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[S]Redesign and news migration

11th September 2008 by Dino

Yesterday and today, I have been working on a total rewrite of the front page of Dino's Ultima Page.

The current design is over four years old, and in fact the colour scheme is even older (January 2003). Thus I rewrote the CSS layout. Although much of the structure is the same, I eliminated some unnecessary <div>'s in favour of better CSS, and changed the colours entirely.

To give the site an even fresher look, all front page images have been changed. This includes the site logo, the news images, and a couple of new images in the navigation menu. The favicon has also been changed.

The most important change is the migration of the Ultima news from an XML file 700KB big to a MySQL database, which I completed yesterday. This is something you won't really be noticing, except for the fact that the news page may load slightly faster, and that you may be able to use more advanced news search options in the future. However, I have yet to write the posting and search functionalities.

This rewrite is still a work in progress. However, you can take a look at the new design to see if you like it. Please do give me feedback about it, either via email (Contact page) or in the Google Group. Let me know if you like it, or even if you don't. I am open to suggestions.

A small tip on using the new page: you can add ?latest=all to the address bar to view all news, or ?latest=n to view the latest n news items (the default is to show the latest 3 news items, as with the current news system).

Another thing worth discussing is that I only plan to implement this design to the main section of the site (i.e. News, Credits, etc.), at least for now. The idea is that each section or guide should have its own CSS layout, although some may be similar to each other. The Ultima 8 Guide will definitely keep its old design.

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