The (technical) weirdness, it burns

by Diane Duane

Those of you who may have been watching the progressive site revamp at The-Big-Meow.com should be warned that, while I was attempting to add some features this morning, some stuff got screwed up. It’s not serious, but it affects the look-and-feel of the site, and may take a while to fix, as I’m still not entirely sure what caused the problem.

I was attempting to do two things, one fairly dull and one kind of neat. (a) was the addition of a custom “favicon” that would show up in people’s browser tabs when the pages loaded. (b) was access, via a separate internal blog, to the research materials I’ve been using while writing the book. (I keep these materials under control using Onfolio — once a stand-alone resource, now part of Internet Explorer since Onfolio was bought by Microsoft. Onfolio enables you to save entire web pages, even web sites, for offline viewing, and to publish the pages either as printed reports or as part of a weblog for personal use.) It occurred to me that it might be fun for interested people to see the “raw material” that I’m using.

Since I was working on both of these additions to the TBM site at once, one or another of them has caused the site’s formatting to be screwed up for logged-in site members — sidebar images aren’t displaying, and text formatting has gone erratic: some is centered when it shouldn’t be; some that shouldn’t be centered, is. I’ve removed all the new material and done everything I can think of to return the site to the way it was earlier, but the problem persists, and I don’t have any more time to spend on it today, as I’m supposed to be doing, you know, work.

Registered users, please excuse the problem for the time being. I am reluctant to do too much more about it for two reasons: (a) we’re about to change hosting providers (see the message here) and (b) when we do, I’m going to upgrade the Drupal installation to the newly released version 5, which is much slicker and smarter than the v.4.7.4 we’re using now. One or the other of these solutions will most likely fix the problem. (Which I privately suspect has something to do with the fact that our present hosting provider, GoDaddy, won’t let Drupal have the database access it needs to perform correctly. This is why the site’s search function is presently turned off.) Once the move to the new provider takes place, we’ll be able to implement the discussion forums and personal blogs and so on (Drupal truly is a rich and wonderfully equipped website-building tool, with more bells and whistles than any sane person could reasonably desire).

(sigh) Sorry about this.

[tags]The Big Meow, feline, wizard, cat, online, novel, Diane Duane, technical, website, problem[/tags]

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