Archive for September 2008

phpBB conversion

September 26, 2008

Ever since we started out with SoccerProject the forum has been powered by phpBB. I don’t recall the version we started with, but for the last months we were using phpBB v2.0.18.

Allthough I added several modifications, we suffered more and more from spambots during the last few weeks. So we decided to migrate to the latest version : phpBB v3.0.2

Unfortunately that did not go as expected and as you know from the SoccerProject gameMessages we even lost some data in the process. So what went wrong ?

We used the default converter from phpBB, but apparently that one doesn’t handle utf-8 MySQL-tables as it should. This resulted in a lot of converted forumposts to be unreadable, especially in the Czech and other foreign languages sections of our forum.

From some other websites, eg. this one, we learned what the problem was, but an exact simple problem solution was hard to find. At least we didn’t find any. So we decided on the following solution :

  1. Export phpBB2 database
  2. Manually make sure all tables were defined as being utf-8
  3. Import in phpBB3 database

Looks very simple, but none of the articles we found on the subject put it like this. This solution worked out for us, and I hope it will be useful to someone else in the future, because I know how hard it is to work without decent info..

By the way, the converter is not really user-friendly. ReesinG (he did all the work this time) told me he had to click every three minutes to keep the process going…. Just a warning for those who want to get started, it’ll be a long evening 😉

Good free icon collection

September 24, 2008
Fugue

Fugue

One of the things you always need when creating software with a GUI is a decent coherent icon collection. Be it a website or a desktop application, I’ve been looking for such a thing over and over again in the past.

This week I came accross such a collection : Fugue Icons from Pinvoke. The icons are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which means you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). In short, give credit to the author.

Anyway, it looks good to me and I’m sure it will be of great use in the future to me.

Stadium boarding fix

September 23, 2008

As long as I can remember my stadium boarding has looked like this

I’ve always thought the scrollbars appeared because the advertisers made the wrong banners. But today I discovered, by coincidence, what is causing this very annoying bug. I’ve always assumed the banners to be 60px high, but they turn out to be 68px high. My mistake, I should have spotted this 5 years ago. Anyway, a small fix in the code and now my stadium boarding looks like this

Much better imho.

Obviously this will not only look a thousand times better for the SoccerProject managers, it should also increase our revenue from those banners. At east I hope so 😉

Livevalidation review

September 17, 2008
LiveValidation

Recently I was developing some HTML-forms in which I needed some client-side validation. Luckily it was just then that I received this interesting article on Smashing Magazine.

I decided to try out LiveValidation and wanted to share some of my experiences here.

  1. First of all, very important, the ease of use. It only takes a few lines of code to add decent validation. The one thing I did spend time on was that it turns out you need to include the js-file in the head-tag, anywhere else wasn’t working for me.
  2. Overall I found it a very easy-to-learn javascript-lib, which I will certainly be using again in other projects in the future.
  3. For SoccerProject it did have some downsides though. Allthough not really a Livevalidation problem, it did take me a long time to figure out that unicode is a problem for Javascript Regex.
  4. More importantly, it turned out that on the day I implemented this feature on the SoccerProject subscription page, we had 50% less subscriptions. I must have done something wrong, or maybe it was the unicode problem, but as it was working for me, it would have been really hard finding out why it wasn’t working for others. So I decided to remove the client-side validation there.

Conclusion is simple. I’d recommend this lightweight lib for anyone who wants to use client-side form-validation. If I had to give one single tip : Playing around with the massValidate-function gave me exactly what I needed, apart from the default behaviour.

Manager Protection

September 8, 2008

Proceed

Sometimes managers need to be protected from themselves. Today an impatient manager clicked the Proceed-button 6 times, resulting in even so many player contract extensions and sign bonuses.

I feel sorry for him, as I obviously can’t return his money, but it made me change one small simple detail in SoccerProject. As from now your board will no longer allow you to extend a player’s contract, if he has a 3-year contract already.

Let’s hope this will prevent some managers to make the same mistake in the future.

As for the lengthy 14h simulation today, I can only say I was testing some code which obviously needs optimizing if we are to use it in each simulation in the future 😉

Czech sheriffs

September 5, 2008

I did see it coming, but nothing to do about it. Sheriff Winters decided to leave SoccerProject, which meant I had to look for a new Czech sheriff.

Luckily it turned out that former sheriff patqa has rejoined SoccerProject, and he was prepared to help us out for the following months.

I’d like to thank both sheriffs, Winters for all his hard work in the past and patqa for all his hard work in the future 😉