Archive for June, 2011

Checklists For Everyone!

Some time ago, I added a powerful feature to the Gamer Corner Guides site: checklists. Basically, this enables you to turn (almost) any list on the site into a personalized checklist. You can track which treasures you’ve found, which areas you’ve visited, which enemies you’ve found, or whatever you like. The checklists can be turned on or off on a per-table basis, and you don’t have to do anything beyond clicking a checkbox to save your data.

As cool as this feature is, no one but me has ever actually used it. Why not? Because it requires you to create an account, and if you don’t already have one, you’d probably never know the feature existed. Well, no more! You can now enable checkboxes even without an account. The first time you do so, a message will explain how the system works and direct you to this blog post.

The reason this feature required a login is because that is how I track the data between browsing sessions. Truth be told, it’s still using an account, but now that account can be completely anonymous, and tracked with cookies. Of course, a cookie-based account isn’t terribly convenient. You can’t access your data on another computer or even another browser, and if you go 30 days without visiting the site, your cookie will expire and the data will be lost.

I recommend playing with the feature, and seeing if you can get some use out of it. If so, create an account – your existing checklists will be transferred to that new account. Note that I do require a valid e-mail address for account creation. I’m not looking to sell it or send you spam or anything like that, I just want a simple method of avoiding bots. A password will be created for you and sent to that e-mail, though you can continue using the account via cookies as well.

In the future, I plan to add other features that will require an account, such as notes created by users other than myself. In the meantime, enjoy the checklist feature!

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Link Style Overhaul

I’ve always been fond of query strings in URLs (everything following a ?) for some reason.  I guess it all just seemed like a cool way to deal with dynamically-generated content, compared to the static HTML I first worked with.  But it’s really not very user-friendly, so I’ve decided to change how links on the site are created.  The old style links will still work indefinitely, as they are at the core of how the site actually functions, but now the link structure is text-based and a whole lot easier to follow.

Starting now, instead of /ffxiii/?m=component&id=136, the same page can now be reached at /ffxiii/components/adamantite.  It’s fairly easy to guess a URL for any given item, provided there is only one of it (and even then it’s not hard).  Not that this change was made to encourage manual URL entry.  Rather, the advantage here is that you always know where you are, and sharing links is much clearer as well.

This required a pretty massive overhaul of the underlying site code, so it’s entirely possible I broke something.  I will be on the alert for broken links in the coming days, aiming to fix them as quickly as possible.  If you happen to see any weirdness, please let me know.