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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:55 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
I think it would help if C&F were more mobile-device friendly. Speaking of which.. I have ideas or suggestions in this regard, but I'm not even sure who I'd communicate the ideas to. Any ideas as to who and how I'd communicate my suggestion/offer assistance in helping it become mobile-device friendly?


Oh dear. I'd support the idea if it was likely to generate more traffic, but I have to say I don't relish the prospect. It's unfortunate that mobile-friendly also tends to mean PC-hostile.

But its a valid question. Does anyone know if the phpBB software has a mobile friendly build?

As far as I know, this site's admins don't include folks who want to crunch a lot of code for a volunteer gig. The site is off the shelf shareware, mildly customised. It's been migrated a few times to more recent versions of the software, and if there's a more mobile-friendly build that might be worth doing again. But I think that's the most you could hope for. There's no Chiff and Fipple backroom of coders. Maintaining the dbase is hard enough, and as I've said, for everyone its a volunteer gig.


I crunch some code. Though my training is in anthropology, I am currently doing programming. So it could be that I might be able to contribute/assist.

In regards phpBB, I believe their current software is mobile friendly. It looks like phpBB's own website is built on phpBB. And it is pretty mobile friendly and it works much of the same as C&F on desktop: see for example https://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:52 pm 
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Wanderer wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
If I were your manager, I'd hand you one of these and tell you to stick your arm down there, and get to to it. :twisted:

Not likely to work. Water is more dense than gas. It sits on the bottom. Plus, you know, my arms aren't long enough to even reach the top of the gas, much less the bottom. Those tanks sit below the frost line, so as to minimize thermal expansion/contraction.

No, no, you missed it. Take another look at the fat separator thingum: the juices (analogous to water) indeed sit on the bottom, and the oils (analogous to gas) float on the top, just as you said. That's what the separator's design is built to take advantage of when you're in the kitchen making your gravy or demi-glace or whatnot.

Never mind the damned facts about accessibility and such; I knew that already. The principle works. :twisted:

Geez. Can't even crack wise around here...

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:02 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
I think it would help if C&F were more mobile-device friendly.

I'm afraid I don't know exactly what you mean by this. When my laptop's down or I'm away and I need to access the Board, my mobile does the job just fine so far as I can tell. It's far more of a pain in the ass because it's tiny and fiddly, but I can do it. I've always assumed these limitations to simply be part and parcel of dealing with phones as opposed to full-sized computers, not because of the site itself. Maybe there is a better way, but I have no idea what that would be, and if, as s1m0n suggests, doing so would be to the detriment of computer access to the site, I'm against it.

AaronFW wrote:
Speaking of which.. I have ideas or suggestions in this regard, but I'm not even sure who I'd communicate the ideas to. Any ideas as to who and how I'd communicate my suggestion/offer assistance in helping it become mobile-device friendly?

Any time one has technical ideas to contribute, as with anything else around here you get in touch with the mods. We're pretty much the end of the line for the decision-making and such.

s1m0n wrote:
As far as I know, this site's admins don't include folks who want to crunch a lot of code for a volunteer gig. The site is off the shelf shareware, mildly customised. It's been migrated a few times to more recent versions of the software, and if there's a more mobile-friendly build that might be worth doing again. But I think that's the most you could hope for. There's no Chiff and Fipple backroom of coders. Maintaining the dbase is hard enough, and as I've said, for everyone its a volunteer gig.

What s1m0n says here is all basically correct, folks, aside from the "want" part. If I were a tech, I like to think I'd still put my time in to get a shiny optimum product, but that's easy for me to say, because not being a tech, I have no actual idea of the real time and effort it would take, much less if I'd even have the energy and motivation at the end of my day doing the paid gig. We would love to have reliable technical adjuncts in at least occasional harness around here, but while tentative noises to that end have been made to us from time to time, none have ever been seriously forthcoming. And if it's a matter of pay, I'm not sure that we'd have the resources to meet those needs adequately if at all. The site stays afloat by hosting ads. Ben and I get nothing monetary out of it, and if Dale gets anything left over at all, I can assure you that calling it a pittance would be generous. He once proposed splitting the leftovers among the three of us, but the end amount was so small - IIRC, it was about what could get you a pack of smokes a month plus change - that I told him not to even bother. C&F is an act of love and not, as you can see, a business.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:49 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
I think it would help if C&F were more mobile-device friendly.

I'm afraid I don't know exactly what you mean by this. When my laptop's down or I'm away and I need to access the Board, my mobile does the job just fine so far as I can tell. It's far more of a pain in the ass because it's tiny and fiddly, but I can do it. I've always assumed these limitations to simply be part and parcel of dealing with phones as opposed to full-sized computers, not because of the site itself. Maybe there is a better way, but I have no idea what that would be, and if, as s1m0n suggests, doing so would be to the detriment of computer access to the site, I'm against it.


The reason I think it would help is that the website being mobile-friendly makes even less of a barrier for visiting, reading and posting on C&F. And though that may sound like a small thing, I think it really does affect people's behavior and likeliness to visit and post.

It looks like phpBB has a new version of software that allows the forum to resize better by device size. This would be the smoothest solution... I plan to burn some of my own time to better understand how phpBB works and what it would take to transition C&F to the newer version. That way, if I can find ways I could contribute to such a transition, I'll learn and I also won't be burning your time until I have something to actually offer. I'll get a hold of one of you guys once I feel like I have something of substance to offer.

I myself am interested in being able to use C&F easier on mobile so that I can be more active and I am also interested in making sure the information on C&F continues to be accessible into the future. (I am also anticipating this to be a labor of love too.)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:59 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
The reason I think it would help is that the website being mobile-friendly makes even less of a barrier for visiting, reading and posting on C&F. And though that may sound like a small thing, I think it really does affect people's behavior and likeliness to visit and post.

Given the overwhelming reliance on mobile devices these days, I can see your point. I'm for anything that would expand curb appeal and better use all around.

AaronFW wrote:
It looks like phpBB has a new version of software that allows the forum to resize better by device size. This would be the smoothest solution... I plan to burn some of my own time to better understand how phpBB works and what it would take to transition C&F to the newer version. That way, if I can find ways I could contribute to such a transition, I'll learn and I also won't be burning your time until I have something to actually offer. I'll get a hold of one of you guys once I feel like I have something of substance to offer.

I myself am interested in being able to use C&F easier on mobile so that I can be more active and I am also interested in making sure the information on C&F continues to be accessible into the future. (I am also anticipating this to be a labor of love too.)

Thank you for your generous offer. It is most deeply appreciated. Fingers crossed, right? :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I'm afraid I don't know exactly what you mean by this. When my laptop's down or I'm away and I need to access the Board, my mobile does the job just fine so far as I can tell. It's far more of a pain in the ass because it's tiny and fiddly, but I can do it. I've always assumed these limitations to simply be part and parcel of dealing with phones as opposed to full-sized computers, not because of the site itself.

Tiny and fiddly means not properly designed for mobiles.

Quote:
Maybe there is a better way, but I have no idea what that would be, and if, as s1m0n suggests, doing so would be to the detriment of computer access to the site, I'm against it.

But optimising for mobiles to the detriment of computer access is equally unnecessary. There is a better way, and it's designing properly for both (indeed all devices). Things like forum software have been slow to catch up but AFAIK all/most of the major players are moving towards it now (my favourite SMF, for example, has developed a responsive default theme for SMF 2.1 though I'm not running it yet on my one remaining forum because 2.1's still beta).

The best modern practice is generally considered to be designing 'mobile first' with enhancements for larger viewports rather than big-screen layouts that degrade gracefully for smaller devices, though it's arguable that the end user shouldn't be able to tell the difference either way because it should just 'work' and look/feel right to anyone on anything if it's done properly.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
I'm afraid I don't know exactly what you mean by this. When my laptop's down or I'm away and I need to access the Board, my mobile does the job just fine so far as I can tell. It's far more of a pain in the ass because it's tiny and fiddly, but I can do it. I've always assumed these limitations to simply be part and parcel of dealing with phones as opposed to full-sized computers, not because of the site itself.

Tiny and fiddly means not properly designed for mobiles.

Quote:
Maybe there is a better way, but I have no idea what that would be, and if, as s1m0n suggests, doing so would be to the detriment of computer access to the site, I'm against it.

But optimising for mobiles to the detriment of computer access is equally unnecessary. There is a better way, and it's designing properly for both (indeed all devices). Things like forum software have been slow to catch up but AFAIK all/most of the major players are moving towards it now (my favourite SMF, for example, has developed a responsive default theme for SMF 2.1 though I'm not running it yet on my one remaining forum because 2.1's still beta).

The best modern practice is generally considered to be designing 'mobile first' with enhancements for larger viewports rather than big-screen layouts that degrade gracefully for smaller devices, though it's arguable that the end user shouldn't be able to tell the difference either way because it should just 'work' and look/feel right to anyone on anything if it's done properly.


For a brief example (and then we can get back to talking about hay bales):

Chiff&Fipple is built on phpBB v2.0.
However, the makers of phpBB (also named phpBB) have a support forum running v3.2.

Here is the link for the phpBB support forum: https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewforum.php?f=466

Do this: Open both C&F and the phpBB forum on a mobile device or on a desktop.

On Desktop:
On desktop, while you have C&F showing, manually make the window smaller and see what happens.
Now, do the same with the phpBB website showing.

On the phpBB website, some pictures will change sizes and at a certain point, some parts of the forum give away in order to allow more important elements to have more room.
C&F doesn't do that. On C&F the paragraphs just get taller and thinner.

On Mobile:
On mobile, just look around at what things are different: what forum elements are missing in comparison to others? This is part of mobile friendly: some elements give way in order to allow more room for the forum's content.

I wanted to suggest this example because the phpBB website is basically the same as C&F on Desktop, but differs a fair bit on mobile to allow it to be read easily.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:22 pm 
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I'm not the person who'd have to do the work, mind you, but I think it's time for another migration. That forum works just fine on PC. If it's easier on a mobile, I'm all for it.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Things like forum software have been slow to catch up but AFAIK all/most of the major players are moving towards it now...

Well, if C&F is to remain a major player - and I think we may be counted among them, if at least in our own little Trad pond - then we should get on the stick.

This is something that I hadn't thought of up to now because, being of the dinosauric persuasion, I really don't use my mobile all that much beyond texting, voicetime, and the occasional Googling forays when someone at the bar is talking out of their backside and I'm looking for a reliable source to demonstrate proof of it.

I'll admit that the only thing really holding me back are worries about cost. If the change is going to be a hit to the wallet, we'll have to take that into consideration, unfortunately. But that's what counsel is for, both within and outside the Admin circle.

I can see the blurbs now: "Chiff & Fipple: Now Mobile-Friendly!" :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:01 pm 
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After getting a new phone, I've noticed how fiddly C&F is on the phone. I don't think I'd use a phone for anything more than reading the occasional post in the board's current form.

I've had my hand in web programming at work, and would happily offer consultation from the peanut gallery, 'though I can't promise the level of dedication needed for the full upgrade.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:30 pm 
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If I'm remembering correctly, MTGuru led the last migration, though was a few years ago now.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:24 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Peter Duggan wrote:
Things like forum software have been slow to catch up but AFAIK all/most of the major players are moving towards it now...

Well, if C&F is to remain a major player - and I think we may be counted among them, if at least in our own little Trad pond - then we should get on the stick.

This is something that I hadn't thought of up to now because, being of the dinosauric persuasion, I really don't use my mobile all that much beyond texting, voicetime, and the occasional Googling forays when someone at the bar is talking out of their backside and I'm looking for a reliable source to demonstrate proof of it.

I'll admit that the only thing really holding me back are worries about cost. If the change is going to be a hit to the wallet, we'll have to take that into consideration, unfortunately. But that's what counsel is for, both within and outside the Admin circle.

I can see the blurbs now: "Chiff & Fipple: Now Mobile-Friendly!" :)


Assuming that C&F would be just be moving from v2.0 to v3.2 of the same software, it should be pretty cheap. Basically, you install v3 somewhere else on the same server, and move the content files from one location to another. There are a few maintenance tasks (making sure there is a backup in case things go wrong, making sure everything transferred OK, making sure the smilie-faces make it over OK) but it seems really simple.

Yesterday, I was able to (1) run a local-server on my computer and (2) install v3 and run a new forum off of my computer. My next step was to (3) "mirror" (that is copy) all of C&F onto my computer to see if I could put the files into my new forum. I was going to do this just to test the concept to see what needed to be done and how it works.(The only reason I didn't get this test done yesterday is because I ran into an issue with my program that copies websites. )

In my estimation, if there are expenses, it would be if the host for C&F charges for data. Otherwise, it looks like the process is relatively easy.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:25 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Peter Duggan wrote:
Things like forum software have been slow to catch up but AFAIK all/most of the major players are moving towards it now...

Well, if C&F is to remain a major player - and I think we may be counted among them, if at least in our own little Trad pond - then we should get on the stick.

I meant software platforms (phpBB, vBulletin, SMF etc.), not sites using them. But of course you're still right for your interpretation!

Quote:
This is something that I hadn't thought of up to now because, being of the dinosauric persuasion, I really don't use my mobile all that much beyond texting, voicetime, and the occasional Googling forays when someone at the bar is talking out of their backside and I'm looking for a reliable source to demonstrate proof of it.

My mobile is a weatherproof, dustproof brick for use as a phone when I'm out or away. I don't even like texting with it because I'm back to hitting A three times for C after turning off the predictive text for not giving me time to consider its suggestions before choosing one for me! But I still understand the importance of mobile-friendly websites and have now done responsive layouts for all my remaining collection of modest collection of smallish sites (two from scratch and two with WordPress).

I've no experience with running phpBB, but plenty with SMF installations (I used to be on the team that makes SMF and YaBB SE before it, but wrote documentation rather than code). I wish phpBB and other platforms would implement my favourite SMF feature, which is taking you straight to your first unread post in a topic instead of (unless I'm missing something obvious) having to find that yourself. But don't expect you to convert to SMF just for that, though of course in my ideal world you would!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:55 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
My mobile is a weatherproof, dustproof brick for use as a phone when I'm out or away. I don't even like texting with it because I'm back to hitting A three times for C after turning off the predictive text for not giving me time to consider its suggestions before choosing one for me!

Yeah, that was probably the main reason why I knuckled under and finally got an Android. I really hated texting (sort of on general principle, too), but everyone else kept sending them to me instead of calling, so when one fellow chuckled at me for laboriously poke-poke-poking away at my old-school flip phone, I thought maybe it was time for a change after all. But I still have my Resistant-to-Change card in good standing, because I'm still running a Galaxy S III. Can't be arsed, as they say. :wink:

I'm pleased to report that I haven't broken one yet (knock on wood). The first time I met Ali Hutton, his was all covered in clear packing tape and his screen was cracked like a mosaic. It looked so fierce that I couldn't help but admire it. "What happened?" I asked, thinking it must have slipped out of his hand in front of a moving truck. "I threw it against a wall," he replied. I gaped and said, "Well, that's conspicuous consumption." He scuffed his feet and blushed, as I recall.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Yeah, that was probably the main reason why I knuckled under and finally got an Android. I really hated texting (sort of on general principle, too), but everyone else kept sending them to me instead of calling, so when one fellow chuckled at me for poke-poke-poking away at my old-school flip phone, I thought maybe it was time for a change after all.

If someone texts me, I spend 10 minutes laboriously concocting a short reply (that is if my mobile's in the same room or even building for me to know I've got a message), then get another twice as long back the moment I let it go and wish yet again they'd contact me by more Peter-friendly methods (landline phone call, email or even Facebook — which I only do on my computer) instead!

That's not to say I'm some kind of technophobe when I'm quite palpably not. I have the rugged phone for rugged use (running, climbing, sailing etc.), but also appreciate the freedom of not being on permanent Internet/Facebook etc. when I go out. I use computers seriously enough at both work and home to find myself virtually living on them at times, but neither need nor want to be connected 24/7 everywhere!

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