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Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site Comments/Goodbye Facebook

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
DistantWords's Website
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So for now I will not go into too much detail, but I am finally done dealing with and relying on Facebook. I do not agree with their shady practices with which they handle peoples personal data, and I am finally no longer condoning their practices by using their services (over all).

For the longest time I relied on their plugins for mostly comments, since it was such an easy code to use, which made it very convenient. But no longer. So because of that, I had to actually work on something that's been on my mind for a while.

Basically, I ripped out the old 'Blog Comments' functionality, and converted that to a more general "Site Comments" set of functions. Honestly, it's pretty poorly implemented, but it works, and at least seems to work well, so that's all that really matters to me. This entire site is still nothing more than a 'beta' version anyway; everything needs to be reworked and re-coded from the ground up at some point anyway.

So as of this post, there are now comment features on Blogs, Polls and Member Profiles (DJ Profiles on Scrub Radio have been done as well, with Band Pages to come at some point). There is still work to be done here, but for now, it's good enough for me.

To get comments on your Member Profile page, simply update your account (My Account -> Update Profile). There will be a Yes/No selection drop down asking if you want comments on your Profile Page. The Facebook stuff is still there in most (if not all) areas in terms of asking if you want to use them, but the comment boxes themselves for Facebook have been disabled at a base level. Expect that all to get ripped out eventually.

If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please feel free to let me know.

Thank you!
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site RSS Feed

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
DistantWords's Website
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I have put together a very quick (and minuscule) RSS Feed for the site. This should work with any RSS Reader/App on the market, though if you have any trouble let me know. If you are using a browser with built in RSS detection, the code should be in place so that your browser will automatically detect the feed (though I am honestly not sure if any browsers even do that anymore). Otherwise, you can click the link at the top and bottom of the page with the Social Media links, or click bellow:

user posted picture

So far, all Android based RSS Reader apps I have tried work with simply adding 'http://www.distantweb.net' to the URL, but if that does not work then 'http://www.distantweb.net/rss.php' will. I have added one for Scrub Radio as well.

Right now, all that gets added will be the last 5 Blogs, and the last 5 publicly accessible Forum Topics. As far as I can tell, there is NO way to authenticate a user when using a non-web browser app/reader, so there is no way that these will be fully customizable by the user.

The code I am using does attempt to pull permissions from a user session (as in when you are logged into the site) so that topics can get pulled from Forums that you have permission to view, but this will ONLY work if you are using an actual web browser. Because of this, I do not know how much work I will even put into this, so any feedback would be appreciated.

As of this post, I have only provided the straight XML format for the RSS Feed. So your viewing experience will be based completely by what device you use. Some browsers/readers will do their own formatting for you, others, like Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or even Firefox for Android, will show you the raw XML. I will look into using RSS Stylesheets to format them, but my research has been a bit of a mixed bag with whether or not to even use them; some strongly advise against using stylesheets of any kind on RSS Feeds.

Anyway, that is about all I have to say right now. Because of the limitations on user sessions, I feel like there's not much use in putting too much time or effort into this; if I cannot fully customize the experience for each individual user, why bother?

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Coding Corner => Quick Mobile Code

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
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Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
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If your site relies on tables, or even if it doesn't but does use DIV tags in a similar way to tables, and you are looking to add a more mobile friendly appearance, this could be a good solution, at least until you have time to do a more thorough job.

In this tutorial (for lack of a better word), I will go through detecting mobile browsers, adding CSS to format the page better for mobile, and using Javascript to kind of top it all off.

The first thing is to detect if the visitor is using a mobile devise. This is best when handled by a server side language like PHP/ASP/ETC. For this example I will use PHP, but it should be possible to convert to another language. Relying on Javascript can be problematic. I'm not saying don't use Javascript, I'm just saying rely on it as little as possible.

So here is a PHP function for attempting to detect mobile browsers. This is easy to update as well, when new text is found:

function is_mobile() {

  $isMobile = false;

  //$op = strtolower($_SERVER['HTTP_X_OPERAMINI_PHONE']);

  $op = "";
  $ua = strtolower($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']);
  $ac = strtolower($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT']);
  $ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];

  $isMobile = strpos($ac, 'application/vnd.wap.xhtml+xml') !== false
	|| $op != ''
	|| strpos($ua, 'android') !== false 
	|| strpos($ua, 'sony') !== false 
	|| strpos($ua, 'symbian') !== false 
	|| strpos($ua, 'nokia') !== false 
	|| strpos($ua, 'samsung') !== false 
	|| strpos($ua, 'mobile') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'windows ce') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'epoc') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'opera mini') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'nitro') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'j2me') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'midp-') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'cldc-') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'netfront') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'mot') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'up.browser') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'up.link') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'audiovox') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'blackberry') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'ericsson,') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'panasonic') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'philips') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'sanyo') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'sharp') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'sie-') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'portalmmm') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'blazer') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'avantgo') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'danger') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'palm') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'series60') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'palmsource') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'pocketpc') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'smartphone') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'rover') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'ipaq') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'au-mic,') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'alcatel') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'ericy') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'up.link') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'vodafone/') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'playstation portable') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'wap1.') !== false
	|| strpos($ua, 'wap2.') !== false;

  return $isMobile;

}


(In the above function, something is commented out because at one time it was a variable that did not exist on my server, and to be honest, I have not retried it. It threw and error though, so I commented it out. It may be best to un-comment it and see if it works first.)

So what you want to do is once you have detected a mobile browser, load a mobile specific style sheet (CSS) where ever in your code the style sheets get loaded. Make sure it is last to be loaded though, so that it can over-ride any previously set values where needed.

So that would look something like this:

  if(is_mobile()) {

  echo '  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="[path_to_css]/mobile.css" />';    

}


Then here is what you should do in your mobile.css file:

th, td, .mstyle {
  display:block;
  width: 100%;
  text-align:center;
}

body, #body_table {
  max-width: 95%;
}

img {
  max-width:95%;
}

.mgone {
  display:none;
}


.mstyle will be a class to any element you want collapsed and #body_table will be the ID of whatever the main table or DIV element that contains the entire page. This bit of CSS will collapse all tables so that each row will be on it's own line, and not side-by-side.

.mgone is a class you should add to any table rows that you don't need. Like in this forum, the main 'Topics Display' section gives the following information:

Topic Title
Topic Starter
Started On
Views
Replies
Last Posts

As well as images showing if a topic is new, and if a topic is pinned. Most of these are not really needed, especially for mobile viewing, so they can be hidden. So the PHP would look something like this (this is basically sudo-code):

<?php

  $sql = "SELECT [colums] FROM [topic_table] WHERE [needed] ORDER BY [your_choice]"
  $results = database_function($sql);

  echo "<table>";
  echo "  <tr>";
  echo "    <th>Topic Title</th>";
  echo "    <th>Topic Starter</th>";
  echo "    <th>Started On</th>";
  echo "    <th class='mgone'>Views</th>";
  echo "    <th class='mgone'>Replies</th>";
  echo "    <th class='mgone'>Last Posts</th>";
  echo "  </tr>";

  while($rows = database_pull($results)) {

    echo "  <tr>";
    echo "    <td>{$rows['title']}</td>";
    echo "    <td>{$rows['author']}</td>";
    echo "    <td>{$rows['date']}</td>";
    echo "    <td class='mgone'>{$rows['views']}</td>";
    echo "    <td class='mgone'>{$rows['replies']}</td>";
    echo "    <td class='mgone'>{$rows['last_posts']}</td>";
    echo "  </td>";

  }

  echo "</table>";

?>


So with that example above, I added the class 'mgone' to the table rows that, IMO, are not necessary to show on a mobile device. These are rows that are just going to add space that will distract more than help on a mobile device.

Here is an example of what you can do with the class 'mstyle'. It has the same CSS values as all table rows and table headers (TD, TH).

  <label for="username" class="mstyle">Username: <input type="text" name="username" id="username"></label>
  <label for="password" class="mstyle">Password: <input type="text" name="password" id="password"></label>


So in that example, when viewing this login form (I left out the form part because it's not required for this example), if you are on a desktop browser, these forms will be side by side. If you view on a mobile browser, they will be on top of each other, saving screen space.

So somewhere on your page, you need to find a way to let Javascript know that the browser is mobile. I do this with a input field, type 'hidden'. So the PHP looks something like this:

  if(is_mobile()) {

    echo '  <input type="hidden" name="is_mobile" id="is_mobile" value="1" />';

  }


Hopefully you know about Javascript for the rest of this because you need to do it right, and I'm not going to go through the dos and don'ts. So, in your loading section, the section that runs onload (window.onload = initAll;):

  if(document.getElementById("is_mobile")) {

    if(document.getElementById("is_mobile").value == 1) {

      changeMaxWidth();

    }

  }


Now, here is the function for finishing off your page to look better on mobile devices:

function changeMaxWidth() {

  if(window.innerWidth) {

    var aWidth = window.innerWidth * 0.95;
    var fullWidth = window.innerWidth;

  } else {

    var aWidth = screen.width * 0.95;
    var fullWidth = screen.width;

  }

  aWidth = Math.round(aWidth);

  var allImgs = document.getElementsByTagName('IMG');
  for(var i=0; i<allImgs.length; i++) {

    allImgs[i].style.maxWidth = aWidth + "px";

  }

  //CSS

  document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].style.style.maxWidth = fullWidth + "px";
  document.getElementById("body_table").style.maxWidth = fullWidth + "px";

  window.addEventListener("resize", changeMaxWidth);

  if(screen) {

    screen.addEventListener("resize", changeMaxWidth);

  }

}


Now, all of this will obviously have to be modified to your own site and your own site's styles, but this should be easy to do. Also, any further tweaking (classes, IDs, etc) can be added to the mobile.css file and/or the Javascript function above.

Anyway, this is just a quick run through on a generic way to update a site for a better mobile viewing experience. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to let me know!
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => A More Mobile Friendly Site

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
DistantWords's Website
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I have been putting off working on a more 'Mobile Friendly' version of the site, mostly because the way I envisioned it in the beginning was going to be a total chore. However, I had a few ideas for a kind of quick answer, most likely a temporary solution.

So with that said, yes, I have been actively adding some code for a more mobile friendly experience. It's not great, it's not perfect, but it's actually not too bad. What is really grinding my gears, however, is how drastically that experience can be altered by the specific browser you are using. I'd also imagine that other things, like phone make and model, and OS (Android, iOS, etc), will also equally alter the experience.

For years I have used Dolphin Browser for my Android web browsing, as it has been the most reliable over all. I've never been a fan of Chrome or the standard 'Internet' browser that tended to come packed in with Android (which seems to have been removed from newer versions). Firefox was good for a while, but started behaving sporadically over it's evolution.

Well, in playing around with my recent updates, Dolphin did something that rather pissed me off. I had logged into my site, and it saved my username and password, like most browsers do, but it started auto filling EVERY form whether it was a login form or not. It was injecting my password into non-password fields.

For those that don't know HTML, the 'input' field that controls most form elements have many different types. Text boxes (not textareas), checkboxes, and radio buttons are just a few input field 'types'. One type is the 'Password' type, which is of course used for passwords. That's why you see what looks like a typical text box hide what you type. That is NOT a text input, it is a password input.

I have never once, in my entire web browsing history, ever seen a browser try and inject a saved password into a non-password field. And most of the time, browsers that save username and passwords do a pretty decent job in distinguishing between login forms and other kinds of forms. A lack of a 'Password Field' is a pretty good indicator of a non-login form.

But, Dolphin apparently cares not for that distinction anymore.

Sorry for that mini rant, but it has been frustrating in this experience. As Dolphin has decided to be reckless with my passwords, I have decided to try other mobile browsers.

Anyway, I've rambled on enough for right now, especially for something that was just meant to be a quick announcement. So bottom line, I am actively working on a more mobile friendly experience. There's tons of work left to do, but please check out what it's like so far and let me know if you have any suggestions!
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site Polls

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
DistantWords's Website
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I put together a simple 'Poll' section. You choose the poll question, and 2-10 options. There is also an optional 'Text' field, which is a textarea where you can use BB Code.

http://www.distantweb.net/polls.php

For right now, I am allowing guests to both vote and create new Polls. I'm not the biggest fan of allowing guests to submit data publicly, so this could get pulled at any moment. Consider this my first real step into allowing guests to do things other than simply read.

For future updates, I am considering a few options:

Sorting by Date, Last Vote Date, Most/Least Number of Votes, etc.
Selecting more than 1 option.
Allow voter to add their own choices
--This could be very problematic. Offensive or spam content could be added, meaning any polls with this feature would have to be heavily moderated...

That's all I can think of right now. If you have ideas for future additions, let me know!
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Blog & Topic Ratings

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
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This is not really a big deal, but just for gits and shiggles I added a new feature; the ability to rate a Blog Post or Forum Topic with 1-5 stars. Why? Because I was bored and not sure what to do next. LOL

Seriously though, I guess it could be fun on an active site (which this is not), and it is done in such a way that it would be pretty easy to add to just about anything else. I was thinking about also doing it for topic replies, but I'm honestly not sure how necessary that is...

If you are reading this and you are a member, and you absolutely need the ability to rate replies as well, let me know and I am sure I will add it. Otherwise, for now, I don't see the point...

Oh, and right now it is done in such a way that you vote and then get redirected back to whatever page you were on. At some point in time I will go ahead and 'AJAX' it. What does that mean you ask? Basically that means using javascript to make cast the vote and update the page without taking you away from the page.

That shouldn't be too hard, but it's just not a priority right now...

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think!
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Forum Search (Beta)

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
DistantWords's Website
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I have been working on this off and on (mostly off) for a while, but finally got off my ass yesterday to work on it a little more. This of course is a Forum Search:

http://www.distantweb.net/forum.php?do=search

Right now you can search all forums, or any specific forums. Once I get Javascript in the mix I will have it so that selecting "All Forums" any other selections will automatically de-select, but for now it doesn't. However, if "All Forums" is selected, any other selections are ignored.

The text search is still a bit basic, and more options will come in time. But for now here's how it works:

If you just type a bunch of words, it will look for any of them, not necessarily all of them. If you add a plus sign, +, in front of a word, it will require that word. If you put a minus sign, -, it will exclude that word, meaning that word will NOT be in the body or title. If you wrap words in quotation marks, it will search for that exact phrase.

Adding + and - to the front quote will require it to be there or not depending on the sign.

Like I said, it's basic for now, and may not work perfectly yet lol. I'm still testing, but my forum posts are so few that testing is hard. But more will come in the future.

Some things to include will be searching by member account, case sensitive searches, sorting options, etc.

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think!
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => Star Wars - The Force Awakens

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
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This is more testing purposes than anything else, but I'm super pumped for this movie, so why not add the official trailers here?

Teaser #1:

Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => Nielsen Ratings

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
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(The information in this post is currently outdated, but honestly, not by too much. Since I started collecting data on the Nielsen Ratings, Nielsen has made deals with satellite companies Dish Network and Direct TV to share, I believe, all viewing habits of their customers. Some believe that this means the 'Ratings' will be more accurate, however, this is not the case. The only data collected by satellite TV is what show any given box is tuned to, and this alone is not enough for what is given in the actual TV Ratings. TV Ratings are supposed to tell you how many people watched, which means everyone in the room, their ages, their genders, as well as how long they watched. Meaning, did they watch the whole episode or did they tune out half way through? Your satellite box has no idea who is in the room watching, what their ages are, what their genders are, or if they are even watching or just left the TV on while they went to mow the lawn. Therefore, any data collected from satellite TV will NOT be included in the actual 'Nielsen TV Ratings'.)

The following are just some random notes I've been taking on the current state of Nielsen ratings for the U.S.A. Some people believe that simply having Cable TV, and watching through their Cable Boxes, makes them part of the TV Ratings. There is absolutely no truth to that.

In order to be part of the TV Ratings, you must be a Nielsen Household, which as you can see, very few actually are...

I will update this as time goes by and new information is provided.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
http://www.statista.com/statistics/183635/number-of-households-in-the-us/
http://www.statista.com/statistics/243789/number-of-tv-households-in-the-us/
http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2013/nielsen-estimates-115-6-million-tv-homes-in-the-u-s---up-1-2-.html
http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/nielsen-estimates-116-3-million-tv-homes-in-the-us.html
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/10/05/how-many-people-are-in-the-nielsen-tv-ratings-panel/310975/

(The above URL which talks about how many households are in the Nielsen circle appears to be no longer existing. Try Archive.org for what use to be there)

**Added 12/9/2015**

Here's an interesting article on Nielsen announcing that they are significantly expanding their test market, aka Nielsen Households:

http://tvline.com/2014/05/29/tv-ratings-nielsen-to-increase-sample-size/

What's interesting the most, IMO, is that it says:

In the 31 Set Meter markets — those in which TVs are hooked up to a gizmo that allows the study of viewing habits on a minute-to-minute basis — Nielsen over the next two years will expand the sample by 200 homes in each market, or to more than 6,200 homes — an increase of almost 50 percent.


So, to me it sounds like over all Nielsen is expanding by about 6,200 homes in total (around 200 per market). It also states that this is a 50% increase. Which to me says that the original number was 6,200 x 2, or 12,400. This is significantly less that the figure I used, a figure posted the same year as the this article. But even adding 6,200 to the 12,400 is still only 18,600, which is ALSO less than the figure I used.

And here is the posting that TVLine.com was referencing, straight from the horses mouth, The Nielsen Company:

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2014/nielsen-announces-significant-expansion-to-sample-sizes-in-local-tv-markets.html

**End Edit**

US Population (2014 estimate): 		318,857,056
Households, 2009-2013: 			115,610,216
Households, 2014:			123,200,000
Persons per household, 2009-2013: 	2.63
TV Households, 2014:			115,600,000
TV Households, 2015:			116,300,000

Nielsen Households:			20,000


For the national daily and weekly ratings you regularly see for the broadcast and cable networks, the size of the Nielsen panel has
held fairly steady for several years at around 20,000 households and 50,000 people.



(Nielsen Households / Total TV Viewing Households = % all Nielsen Household represent)
20,000 / 115,600,000 = 0.0001730103

Nielsen Households represent 0.01730103% of all TV Viewing Households

(Total % of TV Viewing Households - % of Nielsen Households = % of TV Viewing Households NOT part of the ratings)
100% - 0.000173 % = 99.9827%

99.9827% of TV Viewing Households in the US are NOT part of the current Nielsen Ratings System

(Total TV Households / Nielsen Households = How Many TV Viewing Households each Nielsen Household represents)
115,600,000 / 20,000 = 5,780

Each Nielsen Household represents 5,780 TV Viewing Households

In other words, for every Nielsen Household, there are 5,780 non-Nielsen/non-counted Households.

(Total TV Viewing Households * Persons per Household = Total TV Viewing Population [estimate])
115,600,000 * 2.63 = 304,028,000

There are Approximately 304,028,000 TV Viewers in the US

(Nielsen Households * Persons per Household = Total Nielsen People [estimate])
20,000 * 2.63 = 52,600

There are Approximately 52,600 Nielsen People

(Total TV Viewers / Total Nielsen People = How Many TV Viewing People each Nielsen Person represents)
304,028,000 / 52,600 = 5,780

Each Nielsen Person represents 5,780 other TV Viewers, which is strangely the same as the Households estimate, which does actually make sense if you think about it

(Total TV Viewers - Total Nielsen People = How Many TV Viewers are NOT Represented in Ratings)
304,028,000 - 52,600 = 303,975,400

There are 303,975,400 people who are automatically NOT represented in the Nielsen Ratings



***New Figures***

Based on the article from Nielsen, I can reasonably assess that there were roughly 12,400 Nielsen Households in 2014, and that by mid 2016 there will be roughly 18,600 Nielsen Households. So let's plug those numbers into some of the above equations.

2014

(Nielsen Households / Total TV Viewing Households = % all Nielsen Household represent)
12,400 / 115,600,000 = 0.0001072664

Nielsen Households represent 0.001072664% of all TV Viewing Households

2016

(Nielsen Households / Total TV Viewing Households = % all Nielsen Household represent)
18,600 / 115,600,000 = 0.0001608996

Nielsen Households represent 0.001608996% of all TV Viewing Households
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Books => Thoughts on the Harry Potter Series

Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
Group:
Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
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The Harry Potter series is probably one of my all time favorite book series. Each one is a fantastic read, in story, writing, characters and over all enjoyability. After many re-reads, many things always spring to mind, of each book individually as well as the series as a whole. The problem is, I usually forget what those thoughts are after a while (sometimes no more than a second or two after it hits my brain).

So, I'm going to use this thread to jot them down as they come to me, so be prepared to check back as I will be updating this first post.

In no specific order:

(SPOILERS BELLOW)



In my opinion, it would have been really great if there had been something in The Deathly Hallows where it is explained that Fawkes (Dumbledore's phoenix) had ended up in Harry's care at some point due to Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore. As in, Harry is Fawkes's new master.

I posted this once before at IMDb, so here is the short version; Binns tells his class about the Chamber of Secrets, and that the castle had been searched high and low, even by the ghosts (of which he is one), and no secret chambers had ever been discovered. However, since ghosts can just go through walls and stuff, shouldn't a ghost at least been able to find the big pipe that lead down from Myrtle's bathroom? I mean, for humans it would have been impossible to find without speaking parsletounge, but the ghosts surely should have been able to find it, shouldn't they?

If Voldermort had had his soul sucked out by a dementor, before all of his horcruxes had been destroyed, what would have happened to Voldermort?

On the same note, what would have happened to Voldermort had Harry had HIS soul sucked out by a dementor while Voldermorts soul piece was still in Harry? Would Voldermorts soul piece gotten sucked out too? How would that have effected the state of Voldermorts Horcrux setup?

In Order of the Phoenix, Sirius calls Harry and gang twice on the fireplace phone. Later, Harry calls Sirius on the fireplace phone. We learn in GoF that the Ministry has complete control on the Floo Network, you have to go through them to connect a fireplace to the network. Sirius was in Twelve, Grimmauld Place which was supposed to be a secret place. Need I really say more on this?

I personally felt that Harry was incredibly selfish in Deathly Hallows when he alone went out to bury Mad-Eye Moody's eye. I feel that Ron and Hermione would have wanted to be there for that, and they weren't even given the chance. And IMO, it makes NO sense that he took it upon himself to do that alone.



The Trace

As much as I absolutely love Rowling's work, and I do, "The Trace" is a pretty stupid idea that is simply a poorly written plot device. Until a witch/wizard is 17, "The Trace" detects any magic used around the witch/wizard, not BY the witch/wizard. How is this helpful in the majority of cases? This is only going to help in cases of muggle born witches/wizards, and those rare cases like Harry and Riddle, and those are going to be the minority of magical children.

Any child witch/wizard who has even one adult witch/wizard living with them would be able to get away with magic outside of school, since the Ministry would have to ignore the vast amount of magic being used by said adult. There's no way the Weasley's, for example, got letters each time Molly or Arthur did magic around all 7 children (when they were children of course). Talk about a flock of owls if they did!!

There is NO way this "Trace" thing wasn't updated after a thousand years or so. It only existed so Harry could be blamed for Dobby's magic.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => RIP Grace Lee Whitney - "Yeoman Janice Rand"

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We have recently lost another Star Trek veteran, from the original series. She was not a main cast member, but she was very memorable in my opinion. She will be missed.

Star Trek Remembering Grace Lee Whitney, 1930-2015
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site Casino

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I was working on a site casino, something for fun, and I got some of the most important aspects worked out. Unfortunately, due to a massive lack of activity here, I kind of lost motivation. I don't really know what I'm doing anymore... With the closure of Scrub Radio, I don't really have anything of importance to work on. At least that's how it feels anyway.

Well, here's a rough draft of basic functionality of what I've gotten do so far:

http://www.distantweb.net/cards.php

It has Poker, BlackJack and Keno.

The goal was to re-write it and incorporate it into this site. There's already a basic currency outline in place, though none of it is public yet. I'm sure I'll finish it in time, but who knows how long that'll take.
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site Blog Open

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I have officially opened the first draft of the Blog Section. It's still in development, even as a rough draft it's not even fully finished yet, but it is functional and in my opinion, a decent start. So, here are a few things that are still being worked on:

Search - At some point, I'll be adding a search form to search blog posts for specific text.

Subscriptions - This will be a bigger thing, and I'll really have to think it through. But it will come in time. I'd like some way of making it so a member can subscribe to be notified anytime a favorite author posts a new blog.

Pages - At the moment, ALL blogs, and ALL blog comments will get displayed on one page. This isn't really a big deal and won't take long to fix, I just figured it didn't matter too much in the beginning. I doubt there will be any explosion of blogs or comments. (Blog Listing and Blog Comment pages in place. Now I just need to AJAX them.)

Blog Picture Tweaks - As it is right now, the way I'm handling the photo attachment, Pinterest doesn't recognize it. So I'll have to change that eventually I guess... (Kind of mad about this one, but oh well. The old way included dynamic images using PHP in order to keep my uploads folder secret, but what can you do?)

Facebook Comments - I'll eventually add the ability to add Facebook comments to various parts of the site, but to be honest, it's not the highest priority for me. I really don't care for Facebook (or any social media for that matter). (Mostly done, Facebook stuff is incredibility frustrating)

I will definitely do subscriptions and a search option, but right now, with no real userbase, it doesn't seem like it's much of a priority to be honest...



And of course, as with the entire site, better layout, colors, graphics, and all that kind of stuff.

If you are reading this, and see something missing from the Blog section that is not listed above, please let me know here.
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => New Site Avatars

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Just for fun, I put together some new Avatars for the Avatar Gallery. You can tell my passions based on the new additions, with Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Animal Crossing, misc Video Game related and Movie Avatars being the new additions. And the movies I started with are pretty much all Sci-Fi/Fantasy related. I'm not sure how much more time I plan to put into Avatars, but who knows right?

Anyway, check them out if you get the chance.

I also added a new "Rows" selection for the Avatar Gallery, and you can choose from 1-10 rows of avatars to accompany the 1-5 columns.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => RIP Mr. "Spock" Leonard Nimoy

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Today is a very sad day. Leonard Nimoy, known as Mr. Spock, has passed away. I'm very sorry that I only have a couple of Mr. Spock avatars. Damn. Words cannot express the sadness I feel, as I grew up with the original Star Trek series, and those characters have been such a big part of my childhood, and life in general.

So far we have lost:

Gene Roddenberry - Creator of this brilliant series
DeForest Kelley - Dr. "Bones" McCoy
James Doohan - Scotty "Beem Me Up"
Majel Barrett - Wife of the brilliant creator, Nurse Christine Chapel, ship's computer voice, and of course Lwaxana Troi

And now:

Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock "Live Long and Prosper".

RIP. Very, very sad...
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site Update - 2/21/2015

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After almost a year of no coding what-so-ever, I've recently made a bit of a return. I was thinking about doing some stuff for Scrub Radio, toying around with a few ideas. However, I found out the forum had been exploited and it's very possible the site may be shutting down soon (don't tell anyone ;) ).

So, instead, I focused on my own little site here. Nothing special, but I decided to start trying to knock off some of the things on my to-do list, and my first project ended up being a generic Shoutbox. It's fully functional, though fairly basic. There are a few things I'd like to tweak when I get a chance, but nothing too important (unless anyone else has some ideas not yet implemented).

It's on every page, and there is a link to a full version of it (where it says "Distant Web Development - Shoutbox", that's a link).

If you are reading this, log in (or register and log in) and give it a try!

Robert Lauer
Distant Web
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Update 3-13-14

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I know I'm pretty much just posting to myself at the moment, but on the slight off chance that someone out there has been paying any attention at all to my little project here, I figured I should post a quick update.

This year (2014) has been pretty busy for me in the real world so I haven't had any time to code in what seems like forever. I've got a ton of work to do around the house which I don't see finishing any time soon, and even if I do get some time to myself, I'll most likely use that time to rest. Regardless, my laptop has died on me (it no longer recognizes my power cord) and that's what I've used to do my coding, so everything I was working on is now stuck in limbo.

I finally got my desktop setup in a place where I can easily access it, but for some reason my localhost web server is no longer working properly. I think I need to re-install it as I've made some changes in external hard drives which were a part of the installation. That shouldn't be too difficult, but again, I'd need the time to actually do it.

Some day I will have the time to put back into this, and I know what when that day comes it won't take long for me to catch back up to where I was before real life got in the way. When that time will come however is another question that has no answer at the moment. I hope it comes soon because I've been dying to get back into this. I had made some great progress with my little project, much more than I ever thought possible, and there is so much more to do.

Until then, this site shall just have to sit and collect virtual dust. I guess that's fine anyway since I don't have a real audience or purpose with what I'm doing.

Anyway, until I can get back to work, take care Internet! Please don't get even more corrupted by Social Media and Social Networking sites; you're already tainted enough.

P.S. On a side note, because of how busy I've been, I had to pay for another year of my current web hosting. That was really painful because I just don't like it here. But, I simply didn't have the time to research hosts and move all my files.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Video Games => Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Pics)

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Just wanted to share some pics from Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

My Perfect Snowboy:
user posted picture user posted picture

user posted picture user posted picture
Main Boards => Site Support => Feedback => Emoticon/Smilie Experts Needed

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Hello,

I am in need of some Emoticon/Smilie experts. I have a batch of Emoticons that currently do not have any "codes" assigned to them, and me not being a regular user of them cannot decide what to have as their "text" equivalent.

So, I put together a quick form to allow people to vote for what they think the "text" should be for each. It logs the vote by IP Address, so each IP Address will get one vote per image. You can skip any you want and do them later, should you come up with something at a later time.

http://www.distantweb.net/emotes.php

Thank you,

Robert
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Site Notes

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I always like to have a topic or two listing various updates, improvements or features I am either working on, or hope to do in the future. So, I figured why not here, seeing as this is currently my main focus. I'll update this as things get done and as things come up.

File Uploads

*Upload Multiple Files at Once
*Replace Files (Honestly not sure about this)
*View files on Profile Page/Hide files from Profile Page This is basically done
*Delete Files
*Thumbnails for images Still needs some tweaking

General Posting
--- Pretty much anywhere that users get to post things. Forum topics, signatures, user profiles, etc.

*Possible Posting Limits - Character limits for specific fields
*Spell Check (Not sure if this is needed. Don't most current browsers have this built in?)
*Improved BB Code
--Possible Future BB Code
++++Lists
++++Indent
++++Embedded Video (YouTube video Embedding enabled)
++++Spoiler Tag (Generic, but works)
++++HR Tag
*Emoticons/Smilies (a rough draft is in place :-);-):-p )

Forum/Topic Specific

*Member Forums - Forums on Member Profiles, controlled by each Member
---This will probably have to wait until a full re-write of the site
*Mark All As Read Functionality
*Last Edit Date maybe?
*Get Newest Post - Currently enabled, but still needs some tweaking
*Forum Topic Ratings
*Move Topic Option - Currently Admin Only Feature
*Pinned Topics
*Open/Close Topics - Limited to Admin at the moment
*Topic Post History displayed when replying/editing reply - Generically implemented

Blog

A rough draft is in place for the Blog, but it needs improvements. Though, as I'm not big on Blogs, I don't know exactly what all it needs. But here are a few things I think it does need:

*Blog Ratings
*File Attachments
*Blog Comments
*Admin Ability to change "Blog" name to something else

Personal Messenger

*Multiple Recipients
*Save Feature

Misc

*Report Abuse Functions
*Various Social Media Stuff
*Various "Search" Options
*Various "Subscription" Options
*Sitemap

Member Profiles

*Profile Comments (Simple Version in Place, through site, not Fakebook)
*Rating For Members? Probably not...

Future Sections/Features

*Chat Room
*Photo Gallery
*Casino
*Site Currency
----Something for fun only, get currency by posting and other actions, use in Casino, maybe other stuff
*RSS Feeds- In Progress. Blogs and Latest Topics currently given. Guest View only in RSS Readers
*Full "Mobile" Version (In Progress, will probably be an ongoing effort)
*Improved graphics, layout & design
*Shoutbox (Version 1 in place)
*Polls (Simple version in place, added simple comments)



Possible (but unlikely) Stuff

*Captcha (Rough draft in place on Registration and login after 3 failed attempts. Needs major work)



Misc Javascript Stuff

*Ajax Features For:
-(This refers to loading one section but not everything else, like on the full Shoutbox page going from page to page)-
--Avatar Gallery
--Personal Message Boxes (Inbox, Outbox, Sent)
--Possibly most forms to avoid having the "Redirect Message" page
--Timeout on global refresh



Other Site Features (Low Priority)

*Calendar
*FAQ Section



I will update this as time goes by. If you have any suggestions not listed above, feel free to post them.
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => Getting Things Started

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So, I am coming to the end of the first/rough draft for this Forum/BBS/Message Board (what ever people call them these days), and thought I should probably post something. I started work on this whole thing around the end of August or beginning of September of 2013. I think I've come a pretty long way in a short amount of time, but there is still a long way left to go.

To start off, I'd just like to say that this entire site/system has been written from scratch using Notepad and PHPMyAdmin, as well as some other things here and there like Fireworks and that little thing called the Internet. It's modeled after a lot of different scripts/sites, but has been ultimately my own vision of what a system like this should be.

Or should I say, that that is the end goal. Right now it's very generic, basic and lacking. Things take time, and this has been an overwhelming project. As time goes on I hope to make tweaks, updates and additions to this entire site.

That is of course as long as I have time, and the whole thing doesn't blow up in the process. Ha ha ha!

Anyway, for those reading this, please feel free to look around, create an account and try things out. It is my hope that by the time that I am (mostly) done, things will look completely different.

Thank you,

Robert/DW
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Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Blog Open

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I have added a new feature to the Blog section, though I'll be honest and say I'm not 100% sure how it's supposed to work or if I am doing it right. Basically the idea is to provide a URL to the original post when adding/editing a Blog. If the URL is present, a meta tag will be added to the header section of the HTML, and a link will display at the top of the page.

I just don't know if this is how it's supposed to actually work, as I don't know that much about blogs and re-posting and all that. I don't even know if this is something that will actually get use in the first place. I guess time will tell, and if you are reading this and have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to let me know.
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Comments/Goodbye Facebook

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For right now, I have re-enabled the Facebook Comments plugin, in a limited way. Under the 'Site Comments', you should now see an option to 'Load Facebook Comments'. It's a link you have to click to reload the page with FB comments enabled. I don't know how long I'll keep this, as I just don't care about Facebook crap. But... For now... I guess I'll allow it. :-@ :-@ :-@
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Comments/Goodbye Facebook

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As a side note, I have to say that the sites (here and at Scrub Radio) load a whole lot faster and smoother than they ever did while running the Facebook plugins. So I call that a plus...
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Polls

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And it happened. Allowing guests to post ended with SPAM BOTS flooding in posting bogus polls with butttons of links attached. So, for now, no more guest posting will be allowed.

At one point I had a Captcha thing in place, but it ended up not working in certain situations, and I never did figure out why. Guess I may have to work on that again...
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Notes

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I whipped up a quick "Site Polls" section of the site. Click that link to read about it.

;-)
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Blog & Topic Ratings

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Well, I went ahead and 'AJAXED' it. Simply hover over the stars, either in topic/blog or on the blog/topic listing pages, click the star and it should cast your vote. I also setup a pop up window for anything that has 1 or more rating to break down the votes by number of stars given.

There are a few aspects of how it's setup right now that I'm not totally sure about, so any thoughts would be appreciated.

First, I don't now if I care for the idea of rating something if you are not directly on the page. As in, rating a Blog from the main listing, where you are clearly not reading the blog in question. But I do like convenience...

Second, at the moment, the system will allow you to re-cast a vote for anything you have already rated. Part of me thinks that you should only be allowed to cast a vote once, but another part of me knows that we all make mistakes...

Third, on the pop up window that shows the breakdown of ratings, I was thinking about showing who all has cast a vote. Not what rating they cast, just that they voted. And I was thinking about having it only show up if a minimum amount of votes have been cast, like 5 or 10, so as not to single anyone out when only 1 or 2 votes have been cast.

So do you have any thoughts on any of this? Please let me know if you do...
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Notes

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This is technically part of my 'Site Notes', even though I did post a topic on it already. So I have added a new feature Blog & Topic Ratings. You can now rate blogs and forum topics with 1 to 5 stars.

That is all for now.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => RE: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Returns!

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Wow, this hasn't been posted in for forever! This was talking about the return of Season 2 from it's mid-year break. We are now just weeks away from the start of Season 4!! Season 3 was pretty fantastic, but I am really looking forward to Season 4 and the addition of Ghost Rider!

I just hope that Daisy being rogue won't go on for too long...
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I've been doing some minor work here and there. I think I fixed some javascript that's been bugging me for a while, mostly in regard to the ShoutBox. I've also added a section on the home page to show the latest blogs, forum topics and forum post activity.

The last two sound like the same thing, but they actually aren't the same. The latest Forum Topics will show the last full topics posted anywhere the visitor can view. The latest Forum Post Activity is basically the latest posts to be posted, OR replied to.

I may tweak that last one though to only include topics that actually have replies, that way it would literally be the same as most recent replies... But maybe not, I'm not sure. For right now, that is all. Maybe I'll do more later.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => RE: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

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Off to see this in just a few minutes. To be honest, I'm a bit nervous; can it possibly live up to the hype and expectations? I guess I'll know in about 3 hours time...
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => RE: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

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And finally, the official trailer:

Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Movies & TV => RE: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

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Teaser #2:

Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Notes

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I've been working the last few days on a new Blog Section. I've got a very rough draft put together, though I have not yet enabled it here. This was one of those things I was always on the fence about to begin with, but my wife and son both wanted a blog so I went ahead with it.

I'm going to see if I can think of anything to actually blog about, and if I can, I'll enable it here. It's very, very rough at the moment, but I've only been working on it 3 or 4 days and the functionality is mostly in place.
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Notes

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There are a few ideas I forgot about when I posted this topic originally, though I'm not sure how relevant they would be in this day and age.

First, I've toyed with the idea for years of creating a "casino" section. I had one years ago, but there wasn't much involved. Some things I've done in the past are Keno, Bingo and a basic dice game. I've thought about adding things like Blackjack, Poker and a few "Slot Machine" style scripts.

Second, which would be used for the Casino, as well as other things, would be a "Currency System". Basically, there would be a kind of site currency where you get "points" for things like registering (existing accounts would of course get a starting amount equal to registering a new account) and posting in the forum. You'd also get a certain amount on your birthday (maybe even more if you actually visit/login on your birthday).

Some other ideas for currency use would be maybe the ability to change your username for a price, upgrade message storage or upload limits, etc.

No clue if I'll do this or not, but it's just an idea.
Main Boards => General Discussion => Entertainment => Video Games => RE: Golden Eye 007

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Never actually played it. But for me, best games would be Super Mario 3, Final Fantasy 7 (where are you in that anyway?), Final Fantasy 9, and maybe a few others I cannot remember right now.
Main Boards => Site Support => Site News => RE: Site Notes

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Progress Report #1

As you can see in the main post, I've gotten a lot done since I started this topic. However, I also have a lot more to do.

One thing I've been working on is a function that validates the contents of a Zip file when it gets uploaded, and makes sure that every file inside is an allowed file type. It's not perfect, and probably can't be due to PHP limitation. The other problem is that this can only work for the actual ".zip" format.

gZip files (.tz) have their own set of functions, as do .rar files. And the .rar functions are not a standard for PHP, they have to be installed separately (something that cannot be done with most shared servers).

So, even if I do mostly perfect this ".zip" validation, I'll have to write a similar function for .gz files, and they will have to be able to cross reference each other. By that, I mean that with my .zip validation function, it also validates all zip files included in a zip file, so they'll have to be set to use each other should a zip file be in a gZip file, or a gZip file in a zip file.

I will also have to write in the ability to either not validate compressed files or to ignore some errors, just in case.

For now, I will not be allowing any compressed files to be uploaded, but that may change in the near future.

As for everything else, it's just going to have to progress as I am able to work on it all.

Side Note: I've got all this BB Code and formatting ability at my disposal when posting, but I still don't use any of it much. Kind of interesting to me.
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Male DistantWords

DistantWords
Born: May, 4, 1977 (40)
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Joined: Sep 2, 2013
Last Activity: Dec 13, 2017
Location: Monroe, NC
Forum Posts: 38
Blogs: 8
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Since posting this first Topic, I've done a lot of tweaking with it, and added several things. I've also been compiling various notes on what I hope to add, and I've realized that I'm not really that close to the end of this rough draft.

That really sucks because I really want to move onto other things (Chat Room, Gallery, etc) AND I'm starting to feel very burnt out. My brain feels like it's about to melt down from all the coding I've been doing.

No matter what, I will have to go back and re-code everything from scratch (or at least 90% of everything). I also have many basic things I want added before I consider this "base" project done (the base project would be the user registration/login system and forum).

I'm not sure if I should go back and start adding the things I didn't think about when I started, like multiple domains or the simple thing of closing and opening a topic (that is an easy thing to do, but effects MANY function and sections which makes it more complicated that face value), OR if I should start re-coding everything and add these features as I go.

Honestly, I think I need to step back for a while and clear my head before going on. OR I need to try and work on a more active project with active users who can give real time feedback.

Right now, I really just don't know how to proceed. Hopefully I'll come up with a plan in the near future. But what ever I decide, I will be sure to post something about it.

This has been more for myself than anything else, so take it for what it's worth.
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