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Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 15th, 2011, 11:25 PM
Dear members, I will be trying some installations of codes, or hacks, or plug-ins.
Some of these are things our members have requested.
They do carry a risk of bringing the site down due to compatibility issues.

I will perform a full backup of the entire database before I engage in the construction work.

If we run into trouble, everything can be restored to the point where we are now.

However my work may take several hours. Therefore, everything that you post from now until the end of this part of the construction may not make it to the backup file.

If you happen to publish a well-thought post that you'd not like to lose in case of a crash, keep a copy of your text outside of the forum (such as a Word file in your My Documents folder).

If the site does go down, restoring it may take a while and may depend on help from tech support.

So, cross your fingers, and back-up what you post.

Once I'm done I'll give an "all clear" signal.

Pardon the inconvenience while we customize the site features and continue the construction.

PS - Tomorrow there will be extensive construction work as well which may dramatically affect the looks of the Home page - if you see things going wildly out of whack, don't worry; by the end of tomorrow's construction hopefully we'll have a better looking site.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 15th, 2011, 11:34 PM
Update: the back-up has been completed, as of 6:33 PM ET. From now on, anything published will not be included in the back-up.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 16th, 2011, 02:36 AM
Update 2: site crashed during the ftp section.
Our hosting providers were extremely fast in fixing the issue (it took them a couple of minutes to respond).
Site is up and running again. I don't even know if anybody else noticed the downtime.
But it is a traumatic experience...
I'm not sure if I will continue to install the new features (like button, thank you button, facebook button, site certification) until I can get more clarification on what went wrong.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 16th, 2011, 03:28 AM
OK, the error was found and corrected.
We do have now a facebook platform.
It looks big and horrible and doesn't mix well with our banner. But at least I've learned how to install it, and later will find a more discreet place for it.
The Certified seal is to signal to browsers that our site is legit.

So, pardon our appearance while I work on these features, don't forget that we are still under construction.
Alma

[Edit - I have removed both features for now. We'll try more discreet ones later]

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 16th, 2011, 05:36 AM
Update 4
The installation of the "Like" button has failed. Probably a compatibility issue.
I'll talk to the developers of the plug-in and see if they come up with a patch.

All clear. After 6 hours of hard work, and after getting 2 of the 3 features I wanted successfully installed and one failed, I'll put this phase of the construction on hold until I hear from the developers.

So, no "like" button for now but I'm working on it. Eventually we'll get it.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 16th, 2011, 05:47 AM
Thanks for everything you're doing for us Alma. You're working very hard, hope you can take a 'breather' soon.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 16th, 2011, 06:44 PM
Update 5
Construction as you've noticed is heavy today.
You'll see lots of style changes while we work through it. We have reverted to a clean default style while we work on it.
Pardon the dust and noise.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 16th, 2011, 06:54 PM
Construction as you've noticed is heavy today.
You'll see lots of style changes while we work through it. We have reverted to a clean default style while we work on it.
Pardon the dust and noise.

Thanks
Ignore my post in the feedback section

Amfortas
December 16th, 2011, 07:09 PM
Keep up the good work, Alma. You've accomplished a tremendous amount already--this site is already something you should be extremely proud of. And it's only going to get better and better!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 16th, 2011, 08:34 PM
Update 6
Construction continues but is encountering problems as you can see. This will look very good once it is finished but some of the fonts and images loaded wrongly. Tech Support from the vendor will help. I'll probably revert to default until we can get this solved. New looks for a primary page that will precede the home and forum pages are being worked on and should be very good, given preliminary attempts. This construction will probably continue through the weekend. Let's hope tech support from the skin vendor is up during the weekend, it may be that we'll only have these kinks worked out much later. Don't worry too much. I'm doing back-ups from time to time and if all goes horribly wrong we'll get the database preserved and restored. Last back-up was today at 2:30 PM ET.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 17th, 2011, 04:51 AM
Update 7
Looks are stabilizing now and getting closer to the final one. There are still some adjustments to make (such as the blue color of the topmost line being difficult to read, will change it to white).

Those who are nostalgic of the older browner look can toggle between looks using the new button on the bottom left corner of the page (vBulletin default is also available, but who would want THAT???)

Later (also at some point this weekend) users will have the possibility of toggling to "fluid" looks which will mean that the width of the forum will become wider or narrower according to what screen you're using (this is good for those with iPads, for instance).

Background picture will be added for the side bars later this weekend. Stand by for some beautiful images.

A brand new front page (which will be placed before the Home page and will have striking visuals) is coming up later this weekend, with a logo (the above is a banner, not a logo).

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 17th, 2011, 07:11 AM
Love the new background. I also love it when the dialogue box momentarily disappears & you get a view of the auditorium.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 17th, 2011, 11:04 PM
I'll make of this thread, the updates thread for the construction work - I'll change the scary all caps title.

Update 8 - slow day today. Not as many changes as yesterday. We have tweaked the banner by photoshopping the picture - the ugly building on the right side has been erased, and more of the Disney Opera House in Los Angeles is shown with a taller banner. Color tint has been fine tuned.

We have concluded that the background image can't repeat like it does, which looks crowded and tacky. We'll work on it later; consider it to be just an example. Although the person who is helping me with design doesn't like the fact that we have a background image now, it looks like our members do so for the moment we'll keep the concept of an opera house image on the sides of the board. But we'll find a high-definition one that will eliminate the repetition and encroachment problem.

Work on the Front page - which will be placed ahead of the Home page with CMS articles - is progressing in a much slower pace than we had anticipated. The software we've purchased for this, in spite of having received top reviews, proved to be a lot more cumbersome than another one that we had considered before (but was three times as expensive - I guess, we get what we pay for).

The aria-chocolate skin (also purchased for a price - who wouldn't want something that has aria and chocolate in its name?:o) seems to be going in the direction of turning out out to be a silly investment since people are not really liking it. Since it's been paid for and ready, it will remain as an option. Growing pains.:( My design collaborator had actually advocated for another one, simpler and less busy. Stupid me, I went for the more convoluted one, and it's not been very successful. Could have had the other one for the same price. Arghhh!

So, expect slow progress on the "looks" front and other features (I was counting on working on the "Like" button today but got derailed by the time-consuming web development part of the front page).

Meanwhile and fortunately, you guys are providing good content and lively discussions which is what really matters, while I work on the technical aspects. I'm kind of eager to go back to content... but I do want to have a very good-looking and modern site, so for now I'll continue to focus on this part of the construction.

Hilltroll72
December 18th, 2011, 12:02 AM
Go and do, Alma; Aramis can manage without you for a day or two.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 19th, 2011, 12:07 AM
We have encountered another construction problem, and the database behaved erratically from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM ET on Sunday December 18th. The problem has been solved. This time I was able to solve it before technical support got back to me on it, I'm getting good!:D

For those who were inconvenienced, my apologies.

It was the "Like" button again, that caused the problem. This thing is proving to be very tricky for this 4.1.8 version of vBulletin, full of bugs and compatibility problems. We may very well give up on this for now until the developers come up with a more bug-free, more compatible version.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 19th, 2011, 01:09 AM
New feature for Opera Lively Home Page

I'm pleased to announce that our members have now at their disposition a new feature. Some of the articles on the Home page now include a field to leave comments. We still don't have a "like" button due to technical difficulties, but at least now members can *say* it when they like an article, and can go beyond it, discussing and debating points made in the article. This is a great feature that will enhance the Opera Lively environment.

Also, please notice that our Section Widget on the top left corner of the Home page has acquired much more importance. It is now our main Index of Contents. You can click on the "+" signs to navigate through our exclusive articles and interviews, and other areas such as the Local area (now subdivided by United States, individual states, other countries). If you click on Exclusive Articles, then you can next click on Opera in Depth, then on La Traviata, and you'll find the Traviata in depth articles listed one by one. Once you click on an article, you'll be taken to the section where it is fully published, and you can navigate to the continuation (in the case of complex clusters like the In-Depth articles) to the next one by clicking on the Section Widget again - please notice that inside the articles, it is located on the right side of the page.

Enjoy these two new features. Construction is inconvenient and messy, but we're improving the site little by little, to make it efficient and organized so that our members can enjoy our content.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 19th, 2011, 02:29 PM
Construction Update

Work has started on the new Front page which will look fantastic and introduce the site with dazzling visuals, before people enter the journalistic area (Home page) or the discussion area (Forum). It should end in 7 to 10 days. While it's being done, settings have been changed in our server to allow images (they're so beautiful, you'll see!) to be uploaded directly into the page that is under construction. This temporarily changes the handler of the php scripts and disables the cache, which may make the site load more sluggishly for the next few days until this part of the construction ends and the original sharper/faster server settings are restored. So bear with me if you get slow page loads, it will all be optimized once the front page construction ends. Believe me, it's worthy of any growing pains and inconvenience, you'll love the new front page once it is ready.

Samurai
December 20th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Hi Alma, I wish to join all the other members who have thanked you for putting together such an awesome and good looking site.
I know that things will only continue to get better and improve for you, given all the blood sweat and tears you have obviously invested in this. Hang in there!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 20th, 2011, 04:02 AM
Thanks, Samurai. The thing is, this is only worth doing because we have here such a nice community of friendly and knowledgeable members. So, the site is for you all, and you all deserve it.

Amfortas
December 20th, 2011, 05:05 PM
So, the site is for you all, and you all deserve it.

I agree. We do!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 03:53 AM
I'm making a third attempt at installing the Like button.
I've done fresh backups of the database, in case we run into trouble again.
The vendor remains unhelpful... the hosting company's tech support helps more than they do...
Some problems in the first two attempts have been identified and corrected...
But there are problems with this one as well, we got another database error.
This is proving to be a time-consuming, endless nightmare.
I hope vBulletin will just include this function standard in future versions.
Meanwhile, I'll continue to struggle with it, since I'm rather determined to have it.
So bear with me, and if in the next couple of days the site goes down, don't panic, I have back-ups, and will restore everything if it's the case. Cross your fingers.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 04:55 AM
The installation of the Like button this time was partially successful.
We didn't crash, and a function for counting the Thanks/Likes has appeared.
However we still get a database error when I try to configure the buttons themselves that people should click on, to Like or Thank a post.
I have submitted the error report to the vendor.
We'll see... fingers crossed... we're getting somewhere.

Schigolch
December 23rd, 2011, 10:04 AM
This seems to be a rather complex evolution of the TC concept: now we have like / dislike / thanks ... to choose from. :eek:

TxllxT
December 23rd, 2011, 10:43 AM
I'm looking for pushable buttons :confused:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 02:41 PM
This seems to be a rather complex evolution of the TC concept: now we have like / dislike / thanks ... to choose from. http://operalively.com/forums/images/smilies/eek.png



We do? I don't see the buttons. Do you? From my end, the installation is still incomplete (the very last step ended in an error message which I'm taking to the vendor). The buttons were supposed to appear if the admincp had correctly loaded the configuring tool, which it didn't (that's the error message) so I can't configure the buttons yet. Can you? Do you see anything different that I'm not seeing?

Yes, once fully installed, this will give us all sorts of buttons, we can customize them. If we don't want a dislike button we can remove it. If we want any other button we can add it and edit it. That is, it can be done in the pro version which is more expensive but once we test this "Lite" version and if we like it and it works well with 4.1.8 then I'll upgrade to the pro version and we'll be able to establish whatever buttons we want. Also, if we decide to have a dislike button, the pro version does allow us to "dislike" anonymously to prevent the drama (which the Lite version doesn't do).

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 02:42 PM
I'm looking for pushable buttons :confused:

Hopefully they will come once the last installation error is dealt with. It's been a long and frustrating process but we're getting there.

Amfortas
December 23rd, 2011, 05:46 PM
I know this is premature, but I think I'd vote against a "dislike" button. If people want to criticize a post, they should have to explain themselves in one of their own.

But I'm open to opposing arguments. :)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 06:17 PM
I know this is premature, but I think I'd vote against a "dislike" button. If people want to criticize a post, they should have to explain themselves in one of their own.

But I'm open to opposing arguments. :)

Sure but I need the full configuration functionality to enable the buttons and possibly eliminate the Dislike button if that's what you guys want. Like I said, the installation is still defective but problem-shooting continues and looks promising.

Soave_Fanciulla
December 23rd, 2011, 06:17 PM
I know this is premature, but I think I'd vote against a "dislike" button. If people want to criticize a post, they should have to explain themselves in one of their own.

But I'm open to opposing arguments. :)

I absolutely agree. Let's keep it positive.

Hilltroll72
December 23rd, 2011, 07:04 PM
I absolutely agree. Let's keep it positive.

I dislike the concept of the dislike button. I also dislike the concept of the tabulated like button. In fact, I don't much like buttons in general, as 'comment substitutes'. You got something to say, say it.

Aramis
December 23rd, 2011, 07:07 PM
Also, if we decide to have a dislike button, the pro version does allow us to "dislike" anonymously to prevent the drama (which the Lite version doesn't do).

That's no good. If someone wants to express his disapproval for the post, fine, but with anonymous dislike that point is gone and dislike option makes no more sense.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2011, 07:27 PM
Yes, I hear you all and once I get to correct the installation (just had another talk with the vendor, this time I think it will work, but have to do it from home once I get there because all the downloaded files are in my laptop), I'll just disable the dislike feature all together.

@Hilltrol, I believe that most people do want the Like feature but of course it is optional, people can choose to post a comment instead. But sometimes when all that someone has to say is "thank you" or "I agree" (we could edit one of the bottons to say "I agree") or "I like what you've just said" then actually the buttons will save storage and bandwidth, by reducing the number of posts to those with more extensive comments, instead of one post (which takes avatar, space, etc) to just say "thank you." We can disable tabulation as well. The software is very flexible once I get it to work, and whatever the majority of members want, we'll do.

@Aramis again - at TC I've seen people asking for a dislike button when someone posted something particularly nasty. Not that our esteemed OL members will ever post anything nasty, LOL. But I'm totally OK with not having a dislike function. Whatever (most of) you guys want.

Amfortas
December 23rd, 2011, 08:22 PM
@Aramis again - at TC I've seen people asking for a dislike button when someone posted something particularly nasty. Not that our esteemed OL members will ever post anything nasty, LOL. But I'm totally OK with not having a dislike function. Whatever (most of) you guys want.

If it's really nasty, it should be reported and Moderated. We know how to deal with them low-down varmints! http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/cowboy/smileys-cowboy-627296.gif

Hilltroll72
December 23rd, 2011, 09:46 PM
If it's really nasty, it should be reported and Moderated. We know how to deal with them low-down varmints! http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/cowboy/smileys-cowboy-627296.gif

Hah. Nice emoticon; maybe should be accessible by moderators only.

Hilltroll72
December 23rd, 2011, 09:49 PM
[QUOTE=Almaviva;2134]Yes, I hear you all and once I get to correct the installation (just had another talk with the vendor, this time I think it will work, but have to do it from home once I get there because all the downloaded files are in my laptop), I'll just disable the dislike feature all together.

@Hilltroll,we can disable tabulation as well. The software is very flexible once I get it to work, and whatever the majority of members want, we'll do.

Hmm. That is OK, as long as I have a 51% majority vote.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 12:50 AM
OK, I'm at the end of my rope with this one.
I was pretty hopeful after some more troubleshooting with the vendor.
I followed all his instructions very carefully. No crashes, no error messages, everything smooth.
Still, no buttons, and no configuration tools for the buttons. Same problem.
This issue has taken more of my time than ALL other construction tasks combined, and still, I can't seem to get it right.
How frustrating.

Amfortas
December 24th, 2011, 12:53 AM
Maybe take a break from it, Alma. Amazing how often a problem solves itself when you come back to it.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 01:26 AM
I think I'll follow your advice. I'm so sick and tired of dealing with this Thanks/Like button!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 01:30 AM
Construction Update:
I don't know if you guys have noticed that we have a facebook Like button on the top left corner of every thread, now.
If you click on it (and log in to your facebook account) it posts to your facebook wall that you liked our thread.
Since then your facebook friends would see it on your wall, I believe that this is potentially a quite efficient way to diffuse our web site and get more members to join so that our community is even more vibrant.
So, feel free to use this new function!

Hilltroll72
December 24th, 2011, 03:00 AM
Construction Update:
I don't know if you guys have noticed that we have a facebook Like button on the top left corner of every thread, now.
If you click on it (and log in to your facebook account) it posts to your facebook wall that you liked our thread.
Since then your facebook friends would see it on your wall, I believe that this is potentially a quite efficient way to diffuse our web site and get more members to join so that our community is even more vibrant.
So, feel free to use this new function!

:D

Alma, for some reason I find this suggestion moderately hilarious. Maybe has to do with the tequila add where the guy says he is unwilling to share his bottle with 765 'friends'. But then I find the whole notion of FaceBook either funny or creepy, depending on which side of bed I get up on. Funny side today apparently.

:cool:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 03:24 AM
:D

Alma, for some reason I find this suggestion moderately hilarious. Maybe has to do with the tequila add where the guy says he is unwilling to share his bottle with 765 'friends'. But then I find the whole notion of FaceBook either funny or creepy, depending on which side of bed I get up on. Funny side today apparently.

:cool:

Hehehe, I laughed out loud with your reply, buddy. You may be right about it!

Soave_Fanciulla
December 24th, 2011, 07:08 AM
Yes Alma, have a good break and spend some relaxing time with the Countess and your family. You certainly deserve it!

http://1389blog.com/pix/HatTipSmileyAnim.gif

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 06:23 PM
Another construction update - minor point, but looks a lot better now.
The Blue skin has been fixed to make certain links be white and much more visible over the background.
I continue to like more and more this skin - especially its Home page - and invite people to try it out and get more familiar with it. Its finishing in my opinion is much better than the Browner, and especially its Home page is more elegant with the straight lines and solid colors. Besides, it is so unique to have a blue opera house, I think it carries some distinctiveness.
We can fine tune it little by little, if it gets to be popular enough. I had stopped working on it since only a couple of people seemed to like it, but I wonder if it is still worth keeping and improving.

Another technical problem that has been fixed, is that now the Section Widget works properly and we shouldn't have the "No Content" problem any longer; if it still happens, please let me know. I haven't heard of any "No permission" events either, so check it out and if you get any of these two error messages, tell me and I'll try to fix it.

One technical problem that could not be solved even with the help of vBulletin tech support is AnaMendoza's unique account that stubbornly misbehaves - e.g., not showing her edits. vBulletin technicians are as puzzled as we are, and asked me to undo ALL customizations so that they can work on the problem from a clean slate, and this *is* too much to ask because we've been working on these customizations for days, can't afford to restart everything from scratch a couple of weeks from launching day. Then, I told them "never mind" and closed the ticket. So, AnaMendoza, sorry, but I guess when you do an important edit and want people to know that you did, please just add manually a line at the end of your post saying "edited by AnaMendoza on [date] at [time]" because in the case of your account, we (including vBulletin technicians) don't know what is going on. In the unlikely possibility that one day some troll accuses you of misrepresenting your edits, we'll vouch for you and say that we're aware of the problem and *we* suggested that you signal your edits manually. I hope this is satisfactory.

AnaMendoza
December 24th, 2011, 06:34 PM
It's certainly satisfactory to me. And if I put a reason for the edit, the 'edited at such and such a time' does show up--so I'll just always do that, which is better practice anyway.

As to what's causing it, well, I'll just feel especially unique! ;) (Remember, it's not my account, it's me that's causing the problem--the other account that I created from scratch did exactly the same thing.)

Hilltroll72
December 24th, 2011, 06:47 PM
It's certainly satisfactory to me. And if I put a reason for the edit, the 'edited at such and such a time' does show up--so I'll just always do that, which is better practice anyway.

As to what's causing it, well, I'll just feel especially unique! ;) (Remember, it's not my account, it's me that's causing the problem--the other account that I created from scratch did exactly the same thing.)

Hah. Excellent attitude. "I am AnaMendoza. VBulletin fears me. I am AnaMendoza!"

You have my congratulations - and envy.

[trumpet emoticon here]

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 24th, 2011, 07:01 PM
I really love the blue opera house but the banner doesn't look so nice. The layout also changes, not keen on my details at the top of the page. See my screen shots, click to enlarge.

But I really really do like the blue house so if the layout can't be changed it I don't mind that much. :)

http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/2262/bluecs.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/842/bluecs.jpg/)

blue house

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/7857/redar.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/37/redar.jpg/)

red house

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 07:10 PM
More emoticons *will* be added. It's just that there is so much to do! I'm attacking one problem at a time, and since I'm a newbie, every little thing takes hours for me to learn and make the correct changes without bringing the forum down. Little by little I'm getting better at it, and I've been starting my tentative baby steps of editing configuration files. I did some three edits already and the forum didn't crash, yay!

A bit more of propaganda for the Aria-Chocolate (the blue one) skin: have you noticed how the polls look good on it?

About the darn Thanks/Like buttons - my last hope is to give the vendor access to our server (always a scary thing to do) and ask him to fix the installation directly, since as far as I know I've been following instructions correctly but not getting anywhere. I have posted this request. He hasn't answered (must be in Christmas break). So I have some hope that between Christmas and New Years he'll do it and we'll have this feature. If he doesn't, we'll have to uninstall this thing and hope for some other coder to come up with a similar product that works with 4.1.8.

4.1.9 has been released, and 4.1.10 is in beta testing. I'm scared to death of upgrading... most likely I'll wait for some six months (our license gives us the right to free upgrades for one year) before upgrading, because certainly it will cause another string of compatibility issues.

The funny thing is that vBulletin technicians have encouraged me to upgrade because they say certain bugs I've been complaining about have been fixed in the new version... but again, at least we have one up and running, and I won't do this so close to launching day, who knows what Pandora Box I'd be opening...

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 07:15 PM
Annie, layouts *can* be changed. It's not easy and I'm learning slowly how to change things, but everything definitely *can* be changed. So, what are the specific changes you suggest? I'll look into them. Can't promise that it will be fast (it took me 10 days to change the color of the navigation links on the Blue skin after some 5 exchanges with tech support), but eventually I'll learn how to implement all the changes. So please give me a list of what is troubling you.

By the way, Aksel and now you said the banner clashes with the background colors. While I can see it for the red one (and my son has said he'll adjust it), I sincerely can't see it for the blue one. I think the dark violet and silvery colors of the banner match very well the skin itself (meaning, the way the front page and the forum are displayed) and the background. Am I wrong? If I am, what exactly is clashing, so that I tell my son?

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 24th, 2011, 08:28 PM
Annie, layouts *can* be changed. It's not easy and I'm learning slowly how to change things, but everything definitely *can* be changed. So, what are the specific changes you suggest? I'll look into them. Can't promise that it will be fast (it took me 10 days to change the color of the navigation links on the Blue skin after some 5 exchanges with tech support), but eventually I'll learn how to implement all the changes. So please give me a list of what is troubling you.

By the way, Aksel and now you said the banner clashes with the background colors. While I can see it for the red one (and my son has said he'll adjust it), I sincerely can't see it for the blue one. I think the dark violet and silvery colors of the banner match very well the skin itself (meaning, the way the front page and the forum are displayed) and the background. Am I wrong? If I am, what exactly is clashing, so that I tell my son?

To be honest, these are minor cosmetic details & please don't spend too much time on them for my sake. I'm sure there's much more important work you want to do on the site.

And don't forget it's Christmas - time for you to take a break. ;)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 08:35 PM
Yeah, I'm here with the family in the family room, but the Christmas party only starts at 7 PM, and this year it will be at a friend's house, so we're just hanging out, that's why I'm still here.

OK, so, at some point later we'll try the layout changes.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 10:20 PM
Banner colors for both the red and the blue layouts have been adjusted, check it out and provide feedback please.

Aramis
December 24th, 2011, 10:39 PM
Banner colors for both the red and the blue layouts have been adjusted, check it out and provide feedback please.

Changing skin would be pretty tough quest, the wretched white font still appears in some menus on the light background so you can't read anything.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 10:44 PM
Changing skin would be pretty tough quest, the wretched white font still appears in some menus on the light background so you can't read anything.

Tell me exactly where you're finding this - red or blue layout, and what menus/pages and location of the problem in the page, and I'll try to fix it (not today though, I'll be leaving soon to attend a Christmas party)

PS - tell me what browser/version you're using, since this may be part of the problem; older browser versions don't display our pages entirely correctly (because I'm not seeing the problem on my end)

PS2 - The only white link on light background I'm seeing is the Advanced Search, and the problem there is different and harder to fix - the link is too low, it is supposed to be a bit higher so that if falls on the dark background. There is no way to change its color without changing simultaneously the color of other links, so I need to figure out how to push it higher instead of changing its color.

Aramis
December 24th, 2011, 10:52 PM
Tell me exactly where you're finding this - red or blue layout, and what menus/pages and location of the problem in the page, and I'll try to fix it (not today though, I'll be leaving soon to attend a Christmas party)

In "settings". Blue layout.


PS - tell me what browser/version you're using, since this may be part of the problem; older browser versions don't display our pages entirely correctly (because I'm not seeing the problem on my end)

Rather recent version of Firefox.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 24th, 2011, 11:02 PM
In "settings". Blue layout.



Rather recent version of Firefox.

Oh, I see. Terrible. This is not because of the browser but rather because I changed too many fonts to white. I'll have to work on it, undoing one by one until we get to the one that is causing the problem (or else, I'll ask vBulletin tech support to tell me exactly what those are called - each part of vBulletin has a different name so that we find the right areas of the code to make changes - there is actually a dictionary, and I'm starting to learn the different names). It will get solved in a couple of days. Thanks for the feedback.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 12:58 AM
ATTENTION: MAJOR UPDATE, I NEED FEEDBACK.

Point your browsers to www.operalively.net (http://www.operalively.net) (please notice: it's dot net, not dot com) to preview the new layout for the new front page and portal. It is ready and functional but navigation *can* and *will* be fine tuned, and minor edits such as link placement on the secondary pages *can* be edited.

Notice the following:

The Front Page is a Flash site. You can alternate between 5 areas:

About Us which just contains a short mission statement, and four other links: Learn, Discuss, Read, and See. Once you click on one of these four, you're taken to one of four secondary pages.

These four secondary pages have short explanations of what they are, and all four contain another link which is an underlined word.

In certain cases depending on the size of your screen, you'll have to scroll down to see the underlined word (which is one of the things I may have to change - it may be less than self-evident for some users - especially the less computer-literate crowd who may not think of scrolling down and may get stuck).

Once you click on the underlined word in one of these four pages (again, Learn, Discuss, Read, and See) you will be taken to:

Learn - Wordpress pages with our articles. I placed only one article there, for the sake of an example. I'll be moving all of our articles there.

Discuss - You are taken to the Forum - if you haven't registered or signed in, you'll do so at this point by the usual method.

Read - You are taken to the current Home page, where the Jonas Kaufmann interview is placed. This is where all News will be placed (like in a newspaper) such as interviews, opera news, and reviews. Once the Wordpress pages are populated, we'll unclog the current Home page and will only have there the content that falls under the concept of News.

See - You are taken to another Wordpress page. There is nothing there other than beautiful pictures of opera performances, but this is where I'll place everything that has to do with support for regional opera houses, schedules, etc. - may place DVDs and blu-rays reviews there as well, I don't know yet. (Feedback on this is appreciated)

Observe that while in the Wordpress pages, by clicking Home the image changes (randomly... you may have to click a few times to see them all, because they may randomly repeat). Once we have more content, people will be taken back to a Learn or See home pages, not to the main portal (this may seem confusing, and we may have to edit this somehow to call it Learn Index or See Index rather than Home).

Currently the Read, Learn, Discuss, and See pages open in a new window (new tab in modern browsers) so there is no way to navigate back to the portal just by clicking on the Left-pointed arrow on the top left side of your screen. This *can* be changed, depending on feedback. Some people may prefer it open in a new window, but I personally feel that it's better to have it open in the same window so that if people want to go back to the portal, they can. Later we may place redirects there as well so that people can go from inside one of these four areas to another one, without need to go back to the portal. We'll see.

Also notice that anybody can bypass this initial presentation by bookmarking the current Home page and the current Forum page. Therefore, this initial presentation is supposed to be for people who visit the site for the first time (or for those veterans who find the graphics compelling and want to see them again:)). We'll have to look into installing some sort of [skip] function, but we're not there yet, for now I just want to test the navigation.

About looks - unfortunately I won't be able to accept feedback on this for now. It took us too long to build these pages (some 10 days) and we're not about to restart, not for now. In the relatively near future I *will* be working on these pages again - especially because for now they are hosted in a separate hosting environment, for a fee, and I want to rebuild them independently so that we don't need to pay monthly fees to both these separate hosts, and put everything under the same host (they've been great, I'm very satisfied with their hardware, software, and customer support). Crazy as it may sound, these web pages can't be purchased, they remain hosted by the company that lets us make them using their tools. We only realized this major ooops too late, and given my son's plans (he's helping me while on break from college) we can't restart, we're too close to opening day. But we'll work on cutting these ties later, and redoing independently what we did with this company.

But I *can* work on redirects, easier navigation, etc., depending on your feedback.

For now, while we are testing and getting feedback, the pages are hosted in one of the four domains I have purchased - the operalively.net, while the main content is with operalively.com (I also own operalively.org and operalively.biz).

Once we're satisfied with the navigation and the feedback, a redirect will be entered, and people directing their browsers to operalively.com will be taken to the portal before they can enter the content parts by clicking on the links.

I know that some of you will probably say that it's too complicated, you have to click on two links before you get to the content (which is the most important part, of course). But I don't think so. I believe that it is important to have a beautiful presentation upfront, for when I continue my contacts with opera company managers, artist managers, etc. Whoever wants the convenience of a quick click to get to the content can add a bookmark or can pin down the bookmarked pages to the start-up menu or include it in the Favorites bar.

Another possibility is using the Wordpress Learn pages just for ultra-prime content (such as the finalized Opera In-Depth articles), and keeping most of the other content where it is right now. Similarly, we could reserve the Wordpress See pages only for the schedules of opera companies that accept to partner with us (a good selling point for these partnerships).

I'm planning to have in our FAQ step-by-step instructions about this navigation and bookmarks, for the less computer-literate who may want to skip the entire front page/secondary pages set up (I'm thinking of future members, not current ones who all know how to navigate pages in a browser - but some of the more silver-haired opera fans may be a bit puzzled).

Anyway, as usual with construction, the current arrangement is not perfect and needs feedback and tweaking. So please use this thread for it.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 02:10 AM
Potential problem: visual cacophony as different parts of the site have completely different looks.

Mini-update: now we have a favicon.

HarpsichordConcerto
December 26th, 2011, 06:24 AM
ATTENTION: MAJOR UPDATE, I NEED FEEDBACK.

Point your browsers to www.operalively.net (http://www.operalively.net)

Visually tasteful and quite beautiful. I like the Opera Lively logo on top of the page.

I have no problems with clicking twice to get to the various pages.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 26th, 2011, 08:21 AM
My first impressions are WOW, beautiful and very professional looking!

I like that logo but I've always liked it. It's memorable & light hearted which is a good contrast to the seriousness of the site.

I always prefer 'opening a new window' or tab (have my google search set up to do just that). I'm always closing a page to find I've lost my place.

Yes we need to get all parts of the site looking as much the same as you can without major work - maybe just with the colour scheme to begin with (visual cacophony as you say) otherwise it looks as if you've entered a different site.

Oy there's silver in my hair :mad: but the navigation is certainly not too complicated for me ;) Clicking two links to get to where you want to be isn't unusual.

(Alma - I am in awe at how much you've done so far, it's absolutely fabulous & your plans for the future are so exciting. There's no other site like it, that I've come across anyway, and you can be very very proud)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 11:30 AM
Thanks HC and Annie, it's nice to have the first two pieces of feedback, positive ones. I was kind of insecure about what people would think. Oh well, there are still many members who haven't spoken yet, we'll see.

itywltmt
December 26th, 2011, 01:44 PM
I think this is taking shape! This is starting to look more like a professionally developed website than an artisan job... This may turn onto more than a hobby for you, Alma...

Since I have bookmarked the forum page, I don`t have any personal issues with the .net/,com conversion - wonder of the .com simply gets subsumed in time into the .net portal...

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 04:31 PM
Yes, I'll do that, itywltmt; I haven't done it yet because I wanted people to give feedback, iron out any glitches, before I make it "official" by placing a redirect from .com to .net so that the portal becomes a real portal instead of a separate site.

Amfortas
December 26th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Very attractive Front Page, Alma--a nice way to invite people in. I like the clever and apt "Opera Lively" logo there, my only small quibble being that the musical clefs are a little hard to see as an "O" and an "L."

I'm also a little uncertain about the categories. You've described the "Read" section as current news, but the blurb on the site itself suggests that you'll include the Opera In-Depth project there as well. Shouldn't that go under "Learn"? Maybe it's the names of the categories themselves that create the uncertainty, since "Read" really applies to all of them.

These are small points, though. In the big picture, things are really starting to look good, the site appearing more and more professional all the time.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Yes, In-Depth will be under Learn.
The Read category is supposed to evoke people reading their newspaper, thus why it will be placed on the current Home page where we get vertical columns like in a newspaper.
What blurb? Maybe something to be fixed.

PS - Oh, I see, I'll fix it. (PS2- Done, check it out now)

About the logo - it's a logo. It doesn't need to be literally an O or an L.
Inside the site, the name Opera Lively is well displayed.

Amfortas
December 26th, 2011, 05:49 PM
On the "Read" page, you've got, "We have reviews, deep analyses of different operas and singers, and exclusive interviews with both major opera stars and beginners." The bold part made me think you might be including Opera In-Depth there.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Fixed.

I think since the feedback has been favorable so far, I'll go live with this.

(PS - not before doing another back-up of the database, in case something goes wrong)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 06:23 PM
OK FOLKS WE ARE LIVE WITH THE NEW PORTAL!!!:D

For people typing for the first time www.operalively.com, they already get the new portal. For you guys who have been using the site, your browsers won't redirect to it yet until the history/cache/cookies get refreshed (but you can make the browser do it by deleting the history and cookies and emptying the cache - but if you don't want to do this, just wait for a few hours and it will do it on its own).

You can also see it right away just by typing www.operalively.net instead of .com

From now on, we have our Flash front pages up and running, and the links and redirects are working.

A major page on the construction work has been turned! The Opera Lively web site is outgrowing its newborn status and becoming an infant. Some more tweaks will be needed (background image for the forum without the tile effect, links that can't be read on light background, display problems in the Blue layout, the infamous Thank and Like button - still awaiting vendor's input, the guy must have traveled for Christmas), facebook and twitter integration, and most importantly, moving content to the two brand new Wordpress areas - but we're getting there, and still 20 days ahead of the scheduled end of construction.

Things are progressing nicely!:cool:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 10:18 PM
FINALLY!!!

The Thanks and Like buttons are operational! Another major victory in the construction!
Enjoy, folks!!!

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 26th, 2011, 10:23 PM
FINALLY!!!

The Thanks and Like buttons are operational! Another major victory in the construction!
Enjoy, folks!!!

http://i44.tinypic.com/ehki2b.gif http://i44.tinypic.com/ehki2b.gif

Amfortas
December 26th, 2011, 10:26 PM
Woo hoo! Way to go, Alma!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 10:49 PM
Next, more smileys!
I'll work on it.
Gee, guys, the construction work is close to an end!!!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 11:25 PM
:angel:
OK, folks, I *am* an angel. Now we have plenty of smileys. 54 of them. Enjoy!
Another construction task that is over.

Next, I'll work on the Blue layout which has lingering problems.

Then, facebook and twitter integration.

We're very close to the end of construction.

Aksel
December 26th, 2011, 11:27 PM
Love the front page. Only thing is that I read the title as being Fpera Gively, but that's because I'm a musician and weird like that. But it looks great!

As for the header, I think it looks a gazillion times better now.

I have to say that I'm very impressed by how the forum now looks! It's really coming together very nicely, and I can't imagine how hard you must be working. Truly amazing!

Oooh! And Like buttons as well! Nice.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 26th, 2011, 11:30 PM
Great, Aksel, I'm glad that you like it.
Yes, it's been hard work, but for a good cause.
Look at the banner for the Blue layout and tell me what you think, please.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 07:58 AM
Hey, folks, a collective pat on the back, we have just completed 2,500 posts, in 23 days of construction. That's more than 100 posts per day and we haven't even officially launched yet!

This is going really well. Schigolch is an impressive content machine, churning out post after post with high quality content, and with lots of interesting initiatives. We all struggle to keep up with him (thankfully, so that we can enjoy his teachings) but we do have a core of regulars who post frequently as well and have other nice ideas. I'm impressed with how dynamic this community is already, and we haven't even engaged in an organized registration drive yet (I have several ideas for this, which I will divulge closer to January 15). And this all, considering that the first few days were slow as people joined one by one, and we went right through the holiday season when many are away.

I predict an explosion of new members and new posts in the second half of January and throughout February.

Operafocus
December 27th, 2011, 08:37 AM
I love the new frontpage as well! Wonderful stuff! At first I thought I entered the wrong URL, so I was pleasantly surprised :encouragement:

Soave_Fanciulla
December 27th, 2011, 08:57 AM
Congratulations Alma - fantastic work. :applause:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 09:16 AM
I can put music on the front page, do you think I should?
If yes, what do you suggest? A very beautiful aria, but not one of the beaten path?
I think this one may do:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v28bDkih5lc&feature=player_embedded

Do you have an audio file for it, Schigolch?

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 27th, 2011, 09:53 AM
I can put music on the front page, do you think I should?
If yes, what do you suggest? A very beautiful aria, but not one of the beaten path?
I think this one may do:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v28bDkih5lc&feature=player_embedded

Do you have an audio file for it, Schigolch?

Very nice and how appropriate (http://www.seattleoperablog.com/2011/12/rabble-rousers-guide-to-attila.html) :cool:

Elektra
December 27th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Congratulations Alma! I can imagine it must have been a hard work!

I love Opera Lively logo :) And Like buttons! :adoration:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 03:14 PM
A minor update, but fun: we're getting animated smileys (.gif files), courtesy of Annie (sospiro), with our thanks to her. The first three have been uploaded, more to come. This very cute one, for example, is already available (see what the little conductor does when he misses a note, hilarious):
:conductor:

Aksel
December 27th, 2011, 09:24 PM
I can put music on the front page, do you think I should?


I don't think so. I just find it very annoying, especially if I am already listening to music, and then I suddenly start wondering where the music came from and then I become frustrated.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 11:08 PM
I don't think so. I just find it very annoying, especially if I am already listening to music, and then I suddenly start wondering where the music came from and then I become frustrated.

Good point. I did include one mp3 player for each of the 5 pages, but not on autoplay so people can hit 'play' if they want the music to play, otherwise the page will be silent, eliminating the annoyance factor. Also, these mp3 players have volume control. I'll leave the mp3 players there for a few days to collect feedback; can always remove them later if the feature is not well received. I can also change the location of the players on the page, and make them more fading/transparent, or more solid black (or any other color). I can insert smaller players too - such as just the icon for a loudspeaker (but then they aren't as intuitive, they won't have the stop/play buttons and people will have to click on them to start them, and click again to stop them). So please give feedback. I actually think the small kind is a good idea, less intrusive. Anyway, tell me what you all think, and I also accept suggestions for the arias to place there instead of these five (although I do think that all five are very beautiful).

The arias are:

For the About Us page, Luciano Pavarotti singing Una Furtiva Lagrima from L'Elisir d'Amore
For the Learn page, Kiri Te Kanawa singing Oh Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi
For the Discuss page, Giuseppe di Stefano singing Mi Par d'Udir Ancora from Les PÍcheurs de Perles
For the Read page, Bryn Terfel singing O du mein holder Abendstern from Tannhšuser
For the See page, Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca singing the Barcarolle from Les contes d'Hoffmann

Listen to them and tell me what you think.

Aramis
December 27th, 2011, 11:14 PM
I'm so much against the idea of music playing from the web you visit. If you have to do it against all objections, please consider throwing this piece as the main page playback:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iC4qBOmZ_Q

Amfortas
December 27th, 2011, 11:27 PM
If you have to do it against all objections, please consider throwing this piece as the main page playback:

Your compositions impress me more and more, Aramis.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 27th, 2011, 11:32 PM
Your compositions impress me more and more, Aramis.

I believe this piece is by Glass, Amfortas. See, it repeats over and over.:devilish:

Aramis
December 27th, 2011, 11:50 PM
We could also consider using recordings from our little singing competition, just to welcome people with proves of our highest competences in all spheres related to opera.

Aksel
December 28th, 2011, 12:46 AM
We could also consider using recordings from our little singing competition, just to welcome people with proves of our highest competences in all spheres related to opera.

Sorry, Alma. I'll go with Aramis' suggestion.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 28th, 2011, 02:57 AM
Oh well, if nobody likes the idea I'll remove the mp3 players. But we'll see.
You know, since I didn't put them on autoplay, you guys won't be bothered. But if nobody wants them then there is no point in letting them disturb the elegant looks of the front page.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 28th, 2011, 07:09 AM
I like mp3 players but, like Aksel, hate it when something starts up automatically. Ours are OK & the links are unobtrusive but they do spoil the look of the front page.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 28th, 2011, 03:41 PM
Well given concerns about copyrights I brought down the mp3 players except for one of them which I reduced to a more discreet small icon, and it contains Di Stefano's recording which is from the mid-40's so hopefully it is not a copyright infringement (supposed to last for 50 years). Please let me know if now it is OK to leave it at that, or if the majority of people here want even this small player out permanently.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 29th, 2011, 12:21 AM
We seem to have had a major problem while I was trying to repair the grid of the Blue layout.

Most likely all your posts after 6:02 PM got lost.
I had to restore the database from a backup.
Still, the Home page is not working properly under Browner.
It is working under Aria-Chocolate.

I have temporarily reversed the default look of the forum to Aria-Chocolate.

If you want to read the front page you'll have to toggle to Aria-Chocolate.

I'll get tech support to try and solve this issue. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 29th, 2011, 01:49 AM
OK, folks, problem solved, everything is back to normal, except that we had to restore the database to today at 18:02 PM so some posts may have been lost, sorry for that - these construction accidents happen.

On the other hand, we got another notch closer to the end of construction, since the problem with the grid in the Blue layout has been solved.

I believe that there are only two items left to be done in the construction phase: twitter integration, and transfering the articles to the Wordpress pages (which we'll do little by little since it is very time consuming.

Opera Lively is almost ready!

HarpsichordConcerto
December 29th, 2011, 04:00 AM
:angel:
OK, folks, I *am* an angel. Now we have plenty of smileys. 54 of them. Enjoy!
Another construction task that is over.


:triumphant: :victorious:

AnaMendoza
December 29th, 2011, 04:55 AM
Is anyone else seeing, in Aria-Chocolate, an overlap at the top of the forum pages? For example, on this page, the line that reads: "Results 91 to 94 of 94 Page 10 of 10" overlaps the following line, which is a brown bar with clickable items: "View First Unread Thread Tools, etc." It doesn't overlap enough to make it unreadable, but it does make it look sloppy. I have a laptop with a smaller viewing area than many monitors, but just for fun, I scrunched the page smaller, and nothing got worse, so I don't think that page size is causing it.

I've seen it since I switched to Aria-Chocolate, but I thought I wouldn't bother you with it while you were working on more important things. (And, by the way, I like Aria-Chocolate much better than I did--just took a little getting-used-to. My vow was to use nothing but it till New Year's Day--I may not change back!)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 29th, 2011, 12:02 PM
Yes, I saw that overlap and it bothered me too. I guess I'll be able to work on it if I reduce the font size. This Aria-Chocolate pre-made by a vendor is very hard to customize because it tends to have code that takes over the vBulletin customization features. That's why I had such trouble with the grid yesterday and had to restore the database to an earlier back-up (the grid is working now and the articles look great on it, now). But if I address the vendor directly we should be able to decrease font size and eliminate the overlap. I'll look into it, thanks. Glad that you like the Aria-Chocolate. I got used to it too, find that its front page is much prettier than the Browner front page, and if at least some people like it, I won't feel that I wasted time and money with it.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 29th, 2011, 08:28 PM
We now have 88 smileys, many of them animated. Enough smileys for now!:fatigue:

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 29th, 2011, 08:51 PM
We now have 88 smileys, many of them animated. Enough smileys for now!:fatigue:

Sure?

I hadn't got to the end of my 's's. I thought of this for our 'dear leader'

http://i41.tinypic.com/jjo5li.gif

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 29th, 2011, 09:02 PM
I think that if we upload too many, it gets overwhelming and hard to choose from, unless we delete some. I think what we have now should suffice for all the gamut of possible forum interactions, no?

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 29th, 2011, 09:10 PM
I think that if we upload too many, it gets overwhelming and hard to choose from, unless we delete some. I think what we have now should suffice for all the gamut of possible forum interactions, no?

Yes I think we've got more than enough but you are our 'super-hero' :laugh4:

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 29th, 2011, 10:42 PM
Yes I think we've got more than enough but you are our 'super-hero' :laugh4:

Oh, I thought you were talking about Schigolch! *He* is our super-hero!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 31st, 2011, 01:38 PM
ATTENTION MEMBERS, I will be doing some intensive construction work, starting in a few minutes. The database may crash, like it happened a few times during these plug-in installations. I'll perform a full back-up of the database so that in case of problems it can be restored to the state it is in, as of about 8:45 AM EST. A restore takes about 90 minutes to perform. If you care for anything you post from 8:45 on, please save it to a word file in your computer so that you can post it again later, if it gets lost. Do this until I give an "all clear" message. Thanks for your understanding of the noise and dust associated with construction.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 31st, 2011, 05:37 PM
All clear for now. I wasn't able to accomplish what I wanted to do and will have a break.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 1st, 2012, 05:53 PM
Construction of facebook and twitter integration (and other social sites) is in progress.
The database may crash. A full back-up was performed as of 12:50 PM today, Sunday 1/1/12.
Anything members post (and care for keeping) from now on until I give the all clear should be saved outside of the site (e.g., a Word file) to be re-posted later in case we need to restore the database to its state as of 12:50 PM.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 1st, 2012, 07:05 PM
I DECLARE ALL MAJOR CONSTRUCTION WORK TO BE FINISHED!

We have now a fully functional forum, with the latest addition, share buttons for all threads and CMS articles, including the ability to email articles to your friends. Facebook, Twitter, Goggle +1, ReddIt, and inside the Share button there are options for regular email, LinkedIn, Gmail, Yahoo mail and bookmarks, etc. (321 link possibilities).

I'll still do some cosmetic tweaking from time to time but this is not enough to qualify as construction work.

Therefore, I have removed the words "Opera Lively is under construction" from the front announcement.

That's it, folks, the child has been born.

Next I'll be moving content to the /learn and /see Wordpress pages, and will go back to posting about opera and adding my own content.

We have 2 weeks left to move all the content and work on any possible glitches or minor cosmetic issues.

Exactly 2 weeks from now on 1/15/2012 we'll be engaging - hopefully with the help of all members - in a concerted recruitment and exposure drive, to make of this community the most dynamic and active opera forum in the Internet. I count on all of you for this, and will be posting ideas on how to go about it.

Enjoy the site and its new features - it's been hard work, but I believe that I was able to deliver to you all a good-looking, agile, and modern environment. Thanks for enduring all the troubles during construction.

OPERA LIVELY IS NOW OPEN FOR REGULAR BUSINESS!!!:curtain_call:

Ann Lander (sospiro)
January 1st, 2012, 07:24 PM
I DECLARE ALL MAJOR CONSTRUCTION WORK TO BE FINISHE!

We have now a fully functional forum, with the latest addition, share buttons for all threads and CMS articles, including the ability to email articles to your friends. Facebook, Twitter, Goggle +1, ReddIt, and inside the Share button there are options for regular email, LinkedIn, Gmail, Yahoo mail and bookmarks, etc. (321 link possibilities).

I'll still do some cosmetic tweaking from time to time but this is not enough to qualify as construction work.

Therefore, I have removed the words "Opera Lively is under construction" from the front announcement.

That's it, folks, the child has been born.

Next I'll be moving content to the /learn and /see Wordpress pages, and will go back to posting about opera and adding my own content.

We have 2 weeks left to move all the content and work on any possible glitches or minor cosmetic issues.

Exactly 2 weeks from now on 1/15/2012 we'll be engaging - hopefully with the help of all members - in a concerted recruitment and exposure drive, to make of this community the most dynamic and active opera forum in the Internet. I count on all of you for this, and will be posting ideas on how to go about it.

Enjoy the site and its new features - it's been hard work, but I believe that I was able to deliver to you all a good-looking, agile, and modern environment. Thanks for enduring all the troubles during construction.

OPERA LIVELY IS NOW OPEN FOR REGULAR BUSINESS!!!:curtain_call:

:happydance.2:

Congratulations!!

You & the team have worked incredibly hard & I would like to take this opportunity to say a big 'THANK YOU'. What you have achieved in such a short time is astounding.

http://www.millan.net/minimations/smileys/grouphugg.gif (http://www.millan.net)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 2nd, 2012, 05:55 AM
A new forum has been created: Singer-oriented Forum.
There, you can post news about your favorite singers, tour schedules, recitals/concerts, opera house upcoming appearances, TV appearances, new CDs, new DVDs/Blu-rays, declarations of love, pictures, praise, criticism, whatever - as long as you're posting mainly because of the singer. So, if you're posting a DVD review but exclusively to comment upon the singer, it's more appropriate to post it there than to post under a composer's thread in the Reviews forum. Enjoy! Naturally, the first one I posted there is about Anna Netrebko.;)

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 2nd, 2012, 02:33 PM
Sorry, folks, I was the victim of a mosquito bite yesterday, and the bug infected me with this dreadful illness called Organizing Fever. I went on an organizing spree and moved things around quite a bit, which apparently has displeased a couple of people already (maybe more when others log in and say - "where the hell is my stuff, did it get deleted???") - I did not delete anything, just moved posts and threads to provide what I though would be an easier-to-search, more straightforward environment.

So the major changes were the following:

-Like I said above, a forum for posts and threads focused on singers has been created. Therefore, I moved there threads like "Great singers of the past" - "Digital battle of the Divas" and similar, as well as threads and posts about individual albums and CDs from specific singers.

-I grouped some posts with similar topics such as one isolated comment about a singer's album - but did it in an exaggerated faction since I placed in the same thread 7 or 8 posts about a given singer; the author protested, I undid the damage by restoring those posts to the glory of an exclusive thread. Sorry, author.

-I grouped some reviews about operas from composers who were a bit of a one-piece wonder or had just a couple of operas that remained in the repertoire in a Miscellaneous thread, because it seemed weird to have a dedicated thread for those, with one or two posts. Having different threads for composers who are notable for just one opera might make the area too clogged with too many short threads. Again, I overdid, placing Weber there, and he does deserve his own thread, which I have corrected, now he has his own one. But this is the spirit - if a composer starts to get many posts, it makes sense to *then* move the posts out of the Miscellaneous thread and give to the composer his/her own thread. But while it's one post here, one there, it's probably best to have a Miscellaneous thread.

-Doing so, I did not place redirects (or else the threads would be disrupted with a large number of redirects) but I understand how this can be distressing, so, sorry for that; if you can't find what you want, ask me; I probably still remember where I placed everything.

-I made a "sticky" thread for Chat about CDs, DVDs, blu-rays that are not reviews, in the CD/DVD/Blu-ray forum. I think this really works well, I did a similar move when I was the moderator of an Opera area in another forum, and it was well utilized for general chit-chat, keeping the Composer threads more for real reviews.

-A minor change: a thread about operatic books was moved to the Educational Thread area because it is educational in nature, encouraging people to get books and learn more.

I really do like the concept of a Singer-oriented forum. I think that if we place everything that is not a DVD review, a performance review, etc., under the General Operatic Discussion, we'll end up with such a huge forum that it will be hard to find stuff there. So, anytime there is some clear way to single out content with a common idea, like Singer-related threads, I thought it would be easier to find stuff if we trimmed down the large General discussion and provided different areas.

One objection that was made is that singers are in the core of opera therefore the move was unnecessary. Sure, but the Singers forum is still within the "Operatic Forums in English" - I never meant to imply that they weren't part of the core operatic experience. It was just an attempt to make things easier to find as we grow and the number of threads multiplies.

I apologize to all members for having made these changes without collecting feedback first. The intention was good, but I'll make sure to keep these infected mosquitoes away from my home, in the future.

Aramis
January 2nd, 2012, 02:46 PM
But there is still no composers section.

No place to start "Monteverdi vs Wagner" polls.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 2nd, 2012, 02:57 PM
But there is still no composers section.

No place to start "Monteverdi vs Wagner" polls.

True, but I think this falls quite well under General Operatic Discussions. Because if we start a thread for each composer, it will get really confusing as opposed to the places where people post reviews of operatic recordings (already separated by composers), performances, and operas themselves. And then, a Monteverdi vs. Wagner thread would overlap two composers. I think those things *are* the general discussions.

But if many members want such an area, we may do it.

Aramis
January 2nd, 2012, 03:00 PM
Well, I disagree because discussing recordings of his operas is so very little part of what you can talk about concerning some composer.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 2nd, 2012, 03:13 PM
I think that composers overlap with mostly everything else, since they *are* opera which wouldn't exist without them. There is always a composer behind each opera. Therefore it can be a bit confusing, people may start to wonder where they should post stuff. But I'll take your suggestion under consideration and will discuss it with the staff.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 5th, 2012, 01:38 AM
Happy One-Month Birthday, Opera Lively!
Today is our first monthly "anniversary" if such thing exists, LOL.
Opera Lively was born on 12/4/2011, one month ago today.
We aren't a newborn any longer... we're officially a baby. We're moving fast!:onthego:

Soave_Fanciulla
January 5th, 2012, 03:16 AM
Happy One-Month Birthday, Opera Lively!
Today is our first monthly "anniversary" if such thing exists, LOL.
Opera Lively was born on 12/4/2011, one month ago today.
We aren't a newborn any longer... we're officially a baby. We're moving fast!:onthego:

Happy monthiversary, Opera Lively
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD_dfyFhMQTLNATxqRotkj1fSm3tTLR H_n96ZwTa-RiDIQ6qM8Y3Ozjw

HarpsichordConcerto
January 6th, 2012, 11:24 PM
I think it will impress anyone with the amount of material and progress for any internet forum that's only a month old!

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
January 25th, 2012, 06:09 AM
I have added some functions to the Home page (and improved its visuals a little, by making the size of the fragment of the featured articles more homogeneous).

1) It now has a much longer capacity to hold recent articles (so that they don't fall to oblivion too quickly) on the left sided widget (right below the Section widget).
2)Remember, you can use the Section widget to see content as well, such as the exclusive interviews, exclusive articles, and local area which now has more opera schedules from more places).
3)There is a new widget below the feature articles on the center of the page (scroll down) - it contains the most viewed Forum threads
4)There is a new widget on the right side, below the Recent Posts widget - it contains polls
5)There is a new widget on the right side, below the Polls widget - it contains recent comments on articles

The Home page can be used more often now by members to get a sense of what has been going on lately on Opera Lively. Enjoy!

PS - Avatars can now be bigger - 120x120 pixels. If you increase the size of your avatar, it will start to appear on the Home page next to your posts and threads started by you.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
May 27th, 2012, 03:31 AM
We will be upgrading our vBulletin software this weekend - May 27-29. Anytime there is an upgrade, crashes and freezes may happen due to compatibility issues with plug-ins and ad-ons. Pardon the construction noise, and if you post anything important that you don't want to lose, be sure to keep an independent copy so that you can re-post it later, if we need to restore the database to an earlier point. Thank you.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
May 27th, 2012, 06:32 AM
Upgrade to version 4.2.0 has been completed.
Bugs may occur. Some parts of the software may not work correctly.
Report problems by posting them to the Technical Issues forum.
Thank you for your understanding in case of difficulties.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
May 28th, 2012, 02:46 AM
I've tried the new mobile platform. It's cool. The site is rendered very nicely on iPhone. Much easier to read posts and reply.

Couchie
May 28th, 2012, 05:07 AM
There's also an iPhone app and OL is now supported. It's even better than the mobile. Posting from the toilet just got so much better.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
May 28th, 2012, 01:51 PM
Yes, I saw that. When I first logged in through the iPhone it asked me if I wanted to download the app. I didn't because I was in a hurry. What does that app do?

Couchie
May 28th, 2012, 11:23 PM
It's similar to the mobile but quite a bit snappier and takes advantage of built in iOS buttons, etc.

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