I’ve added a Buy & Sell section which follows the basic layout and functionality of the Discussions section. At the moment, it looks like this (only two items for sale – both mine):
New Buy & Sell page
You can add a for sale ad by clicking the “Add” hyperlink at the top and logging in (or the other way around). The add form looks like this:
Buy & Sell form
As you can see, you can optionally upload up to six images. The first of the images is the main image which appears in the Buy & Sell article (if you choose to upload an image). The article page looks like this:
Buy & Sell Article
If there is more than one image associated with the item for sale, a link below the main image will open a popup gallery (in this case there are only two images of the item):
Pop-up gallery for Buy & Sell images
I hope some people can make use of it because I don’t have a lot of things to sell!
I’ve added a new box to the home and Photos pages called “Taiwan Flickr Favorite”. This box retrieves the Flickr image with the most recent comment, so if you comment on any Flickr photo it will immediately appear in this box until another image is commented on. This is what it looks like:
Taiwan Flickr favorite box
This image was taken by Flickr member DreTW (who is also a prominant blogger in Taiwan – Andre in Taiwan) of highboard divers at Yehliu Ocean World. There is a link below that takes the reader straight to his Flickr About page. If you click on the image, you’ll be taken to the article page where you can see and add any comments on the image.
Flickr photo article
If your interested in adding a photo to this section, just go to the Flickr pools box in the left column and choose a pool (make sure you’re logged in first). A pop-up box will appear with a gallery of twenty photos from that pool – choose a photo you like and add a comment to it by clicking the comment link below the photo. Unfortunately, the gallery is a bit slower to load than I would like because the most Flickr photos are very big.
As you might have seen (and as some have mentioned), the international content on the front page of Cruisy has been a little overwhelming. I’ve been planning to gradually fill it out with local content, and started that with the Featured Blogs subsection which I added a couple of weeks ago. Now, I’ve added a Discussions subsection which links to the new discussions page. Here it is:
Discussions subsection on home page
Clicking on the Discussions hyperlink takes you to the Discussions page, featuring the latest discussions, a search tool, and an “Add” link to add a discussion article. The Discussions page looks like this (there are only two discussions, so far):
If you log in and click the “Add” link, you’ll see this form for adding a discussion article. An accompanying image can optionally be uploaded, which is associated with the article throughout the site.
Add discussion form
And, if you click on the discussion headline link anywhere on the site it will take you to the discussions article page, which looks like this:
I hope this new addition to Cruisy can lead to many fruitful discussions and help people to learn more about Taiwan. If you have anything you want to discuss, please feel free to add or comment on any discussions!
I’ve recently revamped the Cruisy Blogs section so now clicking on any link associated with a blog takes readers straight to the blogger’s site. In other words, I’m not displaying the content of blogs on my site anymore (just the title, an associated image, and a short description). This was a difficult decision to make as it meant I would need to give up the dashboard for contributors and the comments on blogs, but I decided it would be better in the long run as more bloggers would be willing to have their blogs listed and the Blogs page would be able to represent Taiwan bloggers better.
So, now instead of an invitation to bloggers to become contributors, I’m inviting bloggers to join the blogroll (or blog digest)! To join, send me an email at email@example.com. You’ll need to register with the site, as a username needs to be associated with each blog on the blogroll – just let me know your username in your email.
Here’s a shot of the new Blogs page:
New Blogs page
If you saw the old Blogs page, you would have seen that I had organized the blogs into categories, displaying the first three of each. I’ve kept this as an option – a “View by category” hyperlink – but the main page just displays one list of blogs from any category ordered by date.
As part of the new blogs page, I’ve added a search facility at the top. With this you can search any blog by keyword, by category, or both. With lots of blogs to search, this could be a great way to find out about (amongst others) what people are writing about upcoming events, information on places to visit, and viewpoints on current events.
Blog searching facility
Thanks for the support of those who had decided to become contributors, and now with the new system, I hope it can help Taiwan bloggers to draw more readers to their site.
I’ve recently added more functionality to the Cruisy website with regard to comments on Flickr photos. You may be thinking, why have comments on Flickr photos? This can be done in Flickr. Well, yes… But the point here is to aggregate the Taiwan Flickr pools, photos, and comments into one place where they can be accessed easily.
So, to start off, there’s a ‘Photos’ page which includes a small selection of photos from Taiwan-related Flickr pools.
Taiwan Flickr section on Photos page
If you click any of the Flickr pool hyperlinks, a pop-up gallery will appear (as in one of my earlier posts) with more photos from that pool and if you click on the photographer’s name (in this case it’s Paogao), you’ll be taken to their Flickr page.
Taiwan Flickr Gallery
Clicking on the blue comments hyperlink will pop up a Flickr photos comment dialog (you need to be logged in to add a comment).
Flickr comments dialog
Then, after adding your comment, you can then view it…
Flickr comments dialog
Commented photos can be accessed from elsewhere on the site and can be viewed, with all comments, as an article.
Flickr article with comments
I’ll go more into the comments functionality in a later post. If you know of any Flickr pools that should be included in the list, let me know!
My final exam is coming up at the end of this month, and I think it will be largely based around the management of software processes (project management). This got me to thinking about the Cruisy web project. I want to model Cruisy, somewhat loosely, around a real-world software project, and follow software development processes as closely as possible (I say that now, but if it really happens is another story!) I’m working on it alone, so a lot of processes reserved for team development won’t be necessary. Similarly, application requirements won’t need as much documentation – considering there’s no one else involved, it’s actually easier to have it all in my head. But on the other hand, things might become clearer if I use analysis tools such as use cases and storyboards. We’ll see…
Here are some tactical decisions I have made, so far:
- The programming language will be Java. The last application I wrote, Noted, was in PHP, but this time I’m choosing Java because I plan to use a very object-oriented approach. Also, the application will call for integration of some high-level technologies, and I’m more comfortable using Java for that.
- I want to use a framework for this one – possibly Spring. I haven’t used a framework for my other projects, so this will be something new. Hopefully, this will help to keep the project organised, efficient and maintainable.
- Caching is going to be a concern. I haven’t had to deal much with this, but it’s something this application is going to need in order to have semi-decent performance.
- I think I’ll use Eclipse IDE. I’ve been using Netbeans for a while now and really happy with its functionality, but Eclipse has a few things that Netbeans doesn’t. For one thing, it has better code history contol – you can revert back to old code if you make a screw up. Also, I’d like to check out an Eclipse plug-in called Enerjy, which gives an indication of application quality.
I’ve recently been playing around on Photoshop, sorting out a logo for the Cruisy website. A couple of days ago I came up with this:
I liked it, but thought it needed a bit of jazzing up to make it more “web 2.0”. So tonight I had another shot at it, and came up with this:
It’s a bit flashier, but still needs a bit of reworking. I used a gradient for the outlining, but I think it might need toning down a little. I’ll update this post with any subsequent designs.
Update: I toned down the darkness of the outline, as well as giving it more of a uniform thickness. I also put a 1 pixel line inside the outline to make it pop a bit more.
I downloaded a font from 1001freefonts.com, and here’s how it looks together with the logo.
I’ll play around with other fonts to see what looks best.
Hmm… I think I might stick with the first font.