5/25/08: Kongming's Hodgepodge of Three Kingdoms Updates

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5/25/08: Kongming's Hodgepodge of Three Kingdoms Updates

Unread postby James » Mon May 26, 2008 3:31 am

Aside from continued work on several larger projects a number of smaller tasks have been completed over the past half month. A Campaign Overview provided by Mikhail and a Keyboard Shortcut List have been added to the Sango 2 page. Other pages across the site have been revised and some back-end improvements have been made, but I won’t trouble you with those boring details.

I have completely revised the entry page of our Three Kingdoms Links Directory. I didn’t like the way it was organized before and the numbers were confusing (e.g. ‘total links’ was the number of sub-categories added to the number of self-contained links—a pretty useless number). The new page should be very easy to read and use and now also features some of the finest sites right there for easy access. Remember, you are welcome to submit a link to us when you find something worth sharing!

Our Unicode Decimal Entity Encoder has been completely recoded. It is an old tool which we have featured on the site for a very long time, but it has actually become quite popular in some development circles. It converts special characters (and foreign languages) to decimal entity values which can be saved in HTML source code, or pasted into a forum to reliably display any character. The new version is, as far as I can tell, completely bug-free and works quite smoothly.

I have started working on a new revision of Destiny of an Emperor 2.0. With majority thanks to Niahak we have discovered new ways to hack the game and add features so I am now integrating some of them. If you wish to participate in the beta testing or follow development, read the latest posts in the Destiny of an Emperor 2.0 Discussion Thread at Scholars of Shen Zhou. When complete it will, of course, be announced here, and I will also be resuming my Cao Cao-themed remake!

While working on Destiny of an Emperor 2.0 I have also added new content to our Destiny of an Emperor Section. You can reference our Destiny of an Emperor Gameplay FAQ to find common problems and solutions while you play through the game. Our Open Treasures Glitch article specifically addresses the most infamous glitch of this classic title and offers a solution which is definitely preferable to starting a new game. And finally, I have published a respectable collection of Game Genie Codes, including some very cool codes which were nearly impossible to find previously, for you to cheat your heart out with while playing.
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Re: 5/25/08: Kongming's Hodgepodge of Three Kingdoms Updates

Unread postby James » Mon May 26, 2008 3:42 am

Haha... it occurs to me that I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Not only did I make these new pages I also introduced a whole bunch of new CSS to create them. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are a wee bit broken on older versions of Internet Explorer. Let me know if you encounter any browser bugs? :)

Also, what do you think about the links home page? I like it much more than the previous one. The links directory is powered by some popular directory software and despite some considerable modifications I still felt it was overly limited. I basically reprogrammed the home page from the ground up to use the link database so I could display everything in exactly the way I thought it should be shared. There's always room for improvement!

I'm also trying to make the forms on KMA look a little nicer. Hehe.
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Re: 5/25/08: Kongming's Hodgepodge of Three Kingdoms Updates

Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon May 26, 2008 4:23 am

The links page is much better. I like the lists of subdirectories directly on the main page.

Criticisms: I would like to see a "top" button at the end of each section. I also found it a bit weird that the name of the linked sites is bigger than the words "Featured Links" and "Subdirectory"---I was a bit confused as to whether, say, "SimRTK" was a subsection of "Artistic Content" or of "Featured Content" under "Artistic Content".

On the pages of the individual directories, the divider + blurb above "Featured Links" (such as the "Three Kingdoms History Sites: Three Kingdoms history-related and translation sites." thing on the History Sites page) is confusing. It looks like there's supposed to be stuff under the heading "Three Kingdoms History Sites" that's distinct from the stuff under "Featured Links". I would prefer it to be made more distinct from the "Links" header.
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Re: 5/25/08: Kongming's Hodgepodge of Three Kingdoms Updates

Unread postby James » Mon May 26, 2008 4:49 am

Lady Wu wrote:The links page is much better. I like the lists of subdirectories directly on the main page.

Yeah... the old... er... old new directory home page had the sub-directories on the home page, too, but they weren't displayed in a pleasant way. They were crammed under the header and description Like, This, ... (and only three were shown). Granted, we don't have a whole lot of sub-directories, but it was still a pretty sad way to present them. And I definitely agree with what you said about the numbers... what on earth was the point of having a count of links in a directory added to the number of categories? For popular established software that seemed really silly. I guess it is somewhat complicated SQL but if I can do it in one day this guy, who wrote some much more complicated stuff, could have figured it out over four years. :P

Lady Wu wrote:Criticisms: I would like to see a "top" button at the end of each section. I also found it a bit weird that the name of the linked sites is bigger than the words "Featured Links" and "Subdirectory"---I was a bit confused as to whether, say, "SimRTK" was a subsection of "Artistic Content" or of "Featured Content" under "Artistic Content".

The lack of a 'top' button was nagging at me, too. It seemed to me one might not really be needed when I thought about it logically, but that didn't stop it from bugging me. Since you feel the same way I got right to it and added 'TOP' buttons to each header. I'm actually pretty happy with how they turned out. I'm sure I'm going to have to do some custom coding for them, and other page elements, in Internet Explorer 6. I hope Internet Explorer 7 displays them okay.

How do they look and work for you?

I've also adjusted the size of the linked page titles down and increased the size of section headers (e.g. Featured Links). I can already see that it looks much better. I hope it looks great for you too.

Lady Wu wrote:On the pages of the individual directories, the divider + blurb above "Featured Links" (such as the "Three Kingdoms History Sites: Three Kingdoms history-related and translation sites." thing on the History Sites page) is confusing. It looks like there's supposed to be stuff under the heading "Three Kingdoms History Sites" that's distinct from the stuff under "Featured Links". I would prefer it to be made more distinct from the "Links" header.

There are a number of improvements I would like to make to the actual sub-directories. Here, though, I have to edit the directory program itself (something I've already been doing quite extensively, so that's no big deal). That oddly placed header which frequently contains only one paragraph is the sub-section description. The main directories only have one paragraph because anything longer looked pretty bad on the old links home page (but that has changed... longer descriptions would look fine on the new home page). You are right, though. It would make more sense for that text to be combined with the descriptive paragraph at the top of the page rather than hanging out on its own.

I'll look into that.
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