02 Jul

Website Update

“Internet Explorer hates us!”
“Good, I hate it just as much.”

After much strife, blood, sweat, and tears, I'm happy to announce that Revision 176 of the PES website has been pushed to the live server, quite a bit of work behind the scenes since the initial site went online 16 days ago. When we pushed over to the live servers, it was revision 138, 16 days and 38 revisions later (not counting the many test revisions that never made it off the test server into the code repository at all), we've made some strides towards adding some more functionality, while also whacking a number of issues (big and small) that sprung up along the way.

The single biggest issue was cross-browser friendliness. In simplest terms, the new layout looked perfect… in Firefox. Every other browser had at least one or two small issues, and Internet Explorer? Well, IE6 absolutely hated the new layout, and IE7 was only slightly more tolerant of it. The layout was designed to be “fluid”, it *should* scale to fit your browser window… If your running your machine at 800×600, it should look pretty much the same as it does as 1600×1200, just more “squished”… but that wasn't happening. At 800×600 things got pushed all over the place, and above 1024×768 (atleast in IE), it wasn't scaling out to fill the window properly, it would get to a certain width and then just “stop growing”. It looked… icky, unless of course you happened to be running at exactly the right resolution…

We had tested for cross-platform friendliness long before launch, but apparently the layout had changed just enough to make things look pretty awful under IE, and nobody noticed it until after launch and we got a few comments back from folks running IE. Our mistake, should have done another round of cross-browser tests before launch.

So the biggest goal for this update was to get things straightened out under IE. It wasn't exactly fun; we ended up scrapping the entire CSSi base and starting from scratch, but it is now a lot closer to what the original vision was, under all the major browsers. Is it 100% perfect? Not yet, but it's much closer to what we wanted then it was 16 days ago. I'm sure going forward we'll still need to tweak some of the CSS and HTML, and I know there's quite a bit of comments laying around in the code that can be removed to make things smaller and tighter… next release perhaps.

So what all does r176 bring with it?

Enhancements:

  • Better cross browser compatibility
  • Updates to a number of drupal modules (pathauto, faq, glossary, views, lightbox2)
  • Email template system added to admin system.
  • Added ability to terminate an account from admin panel, including cPanel
  • Activated the full order processing system, no more “semi-by-hand” order processing into cPanel
  • Affiliate system in place, on admin side, currently used to track in-house marketing programs.
  • Charting API in place, courtesy of the Open Flash Charts system. Current in use mainly in the admin sections (accounting section most notably), but it's there, we can use it in other places as it makes sense.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed suspend form bug in admin panel.
  • Fixed a UI problem with the account view display (for admin and client side)
  • Troubleticket email notification cleanup

There is probably a bunch of other things that have been tweaked or played with, this is just the highlights that I can spot looking through the changelog. The big one, to me, is the site should look alot better under IE now then it did yesterday… thankfully.