be sure. The actual allowed image formats according to the source code is: jpg, jpeg, gif, png. So at work, using Firefox browser, I posted a response to this, and included a .gif image in the response. I was able to see this image and so presumed that all was working as expected.

When I returned home and viewed the page from my own computer, I saw that the image I posted before was not being displayed, and instead an image about not hotlinking was displayed. No problem, I found another .gif image on the internet, and edited my response to include the new image. I previewed the response and all displayed ok, so I posted it. It was then I saw that the image was not being displayed.

3 or 4 hours later, I believed I had found a fix for it which was adding a blank url attribute to the body tag into the style sheet for the site. The image then displayed on the page and I thought it was all done. Unfortunately not. I went to a different enigma question page and added an image into a response, and previewed it. The image would not display.

I then removed all the background image urls from the stylesheet and the image then displayed. I also noticed that if somebody had already posted some images in a response which were displaying ok, if I edited the page and added an image above that response, then the image in the response would not display. It seemed as though the second image that appeared on the page would not display, but the first and any others after the second image would. This is the strangest bug I have ever seen regarding web browser rendering. Anyway, I put the style sheet back to how it was, and tried to do some more searching on the net. I came across a post mentioning Adblock Plus. I have this installed as an addon for Firefox, however, according to it, it says it was blocking zero items on my page, plus Firebug was showing no problems at all with the request and the response for the image that was not showing. I disabled Adblock Plus for my domain, and refreshed the page. The image now displayed, I refreshed lots more times just to make sure, and every time it displayed. I went to a few more enigma questions and previewed adding a repsonse with an image, and it all seemed to display correctly.

The browser I was using was the latest version of Firefox on the 3.0 series, which I think was 3.013. I downloaded Firefox 3.5 and installed that, and then tested again, with Adblock Plus enabled again. Images are displaying. I am still a bit worried that the underlying issue may still exist, and that some time in the future, I'm going to try and post an image, and it's not going to display. My concern is based on the fact that the problem disappeared when removing background images from the stylesheet, or even disabling all styles on the page.

I may start looking into getting a new design for the site, which will use a new stylesheet, as I am convinced that the issue is related somehow to the style sheet. However, for now, if images are not displaying, it appears upgrading to the latest version of Firefox should fix it.

If anyone experiences the issue of an image not displaying, please let me know. Information on the browser you use, what page you were trying to post on and the URL of the image would be very helpful. I can't promise that I'll be able to fix it though.

Site updates posted to Twitter

It is now possible to receive any site updates by following my account on Twitter. The following are currenty being added to Twitter automatically:

  • New enigma question posted
  • New movie added
  • New album added
  • New TV show added

Enigma section updates

It is now possible to browse the enigma questions alphabetically by title, and by enigma author.

To browse by title, go to Enigma Browse and then click on any of the links from A to Z.

To view all enigma questions by a particular author, you can click on the author name on either the main enigma index page, or on the individual enigma page for a particular enigma number.

Pagination finally implemented

I had been planning to implement pagination quite a long time ago, almost since the site began. Over the weekend I managed to sit down and implement it. It's almost completed now and being used in almost all the places it is required. The only part where it is still required is for the enigma comments. I will try and get this done over the next week, as there are a lot of other changes that need doing on that page first. The blog section also needs updating to use the new system, as it currently uses its own one which was not written by me, and is not very efficient in its design.

Please let me know via the contact form or commenting on this post if you spot any issues with it, or if you spot a place where it's not being used and you think it would benefit from using it.

Another last post of the year

Here is another last post of the year! Haven't done many posts this year so thought I'd do one now. Need to check that adding a new post actually still works!

The site seems to be running pretty smoothly and quickly. There hasn't been anything added to the error logs in quite a while which is good. There are a number of code improvements that still need to be done. It's just a question of finding the time to sit down and tackle them, as some of them are not simple tasks.

Anyway, I thought I'd post up some of my favourite TV shows that I've been watching this year, since last year I did movies and music albums.

  • Prison Break
  • The Unit
  • Flight Of The Conchords
  • Leverage
  • Burn Notice

Site caching

The site should be running a little bit quicker now, although the speed difference is probably unnoticable. I have finally got around to caching some of the common data, so that the pages don't have to hit the database as frequently. There were a few pages that were hitting the database over 10 times, and these have been cut down to 1 or 2 times now. There is still a little bit more work to do on this but it is 95% done.

On a seperate note, I have decided to store all times as UTC time (or GMT time) in the database and retrieve them as they are. Previously, the time was stored as the server time, which was 4 hours different to GMT. However, this caused many problems with archiving the blog posts by month, and with the issue of daylight savings time. All times displayed on the site should now be in UTC time, and any bits of text like 'Posted 2 hours ago' are based on UTC time.