Does CG need help?

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Does CG need help?

Postby RKDS on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:51 am

This has been brewing for awhile and it's not just CG but CG is where I am at the moment.

Last night, I was trying to find the blurb I used to describe the comic I signed up to publish way back in 2006. And I struggled for nearly an hour before I turned to Google.

Although I'd followed Keenspace for a few years before, it was 2006 before I signed up. I was not terribly impressed by what was presented to me. It felt like I had to jump through alot of hoops just to upload a blurb and a POG on my account. I remember having to log in twice and then follow a specific series of links to get to many features. At the time, I think we weren't supposed to use one of the management tools because it was being phased out or acting weird. After getting all of one page up, I went back to private hosting.

Five years later, it's the same ordeal.

First, I couldn't log in. The Windows login prompt (WTF) on the front page threw up after the first bad attempt. I had no idea what slightly different credentials I'd used for the comic account. Alas, there was no password recovery option either. Then I remembered how I used to login through the backdoor in my forum profile. That's gone now too. No big deal, I wasn't interested in managing my account at this time anyway.

So I go back to the front page. I'll use the "Live Search" box, I thought. The second you type in that box, the welcome blurb, pogs, category list, everything but the Twitter feed, all disappear. You have to reload the entire page to get them back. Typing a word from my title doesn't return anything. Big deal, I don't update. But typing "mcduffies" doesn't return anything either. Same goes for the three random POGs ("lcd", "dissonance", "antibunny") I picked.

OK, fine, there's always the direct approach. I'll click "By Title." Oops, that's a wiki full of stubs. I was long gone before the wiki push. Looks like alot of other people were too. At least the "complete listing" link still goes to the old guide. When I get to that musty 1994 page (not a problem in and of itself), staring me in the face is another search box. OK, so I put in the same words as on the "Live Search." I get a 404, "this file does not exist," and a link back to Keenspace. Is it a 404 for "search.php" or does "unknown error" trigger a 404?

So I went to the link for "M" because my title started with an "M." Actually, this one is my fault. My subtitle started with an "M." While going through this again as I post, I remembered it started with an "E." I went to "E." The page hung for awhile, then popped up about 10 "error: expected ')'" JavaScript errors. About a minute later, the busy icon stops flickering but the loading bar is still present. This is on IE7, Firefox is more lenient. IE7 doesn't like some of the links either, returning "page cannot be displayed," while FireFox just goes to a wiki error page.

Oh, and one more irritant about the forums. Every single time I load a page, I get "error: 'style_cookie_settings' is undefined." Firefox suppresses it but the error is still there. If you were doing anything after that line, it may not even execute. This "hide the error and stop" crap is why I don't develop on Firefox. The sheer volume of these prompts that I encounter on any given day is the best evidence that Firefox is gaining alot of traction.

I wonder whether a ghost town turned into this or this turned into a ghost town. Is the comic managment side (that I can't get into now) in the same shape? Are you guys really busy or just in over your heads? I'm a so-so (at best) designer but if you're stumped I can take a look at your HTML/JS/PHP and maybe figure out what's wrong.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby McDuffies on Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:22 am

Right now noone that has credentials for managing the site is really the site regular. We had two admins, and by now they're both mostly in different waters (for which I can't blame them, since they are volunteers and real life and jobs caught up with them somewhere along the way) and they're hard to get a hold of. Noone new was recruited for this job.

It should be up to owners of the site to find new admins (after all, you can't give someone access to the code without their consent) but they don't seem to be interested. To be frank, I don't even know what's the ownership structure in Keenspot anymore, I haven't had an active comic on it for years. If you feel like volunteering, I guess you should either contact a siteadmin (STRedWolf, whom you might have some difficulty contacting), or one of owners over at Keenspot. You'd probably end up with more work than you anticipated, though.

CG has been working fine for me for as long as I was updating regularly. After that, I know that some huge changes in siteadmin were made, that not everyone was satisfied with them, that CG became a sort of ghost town before those kinks were smoothed out so that's the state it's in now. I never have any problems when browsing a forum though.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby RKDS on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:22 am

Yeah, they are quite hard to get ahold of. I read somewhere that Keenspot is winding down, so you guys may be even more on your own eventually.

It's just weird that I do see stuff happening from time to time but obvious/easy problems are untouched. If Live Search doesn't work, it shouldn't be there. A try-catch block around the last line of createCookie() in styleswitcher.js would make the style_cookie_settings error go away. The 404 on searches is just a missing/misnamed page. If it were up to me, I'd dump the dead Twitter feed and fix/remove the Wiki links too. If I can throw together my own CMS in a couple of hours, that stuff would be a walk in the park.

Realistically, though, this is probably where I will drop it. I wrote that little CMS on a whim for some mook whose comic I didn't even read before he went off complaining about CMSs and he didn't even try to use it. Learned my lesson :P
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:33 am

It is pretty frustrating that the home site doesn't properly complete its intended purposes. Then again, I haven't been to the home page in ages. I appreciate the hosting I've been allotted and try and make the best use of it as I can. I was lucky that I signed up as things were just STARTING to get really difficult, and not a few months later when everyone trying to sign up for an account was suddenly turned into Sisyphus trying to push the rock up the mountain.

It's a shame that the site isn't really conducive to newbs, because we still do get fresh blood trying to enter every now and then.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby Warren on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:23 am

I love CG, but sometimes it's just easier to get your own hosting and come here for the community.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby VeryCuddlyCornpone on Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:36 am

Warren wrote:I love CG, but sometimes it's just easier to get your own hosting and come here for the community.


That's pretty much my feeling about it. If the community wasn't as excellent as it is, I would have probably not stuck around as long as I have- not sure where I would have gone to, but I would have had to set up camp elsewhere for sure.

The most feasible sort of "revamp" at this point would probably be to shift the focus to the community/forum aspect of the site as opposed to the hosting, which many regulars here don't even use anymore. I mean leave the hosting for those of us that already have it (which I AM grateful for) of course, but- I've told this to people who've been thinking about starting webcomics, is that I don't care where you host your comic, but register with this forum at least. It's been hands-down the most helpful one that I have found, and isn't full of the stench of pompous smugness that could easily drive a noob away.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby McDuffies on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:17 pm

Nope, sorry, putting advertising links is not allowed, hence I erased it.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby McDuffies on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:22 pm

RKDS wrote:Yeah, they are quite hard to get ahold of. I read somewhere that Keenspot is winding down, so you guys may be even more on your own eventually.

It's just weird that I do see stuff happening from time to time but obvious/easy problems are untouched. If Live Search doesn't work, it shouldn't be there. A try-catch block around the last line of createCookie() in styleswitcher.js would make the style_cookie_settings error go away. The 404 on searches is just a missing/misnamed page. If it were up to me, I'd dump the dead Twitter feed and fix/remove the Wiki links too. If I can throw together my own CMS in a couple of hours, that stuff would be a walk in the park.

Realistically, though, this is probably where I will drop it. I wrote that little CMS on a whim for some mook whose comic I didn't even read before he went off complaining about CMSs and he didn't even try to use it. Learned my lesson :P

Where did you read that thing about Keenspot? It'd be good to be informed about it, if Keenspace goes down, we're probably lose CG too.
Yeah, if that's gonna happen then it's pretty pointless to volunteer to put any work in it. But then it might not happen, who knows.

It is pretty frustrating that the home site doesn't properly complete its intended purposes. Then again, I haven't been to the home page in ages. I appreciate the hosting I've been allotted and try and make the best use of it as I can. I was lucky that I signed up as things were just STARTING to get really difficult, and not a few months later when everyone trying to sign up for an account was suddenly turned into Sisyphus trying to push the rock up the mountain.

It's a shame that the site isn't really conducive to newbs, because we still do get fresh blood trying to enter every now and then.

A few months after I joined, the site became very buggy. The wait for getting a site was over a year, things just weren't working for a while. It pretty much got functional again when Kisai got on board as an admin.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby Risky on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:24 pm

I dunno what you all are talking about, my site's been working fine forever.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby Spaceprincess on Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:07 pm

Comic genisis is perfect. Everything here is wonderful.

Most of the problems people have with signing up or logining in are result of mental laziness and not a fault of the system. it's not cg's fault people forget their usernames or passwords or the email they signed up with. It's not cg's fault people don't read the threads or tutorials where things are explained. The best tool is useless in the hands of a moron.
Sorry for that but after responding to people in the help center I think people don't want to use their brains.

I think more people use the hosting than the forums.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby IVstudios on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:09 pm

I dunno, I'm pretty well versed in the use of the hosting and it still never quite works for me (on the rare occasion that I do use it these days). It's become very temperamental.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby Risky on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:54 pm

It seems like I just got in at a good time. I survived the big crashes, I don't remember ever being one of the people with their front page 404'd (though maybe I did and just reuploaded), I still remember my password or can get it after a few tries, my FTP works, I snuck in to get domain parking and free email forwarding (although that's going away), I've had pretty consistent siteadmin access, I'm pretty happy. My only big loss was the wiki wipeout. I even got some keenbucks back in the day, but not as many as say, someone who actually gets traffic. That said, I'm still tempted to leave every so often, if only to break more rules. Not for the usual reason: lots of traffic to capitalize on. I think my traffic would probably go down quite a bit if I left, newshack is still one of my biggest referrers.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby Spaceprincess on Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:12 pm

It's run pretty smooth for me. There was one time I remember it acted goofy when they switched servers or something. Other wise no problems. I guess it depends when people signed.
Still, most of the problems people have have an easy fix.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby RKDS on Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:34 pm

McDuffies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keenspot wrote:In December of 2009, Keenspot officially stopped accepting new webcomics into its collective. Shortly afterward, a leaked internal e-mail outlined a new objective for the website and encouraged current members of the collective to leave: "On July 1st of 2010, Keenspot goes back to being solely a publishing company... The facts are, you do not need Keenspot. For members on the 'New System' contract, everything you're doing on Keenspot can be done on your own. You should go independent."


http://www.websnark.com/archives/2010/0 ... f_the.html

SpacePrincess:

Right, I'm a moron because most of the front page is broken, the documentation is often wrong if you can even find it, and questions have to be answered (or not) by a community with no power to fix problems. Are you involved with the Mozilla Foundation by any chance? I'll give you that the part that serves up the comic pages works (although my single page should've been autopruned four years ago according to the FAQ). I'm sorry, but half the reason I even started this thread (aside from my immediate problem) was all the "why oh why is keenspace such a ghost town?" comments I've been reading. Sometimes the answers are right in front of us. If you'd like (and even if you wouldn't), I can go on. That comic in the other forum is exactly what new people see and it just compounds until it's just you talking to the furniture.

Oh, and if your location is derived from Futurama, it's "omicron persei 8."
Last edited by RKDS on Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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*shrugs*

Postby Cope on Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:49 pm

RKDS wrote:McDuffies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keenspot wrote:In December of 2009, Keenspot officially stopped accepting new webcomics into its collective. Shortly afterward, a leaked internal e-mail outlined a new objective for the website and encouraged current members of the collective to leave: "On July 1st of 2010, Keenspot goes back to being solely a publishing company... The facts are, you do not need Keenspot. For members on the 'New System' contract, everything you're doing on Keenspot can be done on your own. You should go independent."


http://www.websnark.com/archives/2010/0 ... f_the.html

They've accepted Flipside and a few other comics into their ranks since then. I guess they changed their minds?
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby RKDS on Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:58 pm

If you go to the Keenspot homepage and scroll all the way down to company info (incidentally, the only way to find a forum link), it says "QUESTION: Is Keenspot accepting submissions? ANSWER: No, Keenspot is not currently accepting submissions." in 48pt font.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby IVstudios on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:01 pm

Keenspot never accepted unsolicited submissions, they always picked the people they wanted.
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Re: Does CG need help?

Postby RKDS on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:05 pm

Well yeah, but that's kind of official policy in places that _do_ accept submissions too. At any rate, just repeating what I read while I was trying to find contact info for the site.
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GLOBIN ONLY KNOWS

Postby Cope on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:17 pm

Keenspot's policy was always "invite-only", but they used to allow people to submit their comics for consideration (i.e. you'd send them an email with a link to your website and your current traffic numbers). Perhaps they've started sending out invites again without resuming their prior policy of viewing submissions. For that matter, maybe they are accepting submissions again and they have yet to change their company information page to reflect this; they aren't exactly the most organised company on the Web.
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Re: GLOBIN ONLY KNOWS

Postby McDuffies on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:48 am

Cope wrote:they aren't exactly the most organised company on the Web.

Word. And that probably explains all inconsistencies.
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