Resources List

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Peter McLennan
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Resources List

Postby Peter McLennan » Thu, 11 Sep 2014 3:48 pm

The forum's Resource section is a disaster. The post is too long and finicky to edit, so aught but the bravest dare.

It was always my intention to break the mega-post into multiple smaller posts, one for each main section. However, it would still have been fiddly to edit and read.

So, while waiting forlornly (and probably in vain) for feedback from friends on my WIP, I've thrown together a database and scripts to supersede the resource section. It can also hold competition and other date-specific events. You can access the prototype here.

AWF regulars who are logged in to the forum should be able to add new entries, and edit/delete entries they've previously added.

AWF moderators who are logged in to the forum should, in addition, be able to edit/delete anyone else's entries.

Everyone else should just be able to view the list.

I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts on it. Since it's important to get the section/sub-section structure right early on, comments on that would be helpful. Forum regulars could additionally help by testing out the add/edit/delete functions.

I haven't attempted to make it look pretty yet, so don't worry about the formatting. However, if you have any suggestions about it, feel free.

I'll populate the database (using the current resource list) when we're happy with it. I won't need to purge it before doing so, so if you want to add entries now, go ahead. However, given that it's early days, I can't promise that it won't misbehave.
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HipNip
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Re: Resources List

Postby HipNip » Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:46 am

Thank you for all your efforts in improving the site Peter. I do appreciate them.

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Re: Resources List

Postby Peter McLennan » Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:28 pm

Thank you, Mr Nip. :)
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Re: Resources List

Postby Peter McLennan » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 4:54 pm

I've had a go at integrating the Resources database (successor to the resources, competitions and events forum sections) into the AWF web site. It's ugly but seems to work. Feedback welcome—especially from any forum regulars brave enough to try to add something. :)
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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Resources List

Postby Rath Darkblade » Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:49 pm

Peter, I'm getting a fatal error when I try to access the new database? *shrug* I'm not sure what the problem is.

One thing we can do is to create a new "resources" webpage with links for each section and subsection in the resources page. The code would look something like this:

Code: Select all

<a href="#Writing Tips">Writing tips</a>
       <a href="#Inspiration">Inspiration</a>
       <a href="#Character">Character</a>
(etc... this may function as sections and subsections in your page, like what a table of contents. Then, when it's time for the "meat" of the page...)
<a id="Writing Tips">Writing Tips</a><br>
<a id="Inspiration">Inspiration</a>
<a href="http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/">Writing prompts.</a> (insert your description)
<br>
<a id="Character">Character</a>
<a href="http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/08/make-your-characters-earn-their-keep.html">Making your characters earn their keep.</a> (insert your description)


...and so on. ;) The page will still be just as long, but now you'll have a handy way to jump to any section or subsection you wish.

Another way you might wish to divide the resources page into five - one for each section (i.e. a "Writing Tips", a "Publishing Tips" page etc.), with each sub-page having its own sub-headings (i.e. "Inspiration", "Character" etc. under the "Writing Tips" sub-page). It WILL mean an extra click to get where you want, but I don't know anyone who's so lazy that they can't click one more time. :) The benefit, obviously, would be that the very long resources section will now be divided into (much shorter) sub-sections.

One final way of doing this is to create menus and submenus - the kind that you can see at the top of your browser (e.g. the File menu, the Edit menu etc.) It's quite simple to do if you know your HTML and CSS, but it can be tricky otherwise. Here is a fairly simple guide; I haven't tried it myself, but it looks fairly easy to me. :) The big advantage is that the resources section will be enormously simplified. The downside, obviously, is that you might not be able to add descriptions of what the links to "Writing Prompts" etc. are all about - although these could be added in with a "Mouseover" event or something similar (i.e. if you hold your mouse over the menu option for "Writing Prompts", your screen will show a small pop-up saying "Ideas to inspire creativity. Homemaster"). :)

Hope this helps! If you need any more help, please feel to let me know by PM or here. I'll be happy to give these a try for you. ;)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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Peter McLennan
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Re: Resources List

Postby Peter McLennan » Thu, 16 Oct 2014 1:49 pm

Damn! Thanks heaps for looking at it, Rath. Could you please let me know what error message appeared, where and when?

It should look like this (more or less):
resources.jpg
resources.jpg (118.82 KiB) Viewed 2790 times

You're right that additional navigation options would help. I originally listed every subsection in the menu on the right but it looked a bit cluttered.

I might be able to add the sections and subsections as submenus to the menu on the left.

More radically, I could break the page into multiple pages (one for each main section), or load a single section into the page based on user selection from a drop-down list or something.

But I need to fix that fatal error first!
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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Resources List

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:04 am

When I click on the link to the resources page (i.e. http://www.australianwritersforum.org.a ... rces.shtml), this is what I see:

error.jpg
error.jpg (173.09 KiB) Viewed 2784 times


Unfortunately, this happens every time I try this. :( Also, the prototype tells me the same thing - i.e. just a white screen with the words:

Fatal error: Call to a member function acl_get() on a non-object in /home/austra79/public_html/forum/includes/session.php on line 1891

I hope this helps... it does not make much sense to me. :(
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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Peter McLennan
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Re: Resources List

Postby Peter McLennan » Fri, 17 Oct 2014 3:20 pm

Ta heaps, Rath. I don't immediately know what the problem is, but I know where to start looking.
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Peter McLennan
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Re: Resources List

Postby Peter McLennan » Fri, 17 Oct 2014 7:23 pm

Fixing problems that you can't duplicate is a bugger! Based on similar problems (and solutions) reported elsewhere, I've made some changes that should hopefully fix it. I'd appreciate someone taking a quick look. TIA!
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Rath Darkblade
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Re: Resources List

Postby Rath Darkblade » Fri, 17 Oct 2014 8:19 pm

The fatal error is gone - looks good to me! (y) However, it's still a very long list - and if you're not sure what you're looking for, you can easily get lost... perhaps split it into five pages to make it shorter? Or... I'm not sure what else to suggest, sorry. <blush>
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)


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