Sunday, February 22, 2015

To the guys trying to retool TV Tropes, read this for pointers

I paid about 25$ to the Kickstarter TV Tropes had, and while they haven't done nearly enough to fix the multitude of issues and coding fail inherent in that site's custom build of PmWiki in my opinion, they did at least slap on a nice new look that doesn't look like a Web 1.0 abomination, so I don't feel totally gypped. That and the upload interface for images sucks a little less.

But that's just a nice coat of pain on an old car: the engine under the hood is still an aging piece of crap.

That said, pointers to the coders:

1. Enable global Unicode support and other modern web standards - As a fan of MediaWiki, I'm quite pleased to note it comes with full support for Unicode and is fully compliant with modern web standards. Unfortunately, based on summary glance at the source code of most pages, they still lack this. Also, please update the shoddy CSS support, I can still see spoilers partially visible on Darth/SugarWiki pages.

2. Have a "fallback mode" - Granted, I'm a massive fanboy of the Gadgets extension and love sprucing up my wiki with CSS/JS, but over 95% is totally optional, as I want everyone to be able to read my site, even people using ancient browsers or people who hate excessive Javascript.

From what I understand, many of the new changes have made Javascript support absolutely necessary, forcing the user to have it on to enjoy most aspects of the site, which is retarded, since in this day and age of practically every sensible internet user using Adblock Plus and Noscript to filter out stuff for bandwidth or security reasons, it seems insane to force people to enable a ton of JS code just to look at a site that consists of over 90% text.

3. Would a quote button really hurt? - Seriously, the insistence on never having a quote button is just asinine on the fora pages, because they are FORUMS, those things where people discuss stuff. Quoting posts is helpful so you don't have to scroll up or even flip back several pages to see what the hell someone is referencing when discussing someone else's points in a discussion.

4. Fix the nonexistent pages getting indexed - I say this for two reasons. One, since TV Tropes appears to be using a dual flat file/MySQL backend for page information storage, this will free up a TON of nonexistent links and reduce strain on the database, resulting in better site performance. Also, it fraudulently boosts the SEO with pages that have no content, which was something Fast Eddie apparently did out of either laziness or because he figured it was passive form of spamming and he could get away with it.

Either way, it's idiotic and dishonest and needs addressed.

5. Make the code open-source as soon as possible, or set up a bug tracker system at the very least - Either of these will allow the community to submit patches and bug reports, which will make your lives easier. Trust me, I know, bugtesting is tedious as hell, and having the community do at least part of the work for you will save you some sanity in the long run.

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