View Full Version : Looking for some testers...

03-12-2004, 04:03 PM
I recently re-worked one of my clients sites and am using some pretty untradtional stuff on it. I have been able to check it out on Wndows ME and 2000 using IE and it works pretty well with my set ups. I did some testing with Netscape but my install of Netscape is not set quite right and some of the things on the site do not react quite right so was wondering if I could get some feedback on how the site works with other folks set ups.


The home page does have music on it so be aware... sorry but it fits the client. Think you'll understand if you visit the site. BTW there is no store program installed on this site like Miva yet the owner is getting so much work of the site that she can't keep up. I wonder if I should install miva yet many seem to have headaches with it. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated also.

Also I just updated this site from WH 1.0 to 2.0 manually and it wasn't too bad or difficult. It was the last client I had on 1.0 and I am very glad to have them on 2.0 now.

03-12-2004, 05:26 PM
looks Ok to me, the text inside the blue boxes and the yellow text in the menu "home" appears a bit fuzzy. In the menu that may be caused by the back ground of the home button, it's not black, looks more like OD green (olive drab). I think the fuzzy text in the blue boxed only looks fuzzy because the color appears two toned, yellow and white.

Catchy tune though, it had me lingering for a few minutes.

I'm viewing it with IE 6, I don't use netscape at all. lots of Java script, I'm sure it will appear askew or not at all to a lot of folks using netscape without a horde of plug-ins.


03-12-2004, 07:18 PM
The menu is actually an applet and something new for me. It was created using a Ulead program. The mouseover images and image when you are on the page the button is for do seem a bit fuzzy. I may need to go back in and replace those graphics. I was going for kind of a "highlight effect".

The plugin thing with Netscape was what was messing up my test on it. Whenever I try adding Netscape plugins it seems to mess with my IE program so I have removed them all which I imagin is why the pages do not display well for me in Netscape. There are things I like about Netscape but since IE is the dominant browser at this point I want to keep my IE working right for testing the look.

03-13-2004, 03:35 AM
I looked at the site using Mozilla Firebird for Windows XP which I have found to be one of the more strigent among the gecko generation and it looked great! I didn't have the java or quicktime plug-ins and so accept for the whited out areas everything else was functional.


03-13-2004, 06:49 AM
When you say whited out area are you speaking of the menu which is in the left column at the top? That was the one thing I was a bit worried about. I guess I need to figure out a way to do a check and replace the applet menu with standard buttons if the browser well not display it.

03-13-2004, 09:06 AM

Same problem as SJP. I on Debian Linux using Mozilla 1.0.0. I don't have java installed so I just get a white column down the side with the littile puzzle piece icon. I click on it as it tells me that I need the appropriate plugin to view application/x-java-vm. I didn't mind it since there is a nice menu at the bottom.

Also, my stupid sound card doesn't work, but that's not your fault. That's mine. I'm using kernel 2.4.18. The sound problem was fixed somewhere between there and 2.4.24. So I couldn't hear the music. The page made sense without it though. I'll have to try this on my other computer and see if the sound changes anything.

All in all, page looks good to me. If you can just figure out how to put something else up when there is not java, it will be perfect. By the way, the javascript on the first page, works nicely. Funny how that will work when java doesn't.

03-13-2004, 01:09 PM
Well I have done some tinkering and added some javascript that checks to see if java is enabled. On my versions of Netscape and Firebird I now get and alternate display of buttons to navigate the site in the left hand column. They aren't fancy but seems to work. If folks do not have javascript enabled then I guess they are just out of luck.... ok I guess I should fix that also.... ****!

Would someone please create a monopoly and force us all to use one browser... opps guess that would Microsoft. :)

I did notice that the timelines do not work in Firebird so the bee well not fly about the screen and the gallery scrolling images does not activate.... strange though if I click on the Bee button that is just barely visible in the upper left corner the bee takes his second flight. Most likely has something to do with the way I am using MouseDown and MouseClick. Although the timelines are started by an onLoad call in the body tag.

03-13-2004, 03:43 PM
Yep, that fix works nicely. Thanks.

The Bee and the scrolling gallery works for me too. I guess that's only a firebird (firefox, or whatever they are calling it this week) problem.

03-13-2004, 05:30 PM
Glad it worked on your end. Now I just need to go in and apply the fix to the other pages. I only did it on the Home page. Guess I could write a script that each page could call that would display the menu applet for that page and the alts but I am pretty "scripted" out at this point. :)

03-14-2004, 12:46 PM
I forgot to mention something, I went back to the site today and it took about 20 seconds to load with my broad band connection.

I checked the site and at 28K it takes 241 seconds to load, java problems aside the site will probably take too long to load for anyone using a modem, since modems rarely break 38K anyone visiting this site will have to wait from 2.5 to 4+ minutes before it loads. Most people will opt out after a wait of around 30 seconds.

I have tried Ulead 3D and XARA's menu builder, they both make great menues But... the files they generate are huge, unless you make the menu so small it's difficult to see. best Java menus around is apycom, great looking with 0 load time. apycom.com

Your Load times at 28K
Home=241 seconds
profiles= 8 seconds
rave reviews=9 seconds
contact= 8 seconds
Gallery Introduction page=2223 seconds
Blacklight puppets= 828 seconds
Puppets for sale= 539 seconds
Custom puppets= 1559 seconds
Puppet shows= 8 seconds
Playground= 31 seconds

I also noticed that most of the pages end with shtml extension, if the ultimate goal is to load all these pages on a secure server (and I can't imagine why?) you can crank the sites load time up another 20 to 40%.

the images are fair sized rat1.gif is 17K you might try optimizing the images and get their size down, I have had modest success in doing this using "Image Thumbnailer and Converter". Or simply break the pages down (use more pages).

Possibly with a faster home page you can have enough content to keep a visitor busy while all the images load in the background. I beleive there is a way to do this with JAVA I just don't remember how at the moment. I'm sure it will come back to me later.

03-14-2004, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the feed back Johnie. I was afraid of that on the load times. Like you I am not too sure about the Ulead menues. For one I can't do much tweaking to them and they do seem to take forever to load. I did take a look at the site you suggested and downloaded the trial version to give it a look. Seems to be in the same price range as the Ulead product so that is not bad.

I know about the problem with the images and I am working on that. The owner is allowed to upload the images themselves and I have not been able to get them to understand about the size thing and otimizing the images. I go in every once in awhile and download the new ones and optimize them but have not had the time to do that lately and they just added a whole slew of them. I need to make it part of the upload process to reduce them... maybe ImageMagic now that I have them on 2.0.

The .shtml ext on the pages are because when the site was first created you had to use that ext in order to use SSI. I have just never changed it since that would mean redirecting all those pages.

One of the reasons I want to get them switched to 2.0 is so I could start to swith them to mysql and php for the gallery in order to give me a bit more control and cut down on the size of pages and images.

I am worried that the Home page well always load slow simply because of all the javascript it uses and timelines for the gallery scroll and the bee flying. The owner really likes that stuff.

Thanks for all your input and the load times on 28K modem. Lets me know I have much work ahead of me.

05-06-2004, 02:26 PM
I use window 2000 - T1 connection. The menu took like a minute to load. It just showed the LOADING MENU display. The second time it loaded much faster. Pretty cool stuff!

05-06-2004, 02:43 PM
Thanks mdueri! I have them switched over to 2.0 now and have been working on getting the gallery switched over so that it can display faster and with only 12 images per page for each gallery. Also working on a new menu. It is far form be complete and only the Gallery links are part of this new set up but if you want to give it a check your welcome to. http://artinthedarkpuppetfactory.com/gallery/index.php
Right now the thumbnails are not linked and I still do not have them all converted.

EDIT: It was brought to my attention that the link I had provided to the temp Gallery was not working. I know have the new gallery set up and I have changed the url above to reflect that. Sorry if folks have been trying to access the old one and getting a 404.

06-08-2004, 09:53 AM
I like how you changed the color of the scroll bars. It still takes me a while to load the menu on Win 2k with a T1 connection about 35 seconds, but very cool once its loaded. The colors give it a neon light effect which is very unique. The inch worm is nice too, but I didn't notice it until I looked really carefully. What kind of scripts are you using for this thing?

06-08-2004, 01:01 PM
the page loads much faster with the second link you provided.

06-08-2004, 04:18 PM
The inch worm is nice too, but I didn't notice it until I looked really carefully. What kind of scripts are you using for this thing?
The bee on the front page and the inchworm on the Playground page are controlled via a java script that is a plugin for Macromedia using timelines. The actual code can be seen in the source of the page.

the page loads much faster with the second link you provided.
Yes the new menu loads alot better and is java script and styles combined. Again you can see the code in the source of the file. The button sound is controlled by java script also. Seems to work much better. I still have not been able to get around to implementing it on the rest of the site since I have been busy working on other things for the site. The owner really wanted to have video clips on the Playground so have finnally been able to get around to it. I kept putting it off since the original video they sent was really bad but at least if gives there users an idea of what there shows are like.

Thanks for the feedback.

07-25-2004, 01:02 PM
Well I have changed the navigation window and the Gallery program so that hopefully the display speed it better. If any has the time I wouldn't mind some feedback on load times and if they see anything I may have missed for the menu or if it does not load for them.


<mark />
07-26-2004, 03:31 AM

<mark />
07-26-2004, 03:31 AM
Nice site, just a couple of minor suggestions....

Add a button to turn the sound on/off.

Move the javascript in the head to its own .js file

However, these are mostly personal preferences.

07-26-2004, 07:10 AM
Add a button to turn the sound on/off.
Move the javascript in the head to its own .js file

Thanks Mark for the comments. Yes I guess I should add a sound off button. I was hesitant to add sound but the owner felt it fit their company and personality. I sometimes forget it is there since unless I am testing something I keep the sound turned off on my computer when I browse. :)

The script in the head of the front page it the timeline for the bee flying about the page and I have had some problems in the past when I have tried to move it to it's own file. Have to try and work with that again. I'm like you I prefer having my javascript in it's own file.