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Board Graphics and Design
Another hard won victory today, I found a way to fix the problem I was having with changing my admin green color to a lighter hue of green, so it will show up better on a black background, when viewing forum pages and thread views.

I had to research at the MyBB support forums to find a fix for this problem, and fortunately, other people had had this same problem before, and there was a solution to the problem posted there.

Even with the helpful clues (I say clues because programmers seldom give clear instructions that make sense to anyone except to other programmers, and I am not a full-fledged programmer, just a part-time hobbyist programmer), I still had a heck of a time making the fix work. I tried repeatedly, tinkering with this and that, and it still would not work. Then, I looked at the spelling for the fix, yet again, and finally found my error. I had left out an e in the text string. I had looked for mistakes like that over and over again, and I kept missing it. Sometimes, the mind adds what it knows is supposed to be there, when in reality, it is not there. I hate that!

Anyway, with the added e, the fix finally worked. Smile

One thing I noticed, when I was still trying to track down where this problem came from, that line of text is missing from an old version of the board’s database too. It may be that that older copy of the board did not have that line of text in the database because that version of the board did not have the feature that was not working in this version of the board. My guess is that, for some reason, one of the board's updates, that was supposed to add this feature, did not install correctly. Even though the board's self-checks had said that everything was okay, the board was not completely okay. It was only when I tried to change a setting in a rarely used area of the board that I found that there was a problem. A whole section of options had been adversely affected by the failed addition of one new lines of text to the board’s database.

With this board’s database fixed, now that whole section of options is working again, including the new feature that was added to it. One can hope this statement is true, anyway. I have not had time to test this new feature yet. Wink

I also found that the missing text was not missing in the test board’s database. That test board was a fresh install of the latest MyBB software, and not just an update, and that made the difference.

I know not many of you are interested in this kind of thing, but it always makes me feel good when I finally find a fix for a problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more rewarded it feels when I finally make the blasted thing work. Wink

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Okay, time for a set of updated screenshots.

I did not get much work done on the board themes today, but I did adjust a few colors in the MMV2F Blue 2 theme so that Internet Explorer 8 will see essentially the same shade of column and row colors as newer web browsers show, but minus the partially transparent effect. I did this for two reasons, one, to make as consistent an experience as possible, and two, this will let me adjust the MMV2F Blue 2 theme graphics without having them class with the colors that IE 8 was showing (which were the same column and row colors as the MMV2F Blue theme.

I still have some fine-tuning work to do on the Blue 2 theme before I am ready to start adjusting the graphics for that theme, but it will not be much longer now before I am ready to start work on the graphics.

I also found one more area of the board, in both the Blue and Blue 2 themes, that had hard to read fonts. That was an easy fix though.

The first screenshot below show how Internet Explorer 8 displays the current (still under construction) MMV2F Blue 2 theme.

The second screenshot shows how IE 8 displays the original board blue theme, which is pretty much how it looks in all web browsers, give or take a few color hue differences. Essentially, no two browsers display web page colors identical to each other, although the differences are usually small. Different computer screens, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, also tend to display colors a bit differently.

The third screenshot shows how Firefox 26 displays the current look for the MMV2F Blue 2 theme.

A note about board attachments that I discovered recently, you have to be a member of the board to view the full sized attached images. I am sorry about that. I may search to see if I can find a setting to change that at some point.


"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
Okay, as of today, the MMV2F Blue 2 theme has started on divergent evolutionary path from the original MMV2F Blue theme, beyond the few color and style element changes that I have made so far.

Now, I have started work on changing some of graphics for the Blue 2 theme. I have plans for a few special graphics for the Blue 2 theme that only members of this board will get to see, if they choose to use the Blue 2 theme.

I do plan to do more graphics work for the original Blue theme, as well, but right now, my focus is on advancing the Blue 2 theme to a higher stage of development, with those extras for members only.

Do not expect instant change, but slow and steady change, over time. I will also have to set work on these board themes aside from time to time so I can work on other projects. In fact, I may switch to working on the main site soon, at least for a while. I left a lot of unfinished work there that I want to get back to work on.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
I have finished creating the new template set for the MMV2F Blue 2 board theme and plugged it into that theme. Now, the Blue 2 theme is completely independent of the original Blue theme. This will allows me to make greater changes to the new Blue 2 theme without having to do unwanted changes to the original Blue theme as well.

From this point forward, the two Blue board themes will evolve independently of each other, although some changes will be applied to both themes as time goes along. If I try something in one theme that I know will work, and look great, in the other theme, then I will implement that change in the alternate theme too.

Now that the template work is done, I can get back to polishing the new look and working on the graphics for the Blue 2 theme.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
(01-22-2014, 09:44 PM)MACJR Wrote: Nope, I am not into the upside down ships.

I have a few other ideas in mind to try tomorrow.


The above quote is from a post in the “Taking a coffee break” thread in the “MACJR’S Mini-Verse Café” forum. I sometimes ramble about my work there, as well.

Okay, in the Blue 2 theme, I think I will stick with the current ships, all right-side-up now, at least for now.

The Blue 2 theme is still in a beta stage of development, and probably will be for some time. The graphics and design are still in state of flux as I experiment with this and that, and there is little about that theme that is not subject to change. Suggestions for changes or improvements to the Blue 2 theme, or any of the current themes, is welcome. Suggestions for new themes are welcome too, but I do have a few ideas for future themes in mind right now.

Although I like the Blue 2 theme, it does not work as well on small screens, like on my iPhone's display. Some of the partly transparent colors, and the new posts/no new posts ships just do not display as well on small screens. The theme still works, as you can enlarge the view to make the ships come into better view, but overall, the colors and new post/no new posts design of the original Blue theme work much better for small screens. Thus, it is very unlikely that the Blue 2 theme will ever become this board's default theme. The Blue 2 theme will remain an option though, for anyone who wants to use it.

I will post a few screenshots of the Blue 2 theme here shortly. I want to make one more adjustment to an element of that theme first though, after I make this post.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
The three attached images posted below show the board's new Blue 2 theme, which is still in the early development stages.

I am still trying to find the right balance between transparent background colors and readability. If the table backgrounds are too transparent the text gets rather fuzzy looking and hard to read. Adjusting the fonts to darker hues helps some, but I think I still need to go a bit darker with the font color to see if that helps more.

I have also added a box shadow effect to quoted posts. Unfortunately, that effect is not visible in older versions of Internet Explorer.

Over the next few days, I plan to step away from working on the board and start work on my web sites. I plan to switch back and forth between projects every so often after that. For now, I want to let this new Blue 2 theme sit for a bit so I can come back at it with a fresh perspective later. I may also work on new graphics for the board in the meantime. I do have plans for more to come.

Stay tunes.  Wink


"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
More Blue 2 theme development screenshots. I am now in the final polish stages of the color theme and about ready to start work on the graphics for the Blue 2 theme.

The first three screenshots were taken from my Windows XP computer, using Internet Explorer 8.

The last two are screenshots taken from my Windows 8.1 computer, using Firefox 26.

I have made the colors and transparency values as close to the same, as possible, so that the experience will be very close to the same one, regardless of which web browser you use. The board's color hues shown in the IE8 and Firefox 26 screenshots are a little bit different from each other, but they are close enough.

There are still a few things that IE 8 cannot see, like rounded corners and drop box shadows, but that cannot be helped right now. Yes, there is a way to get rounded corners that would work even in IE 8, but that would take more work than I am willing to put into this board right now. Overall, I am pleased that I was able to make this board appear this close to alike between these web browsers.


A note about the IE8 screenshots above: I notice that the attached images have been purple shifted. The original screenshots are not purples shifted like that. When I open them in Paint Shop Pro, the colors look much closer to the Firefox screenshot colors.

Those IE screenshots were saved as PNG files, using Windows Paint. Perhaps the Paint PNG format is less stable than my Paint Shop Pro formatted PNG files, which uploaded to this board in true colors.

For some reason, when this board uploads the Windows Paint PNG files, they get purple shifted. I did notice this before, with earlier IE8 screenshots, but I forgot to mention it.

Sooner or later, I will install an older version of Paint Shop Pro on my XP computer, so I can get better quality screenshots from that computer. I do not use that XP computer much anymore, so it has not been a priority issue for me to get old programs installed on it. Wink

One of the extras I am working on for the MMV2F Blue 2 theme, which is for members only, is a space station. For now, the MMV2F Space Station is just a two-frame animation, but that two frame animated space station is not the final version of the project.

[Image: MMV2F_Blue_2_Feb-04-2014.png]

The above images is a static screenshot image of the two-frame animated MMV2F Space Station. Keep in mind, this is still an early version of the space station. It will, I hope, look better by the time I am done with it.

The goal is much bigger that just a two frame animation.

[Image: MMV2F_Space_Station_NX12c_ani.gif]

The above is a 15-frame animation of an earlier stage, wire-frame, version of the MMV2F Space Station. Note that there are some structural changes from the later versions.

The final version of the animated MMV2F Space Station will have about 30 frames. That should make for a smoother animation. With the 15-frame version, I was just making a proof of concept animation, to see how well it would work.

There is a heck of a lot of work yet to do, before the final version of the MMV2F Space Station will be ready, but work is underway.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
And, of course, it was shortly after I was nearly completed with the Blue 2 theme, MyBB came out with a forum software upgrade that wiped out how my themes displayed. They changed many of the board's templates, making the old themes, Blue 1, and Blue 2, unworkable, as they were.

I had rebuilt the Blue 1 theme, but had not yet started rebuilding the Blue 2 theme, when the next MyBB forum software upgrade came out, and again, wiped out my custom theme work.

Since my board was down for maintenance anyway, when I installed the last forum software upgrade, I guess this current custom theme thrashing was not a major issue for me, this time. The board had been closed for weeks, when I did that last upgrade, as I worked to restructure, the former host site for this forum. I had also purchased this new domain,, in preparation to move the board here.

Now that has been reorganized, even though work sill continues there, I have started rebuilding this board, here at its new location on the web. After I am done cleaning things up after moving this board, and merging one of my older board into this new mix, I will soon have to look under the hood to see what all the makers of MyBB forum software have changed in the templates. Then I will get back to work rebuilding my custom Blue themes, yet again. I am also planning a new, not blue, theme I have in mind to create.

All this will take time though, and I have not even re-opened this board yet. The board is still closed as I write this. It may be another week, or two, after I post this, before I will be ready to open this new version of the MACJR'S Mini-Verse² Forums.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters

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