ratcreature: What? Who? When? Yes, I have been living under a rock... (under a rock)
I just reloaded my Tumblr dashboard and they moved all the things around without warning. It's quite disorienting.
ratcreature: FAIL! (fail!)
I don't always read the announcements on the ff.net mainpage, so I only now noticed the update from January 5th which says "We are redesigning the storymarks (story bookmarks) feature and unfortunately the new system is incompatible with the current setup. If you have existing storymarks, please save them at your earliest convinence [sic]." What on earth are these "storymarks"?!? Do they mean the favorites list? I do have favorites bookmarked that way, though most are old, and more recently I've just used the the story alert feature, but I'd still save them, only it doesn't seem like you can export them as bookmarks. Or do they mean some other feature I'm not aware of? I have never seen the term "storymark" on the site before in all the years. Why can't they call things in their announcements like they are called in the site navigation?

ETA: [personal profile] sholio explained to me that they are apparently something separate from the favorites (phew!). I still can't find the feature (maybe they are already gone?) and don't recall ever seeing anything called that, but at least I won't miss the feature. Also I can see why they need to redesign it, if the feature was so hidden as to completely escape any notice by a regular user.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
What the frell did photobucket do to their image upload? It's been a few months since I last uploaded a photo to my account, but I never had a problem, though their flash(?)-thingy for bulk uploading never worked for me. But now I click on the upload button, and a small window with the title bar "select files" pops up, but I don't actually see anything in the window, just some wildly flickering movement, and then my browser crashes.

What is wrong with these people? Why did they have to break their site?

Are there other ways to upload to photobucket, like FF extensions or something, that don't use the website? Or do I just have to stop using their site entirely?

ETA: After looking at their help I found a way to use the old uploader, which I would have clicked had the link to it been visible in the box at my screen resolution and font size, but it was not, but cut off by the box frame and thus hidden. FAIL, photobucket, FAIL.


Aug. 4th, 2008 13:50
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
Because I'm quite frustrated with the delicious redesign (now revamped without dots -- unfortunately they didn't stop there), I looked at alternative services. Only to find them even worse or just too different in purpose.

Netvouz has no tag bundles, though you can sort the bookmarks themselves into hierarchical folders, but it looked still quite promising, except that once I had imported my delicious bookmarks I found out it allows for only twenty tags per bookmark. If you have seen how I tag you see how that would never work for me. Well, at least it had a bulk deletion feature and I could clean up my truncated bookmarks easily and abandon that service.

Similarly, "Mister Wong" looked promising at first (apart from the stupid name) in that it clones delicious' tag bundles feature, and it even has a rudimentary bulk editing function to change the privacy settings and delete more than one bookmark at a time, however it only allows twelve (!?!) tags per bookmark, which is a ridiculously low number for how I use tagging. So I didn't even look further how it compares otherwise.

Simpy, which I used before, has some nice things like the NOT operator for tags or the groups feature for collaborative bookmarking (or it can be used for just for putting your bookmarks into different display sections without needing separate accounts, much like LJ comms, I guess), however that site rather sucks for browsing your bookmarks, because it lacks the tag bundling. Also for me it has performance problems in that it often is even slower to load than delicious, though at least it freezes my browser less often.

Diigo allows you to highlight text and images and put "sticky notes" on websites, which I guess is cool if you research something and want to annotate or keep quotes and important bits from a website, but it is not all that useful for my reading log type of bookmarks. It also has some bulk editing which is always nice, and group features for collaborative bookmarking. It also has something called "lists" to organize things, though I don't quite understand what it is supposed to do, the introduction texts babbles something at you about it being like folders, only not, but also like slideshows...wtf? (It doesn't sound like anything useful anyway, unless I wanted to present a sequence of websites to someone or something like that, which I don't.) It also has no tag bundling, and the browsing of an account via that account's tags is thus inconvenient and limited, much like with Simpy, especiallly with many tags.

ma.gnolia.com's site design is fairly awful, starting with their ugly blossom banner taking up about a fourth of the browser window height on my laptop screen without doing anything useful whatsoever. And I could tolerate that, but it doesn't seem to display the tags a user has at all, not even as a list, nor does it display related tags. I have no idea how people are supposed to browse their bookmarks there, why have tags and then hide them? So that one is out, even though their feature that they automatically cache a copy of the text content of the websites you bookmark is tempting, because obviously this would work around fanfic you bookmark being lost (to yourself anyway, the cached version isn't public) without having to save yourself.

Why isn't there a social bookmarking site that combines the good features, while skipping the crap? I quite liked the simple bookmark and tag display of the old del.icio.us, including the tag bundles for navigation, so it ought to be similar to that, only with bulk editing for bookmarks and tags (with UIs that don't crash), the RSS subscriptions and networking were good too, then on top of that the NOT operator for tags that Simpy has, and the group creation for several people editing one bookmark list would be cool, decent search and import/export functions of course, and the caching thing magnolia does to not loose content when it vanishes would be a nice extra.


I guess for now I just hope that del.icio.us will fix the worst of the mess in their new UI, so that the tag bundling stuff stops being broken, and the editing options come back as they were. (To segue into my ongoing rant once again, right now you don't have edit, share or delete links anymore for a bookmark you found by searching through your own -- I have no idea why they removed that, it doesn't make any sense. One of the obvious reasons you search through your bookmarks is to find a bookmark you want to do something with, it's not like that is some arcane non-intended usage hack or whatever).
ratcreature: RatCreature is enraged, swinging an axe: Kill! Kill! Kill! (rage)
Some of you may have noticed that I use del.icio.us quite a lot to tag fanfic (unsurprisingly I'm ratcreature there too). I also use a lot of tags, applying the tagging philosophy that you really can't have too many assigned to a story to easier find it again later. The redesigned site tells me it's about 3500 tags now, and I frequently add more.

Now, while I'm a bit dubious about the look of the new design, in particular that in list view the bookmarks, in particular those with many tags (and I tag stories with several dozen sometimes), take more room, I'll probably get used to the more superficial changes. However, that it now doesn't offer you a section with "unbundled tags" is really bad for me. To use recently added tags when they are merely displayed in the huge lists of several thousand other tags is quite impossible.

Their interface to bundle tags has been atrocious before, and drove me crazy (last time I sorted tags I had added into my bundles and changed some it took nearly a *day* and it weren't that many edits), so I only use it to bundle my newly added tags when I have at least some hours to become utterly frustrated, and just use the "unbundled" section to find the more recent ones again. That is now impossible, it seems.

Also, I didn't think this was possible, but the tag bundling interface got *worse*: It now won't load my larger bundles (like the "authors" bundle) at all for editing, and while it does load the smaller bundles, it now jumps you back to the top whenever you clicked on a tag to add it, so you can't even go through the list anymore without scrolling down again and again and again.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
So I've seen Missed the Saturday Dance by [livejournal.com profile] zoetrope recced several times on my f-list, and I get why people like the multimedia, and it's kind of cool and what not, and I like a mix of images and text (or I wouldn't love comics) and the video and sound is neat too. And I love AUs anyway. However, that choice to display much of the story text that is letters as graphics may be visually cool, but it really grates on me that the images don't come with an alt-attribute or a link to a text version of the letters.

I get that full transcriptions of video, sound, and image parts in a multimedia story for accessibility are not very practical, and it's not like I expect fanfic to go that far, but those letters are already text. And text that is an integral part of the narrative too. And it's just too small to read comfortably for me on a screen, especially with the typewriter effect, and I'm not even visually impaired or anything. Some stories displaying letters like that provide accessible alternatives, [livejournal.com profile] sheafrotherdon for example did in one of her Farm in Iowa stories, and I very much liked that, since I could take a look at the visual of the letter, then read the text in a comfortable font at a comfortable size.

With as much work as went into the presentation Missed the Saturday Dance, and I agree that it looks very nice indeed, how difficult could it have been to provide a link to a transcribed text of the all those letters as well, and make it possible for more people to enjoy it?
ratcreature: RatCreature is enraged, swinging an axe: Kill! Kill! Kill! (rage)
The Stargate Fan Awards site has to be one of the worst designed sites I've seen in a while. Having seen a bunch of buttons for that award recently I figured I might check the site out, looking whether I maybe missed some cool story. But when I went there it was impossible to navigate the site.

First, it displayed all wrong, and none of the links worked. Relatively quickly it became apparent that you can only navigate it with Javascript turned on. So okay, that sucks, but whatever, I turned it on for the site and at least the links and navigation then worked. But I couldn't figure out where I ought to go to see the list of stories from the main menu. Clicking on "categories" and it's many submenus only leads to explanations for those, clicking on "Award Areas" is similarly fruitless as it also explains the award, clicking on help explains to me at length issues of the voting process or whatever in which I have no interest since I don't intend to participate, clicking on "archives" only leads to story lists for previous years...

I mean, WTF?! I'm not usually bad at navigating websites, not even badly designed ones, but I've looked through their navigation menu and its submenus for almost ten minutes now and still couldn't find any list of nominated stories.

ETA: I have now found long lists of ineligible stories, and really, I think it says something profound about the site that it is easier (for relative values of easy) to find the lists of stories that people can't vote on than the list of nominated stories...

ETA 2: Success at last! There was a button that you could click to get to the nominee listings on the main page, only it was in an older news update from August some news entries down and thus "below the fold" on my screen so I didn't see it at first, as I hadn't scrolled down two pages to examine old updates (before utter desperation and stubbornness to beat the obnoxious site led me to it, that is), having stupidly assumed I could find the relevant things in the actual navigation area...
ratcreature: RatCreature's toon avatar (Default)
Some websites really put my recent worries about the look of my page on other platforms into perspective. For example I don't think it will display as black on black without anything visible at all on any kind of platform, like this page that I just visited because of a link in [livejournal.com profile] wereadshite does for me in three browsers I tried. I even tried highlighting all text, and then I see some tiny, tiny text in one corner that I can't read either because it's not only really tiny, the lines are also overlapping each other. There don't seem to be any links either, at least my cursor didn't change when I hovered over the page. I have no idea what it is supposed to look like, but I'm fairly certain it's not black on black... When I look at the source code it seems that there is supposed to be an image map, that I don't see, probably because the site is just too broken, I mean whoever (or whatever) coded this didn't even put in an opening or closing html-tag in this document.

Though determined to beat the odds and still be able to unearth the content I finally turned to Lynx, which gave the most viewable result, because you can follow the links of an image map. So I was able to go to the rec page itself, which was legible in Lynx however presented the same black on black look (albeit with dark blue links) in all other browsers.

Somehow this makes me feel much better about my site...

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