Entries in category "Tabulas"

So many people wanted to get into Tabulas, so I opened up registrations for the first time in a few weeks - and what happened? A bunch of spammers came in as well. I wonder if they've had an automated script that just has been running. 

Oh well - for the time being, I'm manually checking the registered users and wiping away the spammers. Only have to deal with this problem for one day. 

Posted by roy on November 16, 2012 at 03:21 AM in Tabulas | Add a comment

So, I've finally gotten the new editor up on Tabulas!

You can access it at http://tabulas.com/cp/editor/ 

Features? Well, it's simplified significantly for the writing experience. The hope is that it encourages more long-form entry writing. 

The editor box autoscales to the height of your content, so it reduces the "double scrollbar" problem that's on the current editor. 

It also features a drag-and-drop image uploader (and a multi-select image uploader) which should make sharing images much, much easier. 

And best - autosave. It will autosave whatever you're writing into drafts so you don't have to worry about explicitly saving! I do need to do some more work to prevent accidental loss (for example, if you load a draft, then start writing a new entry in the same box, it will wipe away the old draft), but it's a great start. 

For example, here is a photo of me at Oktoberfest:

And here I am at Max's wedding:

(Sometimes the editor has problems with problems with the heights when images are there - a bug I'll surely nail down). 

I'm not requiring this as the default, but I would highly suggest you play with it and help me work out any issues with it - it will become the default soon enough! 

And here is a partial screenshot of me authoring this page:

Posted by roy on November 6, 2012 at 11:28 PM in Personal, Travel, Tabulas | 3 Comments

Couldn't sleep, so started the first pass on the Tabulas code clean-up, which involves code and feature deletion. 

If Tabulas is an ecosystem that just grew organically with as many features as could be devised, then tonight was the first wildfire to clear out the low-hanging brush so I can focus on growing the important features of Tabulas. 

The features that hit the cutting board today:

  • Crossposting to Xanga, LJ, WP - honestly, nobody was really using them, and philosophically, I'm against data propagation into other services as a core value proposition of Tabulas. UI has come a long way - other sites do it better. 
  • Pinging - the weblogs pinging notification was a long time coming - this serves absolutely no purpose, at all. The days of Technorati are long gone, and discoverability of new blogs is a different game now than what it used to be. 

I also started a lot of DB clean-up work; dropping old columns and fixing up database names. The perfectionist in me wants to completely clean up the DB layer by standardizing the naming of things. It means nothing to the end user, but will mean a lot to me - knowing everything underneath is well-named makes me happy. 

So if you see some DB errors over the coming days, you'll know why. 

Posted by roy on October 29, 2012 at 05:40 AM in Tabulas | 9 Comments

Facebook recently changed their photo feature, and the evolution to their UI has been interesting. 

In the beginning, you could only upload images into albums - there was no way of avoiding the mental process of classifying your images. Since then, they've simplified the mental model for uploading images - for mobile, they get classified into the mobile folder. There's no way to reclassify images. 

It's interesting - it's as if Facebook doesn't even want the concept of albums to exist. This does make sense from the mobile perspective, since you rarely upload many images from your phone at once (which would require an album-based classification mechanism). 

I'll be honest - the flat images (no albums) is really appealing in terms of its development. Creating hierarchical albums is a pain in the ass to code for, especially when you take into account permissioning (albums in Tabulas do not inherit, so problem slightly averted). 

I would be interested in removing albums altogether from Tabulas, except some are classified by users already. So I'll have to keep them. 

But it's interesting what FB has done - albums are essentially hard to discover on their own. From the new profiles, the default photo view is photos you're tagged with. After that - it's photos - all of them. Then you have albums. Furthermore, albums aren't very visually distinguished from photos, which confuses me all the time. 

I'm not sure what implifications this has for Tabulas quite yet - I can't abandon albums altogether, but I might move more towards a stream-based view of photos. Albums are only really useful for (1) permissioning or (2) presenting a story around photos. And in the case of (2), I feel strongly that the storytelling experience around photos should be done through entries. 

Which lead me to a nice 10-hour hacking fest on the plane ride over where I played around with cleaning up the image uploading experience for Tabulas through the new editor. The new editor will support multiple-file uploads as well as drag-and-drop. The next hard step is figuring out how those images get embedded into the editor. 

And Narzack - already took your notes into account. Multiple usericons will be supported in the new editor. It actually looks better with it - instead of the dropdown, we use the usericons themselves (I was too lazy to use different usericons - but each of those icons in the 2nd row should be different):

Other features TBD. 

Posted by roy on October 6, 2012 at 02:07 AM in Tabulas | 1 Comments

Here's a list of open questions I will answer by diving into Tabulas data soon:

  • Do people actually use different usericons for posts? (If not, there goes one more dropdown)
  • Do people use the "favorite" entry feature? (If not, there goes one more option)
  • Do people use the "Currently ..." & mood metadata? (If not, then make it an "extra" option that must be enabled - off by default)

Some updates to the current work-in-progress editor: http://roykim.net/projects/tabulas/cp/

I'm still having issues with the autoresize feature trigger - I added a timer, but I may have to do some more diving into why this isn't working correctly. (Work mostly in Chrome, but Safari seems buggier). For now, I've set a timer on the function call, which seems to work in 90% of cases...

Autosave has been added. I'm actually leaning towards autosaving new entries into drafts as well - I think this will actually be helpful in drafting more long-form items. I need to flowchart how autosaving will work (with drafts), but for now, any changes to the body of the entry will trigger a network autosave (the data is stored on the server). if the connection is lost, it will autosave locally to your browser (if you have a modern browser). This should protect your entries in most scenarios (only case are browser crashes, but there's not much I can do). Autosave is triggered every 30 seconds. 

Publish and save buttons created and styled (but currently they don't work). I'm leaning towards making the buttons flush along the top instead of flush with the entry. 

I've added the video plug-in for TinyMCE, but I plan on rewriting almost all their plug-ins against specific use cases: for the video plugin, embedding Vimeo, YouTube, or FB videos. 

Next up? I'm going to heavily play with images - they are such a critical aspect for Tabulas' success that I need to make embedding them into entries easier. If this is successful, I am certain I can remove a ton of complexity from the gallery code. 

Posted by roy on September 13, 2012 at 05:19 PM in Tabulas | 1 Comments
« Newer · »