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New Review Server!

Old 08-12-01, 09:22 PM
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New Review Server!

It's up!

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/

We're still doing some last min tuning, but... LET US KNOW what you think!
Old 08-12-01, 10:34 PM
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I like it. The separation of the reviews into DVDs, theatrical, and audio; addition of MSRP; and advanced search capability are all great additions to an already great review set-up.

My only suggestion was going to be a quick search on the Reviews home page, but then before I posted that, I saw that at the top of the page. Don't know how I missed that.

Nice job, ctyner.
Old 08-12-01, 11:05 PM
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I played around with the new review database, and here's a few things I noticed:

You can't sort your reviews by date anymore (to edit stuff, its qutie helpful instead of looking at them in alphabetical order).

There's no longer an option to put how much we think the disc is worth (which was very hard and pretty subjective, imo, so thats ok its gone now

Whenever you edit an older review, it seems you HAVE to add MSRP and the Rating, you just can't fix a grammer mistake and skip over those.

Overall, I really like the new look

Also, Geoff, please email me about the Sword DVD and the Bruce Lee Set when you get a minute/some information

Thanks
Earl
Old 08-13-01, 06:53 AM
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You can't sort your reviews by date anymore (to edit stuff, its qutie helpful instead of looking at them in alphabetical order).
I forgot that I was doing that before. I can add that back in.

There's no longer an option to put how much we think the disc is worth (which was very hard and pretty subjective, imo, so thats ok its gone now
Yeah, Geoff wanted it dropped, and I was never very fond of it anyway.

Whenever you edit an older review, it seems you HAVE to add MSRP and the Rating, you just can't fix a grammer mistake and skip over those.
Yeah, that was intentional. I'm a bastard. I would really like reviewers to go back and fill in those new fields.

Overall, I really like the new look
Thanks! I'm a programmer, not a graphic designer, so if anyone has any suggestions for graphical tweaks, I welcome them.

BTW, all the audio reviews and theatrical reviews should be in their proper places now, and that extremely long gray sidebar on the index page will get shorter very soon.

Scott: Thanks for the kind words, particularly about the advanced search. When all the reviewers update their older reviews to include that new information, the advanced search will be awesome. I don't know of any DVD review site with a search nearly that comprehensive.
Old 08-13-01, 10:19 AM
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I like it a lot too! It's slick looking. I haven't had a chance to fully check it out and will post any comments I have when I do, but it looks good. Nice work!
Old 08-13-01, 11:56 AM
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Looks superb!

I especially like the addition of the "most popular reviews".

How often is that list going to update?
Old 08-13-01, 12:24 PM
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Another fantastic job, Adam! Above all else, I love that the DVD, DVD-Audio and Theatrical reviews are categorized. Thank heaven for small miracles. I'd swap positions on Theatrical and DVD-Audio ... but that's just me.

One thing I'm not crazy about though is the addition of yet another vertical column to the DVDTalk layout. One on either side already makes the well in the middle constrictive ... what if we inset the DVD ratings and info into the review like so? ...

http://dvdtalk.com/cineschlock/revision.html

It better economizes the space, and also gets rid of that dashed line which doesn't appear anywhere else in DVDTalk's design. I also changed the "; posted on" to a vertical bar since you do use those elsewhere.

I vote against justified type. Without hyphenation you're going to get some wacky spacing, and it's another style addition not used anywhere else on the site.

Other than a couple technical things that I spotted and Adam has already addressed ... I'm completely in awe of the achievement. Well done!

Oh, and I agree the little list of "popular" reviews is a nifty addition!!!
Old 08-13-01, 12:53 PM
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I'd swap positions on Theatrical and DVD-Audio ... but that's just me.
It's easy to switch, if there's a demand for it.

It better economizes the space, and also gets rid of that dashed line which doesn't appear anywhere else in DVDTalk's design. I also changed the "; posted on" to a vertical bar since you do use those elsewhere.
Looks nice. I'll mess around with adding that in tonight. Is there a way that the inset ratings could be more clearly separated? Maybe it could be a different color or something so it'll stand out a bit.

I vote against justified type. Without hyphenation you're going to get some wacky spacing, and it's another style addition not used anywhere else on the site.
One of those strange habits left over from my newspaper days... I can take it out, if you'd like.
Old 08-13-01, 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by ctyner
Is there a way that the inset ratings could be more clearly separated? Maybe it could be a different color or something so it'll stand out a bit.
Anyone have any suggestions? I feel like there's enough seperation (you won't read one thing into another), but I'd agree it'd be nice if the ratings were emphasized more. Additional space to the left? Or put the whole thing in a light tint block like this? (use your imagination as the white portions would be tinted) ...

http://dvdtalk.com/cineschlock/revision2.html

One of those strange habits left over from my newspaper days...
Believe me, having been in newspapers the past 10 years, I understand. But forced justification doesn't translate well online (yet.)
Old 08-13-01, 01:20 PM
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The lightly tinted block was what I had in mind.

You know, in a couple of months, I'll have been designing web pages for 6 years, and I never knew you could align a table right like that.
Old 08-13-01, 01:43 PM
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There's no longer an option to put how much we think the disc is worth (which was very hard and pretty subjective, imo, so thats ok its gone now
Yes, thank you. I'd sort of gotten a system going with that after a while, but it was never exactly easy.
Old 08-13-01, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by DVDRules1
How often is that list going to update?
Sorry, I missed this post earlier. It's dynamic, based on the most frequently read reviews from the past 30 days.

Tonight I'll try to put together a way for users to see how many views their reviews have each gotten.
Old 08-13-01, 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by DVDRules1
Yes, thank you. I'd sort of gotten a system going with that after a while, but it was never exactly easy.
I always did mine based on the overall rating ... sometimes more, sometimes less in rare cases ...

Collector: $17.99-$30
Highly: 17.99 (14.99 for low MSRP)
Rec: 14.99 (11.99 for low MSRP)
Rent: 5.00
Skip: Don't give 'em
Old 08-13-01, 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by ctyner
Tonight I'll try to put together a way for users to see how many views their reviews have each gotten.
Ooooo. That'd be neat. New frontiers in narcism!
Old 08-13-01, 04:01 PM
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I went ahead and filled in those white spots. See what y'all think.

http://dvdtalk.com/cineschlock/revision2.html
Old 08-14-01, 10:09 AM
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I definitely don't like the justified type. It doesn't add anything and it creates some very weird spacing at times.

I personally would prefer to have the image and the ratings still at the top of the review, not to the side in a new column.

With the new setup, it creates an entire column of white space on the right, with only a tad bit of content at the top, so that the review itself is squeezed into the middle column next to a column of blank white. Kind of weird looking, and it forces you to scroll more; I like to get a reasonable amount of content on each screen.

Separating the reviews into DVD, Theatrical, and Audio is a good idea. I also like the "search for all of (reviewer's) reviews" option. That will be useful. The new font/color scheme for the rating stars looks nice, also.
Old 08-14-01, 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by ordway
I definitely don't like the justified type. It doesn't add anything and it creates some very weird spacing at times.
I'll take it out tonight.

I personally would prefer to have the image and the ratings still at the top of the review, not to the side in a new column.
There's too much dead white space leaving it at the top as it was.
Old 08-14-01, 12:38 PM
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The review server is giving me problems. It won't allow me to request new screeners. I emailed my requests to Geoff directly.
Old 08-14-01, 12:45 PM
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What error message, if any, did it give?

Nevermind, I logged in under your account. There are a couple of things that work fine on my dev box that hiccup on Geoff's server. I'm trying to figure out what's going on now.
Old 08-14-01, 01:01 PM
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Cool. Should I email you my requests or is Geoff handling it? What is the system, exactly?
Old 08-14-01, 01:14 PM
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Geoff has already marked those screeners in the database for you. Any errors you run across would be best sent to me, but for something like this screener issue, e-mailing both of us would be your best bet because we can mark those titles manually. I can tell something's screwy is going with the request screeners script on Geoff's server. I'm not having these problems on my server, but I'm noticing several quirks I shouldn't be seeing. I probably have some tiny error that's causing the problem, but I haven't been able to track it down. I asked Geoff to set me up with phpMyAdmin access, and once that's done, I can more easily see what's going on...

BTW, I just sent Geoff a new version of the 'read' page, incorporating all of Noel's suggestions.
Old 08-14-01, 01:16 PM
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You guys kick butt.
Old 08-14-01, 05:18 PM
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I'm happy to say that after several hours of non-stop tinkering, I've finally fixed the problem with the screeners.

I apologize for any inconvenience, and I hope the dark days of the new software are now over.
Old 08-14-01, 07:03 PM
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I'll definitely have to get the counter stuff up ASAP. I had no idea so many people read DVD Talk reviews. Since this went up around 1 AM EST Monday morning, "Enemy At The Gates" has gotten 708 page views...even an older title like "Armageddon" is up to 409.

-Adam, who barely scraped into the top 75 with just one review. Woo-hoo!
Old 08-14-01, 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by ctyner
"Enemy At The Gates" has gotten 708 page views...even an older title like "Armageddon" is up to 409.
There's no accounting for taste.

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