Entries for January, 2005

2.0 is a mere days away now (possibly even hours; I may start transitioning the new platform tonight). Here is some info on the upcoming version (both the positives and negatives):

  • 2.0 *will* allow free custom templating (although it will be limited to 1 per account). There was initial talk of taking this feature away, but the response from the community made me reconsider... and we will definitely offer free custom templating for all free users.
  • A new templating engine. Sadly, all you people with custom colors and templates will have your stuff reset to default templates. To provide a better templating engine, I rewrote the templating engine from scratch with new tags with more options. Because of this, you will have to recreate all your custom templates. However, I will try to build a crude converter script that will switch the tags over ... but this will probably be an 11th-hour feature and may not be available immediately after the launch of 2.0.
  • We scrapped all the old layouts and created a few new ones from scratch. As I get more time, I will make more templates for all accounts, both paid and free.
  • The color scheme tool has largely been revamped and now only will allow you to fix up relevant styles on your template.
  • The control panel has been revamped and has more logical navigation (and is a heck of a lot easier on the eyes!). There are not many new features in this release; 2.0 was geared more to make the existing product better more than anything.
  • Your RSS feeds will be moved. More on this shortly.
  • We have dropped FOAF and OPML support temporarily from all accounts.
  • Backups will now work (as will changing your username; both features have been broken for some time now). We removed the RSS file generation from the backups; backups will now generate a ZIP file of all your entries in HTML format. We have also lowered the time between backups; for free accounts, you may create backups every 10 days while paid users can create backups 3 days.
  • Due to some technical complications, we will be dropping crossposting to Xanga (not that this feature has been working or anything). They do not have an official API for posting to their site, and this causes problems ... the initial release will have *no* crossposting features included yet, but we have developed "true" crossposting features and we will allow all Tabulas users to crosspost to their Livejournals, Deadjournals, GreatestJournal, Blurty, and Blogger accounts (even better than before because there will no extra clicking required!)
  • Each users' galleries will be much easier to navigate from here on out; each individual image will have a next and previous link which will allow you to quickly navigate your gallery. We will also be providing links on each image to the *large* version of the image; this is to offset those complaints that "Tabulas resizes my images and I hate it!"
  • The "Make Tabulas Stop Sucking" checkbox option in your old control panels has finally been removed (although it may be added again soon!)

When 2.0 launches, I expect there to be bugs that I did not foresee. Because I am the sole developer for Tabulas, I didnt' have to adequately do bug-testing to the level I'd like. I know there are no major bugs, but I would appreciate your patience during the initial days when people report bugs ... if you find any type of bug during the initial few days, please do not hesitate to post the bug as a comment in this journal.

That's all I have for now. So please be prepared for the new Tabulas 2.0; I truly feel this new version is a hundred-times better than the current version ... thanks for your continued support of Tabulas.com and I hope I can live up to my end of the bargain by producing a product you truly enjoy using.

- Roy

Posted by tabulas on January 8, 2005 at 09:55 PM in General News | 19 Comments

Edit: Your templates were not deleted, read this post to find out how to import your old templates into the new system.

Do things seem different? Yes, this is Tabulas 2.0 coming into play! Woo hoo!

After months and months of slaving away, I finally got to implement Tabulas 2.0 and share it with you!

I expect this release to be somewhat buggy (a lot of the features are currently missing), so please bear with me while I track down all bugs and finish integrating all the old features back into Tabulas.

Please, if you are having problems with your site (anything at all!) that might be a bug, please post in our forums in the "General Questions" forum. Accounts in our forums are not automatically created, so please be sure to register an account.

Again, please do _not_ post help requests as comments here!

For those of you inquiring about your template, I have to comments for you:

  1. Do you not keep backups on your own hard drive? YOU SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP BACKUPS OF EVERYTHING!
  2. Of course we wouldn't delete your templates... I built a template import tool so you can import your old template into the new templating engine system. This will *only* grab the custom template that you were actively using; archived templates are no good.

(Current issues with Tabulas 2.0 I'm aware of)

Oh yeah, as a "Thank You!" for your continued support, I've opened up the user directory for everybody to use! So go find some people... or something

Posted by tabulas on January 9, 2005 at 09:13 AM in General News | 65 Comments

The switch so far has been less-than-smooth. Let me take a few moments and explain why things were done the way they were.

I realize that a lot of you spent a lot of time customizing your Tabulas, and it has never been my intention to make you waste your work. I apologize to those of you who feel like you've been wronged due to these changes here at Tabulas. To that end, I will retrieve all old custom templates, one request at a time ... until everyone is satisfied.

Why did you change the templating engine?

The old templating engine was very old and not efficient. Furthermore, it was not standards-compliant, which is what a lot of people were complaining about earlier. In order to make a whole new templating engine, I decided to change the tags in order to allow for better features to be developed in the future (in essence, creating a more structured templating engine to build a better foundation).

Why did you delete my template

I didn't. If you had a custom template set-up on your old site, you can import it into your new 2.0 tabulas using our templating import feature. However, if you still want me to retrieve your old templates, leave a message here and I'll go and get the template for you. Please make sure the templating import does not work before you request for your template.

This new templating engine... kinda weird... help me understand it!

Sure! Simply post a message in the Styling your Site forums with your questions and I'll respond to them to help you make your templates better. If you're having stylistic issues (I know the import feature isn't perfect because the two systems are completely different!), also leave a message in the styling forum and i"ll try to answer all requests.

I know change is difficult, but for the growth of Tabulas to continue, this harsh change was required. Let me work with you to make the transition as smooth as possible... just please be patient with me. I'm only one boy ;D

Posted by tabulas on January 9, 2005 at 11:57 AM in General News | 89 Comments

Here is my commitment to you: I will spend the next few days trying to allow for full imports of your old color schemes as well as all the old templates. I've already begun adding the old templates to the default list (Charmander is back, I'm working on Jigglypuff now). I will also try to import all your old color schemes so nothing is lost. Please note that the old color selector is not gone, it's just temporarily disabled.

I didn't know the changes would affect these people in so many ways... please stick with me the next few days and everything will be A-OK.

. . .

Edit: Smilies are back and working. The displaying of smilies as well as adding them into your journal should both be working 100%. Please let me know if there are issues.

Posted by tabulas on January 9, 2005 at 09:28 PM in General News | 123 Comments

A short status update on 2.0:

New Features

Your Entry Preferences are now working; you'll now see a ton of options for storing information about other blogging services (LiveJournal, DeadJournal, GreatestJournal, Blogger, Xanga, Blurty). If you decide to store your username/password for those accounts on Tabulas, Tabulas can crosspost to those services. This is much better than the old version because no additional work is required by you (the old version required another click and required you to be logged in ... now you don't have to be logged in to those accounts!). You must put in both username/password; once you do this, checkboxes appear on your Add an Entry page. Simply check the box, post your entry ... and you're done!

Bug Fixes

A lot of the additional entry metadata wasn't working (song of the moment / moods, etc.). I've fixed the input problem, but I still haven't added support to a lot of templates... I am doing this shortly!

A bunch of other small stuff... most of everything posted to the forums was fixed promptly.

Issues to Fix

This is a running list of issues I need to address.

  • Fix up default templates
    A lot of teh default templates do not have the "Song of the Moment" or moods supported. I will fix this. A lot of the default templates are also showing a TON of whitespace above the main content; to fix this, either disable your tagboard or switch to another template (Aphrodite works, I believe). I am going to redo the main template so it doesn't screw up and also so the tagboard fits in the right column.
  • Communities
    Everything about communities still doesn't work (you can post to them, still!). I am adding support for this as fast as possible.
  • Old Styles
    I am still working to recover your old styles. Your old color schemes should be recoverable within a few days. Please note that you can already import your old custom template by using the templating import page. Once you have imported it, be sure to enable it from the select template page.
  • Old Color Selector
    That old popular tool that let you select custom styles for your template is still being worked on.

Still having problems?

I'd just like to note that all posts made in forums are answered quite promptly. I do not have time to weed through the comments on this journal to offer troubleshooting; please post in the forums if you have a question!

Boosting Free User Accounts

Thanks to all the paid accounts, not only are we opening the user directory to paid users, but we're also going to start applying higher image limits for free account. For the time being, all free members on jbiel.tabulas.com (You can see which server you're on by visiting your own Profile page) have had their image limits boosted to 50. Members on lca.tabulas.com and aces.tabulas.com will have their bonuses applied soon (those servers are both full and I'm waiting for a hard drive upgrade to both those servers to expand space).

Some of you have noticed that categories seem to be accessible by free users - yes this is a new free feature for everybody! I will be limiting the # of categories for free accounts to 3 categories, but this should at least help you organize your journal a bit more!

Thanks for your continued patience during this upgrade period!

Posted by tabulas on January 11, 2005 at 06:26 AM in General News | 36 Comments

Sorry progress has been so slow. I've been somewhat burned out by the work I had to do get 2.0 done - the rest of the features are forthcoming.

I added the ability back to attach images to your entries; you'll notice an 'Attach Image' button below your entry box. Unlike the old version; you will no longer have the ability to directly upload images. What you should do is attach the images first through your gallery, then use that popup 'Attach Image' window to attach to your entry.

I've also fixed up the Aphrodite templates so they properly display moods/music/etc. I also fixed up the Artemis template so your tagboard no longer hangs over the side.

Posted by tabulas on January 13, 2005 at 09:37 AM in General News | 26 Comments

Starting sometime next week, I will begin to offer rewards for users who refer their friends. If you refer 6 of your friends to Tabulas* you will be granted a free year-long account to Tabulas.

However, each set of referrals will be carefully checked; I require each of your friends to USE Tabulas for at least a week; referring 6 blank users and having them do nothing with their Tabulas accounts will not count.

These referrals will also be applied retroactively; if any of your friends listed your username when registering in the past, I will use that as a valid referral.

I will post more information on this next week, but begin referring your friends to Tabulas, and be sure they put your username in the referral box! And remember, they have to USE Tabulas; simply registering for an account won't do

Posted by tabulas on January 14, 2005 at 06:44 PM in General News | 46 Comments

The main Tabulas server died. I've been struggling with the datacenter to bring it back up and I've temporarily brought it back up here. Please note that NONE of your data was lost; I highly recommend you visit the forums to keep up with the latest updates.

I am working around the clock to get everything up - please note that the next few days, the site might get choppy as I move the site to a new server.

A full report on what went wrong and what we're doing to make sure it doesn't happen again is coming soon.

We apologize for the problems.

Posted by tabulas on January 18, 2005 at 04:28 AM in General News | 9 Comments

Users on the lca.tabulas.com server (you can see which server you're on from your profile off your main site ... http://www.tabulas.com/~tabulas/profile.html is an example) will experience no access to RSS or gallery features during a scheduled downtime for 3 hours tomorrow. Starting from roughly 10PM EST tomorrow, I will be moving lca.tabulas.com users to a new server; your accounts will still be perfectly active, but you wiill just not be able to upload new images.

I thank you for your understanding!

Posted by tabulas on January 18, 2005 at 07:19 AM in General News | 7 Comments

I've fixed a whole slew of bugs (archives, timestamping, autoconverting links, and almost everything posted here. I was unable to do the lca.tabulas.com server change last night, so I am rescheduling it to tonight at 10PM EST.

Anonymous comments will now have the new attribute rel="nofollow" which will hopefully cut back on comment spam.

Posted by tabulas on January 19, 2005 at 12:31 PM in General News | 5 Comments

We are finally upgrading lca.tabulas.com. For users on lca.tabulas.com, your galleries will be inaccessible. Please do not try to upload images; they will fail.

Update: The move has been completed! Thank you for your patience during this time! All users on lca.tabulas.com should be able to access their galleries and images normally now.

Posted by tabulas on January 20, 2005 at 12:52 PM in General News | 6 Comments

I apologize for not being able to quickly add back in some of the styles features that were in 1.0 but have been missing in 2.0. I've been largely busy tracking down bugs posted in the forums while balancing the business end of this site.

Issues are still constantly being ironed out with 2.0; thanks to all those who reported a long string of bugs with 2.0 that allowed me to improve the site!

The next few days will see a greater stabilization of the 2.0 platform ... with the addition of the color stylizer, old styles, and communities I should be done with 2.0

But that's not it! I've already begun to plan for Tabulas 2.1 which will feature more fun features for all users ... including free users!

I'm currently looking for developers with client-side application experience. I'm interested in rolling out a full API featureset (will be using XML-RPC) but would like some feedback from any developers out there on key features you'd like. Thanks.

Posted by tabulas on January 24, 2005 at 01:59 AM in General News | 3 Comments

Those of you who had functioning galleries but had problems with usericons, the problem was that Tabulas was having trouble dealing with spaces within the usericon files. This problem has been fixed.

Posted by tabulas on January 26, 2005 at 08:45 PM in General News | 5 Comments

Want to run the really cool radio.blog from your own Tabulas? Don't want to have to set it up? I'm running a crash test for paid/beta members only for the next 4 days ... so if you're a paid/beta member, visit this page and install radio.blog to your Tabulas! I've made no limitations to this feature ... so you can upload as many music files to your radio.blog as you wish!

For those of you who don't understand what this is, visit a sample radio station. radio.blog allows you to upload music files through a browser ... and this site automatically updates. You can share this link with anybody; it basically lets your visitors listen to music!

For those of you who use this, I'd be interested in your opinions regarding this feature and whether I should develop a full-scale application for Tabulas (that would be a bit easier to use), so please leave your comments in the link above.

Posted by tabulas on January 27, 2005 at 02:49 AM in General News | 12 Comments

I've added the referrals page which lists all accounts that listed you as a referral.

I am currently in the process of checking the referrals for validity and will update this site when I have issued the first batch of valid referrals.

I have just run the first batch of referrals that date back to 2003. So you can now check and see which one of your referrals are valid! I will be setting up a page that will let you cash in your referrals soon for paid accounts, so please be patient

For this first batch run of referrals, anybody who referred 6 valid users will get a free paid account for a year. In the future, I will probably only be able to issue out a few paid accounts ... so most likely I'll do something like "Top Ten Referrers for the Month" and issue those out on a consistent basis.

I will keep the radio.blog beta test open for a few more days; I'll try to issue the batch of paid accounts out before closing the beta test for radio.blog.

Thanks for your continued support and patience.

Posted by tabulas on January 28, 2005 at 03:08 AM in General News | 5 Comments
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