State of the Site, October 2018


#22

Anyone mention a thread’s ‘flag/spam status’ be visible to everyone so we don’t all flag the same SPAM threads over and over. And golly there are a lot of them.


#23

There have been bunch of spambot comments over the past few days (I like your blog type of stuff) which have been getting edited to add links to scammy sites. This user account is one https://iosman.cgsociety.org/


#24

It happens very often that this site doesn’t refresh that i am logged in or some such.

I can read threads only. I don’t have options even displayed for reply or flag, etc.

Best way to refresh that issue is to leave entirely and open a new tab and fine the site again.
Happens often. Old site-never had the issue.

Again Chrome on Linux (CentOS)


#25

Hi are you saying you are getting logged out? Or rather the thread tools are disappearing but your logged in still?

Will try and help, sounds like a bug.

Thread notification links should be fixed as well.

We are working on spam filters now at the moment


#26

Basically those buttons are missing. Like the website initially doesn’t draw them.
I don’t know if its the equivalent to ‘guest mode’ but I can’t giggle it to refresh.

I leave altogether and come back and the site gives me all the expected options.

Also I am never prompted to login.


#27

Honestly. I hate this new layout. I have been waiting for it to get better since maybe it needs to be changed in steps. I like the old red better, easily more legible and quicker for my eyes to glide over.

I like the old forum formatting 100% better than this. The Maya forum is a perfect example of how this new design isn’t quite efficient for browsing even if a lot of people like the new style and colors.

Maybe the color works better for their eyes than the red/white… fine. BUT…

In the layout, just like mentioned above, the old is FAR more intuitive and easy to navigate.

I have been back here and I just don’t like coming here anymore. I started to look for another forum. That is how much I do not want to deal with this layout.

The Maya forum… it used to have subforums nested in the main Maya forum… rendering, programming, rigging, etc. Now I have to go outside of the Maya forum and find the other forums.

Why? Because there is so much wasted screen space due to the way the stickies just eat up all the headroom,
So it probably makes sense to move them out of the main forum… which requires far more clicking, scrolling browsing than before. Used to be miles per gallon… now its gallons per mile.
You have to scroll a page or two every single time just to see NON STICKY posts. It is not economical browsing.

So I ask myself, maybe this because there are people with massive 4k resolution setting monitors these days and they would see this differently than my 1920x1200 layout?

Even this text entry window… it is this tiny little window in the lower left and there is this massive chuck of screen above it showing a fat huge bit of a single post that has room for one comment… One post eating up the top 70% of my screen. There is this redundant second window to the right of the text entry showing me exactly the same thing except how it looks in a post which is mashed together due to limited screen space.

Is there a way to seriously squash the stickies? Size down the text scale?
Make it so I can see more text per page, not scroll wheel abuse for two screens just so I can see the actual topics below the stickies? The stickies have fat text underneath the sticky topic taking up two to three times more row space than the forum sticky topic does. Remove all of that text. Just have the topic text so we have four small clean rows of Maya subforums IN the Maya main forum and then take the stickies and get rid of the descriptions. Just place the topics and make them much smaller rows.

Use the Maya forum as a basis. The general discussion doesn’t look so bad because it seems very clean.
Condense the Maya forums into one forum.

The four Maya subforums should be inside the main Maya forum at the top. Nice and neat. Single row. SMALL TEXT for each one. This way they don’t take up more than 10% (all four together should be like four lines at the top of the forum. Then you’ll be able to see the topics for most of the page.

Squash the stickies or condense them or something.

I came this morning to ask some questions about if there is a Python UI reference page so I can see the results of the commands without having to just type each one to see what kind of slider/widget it creates and I can’t get past the forum formatting. I’m like "ok, where is the forum design topic? Someone must agree this is still crunchy and I see sprqst’s post.

I agree with sprqst completely. I don’t mean to shoot this ambitious change order down. These things happen in steps. BUT… it is just at a strange spot where none of it makes any practical sense at all and yes does seem technically fancier with all the notifications and UI gloss and color. But the older site, even two versions ago gave us more clear/clean information using far less space and that was even on a screen with smaller resolution. Here you have higher resolution, fatter text and get less information per page and have to do tons of scrolling clicking to get the same info we had much easier access to before.

I am aware that when you change these things that you have to start with certain settings and refined so take this feedback with a grain of salt. Just trying to give perspective.


#28

On the main page, NO graphics are shown if the browser is less than 1024 pixels wide.

While most browsers will be open at that size, on tablets or on television-PCs for example where you want to resize your browser, the site is completely devoid of images. Which is absurd considering it’s a website ABOUT images.

Perfectline has a lot of great points as well, but as a sometime web-dev I fully understand most of them and can just consider them growing pains. You guys (Travis and co.) have a lot to do so I hope we’re not just picking on you here, but offering creative and constructive criticism. You took on a tough job - just keep at it, and eventually the site will surpass its older iterations too. The framework is there, it seems. :slight_smile:


#29

Thanks for the feedback i try to check here every 2 days and will post updates as they come . We are still deep in updates.

Cheers


#30

Post and reply links in the Notification Area are working now, Travis. Not sure what you/who did, but it works now! Thank you.


#31

Everything is just so spaced out now. On the forum side, you used to be able to see most of the topics on one page. Now you have to scroll at least 3 pages to see everything. The font size on an individual thread is huge with lots of blank space. It feels like I had to scroll through 10 pages just to get through the dozen posts in this thread alone.

The other aspects of the site are really coming along. Portfolios, image gallery look really good. The active content seems to work well.

Unfortunately, the main reason I used to come here, the challenges and the community, don’t seem to exist anymore. I don’t imagine there is a way to get those back either. Sadly, I can’t find that community anywhere else either. Unless it’s on Facebook which I don’t do. :man_shrugging:


#32

We are trying some new things. We have challenges in the works with sponsors but prefer to fix bugs and issues before launching them.

If you check out the free corel painter class you will find 700 artists working together. While 2d may not be your wheel house we will be bringing more free classes as well in other areas. We also have weekly and monthly interviews.

Check the cgs pro forum later today to the link to daniel bysted the character art director of goodbye kansas as he covers how to work with an art director to get approval.

FB and Instagram have turned most users into their own websites imo. People are interested in what’s happening today and how they can build a larger following or connect with a circle of names that will give them more success, which makes sense. Our goal is to build a better platform for people that want to find resources, do art for a living, not just be the best or have the biggest following it’s going to take a long time but every year it will have more value. More ways to help artists at every level. I don’t claim that it will be the best thats not our focus. Sites like IGN kotuku have 50+ employees we have less than 10 so there are areas that will improve as we grow the staff.

10 years ago sites like cgs could depend on talented and giving moderators that devoted 30 40+ hours a week to volunteering their time to be a part of something. Prior to FB artists had a half a dozen amazing cg related websites that had A level content and were excited to share with their peers or learn something. Today even the best sites are more about simply marketing or selling yourself than community. That’s a natural part of a highly competitive market. Its also where we look at where we fit in.

Long term where do we help the most. The first steps for us is updating tech. Some of that updating means taking a few steps backwards eg. The forum. In order to build new tools and give you a stable platform we are working with the developer of discourse. V bulletin was a great application when it was supported but it no longer exists. Rather than continuing to hack old code we choose to go with a platform and development that allowed the longest growth and most customization. Customization is pretty expensive so it means things will take longer than some users will have patience for, it’s one of my personal shortcomings that means I cannot satisfy many of the older users that are used to the way the site used to look or function. What I can promise is that picking up a site that had almost no maintenance for years full of hacks bad code and more policing than participation is gone. While the vast majority of what we are doing is behind the scenes we do about 30 to 60 updates each month there are a whole lot of small broken thing that we have mostly made it through.

Right now the next big noticable update is getting a great advanced search working but before we get to that we need a better back end system for cataloging separating and defining areas of the site and content. This would be fast on a site that had tens of thousands of post however we have millions. All this is just to say we care very much about the users, protecting old content and constantly improving the site and expanding the kind of content and community we are a part of. For those that are interested in helping with areas like spam or front page content whatever areas you would like we are here to continue to try improving doing so.

At this point it makes sense to have a once a month open forum to share what we are up to. With most of this years work being behind the scenes fixes there was, or is not much to share. As we get deeper into 2019 and introduce new features that are used by members it makes more sense to get feedback.

Rather than wait, ill be on tomorrow for the webinar with Daniel and will take 30 minutes after for those here that wish to jump on and do a site tour with me to give input and feedback. Presently all input and feedback are noted and essentially are listed as priority and resources.

I will post times for tomorrows cast here today if you wish to join.

www.gotomeet.me/cgs-1 is the meeting link we will use. Time to be posted shortly


#33

I agree with this. There definitely seems to be a conflict of interest between banners Vs forum topics. I think a lot of Software questions are going into General Discussion, etc because of this. People just cannot find the Software Discussions (because its ten pages down)! Also remember some folks are using their phones to browse.

I think there needs to be a focused ‘forum page’ that lists all the forums straight up no banners (or bullshit)
so folks can see at a glance there are different categories. The previous CGTalk web had issues with this too. But it is way more extreme now.


#34

I don’t know how anyone could think the forums are more readable than before. I avoid this place as much as possible which is sometimes hard since it has the best historical help for Maya. I just grin and bear it.

Oh, just now I found out…
“The sense of grin in grin and bear it retains the earlier associations with showing your teeth in a grimace of pain or anger.”


#35

Same here. The thin font in mid grey doesn’t work well on a black background, especially on my mobile, and it’s wasting a lot of screen space, too.
I used to visit the site a few times and day but I’m seeing that content has decreased a lot recently, especially in the subforums I visit (3dsmax).
Also, spam is increasing recently, and makes the site feel like an old forgotten place sometimes.

I don’t think the switch to a different forum framework was wrong, I really like some of the new functionality. It’s just that cool fresh design doesn’t always mean it’s good for all purposes and I feel like it needs to be adjusted.


#36

Having an ‘Autodesk’ and a ‘Software’ category is not helping all of this.
Just today somebody was asking about an anonymous plugin and I cannot even tell him to post in another forum because now there a TWO subcategories that ‘could be’ applicable.:grimacing:


#37

font values dont work on phones I agree as stated even though phones work now we still have not started or focused on mobile.

Having an ‘Autodesk’ and a ‘Software’ category is not helping all of this.
Just today somebody was asking about an anonymous plugin and I cannot even tell him to post in another forum because now there a TWO subcategories that ‘could be’ applicable

Gone over this a half dozen times autodesk and software are separate because of limitations of search and the fact that there are a dozen forums under autodesk aside from that they are litrally stacked on top of one another if someone has a plugin question they are more than welcome to post in one or both areas the software category and the autodesk category are just that categories not forums so whoever is posting would need to post in whatever app they are using?

I would suggest using the forum home page and tabs at the top you can create a thread from there instantly and simply type the first letter of whatever forum you want to post it. If you hit M then all the maya forums pop up to choose from and you can create a new thread directly from there. if you want to check daily on any new post it’s pretty fast to use the latest or new tabs


#38

This ‘home page’ of which you speak.
Send a link?
Does it have all the banners I see with google chrome Linux?
If so i will stop even trying. Its so messy a can’t blame anybody for not finding anything.


#39

This ‘home page’ of which you speak.
Send a link?

? just hit that button up top that says forums:)

Yes it has temp banners that will be changed out and scaled down today. We were working out a bug that allows us to set it up like the old system worked. If you didnt like the old system then you likely wont like the new system. If that element makes it not worth while for you I understand. Its a big site and there are lots of users with lots of content having some imagery is a necessity for us if you only use a portion of the site it may not be helpful.


#40

Yeah, I don’t really understand what CircusBoy is trying to say or do here exactly. The “Forums” button takes us back to the homepage, “https://forums.cgsociety.org/” or “cgtalk.com”, which is basically a Home button.

As for banners, I see one per main subForum, as usual and as the site looked before. They disappear below 1024 pixels in width so you won’t see ANY graphics on mobile, but as Travis stated they haven’t began work on the responsive (automatic adjusting) layouts so I’m fine with that. Plus I’ve never used my phone for this site, even before. But other uses may have, obviously.

Travis, please keep up the good work. Take the critiques with as much patience as you can muster, but don’t worry too much about people desiring to flee. They’ll be back. The site isn’t going to update or fix itself, and I appreciate your work even if it seems a thankless task right now. You got this. Hang in there!


#41

One thing I have noticed is that the main Hamburger-menu goes to the main CGsociety site and stuff, as one might expect, but we can’t access the FORUM topics there? Perhaps a sub-rollout for the main topics there, with further subs for the various subtopics? Again, that’s chiefly a mobile-related change. Just an idea, you likely already thought of that but are saving navigation stuff for later when you guys attack the mobile layout or something.

Nobody said it’d be easy, and I hope they’re paying you enough to make the troubles worthwhile!