Star Trek


New Skin!

Posted on Fri Oct 6th, 2017 @ 7:12pm by Captain Tim Williams

Hi everyone

tl;dr: we have a new skin; it's awesome, and works on mobile. Read on for the full details.

It's been over two years since the Highlander's site had a make-over, and so over the past month or so I've been working on a completely new skin exclusively for the site, built using Bootstrap 4 and using icons from Font Awesome. I'm pleased to say that today I finally uploaded it to the site and it is live and (hopefully) ready for use! Head over to your Site Preferences (quick link in your dashboard in the main navigation) to change to it; it's called Astraeus.

Aside from sporting a new, dark-coloured look, the inclusion of Bootstrap now means that the site should display far better on mobile devices than it ever did before. Using the latest version of Bootstrap means I've also had to use the latest version of jQuery, which means that some of the scripts powering parts of the site have had to be upgraded or swapped out too - so do make sure to let me know of anything which no longer works on the new skin. So far the only parts I'm aware of are the preview buttons when selecting a skin (they still work on the old skins if you wanted to take a look at the preview images before switching over).

Using Bootstrap has also meant that I've had to update the code for almost every page on the site to add in the new CSS classes and to swap from the old way of doing things (so many tables, and using kbds instead of labels) to a more Bootstrap-friendly way. The good news is, this should mean that all pages on the site display the way they should, since I've gone through each by hand; but again if you find something that isn't working as expected, particularly on mobile, then let me know and I'll fix it.

I've also rejigged the layout of the site slightly, with some renamed (and in some cases relocated) links in the navigation, and with some links hidden from view to de-clutter the menus slightly. I'm hoping that it will guide people more easily to the content that matters if they're visiting our site for the first time.

The one page that has seen a more complete overhaul is the crew manifest page; I've used a modified version of Emily's personnel cards mod from Anodyne Xtras. As well as a more visual layout you'll also see some new badges showing at the bottom of each card; one shows the total number of posts (both posts and logs) attributed to that character, with a link to see the list of posts, and you'll also see a 'played by' badge in green, which will link you straight to that person's user profile page if you're logged in. It pulls the name from what you set your username as in your profile, so if you set your full name and would prefer it to just give your first name, that's the place to change it. If no username is added, then it will instead say 'user info' - it would be good if we could have some sort of display name there for everybody (even if not your RL name), but for those of you who prefer your privacy the option of leaving it blank is there (and if you're not logged in, it won't show the green badge at all). NPC's have their own badge, which gets swapped out for one for secondary characters if the NPC is linked to an account (secondary characters also get the user badge added to them). The change to the manifest is also replicated on the chain of command page.

I'm going to be going through and doing more updates to the site content over the coming days; updating the text on our pages and filling out a few extra pages on our wiki, so if you see anything that still refers to old information or is just a blank page; don't worry, I'll get to it shortly.

While I've had to make some changes to files that affect the whole site regardless of skin to make this work properly with Bootstrap, I've done my best to make sure that it has minimal to no impact on our other skins, so if you don't like the new one, you can still stick to one of our old ones (our 'Highlander2' skin is the main one I've gone through and tested however; so no guarantees if you're using one of our really old skins).


Category: Website Update

Comments (1)

by Captain Tim Williams on Fri Oct 6th, 2017 @ 7:20pm

Also, full credit to Emily and the USS Hornet for both giving me the inspiration to start this new skin, and also for various elements of the new layout, including the new-look main index and some of the reordering and re-labelling of the site navigation.