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DDwebmaster - Wednesday Nov 12, 2008
(diet title test)
Weight: 0.0

If you can't use the forums at present, feel free to reply to this diary entry with any issues or you can always email to webmaster@dietdiaries.com


ddwebmaster on 11/12/2008:
To answer someone's previous question:

The new format with the side margin areas is part of the new design. The way the site's been written since the beginning (1999) has meant that each and every page has to be edited to make changes to the site design. It was also written using tables for layout which was normal back then.

I took over maintenance, upkeep, hosting of the site a few years ago and have had to learn how to use some of the backend software (Coldfusion, MS SQL, others). Since I didn't write the original site pages, I've spent time editing someone else's code which was in various states of a rewrite when I took over. Unfortunately this meant that the style and approach used on some pages was quite different from those used on other pages.

Recently I've been trying to rewrite things using divs and css so that changes can be made easier. I've also been trying to standardize the looks of pages more. I haven't started on the forums section yet, because it's actually written differently than the rest of the site, kind of in cfc modules. The problem with the old layout was having to edit every page, which could each have hundreds of lines of code. Then after each change having to view it in 4 or 5 different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari).

When the new layout is finished and fully implemented, I'll be able to just change a couple things in one CSS file that will affect all of the pages instantly. Changing the layout from using tables to using CSS divs is cutting down the lines of code on some pages by 20%-30%. It'll probably be awhile before everything gets totally rewritten, but I think it'll end up looking a lot nicer when everything displays properly in the current versions of all of the major browsers. It'll also look nicer when each of the sections looks and behaves more like each other, as opposed to the differences currently seen when accessing the public diaries portion versus using the forums section. It'll also be easier to edit the pages when something needs to change or a new feature needs to be added.

biscottibody59 on 11/12/2008:
Thanks for the comment.

I'm using Explorer 7 (7.05730.11) and there isn't any response when I hover over the button--no color change--it's as if it isn't there. I'm not having trouble other than that.

Well, if you can't change the format for the Public diaries, how about making the right side so that you can close it like a box to increase the amount of space to actually have the actual diary? It's just something I hardly ever use. I guess because it used to be on the home page only. Just seems a little redundant. Just a suggestion. I completely understand the new format may also create new limitations, but I thought I'd ask anyway:-)

I sooo appreciate all you do and are doing and if it makes your life easier I'm all for it!!! I'll just have to get used to it.

Thanks again!

ddwebmaster on 11/12/2008:

I'm not sure what's going on with the forums buttons not working for you. I just checked my Internet Explorer version and it's 7.05730.13, so it's almost exactly the same version. Those buttons don't change when I hover over them, but it does change the look of them when I click (and hold) on them. It might be something to do with your browser security settings. Do you have Diet Diaries listed as a "trusted site"? (tools, internet options, security, trusted sites, sites, unclick require https:, add http://www.dietdiaries.com)

I wish that I could setup column divs to collapse and reopen based on user preferences, but there's no one standard implementation that I'm aware of that would work correctly for all the browsers. Usually features like that only tend to work on 1 type browser. If it were coded to work on Internet Explorer, it'd probably be messed up on the other browsers. Per the site logs only about 70% of the users are using Internet Explorer, so the other 30% would probably have display issues. It'd be nice if all of the browsers displayed things the same way. Most of the display problems encountered with the last layout were only on certain browsers. I'd spend a bunch of time editing a page and have it looking correct on a browser. Then I'd call it quits for the day and just pull up another browser or two to make sure it looked correct, only to find out that it was being displayed differently.

I know the new layout won't be everyone's favorite, some will think it's better, some worse. The main thing is that I think it will be more consistent between browsers, thereby allowing a larger number of people to use the site with everything functioning properly.

ddwebmaster on 11/12/2008:
I'm hoping to be able to rewrite the forums section over the next couple of weeks, so that'll probably take care of anyone's forum button problems.

biscottibody59 on 11/12/2008:
I changed the settings to add DDs--it makes no difference. It seems to have something to do with it being at the bottom of the page. I can click "Edit" on one forum subject I did last week, but not another one that is at the bottom of the page.

ddwebmaster on 11/12/2008:
I was able to duplicate it by making my browser really small. I changed a padding setting and it seemed to fix it on mine, let me know if it's now working on yours.

kzirkle on 11/12/2008:
Thanks for the heads up.

uni4sept2008 on 11/12/2008:
I can't get my graphics to appear in my entries anymore. The old format was a lot more user friendly.

ddwebmaster on 11/12/2008:

You can still show those ticker images using the new html interface. Click the image button icon and it'll popup a small window where you paste the web address URL. (The tab on the right is what you use to upload images from your computer.) For example to get the 3fatchicks ticker you have listed in your entry to show you'd paste "http://www.3fatchicks.net/img/bar091/slider-happy/lb/326.5/245/260/.png" into the URL space, without the quotation marks of course.

The reason for having to do it this way is mainly security issues. As you can see from the displayed code in your entry, there's a link in addition to the call to show the picture. The typical user would only see the picture and then when they clicked on it, it would take them wherever the link pointed. That would be fine as long as the link pointed to a safe location (which the 2 in your post do). The problem is that most people just copy and paste code without verifying what exactly the code does. Viruses, malicious sites, spoofed sites, etc can all be linked to and the typical person would only see a nice picture until they'd already clicked on the link. There's also many other things that can cause problems with active links. I won't go into detail, but this site had numerous SQL injection attacks that kept messing up a certain portion of the database that I had to keep correcting. The SQL injection kept inserting spam links in 8000+ records in our "bio" database table portion, which was why the bio section wasn't working properly for a few weeks this fall. I finally traced the problem down to some code that was pasted in someone's diary entry. It was hidden in some style changing stuff that someone was using and I'm sure the person had no idea that they were harming the site just by pasting it in their entry.

Sorry for the long comment, but just thought I'd better try to explain the rationale for some changes.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 11/12/2008:
Dear Webmaster,

I cannot find where to click to make a NEW diary entry so I keep adding to my most recent old entry. How do I make a new entry?? Everything else on the site looks great, thank you!


biscottibody59 on 11/12/2008:
I can now use forums after your fix.

kzirkle on 11/13/2008:
Is there any way you could make user name's clickable (linking to their diary) when you're in The Comments part of your own diary? I see that when in other people's diaries you can click on the user names but that's not the case when you're reading your own diary comments. That would be awesome!!! :) Thanks!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 11/13/2008:
hey webmaster! thanks for everything you do!

DDwebmaster - Sunday Feb 03, 2008
Weight: 0.0


Horn_Of_Plenty on 02/03/2008:
hi DD webmaster! are you writing a journal entry!?!?

ddwebmaster on 02/03/2008:
nope, just needed an updated entry to reset a background counter thingy......

CritterMom on 02/04/2008:
He DOES exist! :)

Horn_Of_Plenty on 02/05/2008:
haha, ok DDwebmaster! Thanks for all you do!

biscottibody59 on 02/06/2008:
Hey there--hope you're having a good day!

There's yet another forum that's just selling something--suddenly slim/first fitness is the subject. Thanks!

ddwebmaster on 02/06/2008:
I saw the post and looked into the authors accounts. There's no direct links or web addresses to selling anything, so I'll just leave it for now. I've bee thinking about limiting the public forums to people that have been registered a few days and / or have a few posts in their own diary pages. That might cut down on the number of spammers coming in, but it would also deter new members from jumping in the first few days when their motivation is at its highest.

biscottibody59 on 11/12/2008:
I can't use the forums at all. Can't click on "Add Reply" or even start a new forum message. (They're fully visible now, but disabled for my browser apparently.)

Also, is the public diary "look" the final--the sides are obtrusive in my opinion. I'd rather see banner ads all over the place rather than less space to read other people entries.

I haven't had a chance to use the new thing to make an entry for myself--maybe later today.


DDwebmaster - Tuesday Mar 20, 2007

Weight: 0.0

The site was down for a few minutes this afternoon while I did some disk defragmenting. Sometime over the next few days, I'll need to disconnect the server to do a complete backup of everything. I'm guessing it might take 30+ minutes.

biscottibody59 on 02/02/2008:
wondering if you could delete the forum entries for "sv233" who appears to be selling stuff--no public diary--the top three in the list as of this hour.

DDwebmaster - Tuesday Feb 06, 2007

Weight: 0.0

Discussion on HTML that doesn't require closing out.

ddwebmaster on 02/06/2007:
For the comments section, I need to get rid of any HTML that is messing up pages after "unclosed" tags.

The comment has been made that some formatting and link options are wanted in the comments section.

Almost all of the HTML tags require closing out, here is an example to make text bold:

<b>This text would appear bold in a browser.</b>

The above line would appear with bold text in a broswer. The first tag <b> starts the bold and the ending tag </b> tells it to stop making text bold. The problem that has been occuring in the comments is that not everyone has including the end tag, so whatever font / color / size changes were made in the comments are spilling over into the rest of the posts.

There are a few HTML tags that don't require end tags that I 'll try to get useable in the comments interface, they are:

<br> This tag makes a line break, to help differentiate paragraphs.

<hr> This tag draws a line across the screen.

There are a couple others, but I'll have to look into them when I get a few minutes.

borntocry on 02/06/2007:

I just wanted to be able to separate my comments into paragraphs - we didn't even need to use the BR tag for this in the past, as it was enough to just leave a blank line while typing the comment. But now it's all concatenated into one long paragraph.

As for the links thing, I used to use the A HREF tag to include links in my comments so that people wouldn't have to cut and paste to get to the link. But now I can't do that.

I can see why allowing HTML tags was a problem for you in the past, though!

ddwebmaster on 02/06/2007:
Ok, I've changed it so that the paragraph breaks show correctly without having to use any html commands. All HTML tags are still inoperative for the comments section. For comments, hyperlinks can cause problems if they're not written correctly; so people will need to copy / paste them.

Thanks for pointing out the problem with no line breaks, it does look a lot better with them. Thankfully I was able to find a work-around to allow the normal line breaks while still restricting the other HTML in the comments.

DDwebmaster - Friday Dec 15, 2006

Weight: 0.0

Please don't use anything with style sheets and / or embedded or hidden links. Hidden / embedded links in style sheets help slow the server down and can be a security risk.

It's still alright to use some basic html codes to change font colors and styles.

If I get some time, I'll try to figure out how to add some security measures to the posts to not allow outside / embedded links.

Unfortunately it's Christmas time which means things are busy, busy, busy.

maria777 on 12/15/2006:
Do I need to take down the Christmas gifs decorations on my entries? They were free and I have them saved in a free photo hosting site after I saved them to my computer.

ddwebmaster on 12/15/2006:
Maria777, links to picture files (jpg,gif,bmp,etc.) should be fine.

maria777 on 12/15/2006:
Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Scruffy on 12/15/2006:
Scruff was here :) Thanks for all the work you do for us!!!!!

Have a safe and happy holiday.

casi on 12/16/2006:
Hi there - just saw my Diary didn't know what had happened ! lol Where do I get the kind of backgrounds that was set up for me to look at ?

Thanks Casi

casi on 12/16/2006:
The backgrounds Do they only go behind your Diary or will it make the whole thing look nice like it was when I had the othe one?

Thanks Casi

ddwebmaster on 12/16/2006:
Backgrounds show up for each day's post that you put them in. Different backgrounds can be used for each day. See messages in the forums section for some of the reasons that full page backgrounds shouldn't be set in each post.

casi on 12/16/2006:
ok - Now if we wanted a background the stay the same for a while - is that ok ? or do you mean that each day that we make an entry that we put a new one on ?


PS sorry dont mean to run you ragged...I just have a hard time understanding things. Hope you understand :)

casi on 12/16/2006:
Sorry forgot to ask you something - please look at my Diary and see if what I have is ok to have ...please :)


ddwebmaster on 12/16/2006:
Casi, it has style sheets, full page backgrounds, and embedded links to "doobix.com". All 3 of these things are not allowed.

Embedded and / or hyperlinks to other sites like doobix.com are not allowed. The full page backgrounds mess up the server performance when someone goes to read many days worth of posts, remember some users have 4+ years of posts. If they changed full page backgrounds only once per month, the server would still run into problems trying to figure out how to react to being told to show 48 different backgrounds at the same time.

casi on 12/16/2006:
Ok, do you know where I can go to get the ones that will be approved ? That way I wont have any worries .


ddwebmaster on 12/16/2006:
Please read the messages in the forums from today, there is one titled "New backgrounds feature added." If you have any questions about it or it isn't working as posted, please reply to the forum message.

WorkingIt on 12/17/2006:
Happy Holidays and THANK YOU for keeping this forum up and running =)

tourguidebarbie on 12/27/2006:
Hey! So i was playing around with codes that i was trying to write myself so other links wouldn't get used... anyways, was playing around with it, seeing what it did, editing it... so on, and then all my entries dissapeared and now i cant do anything. This is practically the only place i can write anything... so, i just wanted to let you know. Renee

biscottibody59 on 01/17/2007:
Couldn't leave a comment to you on the forum--with the changes today the text in the comments is way too small.

Also, can't read the comments made to others in full including the delete comment and my name.

Also could you add some margin in the colored portion at the top. Text is too close to the edge.


Jolt on 02/03/2007:
Hey you :)

Great work of course. love the favorites section and backgrounds :) Thanks for kicking my butt and making me post again lol. Sometimes i forget people do care. *giggle*

I was trying to read some diaries and was getting an error. dont know what type though.

The web site you are accessing has experienced an unexpected error. Please contact the website administrator.

That was all it said.

Huggles n Love


biscottibody59 on 02/05/2007:
Okay, I hope this makes sense. I tried loading all my diary entries. On August 15,2006 there is a comment that someone left with a large type font and it is causing the rest of the diary to load with that HUGE font and therefore it won't load on my computer. Furthermore, I don't want to read it that way.

As recent as a month or so ago, this wasn't an issue. It seems to be about the time you allowed the ability to click on names in comments. I sure hope you can fix this, or tell me how to fix it. I like to look back at my diary from time to time and this makes it next to impossible.

I hope this makes sense:-)

Thanks a lot!

DDwebmaster - Friday Nov 24, 2006
(Website outage)
Weight: 0.0

Sorry for the outage today.

I checked the website and couldn't get it to load, then I couldn't access any of my IP addresses, then I checked the hosting company's website which weren't accessable either. I was finally able to find a phone number for the hosting company (which hosts thousands of servers) and the automated answering machine service said that I had to initiate a trouble ticket through their website, which of course was down. After trying a bunch of different numbers and extensions, I finally got a human. He must've been surprised to be getting a phone call, because he just answered the company phone by saying "Hello?". I explained that their whole system was down and as far as I could tell all of their servers. He said that "no, everything's working on their end and that it must be my internet connection because no one else has called in." I was about to hang up and go troubleshooting when I just asked if he could access my website (dietdiaries.com) so that I knew for a fact that it wasn't them. He wasn't able to access it but said that it must be a problem with my server. Then I heard him pause and kind of whisper "oh no". It turns out when he went to go back to the hosting company's website that it wouldn't come up......he quickly tried a few more addresses only to find out that they were ALL down. He sounded a little worried and muttered some stuff about all of the employees / technicians being gone for the holiday weekend.

I guess he must've found someone to fix things, as an hour later all of the websites and servers appear to be back up and running. I can't even guess as to what would kill connection to a few thousand servers all at the same time, unless electricity was cut and the backup generators failed...... Oh well, at least everything appears to be back up and running again.

maria777 on 11/24/2006:
Thanks for sharing with us...I'd tried to get on for an hour or two and was so happy when the site came back up! Thank you for checking into it and calling and talking with the person in charge! BIG SMILE! Happy Thanksgiving (belated) to you and yours, also and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!!!!!

borntocry on 11/24/2006:
Oh, thanks so much, I was just about to post my entry for the day when the site went down, and I was so upset, because I know my weight is going to be up tomorrow, so I didn't want to wait until then!

Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks so much for getting the site back online!

Scruffy on 11/27/2006:
Appreciate the heads-up!


DDwebmaster - Saturday Jul 29, 2006
(test 1051)
Weight: 0.0

I've been messing around with the site a little tonight, trying to correct some bad choices I made when I gave it a facelift.

Unfortunately I used tables extensively throughout the site to position things, which has made it hard to make any changes. I'm going to try to change everything over to using divs / stylesheets / layers. I'm still not completely knowledgeable on all of the specifics, but will be trying to get it switched over the next few weeks.

I also just purchased a new server and sent it off for colocation hosting. It's got quite a bit more processing power, ram, hard drive space, etc. I'll probably start switching things over to it during the next few weeks also.

If you start experiencing problems with certain pages, it's probably me messing around. Please give it 10-20 minutes to see if it starts working correctly again. If it doesn't, please let me know so that I can look into it. I try to change pages in the background and test them before posting them live, but sometimes the changed page behaves differently in my testing then when it goes live, which means that sometimes a page may not load correctly when I'm messing with it.

Once I have things changed over more towards stylesheets and onto the new server, things should calm down again.

ddwebmaster on 07/29/2006:
Well, I've been messing with stuff for awhile tonight and now I'm too tired to continue. I'm just going to leave things in the kind of "mess" they're at right now. I think everything is still operational, just not layed out optimally.

Soon2BThin on 07/30/2006:
I don't understand a word you just said but I don't know computer language, haha! You're doing a great job and I don't know what we'd do without you!

DDwebmaster - Sunday May 28, 2006

Weight: 0.0

I've been messing with getting the forums section operating again. I've been rewriting the pages and getting them to all work again. Along the way I've messed with a couple things on the main pages (mainly publicdiaries.cfm). Let me know if you notice any new bugs / errors or anything not displaying properly.

geevee on 06/09/2006:
First, let me express my appreciation for all the work you put into maintaining DD's. I have no idea at all about any of the technical aspects you mention working on which means I'm totally unqualified! LOL

Anyway, I've been so disgusted with myself that months had passed without checking my track record. Today I dared to and noticed that it's only listed through Feb. 2006. Is this feature no longer available? I hope not. It's really a helpful tool to me when I'm "good" which I haven't been until recently.

Many thanks for everything -


geevee on 06/10/2006:
Thanks so much for trouble-shooting my track record. You know I never noticed that teeny tiny dash in front of my weight. I must have inadvertently pressed that key when I was entering my weight. Well, it's gone now.

If I were to go back to the Feb. entries when the problem began and delete each and every dash, would I then be able to access my missing track record?

I consider myself a first grader when it comes to computer knowledge and I marvel that I'm able to do anything on it, so if my question is ridiculous, consider the source.

geevee on 06/10/2006:
But now there are no weights listed for any month.


geevee on 06/11/2006:
Sunday - What a nice surprise to find all the weights back! You do work miracles! Many, many thanks!


DDwebmaster - Friday May 19, 2006

Weight: 0.0

sorry for the down time, had some more memory added to the dedicated server, unfortunately they screwed something up.....I don't know how they could've, but they did......

monet0239 on 05/20/2006:
Thanks for telling us.. I was wondering what was up :)..

DDwebmaster - Saturday Mar 25, 2006

Weight: 0.0

Sorry the site was down for a little over an hour tonight (9pm-10pm MST). I noticed an issue with private entries having photos and needed to correct it as quickly as possible. I thought I had it figured out and thought that it would only take a couple of minutes to correct, but my first attempt at correcting it caused other problems. The site's back up now and I think I sorted out the issue I noticed. As always, let me know if you see something not behaving correctly.

As a side not, I haven't given up on the "forums" section, I've just been swamped with my real job. Hopefully I'll get some time early next month to try to get the forums back up and running.

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