Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Welcome to the New Site!

Planet and Moon

What I saw out my window when I started the update. It is light now.

As you can see, we’ve got a new website skin!

We’re attempting to move away from a standard blog look, to one that better highlights the kind of content we produce at Ask an Atheist.   Rather than hiding the latest podcast behind a window that you have to click to see, it’s now front and center.

This is the first of a number of changes to the look and online presence of the show over the next few months, as you can see.   There’s a lot of changes to go over.   Let’s talk about Them!

HTML5!

First things first, we’ve moved to HTML5.   The biggest change is Flash– it’s mostly gone.  All the audio players we’ve been using for live and recorded episodes use flash to play it, until now.   Which sucked for phones and tablets.  Flash has never been supported on Apple mobile devices, and the writing is on the wall for Android as well.

We’ve still got flash components for fallback on devices that don’t support HTML5 audio and video, or the codecs we use (notably, Firefox doesn’t support MP3), but this should be mostly transparent.

There’s also a few visual effects, and of course we’re using the new tags where and when we can.   This also includes a lot of CSS3 and the like which means we now can offer reasonable…

Mobile Support!

The website now resizes itself depending on the size of your window or mobile device.  This is known as “responsive” web design.

I don’t know if this version of the site fully qualifies, since I haven’t really gotten the hang of using “em”s yet.   A method of measurement that can change depending on other settings make my brain hurt a bit.   Nonetheless, the site changes around when you shrink the window.   Hooray for that!

 

A Fixed Big Red Button!

A lot of people have had trouble with our “Ask a Question” button, and we’ve received a lot of reports about it.   This new skin introduces a completely rewritten contact form.   While the old form persists, the red button on each page brings up the form and sends the email complete with javascript.   This allows folks to send email without leaving the page, just in case an episode happens to be playing.

Additionally, you’ll get a copy of the feedback for your records and so you know we got it.

A New Format!

As you can see, we’ve moved to a format on our front page that highlights what we’re up to most recently. That may not suit people, so we’ve added a more traditional blog-style section called News, with the important categories under it.   Never before has every entry on Ask an Atheist been available as it is now.   So that fixes that one request I got from that one guy that time.

Comments!

We’ve changed the comments a bit as well.    They should be cleaner, easier to page, and now, threaded.   This should help spur more in-depth discussion while keeping it sane, especially since we’ve recently…

Closed the Forum!

About a year ago, we started a forum.   We  haven’t had much time to administer to it, or even really drive much in the way of traffic to it.   So we’ve closed the forum in favor of keeping comments alive on the website.

Advertising!

We used to have banner ads for people who’ve advertised on the show, but no one really took us up on that offer.   So we’ve removed those ads and we’re experimenting with Project Wonderful.  If it take off, nice.

Nyan Puffin!

It is mysterious.

Other Stuff!

There’s a lot of other stuff, especially on the back end, to speed things up and generally make doing the job of Ask an Atheist faster.   But all these changes usually means more…

BUGS!

The version number on this theme is “0.93,” because I want 1.0 to be reasonably bug free, and since I don’t have a lot of folks around to QA, I’m assuming there are a few here.    I could use your help!   Leave a comment here or send us an email if you discover one.

About the Author: Sam Mulvey

Sam Mulvey is a producer and the technical brain behind Ask an Atheist. He is a collector of vinegar varieties, vintage computers, antique radios, and propaganda.

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2 Comments on "Welcome to the New Site!"

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Sam
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Well, I’ve already figured out that there was a problem with the form. But that’s fixed! Hooray!

Gero1369
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poo poo on shutting down the forum, but ooh, well. Hopefully in the future, more interest will come for a resurrection.

I’m not so keen on the new look for the site, but I’m currently viewing it on a vertical screen (and with IE 8; at work), so that may not help.

Well, here’s to improvement and betterment!

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