[REQUEST] - Project 4-ch: Building a better website. (56)

1 Name: Squeeks!!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-08-01 10:23 ID:Heaven

Right now, I feel, the boards' scripts are lacking. Looking at things over the past while, we've got some things that need addressing. Many of our viewers don't see the pages how they should. Things are not very efficient, or constructed to work easily with each other. I'm now calling on the help of 4-ch'ers to help try to make a board script that meets our demands; both yours as you view and use them, and mine and the moderators so that we can efficiently moderate and operate the boards.

The list so far of things that need to be done:

  • Smaller, more efficient HTML/CSS. So far this is the only thing I personally have worked on.
  • Much better browser compatibility - WAHa built Kareha on firstly looks, and to work best with Firefox. I want the pages to be small and efficient whilst still remaining functionality, and looking 90% the same on every major browser. That includes Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari.
  • Moving the moderation/admin tools away from public view - these just clutter up the boards, and by moving them elsewhere, moderators can have more "tools" at their disposal.
  • imode/mobile phone browsing support - If we do support, people will use it, no doubt. We do get quite a lot of page views attempted by these users both from Japan and other countries.
  • BBS reader support - designing the code to either work with existing bbs readers, or future-proofing it to work with tools of our own in the future.
  • Faster processing. Faster, more efficient board scripts - Through using better coding, and other CGI options like FastCGI, SpeedyCGI or even mod_perl.
  • Statistic collection - All but error logging is going to be turned off, so no longer will I have someway of getting a view on stats, and I would like to make a more publically viewable setup.
  • Retain a lot of the things we already use - Secure trips, RSS, multiple board styles etc.

I've also come to the conclusion that taking some of Kareha's code and then building our own might be the best approach. I can't do this all myself : I'm a lousy programmer, and without your contribution I don't know what to add. Many hands also make light work. In terms of getting it all done, I personally would like a replacement for Kareha inplace before our 1st birthday (November 1st).

If you can help in anyway, Perl, HTML, CSS, ideas, criticism, thoughts, anything else I may have missed, then feel free to contribute to this thread. I am willing to provide whatever services are required to get the job done. Asking our resident technician to put inplace a CVS/SVN server is not a problem and if we need it, I'll have it in.

2 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-01 13:44 ID:bgAaluO1

A little CSS bug I just noticed: (only affects Pseud0ch) futher down this board there's a permasaged thread, but its "■ ▲ ▼" icons are floating in the top-right corner, near Admin/Manage.

3 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-01 16:23 ID:egSmnbR1

The table of contents near the top of each board could use some improvement. I see 4 main problems with the way it's presented right now:

  1. Pretty much the whole thing is crammed onto one line, which makes it hard to pick apart threads at a glance.
  2. The everything-on-one-line approach looks weird in Opera when a long thread title must wrap onto the next line.
  3. It's not obvious that clicking on the numeric portion of a topic (that is, the "1. " in "1. [REQUEST] - Project 4-ch: Building a better website. (2)") produces a different result than clicking on the text portion of the same title, but only for the first THREADS_DISPLAYED threads.
  4. The only possible action when clicking on a thread title is to read it starting from the top. There's no way to quickly skip down to the Reply box. Maybe that's a good thing since it makes people read before posting something irreverent; I don't know.

4 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-01 17:52 ID:8YqXn3FP

> Pretty much the whole thing is crammed onto one line, which makes it hard to pick apart threads at a glance.

Actually, I like that the way it is. The way Shiichan does this, with one line for each thread listed makes the list longer but not really more useful.

> The everything-on-one-line approach looks weird in Opera when a long thread title must wrap onto the next line.

How does it look weird?

> It's not obvious that clicking on the numeric portion of a topic (that is, the "1. " in "1. [REQUEST] - Project 4-ch: Building a better website. (2)") produces a different result than clicking on the text portion of the same title, but only for the first THREADS_DISPLAYED threads.

Well, you could either learn that just by experience (it's also the same way at 2channel (more or less)) or we could add it to the wiki.

> There's no way to quickly skip down to the Reply box.

Well, you could skim to the beginning of the next thread and then just scroll up a bit....

5 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-01 17:54 ID:8YqXn3FP

And personally, I think all "look and feel" questions that aim at optimal results should be subject for special browsers or firefox extensions. The default design by the board itself should just simply go for the best possible result that can be had by regarding the major browsers in use while not cramming everything full with stuff that could easily break.

6 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-01 20:53 ID:egSmnbR1


> Actually, I like that the way it is. The way Shiichan does this, with one line for each thread listed makes the list longer but not really more useful.

I wasn't asking for each thread title to be placed on its own line. I was asking for general opinions about clearer thread separation. Thanks for pointing out that Shiichan does it differently, though.

> How does it look weird?

Like this: http://paracelsus.hollosite.com/src/1122929217998.jpg

> Well, you could skim to the beginning of the next thread and then just scroll up a bit....

True, but that's a learned habit, and one that I certainly haven't learned. Although no user interface is intrinsically intuitive, we could try to make ours less intrinsically hostile.

8 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-08-02 07:25 ID:VqzGaeno

AFAIK, most of that list, other than the admin controls and stats, can be achieved by either modifying the CSS or Kareha's templates. Something really has to be done about Pseudo0ch; all the others work fine in Opera and IE.

As for the speed bit... egads, man.

9 Name: Squeeks!!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-08-02 12:36 ID:Heaven

> As for the speed bit... egads, man.

There aint nothing wrong with being quick and efficient.

> either modifying the CSS or Kareha's templates

Well no. I want to create a better way for moderation to be done that is a bit more involved. For starters, NONE of the admin features are public. So the CSS option is out as "display: none;" is something I would like to see, well, none of if I can help. Currently either making a Perl script/another template that does it serverside or a Firefox plugin or something are two ideas for a solution. The current setup of Kareha is far from the best option I feel if 4-ch ever plans to actually grow.

10 Name: Squeeks!!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-08-02 12:45 ID:Heaven

while I'm at it, I might as well show some of you what I have created and have done nothing but aimlessly show off:
http://4-ch.net/template/ <- Currently that is my very basic mock-up of what I would like to see the boards look like with pseud0ch. There is room in there for other styles no doubt however I that's something else to be desired. The HTML also is w3c compliant, as should be the CSS, something of which Kareha doesn't do. And somehow the page looks near the same in Netscape 4.7, Firefox 1, IE 5.5 for Mac, Safari etc.

Also, 8 replies and no one is willing to actually help, just criticise about the current problems. sigh

11 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-08-02 14:34 ID:RKMTXgQI

I am master of criticism! Hear me squeakroar!

The main problem, as I see it, is that coding up a decent bug-free board is an undertaking that will eat a few weekends. All that effort to change something that already works. No, it's not ideal, but most things in life aren't.

If you want to change things, I suspect it'd be simplest to do this:

  • toss a caching proxy in front of kareha (black magic not included)
  • enable Apache::Registry with mod_perl
  • fix the CSS
  • and remove the admin controls in the templates

This can all be done in one day, by one person. The only complicated part is:

  • Make a seperate perl (or PHP) program that admins can use

If you're slick, you can even rip off most of Kareha's code to do the last part. You don't even need a good perl coder, you just need a monkey good at pattern-matching (witness me and Wakaba). This may take two or three days.

A hack? Yeah, absolutely, but it's lot less effort. You're not going to get much faster than this either.

12 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-02 17:40 ID:fMqCb9qo

I like the look, it's a little neater than the current kareha style. You're still left with the problem of the number links' differing function not being obvious. Maybe with a space in between?

And the date really should be yyyy-mm-dd :3.

13 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-02 18:19 ID:u6AtJ9RE

> no one is willing to actually help, just criticise about the current problems.

Criticism can be actually helpful, no?

14 Name: Squeeks!!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-08-03 03:32 ID:Heaven

Sounds a lot easier, yes. I'd rather fix both the HTML and CSS at the same time. Sure it means loosing the existing styles etc, but we can always make our own new ones, right?

15 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-08-03 05:54 ID:MSBeYm7O

That's the idea behind the templating. If you don't like the standard HTML generation, you change the template.

However, I'm curious about what is wrong with the HTML? As far as I can see, the validation errors are caused purely by trying to accommodate IE stupidity. If it's size you're referring to, enabling mod_deflate or mod_gzip is easier.

16 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-03 11:17 ID:egSmnbR1

Opera with any board look breaks like the screenshot in >>7, but it's most obvious in Pseud0ch. Adding to Pseud0ch's problems is that most or all Delete links are unclickable in Opera. Some of the unclickable links are clickable when in a detailed thread view (i.e. Entire Thread), but which ones become clickable seem like a crap shoot.

17 Name: Anonymous 2005-08-03 11:38 ID:egSmnbR1

>And the date really should be yyyy-mm-dd :3.

Hear, hear!

>Make a seperate perl (or PHP) program that admins can use

You'll probably want to be able to view posts within the separate admin program so you know exactly which message(s) you're operating on.

So if the messages are presented in a message-board-like fashion, people might wonder if or why it isn't possible to post using that interface as well. "(Admin)" posting might be a function that's transferred over to the dedicated admin interface.

The Admin interface might want to implement its own automatic name/trip database as well.

>toss a caching proxy in front of kareha (black magic not included)

In order to accomplish what?

18 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-08-03 11:43 ID:xu/drL4Y


I can confirm that it's only a couple of IE workarounds that cause the validator to complain, due to usage of <nobr> tags.

As for >>1, changing the HTML template might be something you want to do (or might not, depending - the current one is designed to degrade fairly gracefully, and forcing it to look the same in major browsers might break the minor ones more instead). But I don't see what's wrong with the script itself - believe me, if there was a way to do things more efficiently, I would have done it already. You're going to have to point out some actual inefficiencies before you can do anything about them.

19 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-08-03 14:04 ID:FtzvimBE

>> toss a caching proxy in front of kareha (black magic not included)
> In order to accomplish what?

It's faster to grab something from cache than it is to run a script, even one coded to take full advantage of mod_perl. Even with a C + FastCGI combination, you're quite unlikely to beat a decent cache.

20 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-08-03 14:12 ID:FtzvimBE

I'm actually a bit curious why everything isn't just static HTML.

21 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-08-03 18:50 ID:ckQQcLFi


To implement functionality like >>1,18-21 and such. The "entire thread" link could still be a link to the static HTML pages in res/, I suppose, but it's more convenient this way.

22 Name: Squeeks!!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-08-05 03:21 ID:Heaven

I've requested Anonymous the Sysadmin to setup a sub-domain so I/we can mess about and create a better websight without messing this one up. Everything we have here will be looked at, and changed if need-be. Then, if it good, it'll get transplanted here. Or something. mod_perl will probably get setup, as will other bits n pieces and hopefully when this bloody cold of mine goes away, I can sit down and work on things, so expect a lot of help questions, unless of course someone wants to do it for me >.>

23 Name: Squeeks!!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-08-05 03:21 ID:Heaven

Honestly, I didn't mean to sage that.

24 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-06 19:02 ID:Io+0ZdmY

Can't we just use 2channel's cgi-script? x)

25 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-06 23:35 ID:meOsScDX

Minor aesthetic suggestion that might be worth looking into to make the site appear more streamlined:
I always found that the sections,
Rules - 規則
2ch Portal
Team 4-ch F@H
4-ch wiki
in the Navbar were a little awkward; unlike all the others, they don't fit under their own heading.

Requests board should certainly go under "General" heading, and it even has the Pseud0ch look and board functionality to boot. Maybe you'd want to put Rules under "General" heading as well.

As for the others (like 2ch Portal and 4-ch Wiki, etc), you might want to create a new heading such as "Other Sites" a la your 2ch portal's style.

You've got this nice compact look, then you go to double-spaced links with no relevant headings attached; I didn't even bother looking at them for a few days after I started visiting the site

26 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-07 07:39 ID:Heaven

>Maybe you'd want to put Rules under "General" heading as well.

Don't mix static pages with the bbs'es pls.

27 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-07 08:52 ID:rh2LAh/c

I agree with >>26 but I also agree that there's room for improvement.
Here's my take:

I agree that Requests/Feedback could use a little more exposure.
I think it would fit better under General, maybe later it can be put into
some sort of "Self-Moderation/Moderation" category.

Rules - 規則 should also be put more in the beginning. I dunno...

Team 4-ch F@H, 4-ch wiki, 2ch Portal and #4-ch@ZiRC could probably
be grouped together in a "4-ch Projects" category, also more at the top.

Two categories I don't really understand are "Lifestyle" & "News":
I think the only board that really fits under "News" is "News"... (ノ∀`)
There's some threads in "Tech" that could be called news, but I dunno...
Maybe rename "News" into "General News" and create a new board
called "Tech News"? I wouldn't really know where to put "Politics", though.
I feel it doesn't really fit in "News"... "General" -> "General Discussion",
then put it there, maybe?

I think a better name for the "Lifestyle" category would be "Culture",
put "Net Culture" and "AA Bar" also in there and throw "Programming" out.
Maybe also put "Music" and "Film & TV" in there and rename "Entertainment"
(with "Anime", "Manga" & "Games" remaining) into "Hobbies" or "Otaku Hobbies"?

"Programming", "Tech" and "Science" somehow seem to go together,
but I wouldn't know a fitting category title. Maybe "Study"? 日本語 could
also be filed under "Study", perhaps.

Well, that's all from me. Have been enough words anyway, ne?

28 Name: 25 2005-09-07 23:58 ID:Heaven

Good point
There are good ideas! I think the distinction should be made that while 日本語 = "Japanese Language", it isn't so much for getting help / studying Japanese (aka Study) but rather discussion in/about Japanese. It's almost like the Japanese version of the General board. World seems to be a good heading for any other language discussion.

-General (General Chat? or just Chat?)
-Film & TV
-Love and Romance (:P)
-Science (maybe separate boards for chem/phys/bio eventually, but as of right now there aren't enough users)
-Net Culture (that is, if you don't make a separate "Culture" heading and include Net Culture and AA Art inside)
-Japanese/日本語 (other languages depending on popularity)
4-ch Projects=
-all that stuff I didn't mention

I took into consideration >>27 suggestions and tried to organize the ideas, how does it look? Or, we could simply emulate the set-up of 2ch as accurately as possible (a mini version, of course). Rules could possibly be centered at the top underneath the text "4-ch".

What do you think of this suggestion? Any things to refine? Feel free to change/discard it!

29 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-08 10:09 ID:8qKcQkrl

I like >>28

30 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-08 10:10 ID:Heaven

btw, programming under "lifestyle" = laff

31 Name: 27 2005-09-08 11:26 ID:Heaven

I agree that Japanese/日本語 isn't primarily used for study - but that's okay.
I still think it would fit better in "Studies" (should there be such a category,
which I am still proposing, since there are some boards who would fit better in
that category than they do in any of the existing or other proposed ones).
Also, there aren't any other language boards and it's not likely that they are
going to be introduced anytime soon.
So instead of pregrouping boards into categories that don't make much sense yet,
I believe it makes more sense to organize the boards as they exist now.

Rehash of my "vision":


  • General Talk


  • 4-ch Projects

4-ch wiki
Team 4-ch F@H
2ch Portal

  • Otaku Hobbies (or just plain "Hobbies")


  • Culture

Film & TV
Net Culture
AA Bar

  • Study


32 Name: !!XjdwLWBy (Admin) 2005-09-09 08:33 ID:Heaven

These are some good suggestions, and I am reading them but I'm not going to re-arrange things in the navigation just yet. There are new boards and other things coming soon.

33 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-10 00:33 ID:Heaven

I must say the html in the menu is horrible.

34 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-10 09:48 ID:Heaven

What's so horrible about it?

35 Name: Anonymous 2005-09-13 21:24 ID:Heaven


36 Post deleted by moderator.

37 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-14 11:23 ID:Heaven

DQN and all other future gimmick boards (like IAA, LOL, WTF and/or OTL) should probably have their own seperate category.
"Wild West Chat", "Isolated Idleness", "4-ch v2.0" are my suggestions.

38 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-18 13:52 ID:7TAo1ceM

How about the same name 2ch gives them-- "Free Chat" or "Idle Chat"

39 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-19 21:49 ID:Z8pfgDI4

Too blatant a copy, methinks

40 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-26 05:14 ID:t1mMByAG

Turned 1 year old last week, eh?

41 Name: Squeeks 2005-10-26 13:20 ID:OlQOG6dg


Nope! November 1st is the date. Also, whilst I'm waiting for WAHa to finish updates etc with Kareha and whatnot, I know I am stubborn, but when those are done, up go more boards, and also the menu gets changed. Boards will be released slowly, the most demanding come first and the menu will be updated to something a little more suitable, follow what you people have requested.

I know I haven't been around a lot, for which I am sorry but not only am I at the end-of-year exams for college, but I also now have 2 very heavy part time jobs which are making me do 50-60 hours a week, so I've got at least enough cash to keep us afloat. Please bear with me.

42 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-26 16:05 ID:nqGt7lK/

Keep your head up, private!

43 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-27 17:20 ID:K+ORAiOK

adding message/thread searching will be nice too... so things don't get lost/burried ;)

44 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-28 02:39 ID:XA3wYQJm

45 Name: Anonymous 2005-10-29 05:19 ID:t1mMByAG


Oh yeah... "11" is for November, not October. My mistake.

46 Name: Anonymous 2006-01-04 02:50 ID:Vit2EXO3

Plz to be regrouping the boards more sensible now

47 Name: Anonymous 2006-01-12 03:19 ID:82Bi5wdv

Please enable mod_gzip on the server. This would make all the index.html files load much faster, and save you bandwidth as well.

48 Name: Anonymous 2006-01-12 21:58 ID:rQrwtDAN

Depending on the plan, that could kill him. In some places CPU usage is becoming the bottleneck now. Who knows why.

49 Name: Anonymous 2006-01-13 00:21 ID:82Bi5wdv

How is it that you are privy to this information, >>48?

Anyway, it shouldn't be a big problem, because the server can cache the gzipped version of the page, meaning it only has to compress the page once per update. At least this is how lighttpd's mod_compress works, so I would expect Apache's mod_gzip to do likewise.

50 Name: Jay 2006-01-17 04:27 ID:GNr15zKq

I've been nagging our sysadmin guy to do this for a while. Hopefully he'll have compression setup in the coming days. I also hate to be pedantic, but we're running Apache 2, so it's not mod_gzip, it's mod_deflate.

51 Name: Jay 2006-01-17 04:32 ID:GNr15zKq

>>48 is mis-information. The CPU on the server isn't a "bottleneck" at this point in time. I'd like to know where >>48 hear that rubbish from.

52 Name: Anonymous 2006-01-17 23:22 ID:rQrwtDAN

Are you on a dedicated server? Then you're fine.

Most shared hosting plans are offering ridiculous amounts of bandwidth and disk space these days. What they don't tell you (explicitly) is that they have anywhere from 10-100 accounts per server, and if you don't play nicely with the CPU, you'll get kicked off. That is, if your host isn't dumb.

I doubt you're in any need of bandwidth or disk space with this site, so the first thing you should run into will be CPU usage. I suggest you never run captcha.

53 Name: Jay 2006-01-18 16:20 ID:GNr15zKq

Well yeah, it's a dedicated box. This domain is shared with a couple of others sites of mine. No, bandwidth, nor disk space, no CPU utilisation are an issue at this point in time.

54 Name: !ozOtJW9BFA 2006-01-21 06:18 ID:f8PzuTkC

>>1 this thread just shocks me. I wouldn't have thought Squeeks is this clueless...

55 Name: Anonymous 2006-01-21 15:55 ID:82Bi5wdv

See the August 1, 2005 date?

That post was obviously written for August Fool's Day.

56 Name: !ozOtJW9BFA 2006-01-30 03:05 ID:Heaven


This thread has been closed. You cannot post in this thread any longer.