Google has given V-I a clean bill of health. I’ll slowly re-add the old content, but I have to do it carefully since I don’t know exactly where the nastiness was. In the interest of getting things up and running, I basically blew up the old site, although I still have the database, which has all the old posts and comments. Importing it a few posts at a time could be a challenge, but I’m sure someone out there has done it, so I just have to learn how.
For now, feel free to re-add new posts for the old topics if you’d like, and I’ll integrate the old content as I get to it. If there’s something you’re dying to review from the old stuff, let me know in the comments here, and I’ll see what I can do!
I’ll take care of all the cool sidebar stuff we had today or tomorrow. How do I know what I’m listening to if I don’t have Mitchell’s Recent Spins in the right column?
62 thoughts on “It’s only a flesh wound, lambchop!”
placeholder comment! disregard!
Comments about the new look:
I like the long list of the recent comments. I think I prefer the older approach which listed the threads by the most recent comments, but only listed the the two most recent posts within an individual thread.
Another idea: Just list threads, not the comments or name of person making the comment. (I sort of like seeing the person’s name, but I would be able to tell if a comment came on a thread…then again, not really, not without dates and times.)
Another idea: What if you had the most recent comments list featured most prominently in the middle, with the new posts on the side? I’m not sure I’m sold on that idea, but I’ll throw it out there.
Whatever the case may be I think the current UI is a little better than the one before it.
Thanks for doing this!
Yeah, the way we used to have the recent comments was some pretty nice code-grokking by a younger me. I can’t remember how much of it came with the plugin we used and how much was rolling up my sleeves and getting under the hood. Definitely near the top of my list, if for no reason other than to prove to myself I still can.
Well, at least you proved you can do it! The comments seem busier though, but that’s being nitpicky.
By the way, you know how there’s a button at the top for starting new posts? Can one be made to take me to all the posts, or just to the drafts? I often work on old drafts and if there were one button that could get me there, that would be cool.
Reid, sorry I never answered your second question. When you’re in the dashboard, if you click “posts” in the left sidebar, you’ll be presented with all the posts you’re allowed to see, including drafts. from that page, you can click on “mine” just to see your posts, or you can click on “drafts” to see all the draft posts. Let me know if this doesn’t make sense. Additionally, you can click on any of those post headers to sort by that column. Click “date modified” to see the drafts (for example) in order beginning with most recent. Click “date modified” again, and it’ll sort in order beginning with least recent.
It’s not the one-click option you suggest, but the functionality is already there and I’m not inclined to seeing if I can grok that. At least not until I get all our old content back up.
I think it does. This is the way I get to drafts now. I was just trying to decrease the number of steps needed to get there.
What’s the post headers?
No, that’s a different plugin from the one we used before, out of the box with no tweaking on my part. Yeah, there’s no way I’m leaving it like this. Those bullets are terrible.
Oh OK, no problem.
What do you think about cutting the number of comments that appear down to two, or even one?
Is there a way to make a table in a post?
Yes. I’ve done it here several times.
When you first look at this, you’re going to say you don’t want to do it because it’s too much trouble. But it’s not as bad as it looks. I’m giving you the basics. You can learn a few tricks later.
Type this. I mean it. Type it verbatim. In a comment below.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPACE THINGS LIKE THIS. The spacing is just there to make it easier to follow.
This code displays this:
See how that works? If you want to add more rows, add another set of TR and /TR tags and in between, add more TD and /TD tags.
In short: TR means TABLE ROW. TD means TABLE DATA. You can make as many rows as you want. You can make as many columns as you want, too, but at the basic level, you need to make the number of columns the same for the whole table.
Give it a try in the comments here. Let me know if you have questions.
Edit: Go ahead and give that a try!
Will try this later, thanks.
Testing. This message does not actually exist.
By the way, I really like the nested reply feature in the threads.
Also, is there a way to include more threads that have new post (in the right hand margin)? If not, or if it takes too much time, never mind.
I never liked the nested comments, which is why I always had them turned off on VI, but I’ll leave them. They’re fine with me.
I’m growing displeased with this template anyway. Wanna make changes, which is why I haven’t messed with either sidebar in a while. Thanks for the suggestions.
I don’t always like nested replies, but I like them on this platform. They’re not ugly to look at or hard to read. I love the fact that you can reply on an older post, and that will move the thread to the top of the column (in the right hand margin).
oooookay. after about two hours of trial and error, i figured out how to export the old posts from the old vi database and import them to the new one. if you click the category “v-i” in the left sidebar, you’ll see the original “merry christmas” post from 2003. i have turned off comments because i don’t want anyone messing with that post before i figure out how to do similarly with the comments for that post. it should be almost the same procedure but with a few extra steps, which will complicate things a little, but if i can pull it off, i’ll be able to import a large number of the old posts at one time, then a large number of the comments for those posts also all at one time.
it was both easier and more difficult than i expected. weird.
please disregard this: i’m writing it here as reference for myself.
note to self, in case i don’t get to try it tonight (which i won’t). duplicate old vi dbase, modify the copy dbase (keep the original), export as sql, then import directly as sql. should work!
I’m having trouble with some of the HTML commands when writing a new post. I don’t care for having to convert the each text box to html. Is there any other option? (I don’t really care for typing in the html option, either, but I could live with that.)
Also, is there a reason the recent posts section (in the right hand margin) has been shortened?
It hasn’t been shortened. This widget shows comments up to a certain recency. If we comment only one one post in the past X days, only that one shows up there. I’m looking for an option more like what we used to have.
What kind of HTML are you trying to include? The new WordPress is trying to take most of the HTML out of the posting process, so if the stuff you need is in the button bar, just use that. If not, let me know what you’re trying to do and I’ll see if I know an easier way. I’m still struggling through the transition as well.
With regard to HTML, the “” doesn’t work, unless I convert the block to HTML. Other HTML commands might not work, too, but I can’t remember which ones.
As for the right margin, basically, if we don’t see a lot of comments, then that means people haven’t been posting as much. But even if people aren’t posting much, why doe the threads seems to disappear?
If you don’t see a long list of comments it’s because people haven’t commented on other posts recently. If you, me, and don post 100 comments in one day on the NFL post, but only that one in a week’s time (I’m guessing on the time frame), then we’ll only see the NFL post in the right margin. At least until I find a better solution.
I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your response about the HTML. Can you try again?
But let’s say we comment on ten different threads on one day and then don’t comment for a week. Shouldn’t all ten of those threads still be in the right hand column?
Every time I begin to type, I’m typing in a text box, right? When I type “,” the HTML function doesn’t work. But when I use the bold commands (“” and ““), they do. In order to get the “more” command to work, I have to go up to the text box menu and choose HTML. Is this clearer?
Okay wait. When you type a comma it doesn’t work? That’s not HTML. I can’t tell what it is you’re trying to accomplish with HTML. In your first comment you just put two quotation marks and in this reply you put them around a comma, but then you put them around quotation marks and “AND.” Can you just tell me in words (not symbols) what you’re trying to do with HTML that’s not working?
And yes. After a week (or so) this widget no longer considers the comments “recent idiocy.” It’s been that way for a little over a year. I’ll find a better option (there are many) but those may take some time for trial and error. So ten comments a week old won’t bring those posts to the right sidebar.
EDIT: Okay wait hang on. I’ll look at your comment in the comment editor and see if you tried to use tags that made the rest of your comment disappear.
Okay I got it now. First, let me explain why your comments didn’t make sense to me. When you create a new post, the default editor is a WYSIWYG (say it “wizzy-wig”) editor, similar to what you see in MS Word. When you leave a comment, the editor is an HTML editor. You can’t use HTML tags (those commands between the < and > signs) because WordPress reads it like HTML and tries to execute those edit commands. When you tried to type the MORE tag in the comment, it didn’t show up as readable text because WordPress thought you were formatting for HTML.
To use the MORE tag, click the + button, scroll down to LAYOUT ELEMENTS, and select MORE. It will insert the break wherever you are as a whole block element. You’ll be able to move it up or down according to your whim.
Where is the + button? (Note: I’m talking about creating a new post, and not writing a comment.)
Upper left corner of your screen, near where it says “dashboard.”
I really like the reply feature in the new version. But is there a way to just make the reply indent once, not continually in a cascading fashion? And can the replies be unlimited? For example, if you replied to this post, your post would be indented. If I reply to your post, it would be indented the same amount of spaces as yours. And from then on, the replies to the original post (This one I’m typing now) would be indented with the same number of spaces as the first reply. Does that make sense?
If making these changes is too much of a hassle or you prefer not to, that’s fine.
If I want my reply to fall in line right beneath the reply before it, I just click the same reply button as the person ahead of me. So if you want your reply here to be vertically aligned with mine, don’t click REPLY beneath my comment; click REPLY beneath yours.
WordPress has had the nested replies feature for a long time but I kept it turned off because I don’t care for it. Sorry; that’s the best advice I have for you now. I’m working on restoring the old posts and that’s going to take up most of my VI energy for a little while. 🙂
OK, it worked! But was it always like this, or did you change something?
What if I want my post to be aligned all the way to the left side?
It’s always been this way, at least as long as we’ve had the nested comments on VI.
If you want it aligned all the way to the left don’t click REPLY; just add your comment in the comment window at the bottom.
What reply button did you press for the “Test C” post? Was it the reply in the “It’s always been that way” post?
I ask because I’m wondering about the sequence of the posts. I recalled that if you clicked the “It’s always been” reply, the “Test C” post would appear below the “Test A” post, or somewhere in that area. (I feel like that happened once, but that was probably wrong.)
Test B is indented more to the right. How to I make it aligned with Test A?
Also, I can’t reply to Test B.
If you wanted test B to align with Test A, you would have hit reply beneath my “it’s always been this way” comment, not beneath your “test a” comment.
Yeah, it’s weird we can’t reply to test B. I don’t get it either.
The comments show up at the top only while you’re typing them and immediately after you click “post comment.” If you reload the page or click to it later, you’ll see everything in the right order.
Was your post a response to this:
If so, why’d you put your post where you did. Was that a mistake?
I wasn’t really paying attention. Just clicked something and replied. And yes. You’ll notice that when you reply to a comment that’s already been commented on, your post seems to come before the one that’s already there, but later when you look again it’s in the correct order.
Right. I think because the post is above the others while you’re typing, I avoided using this method.
The fact that the open post moves above the others can be a little confusing and difficult to read. But when you finally post it, it looks good, if that makes sense.
Testing these instructions.
Yea! OK, this works. The only thing is, that everyone participating in the discussion has to click the reply button in the same “original” post. In this case, I hit clicked the reply in the “Test B is indented more to…” post.
This can get confusing because the posts I’m actually responding to now are below me.
Let me try one more.
I assume the reply button I clicked for this thread could be clicked indefinitely.
I think the software has to limit the indentations. On one forum, for long nested threads, at some point, the posts move all the back to the far left or they do crazy things.
My solution is to just have the posts indent one time–to signify responses to a specific post within an existing thread.
I really like the ability to have sub-threads within a thread. What I’m wondering is if there is a way to have the replay text box (in the sub-thread) appear after the last post in the sub-thread. If this is too much of a hassle to do, don’t worry about it.
I don’t even know where to begin with this one — it’s outside my expertise for sure. But I’ll take a look around to see if others have solved it.
OK, but don’t worry about it if you can’t address it.
Are you experimenting with the format of the comments section? Or is this an easier approach?
The other comments widget stopped working — It’s been discontinued, although that’s not supposed to affect it. We had a WordPress version update and that CAN affect the way a no-longer-supported plug-in works. I’ve put it in the left sidebar at the bottom in case it decides to come back to life before I find a similar option. Until then, this will have to do.
Oh, OK. Thanks.
I know I asked these two questions before, but I’m going to ask them again, just in case the answers may be different:
1. Is there a way to put up a spreadsheet or table? I ask because I’ve made a spreadsheet for singers. I have three categories to rate them: personal preference, general quality, and originality. I wanted to use a spreadsheet or table at this site.
2. I feel bad for posting so much, especially the way my posts fill up the right hand column. Do you have any suggestions about how I can reduce that, besides posting a lot less? One strategy I have is by adding comments to existing posts. I’ve always changed dates on posts to “push it down.” Any other thoughts would be appreciated.
This comment explains how do do tables. Don’t be intimidated by it — it’s not as difficult as it looks. I knew you weren’t going to try it, but try it now. If nothing else, just type exactly what’s there, then change the values (the names in the cells). Then play around with it and see what changes are made. That’s a good way to learn it.
This is our space to do whatever we want with. Don’t feel bad for using it. I’m still looking for a good replacement for the comments widget and haven’t found it yet. Thanks for the reminder.
There’s another way to do this, if you’re working from an existing spreadsheet. It can be a little messy, but if the sheet’s not huge (in width; length doesn’t matter), it does the job. Are you trying to share an existing document?
Yeah, I already started the spreadsheet. I also wanted to be able to add to it, though.
Excel, Google Sheets, or something else?
Okay, if you have an existing spreadsheet, you can also do this.
In Excel, go to file –> export
The next step depends on your version of Excel. For mine, you want to choose “change file type.” If that doesn’t show up for you, let me know what the options are.
You’ll be presented with a bunch of file type options. Choose “Save as another file type.”
You’ll get the familiar file-saving window. Under the file name, in the pull-down menu, choose “single file web page.”
Excel will give you a warning that you could lose some formatting if you do this. Do it anyway.
Open one of your text editors. Wordpad or Notepad will both work okay.
Go to file –> open
You may not see the files you just saved, because it’s saved as MHTML. If this is the case, above the OPEN button, click the pulldown menu and choose “all files.”
Navigate to the file you just exported from Excel. It will open up in your text editor.
The stuff you want is near the bottom. Look for the table and /table tags with all your data in between. Just highlight that stuff and COPY. There’s other stuff in there, formatting stuff, but you can ignore it. This is why I said this method is a little messy. It includes a lot of extra code you don’t need, which is sloppy, but for the purpose of this website just do whatever works.
Paste it in your comment. You’ll have to be logged in to VI for this to work.
Click the SUBMIT button. Your table should show up. If it doesn’t have too many columns, and if the data in each cell isn’t too long, it should look fine.
You say you want to continue to add to the table. This is fine. Just keep adding to your spreadsheet as needed, then export it again the same way. Then “edit” your comment, erase everything in the comment, and paste the new exported data. It’ll replace the old table with the updated table.
Sounds like more steps than it really is. And it sounds like more hassle than it is, but it’s a good thing to know how to do. Many people don’t know how to export HTML out of Excel, and it’s a useful thing to know.
I’ll try this. Thanks!
Something went wrong. I didn’t really know where to start the cut. You said the “stuff I want is near the bottom,” but I had to scroll up quite a bit–or at least I thought I did.
If it’s a long table (with a lot of rows) you’ll have to go up further, but it pretty much ended at the bottom, right?
It looks mostly okay. I’ll take a look at the code later and see what’s going on. At least the integrity of your rows and columns is good.
There was stuff near the bottom that I didn’t include.
Also, is there a way I can adjust the columns so the words are broken up?