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Dim

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Just a quick run down on some of the most recent developments on the site, along with the plans going forward.

News Aggregators
A new feature on the site is the news aggregators feeds. Taking news from all the major cycling sites and providing a single page where you can access all the recent headlines and then go to the articles in question. At the moment it covers articles in four languages, English, French, Dutch/Flemish and Italian with more feeds to be added gradually. You can access the feeds from the main portal page (top right) and the link will be dropped to a more subtle location after a while.

Float Tags
Theyve been here a little while, but if you havent spotted them its now possible to wrap text around images or "float". The float left and right tags are to the left of the font selection tool when you put in a post. The tags are [ float=left/right ] [ /float ] and whatever is between the tags will float itself to the left or right.



Charts
Its now possible to add charts to your posts using a special chart bb code. The easiest way to create a chart using the sites built in chart generator which you will find on the main menu under "more" or click here which will generate the bb code for you.







Race Category tags
Will shortly be extended the option to tag races with their category ie. 2.1, HC etc, throughout the race threads. You can see an example of this in the race archive. It will be possible to sort race threads by category, and it will also be added to the search feature so you can search for wt races etc.

Tags and Related Topics
It is currently disabled, but thread tags will be returning, allowing you to tag threads or posts with keywords. Related Topics will then return and will be based on Tags rather than the post title, so the list of related topics at the foot of each topic should be directly related.

Links
As you will have seen there is a built in links directory on the site. The aim of this section is to add links to as many cycling related websites as possible giving us an on site database of cycling links. The aim of this along with the news feeds aggregator is to turn Velorooms into a true cycling portal where people can come to get summaries of all the latest news, links to cycling sites and blogs of interest, as well as race previews, chat, discussion and the traditional forum features. If you come across good cycling blogs or websites, please take the time to add them to the links directory to help build this database.

Donations
As many of you know, the site is funded entirely by minimal advertising, or by donations from the members. Donators in 2013 as in 2012 will recieve and entirely ad free version of the site. Costs of the site are around £30 a month for hosting, plus domain fees and occasional misc costs, and in 2012 we finished the year around £30 in credit. A new donations page has been set up which automates the donation process but also provides "supporters" with access to the full accounts for the site, and all costs so they can see how their money is spent.

Discounts Tab and general advertising policy
As in 2012 we remain committed to having minimal advertising on the site, and this stands as being two vertical banner ads to the right hand side of the site, along with minimal seasonal advertising on the Portal. At the moment, guests and members receive seperate advertising so that I can establish the ad revenue for members and guests separately. The long term hope is that guest revenue exceeds member revenue and member ads are able to be reduced further. In a perfect world it would be nice to offer all members an ad free experience with guests funding the site. As part of this plan a new discounts/special offers tabs is on the main menu. This links to a page of our "affiliate advertisers", advertisers from whom we receive a commission on sales. This page is regularly updated with exclusive discount codes for those advertisers so is worth checking regularly. When you use the links on our affiliates page we then receive a commission on all sales (within a cookie period of between 7 and 30 days), so when you buy from these retailers using our links you are supporting the site. Long term, if affiliate advertising can work a single menu item is far more subtle than banner advertising.

Development going forward
This ends the current development cycle of the forum. Features that didnt get used are now slimmed and now virtually all the features that will be part of the forum going forward are now implemented, and as such, development of the "feature" side of the forum will now largely slow down.Its unlikely new features will be added unless they are demanded by members or are security updates instead development will now move to a couple of keys areas.
  * Themes - The main theme still needs work and in addition I want to develop a specific "tablet" theme for those using tablets and a lightweight "mobile" theme to reduce bandwidth for those using mobiles to visit the site. I may also be making a "style" template available which contains just the basic settings to modify the colours and look of the default theme enabling members with css experience to develop their own themes. The development of tablet and mobile themes are the #1 priority for me at the moment with more and more people browsing from handheld devices.
 * Software - Despite its features the software in use is fairly antiquated. It doesnt use css3 nor does it support html5 and the next few months is going to be spent investigating and testing alternative options so that we can in the future migrate to a platform that offers us more functionality and stability in the long term, as well as being more compact, faster, and basically better coded. If anybody does have any recommendations of suitable software, then feel free to share that with us for testing.

On a final note, as we approach our one year anniversary, a few thank you's from me. When velorooms was formed it was originally a concept to test what was possible, word spread, people joined, and one year one we have had over 1 million page views in each of the last three months (which frankly is incredible considering its the off season). You only have to look around the nets, velonews, velonation and more to see so many cycling forums that have tried and ultimately failed, and the fact that one year on we are not only still here, but growing, and gaining huge respectability as a forum where members engage with each other, knowledgeably, intelligently with members respecting each others opinion is something Im hugely proud of, and something that is incredible testiment to the members. On a personal level, I have come to know people so much better in the last year than I ever had despite engaging with them for in cases years on other social networking sites.

Ultimately I take very little credit for the success, I provided the platform, you guys provided the content, and thats whats key, without the members, without the content they provide, no community like this can succeed. Something that is overlooked by some of the bigger players.

Finally some thanks, and in no particular order:
Larri - Who played an absolutely massive part in getting the site not only up and running but developing it over the last year. Despite his constant battles with the antiquated software, and having to use dodgy coding to get things to work, he was a huge assistance in the building of the site and we wouldnt be where we are without him.
Francois - Who privately has been of huge assistance in coming up with ideas, strategies on moderating and generally sharing his experience of IT and Social Networking to help us become what we are.
Froome - who recently has been of great assistance in the background looking at new development and im hoping he will play a part over the next year in looking at new software and developing it for the future.
All of the Mods, Staff - Who give their time freely to ensure the forum runs smoothly, who have posted regularly, come up with ideas, and generally dedicated their time to making the place a success.
And all of the members - for posting, coming forward with great posts, intelligent arguments, talking about us on twitter, promoting the site, engaging with each other, and in all just being a totally grand bunch of people.  Special thanks to Dinz and Ram for their superb coverage of the smaller races, something that has really given VR the edge.

Happy 2012.

Dave


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  • Dim

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    Oh, if you do have any ongoing dev requests or bug reports, this is now the current dev thread.
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  • froome19

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    I would like to just express my appreciation and say thank you to Dim for all his hard work he has put into this forum.

    It has been said many times before, but the more and more I have posted on this forum  the more I have come to realise truly how much effort is truly put in by him to make this forum tick.

    What has really impressed me though is his continual willingness to go over and above to provide Velorooms' members with the best experience possible when posting. The fact that problems are solved close to instantaneously is what imo makes this forum stand out from many others and is one of the main contributing factors as to why this forum has succeeded where others have failed. This forum has grown tremendously since I have joined and indeed since its beginnings. The posters themselves have made a great contribution to that growth with the quality of posting, but in particular it has been due to the innovations which have been brought in by Dim. From experience I can say that many people do not have an inkling as to the long hours of deliberation, trial and then implementation of many of the aspects of the forum. The themes are just one example and indeed the look of the forum is something which is very unique amongst forums, whom generally have bland, colourless themes which are barely spared a thought by the administrators. It is that care and consideration for posters which has truly led Velorooms to what it has become and for that I applaud everyone involved in developing such a warm and carefree atmosphere.

    I would post on a forum without the warmth and heart of Velorooms. But the warm atmosphere, good nature and dedication of all the people involved means that Velorooms provides me with an experience I would not get anywhere else and enables many posters to have something more than merely just a posting experience and a debate on the internet.
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  • AG

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    Yep - I too would like to add my thanks

    Dim - thankyou for everything you have done here.  It is truly an incredible amount of effort and work that has gone into this forum, and it is appreciated.  You are a king among men :win

    Larri - thank you to you too for the work and effort this year.  This forum would not be what it is without you.  And thank you too for your counsel in the mod room, and for your warmth and friendship  :-*

    JSG - you are such an amazing person. This forum is so much better for you being a part of it. Thankyou  :-*

    Barrus, Martin, Havetts, Hitch, Zam and everyone else who has contributed to the moderation and overall workings of this forum ... Thank you for all of your efforts and input during the year.  Without you guys we would have failed like so many others.   ;)

    To the members who contribute every day ... and those who just stop by every now and then, its been so fantastic to be on a forum where people are not just members, but friends. 
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  • search

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    first of all, thanks to everyone for making this the place it is  :-*

    ...one question to Dim: are you able to track down which sections are visited most on the site, or in general, where people are most interested in? Because, from my impression, regarding the highly rising numbers of visitors, there are relatively few new members posting actively in the forum.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    ram

    Barrus, Martin, Havetts, Hitch, Zam and everyone else who has contributed to the moderation and overall workings of this forum ... Thank you for all of your efforts and input during the year.  Without you guys we would have failed like so many others.   ;)
    Dave? The African one.
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  • AG

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    doh  :fp

    Dave too.     :-*
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  • Dim

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    first of all, thanks to everyone for making this the place it is  :-*

    ...one question to Dim: are you able to track down which sections are visited most on the site, or in general, where people are most interested in? Because, from my impression, regarding the highly rising numbers of visitors, there are relatively few new members posting actively in the forum.

    i get reasonable breakdown of where traffic goes. we do have a lot of visitors who spend time reading, but dont actually post. Thats the next step. trying to work out how to get the people who visit, physically posting. It is the time of year at the moment when there isnt too much to post about mind you.
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  • Martin318is

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    doh  :fp

    Dave too.     :-*

    It wouldn't be a meaningful thank you if you didn't accidentally forget someone!   ;)
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  • About Masters Club racing:
    ".. if I can't double the petrol money, I'm headin over the mountains instead" - Michael Fox, Team SAS

    Dim

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    As a test, the road racing section has been split into races and general chat, as a trial that may or may not remain.

    aims are:
    Make the races section easier to find for guests and new members, and as part of the tablet theme make things easier to find.
    Allow categorisation of races which will eventually be added to the search feature
    Allow non-race threads to survive and be more easy to find when there are a lot of races going on as sometimes very good threads get lost amidst all the race threads.

    again, at the moment this is just a trial to see how it goes, wether members like it etc. if people dont, it wont take much to move everything back again :D
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  • just some guy

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    good job to all really nice little community that is making others sit up and watch imho

    ps Dim I will try now but can we turn on thank yous for the race section if I can not workout how to do it.

    pps Dave you deserve a massive pat on the back well done

    build it and they will come
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    Dim

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    turned it on... thought i had. turns out turning it on on the board option does nothing. have to enable it from thank you options
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  • just some guy

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    turned it on... thought i had. turns out turning it on on the board option does nothing. have to enable it from thank you options

    ok nice
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  • ram

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting ')' in /home/vrforum/public_html/Sources/Search.php on line 1989

    Administrator Comment fixed.. thats one of the many files i edited when turning the forum from using gifs as message icons to png.. oops..
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  • « Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 15:15 by Dim »

    froome19

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    Also the cyclocross chat is not linked to the panel link on the portal.
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  • froome19

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    Really like the footer now.. it is great as well as ordered well, looks great and appears on every single page as opposed to only what we had on the portal.

    Though to be a bit picky..Today's post is lacking an apostrophe. ;D :-[

    Edit: Also it gets a bit squashed (due to the new posts thingy) on the forum page.
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  • Dim

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    Gradually replacing the post icons, and as i do smiileys are being added for all team kits

    format for the smiley is # followed  by team name in lower case

    for instance #saxotinkoff is #saxo tinkoff without the space
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  • Dim

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    Smileys and post icons galore..

    all are # followed by the team name in lower case

    you will also find them when you click the "more" button under the existing smileys

    World Tour
    #ag2r #argos #astana #blanco #bmc #euskaltel #fdej #garmin #greenedge #lampre #lotto13 #movistar #quickstep #radioshack #saxotinkoff #sky #vacansoleil #cannondale

    Pro Conti (to come: Bretagne Schuller, Rusvelo?)
    #ccc #cofidis #colombia #europcar #katusha #mtn2013 #netappendura #vinifantini #bardiani #cajarural #androni #champion #crelan #novonordisk #topsport #dukla #uhc #sojasun

    Continental
    #genesys #sanluis #funvic #jamis #cascos #algeriaoil #start

    Ladies Teams
    #chongming #lululemon #bepink #cipollini #hitec #wiggle #tibco

    Race Jerseys
    #yellow #pink #white #red #green #rainbow

    Classic
    #castorama #lavieclaire #liquigas #rabobank #tmobile #bic #brooklyn #caisse #fassabortolo #csc #flandria #milram #phonak #saunierduval #z #bianchi #festina #peugeot #mapei #2012sky #adr #panasonic


    All images (C) Velorooms 2012-13
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  • « Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 16:16 by Dim »

    just some guy

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    we need more flags as well  :P   ;D
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  • Dim

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    For Smileys or post icons?
    I have three hundred flags in the post folder just haven't applied them yet

    Sent from my GT-S5830 using Tapatalk 2

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  • just some guy

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    post icons  :tu
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  • ram

    In the today's post section, the thread icons are still the old gif icons, which seem to have been deleted, as opposed to the png elsewhere

    http://velorooms.com/Themes/default/images/post/gold.gif
    http://velorooms.com/Themes/default/images/post/gold.png
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  • Dim

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    In the today's post section, the thread icons are still the old gif icons, which seem to have been deleted, as opposed to the png elsewhere

    http://velorooms.com/Themes/default/images/post/gold.gif
    http://velorooms.com/Themes/default/images/post/gold.png

    yeh, i need to fix that. everytime i tried to forcibly change todays posts to png it was pulling up errors. I need to delve into the code.
    Changing the forum from gif to png was actually a very lengthy and complicated job :S
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  • L'arri

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    Loving these new, 21st century icons. Really classy, Dim!

    Bardiani CSF looks like it has a smiley on it.

    I demand a Panasonic-Sportlife in the Classic category.
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon

    Dim

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    yeh, i need to redo bardiani.

    Will redo that and add panasonic. then its done with jerseys for now and move on to making smileys from the flags.

    Added a handful under * followed by the two digit country code, ie. es, fr etc

    *es *fr *uk *de *usa *nl *be *au

    will add most of the major countries so in race threads etc we can put nationality next to riders etc etc
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  • Dim

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    Re: Flag Smileys
    « Reply #25 on: January 03, 2013, 18:31 »
    Country Flags:

    All country flags are added using * and then the two digit country code, ie. es (spain), uk (United Kingdom) etc (the one exception is USA)

    A full list of country codes is available here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1_alpha-2

    Country flags will be added as they are needed so if you want to use one that doesnt exist, put the tag in the thread anyway as *xx whatever the code is, then either drop me a pm asking to add the flag, or just report the post with the reason as "please add (country) (country code) and I will do it.

    So far:

    *dz *ar *au *be *br *bf *cm *cl *co *cu *cz *dk *er *et *fr *ga *de *it *ci *kz *ke *lu *mx *ma *nl *nz *no *pl *sk *es *ch *uk *usa *uz
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  • Dim

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    One small porky about no further updates.

    New Feature: Drafts

    You will notice when posting now there are three choices. Post, Preview and Save as Draft.

    Save as draft is a new feature enabling you to save a post but put it in your drafts rather than publishing it.

    once youve saved a post as a draft you can then find it by

    a) going to your profile, selecting posts and then the drafts option

    or easier

    b) look on the more menu, and select "my drafts"

    you can then view your drafts, and choose to edit and then publish (click edit will take you into the normal post screen)

    This is a system I had been planning for a while, its useful for race threads, or when you have a long post to make that you want to do in sections. I wanted to get the new themes, layout and menus done first.

    i will also be testing an autosave feature which will automatically save your posts to draft after a set amount of time (probably 4-5 minutes) - will let you know when this is added.

    note: only you can see your drafts

    note: The save draft feature only saves the body of the post, it does not save polls, attachments, or calendar entries.

    A side note regarding themes

    The tablet theme is now completed, and should autodetect if you are visiting on tablet or mobile device and switch accordingly. You can still change to a different theme by using teh drop down at the top of the screen so you can switch quickly. Its a much more optimised theme, no sidebars and smaller graphics.  Other areas of the site have also be tailored to work with the tablet theme, like the live chat pages, so mobile viewers get the full experience without unwanted elements.

    To go with this a new default theme has been added entitled "Vr 2013" This is from the same stylesheet as the tablet theme, has larger fonts, crisper layout and is what guests will see when visiting so all guests will see a similar theme wether visiting on pc, mobile or tablet.

    Which brings me onto, the classic original Velorooms black theme. This will remain but its worth noting that it isnt the most efficient theme. Also bear in mind that latest updates and designs will be applied to the more modern theme first, so the new default theme is the better one to be using, but of course you can still use the classic theme should you wish to.

    For instance, the back to top of page button is only on the new tablet theme, and the new vr theme.
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  • « Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 00:20 by Dim »

    Dim

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    The system will now autosave posts to your drafts every five minutes, i may lengthen that or shorten that to a suitable time.
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  • Kvinto

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    Question:

    Something weird is happening from yesterday afternoon and I suspect it has something to do with the 'Ongoing Development'. I have logged out yesterday in the evening but now when I visit the site I find myself suddenly logged in without actual logging (the same thing happened yesterday but I thought I just forgot to log out but now I'm sure I did not). As far as it happens on my home PC I don't mind (or almost don't mind), but I suspect I will face something similar at working computer and... I won't enjoy it tbh...  ???
     
    :-\

    PS: Tried to 'log out' - 'log in' and it's OK now, but maybe it has something to do with longer periods between logging?
    PPS: or maybe my PC understands the "Always stay logged in" too literally?... but it was getting it right before yesterday...
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  • « Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 09:56 by Kvinto »
    "Women buy stuff at sales for the same reason men climb mountains - because they're there" (from 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King)

    froome19

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    I am having similar problems Kvinto, just instead of remaining logged in my computer has been logging out, even though I never log out. It must be something which Dim is working on currently, so I assume it will be fine soon and tbh for me it does not cause all too much inconvenience.
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