Merry Christmas, DailyGammoners!!
I've got a Christmas Present for you. Here, open it up and have a look...
DG: A present? For us? What is it?
[unwrap, unwrap] ...
DG: Ooooh, DG Extras- a DailyGammon Customisation Kit!! Wow! What does it do? How does it work?
(Actually, I know what it does, I just want to go straight to the Setup page, thanks)
It's a project that I've been working on ... a way to change the look and behaviour of certain aspects DG, especially the backgammon boards. There are some small but useful changes to Quick Messaging and also in the forum. And then there's ... well, let's go through the changes.
DG Extras works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera but only on Windows. There's the possibility that it can work with Linux using Wine but I'm unable to test that. Mac users can only use DG Extras via a virtual machine running Windows.
The second thing to be said is that the following doesn't describe changes to the DailyGammon site. Nothing has changed there at all. Everything that follows is done on your computer by manipulating the web pages as they come in from Dailygammon. This is important because Jordan is not responsible for any of this. This means that Jordan is not to be hassled with any questions or problems. If it doesn't work, it's my problem. If there are things that you'd like it to do for you, ask me. And it'll go on the todo list or the "sure, one day" list or the "er, well, maybe one day" list. ;-)
It is, of course, possible that Jordan likes some of the ideas here and puts them into DG proper but there should be no expectation of this. (If he'd like me to do with/for him. ;o) .... )
I've found a way to map the DailyGammon image set to the ones used by the backgammon program GnuBg and I've provided a few such boards. The boards are stored on my website and there's very limited room there, so I've only uploaded seven out of the dozen or so designs that I've done. More board styles are planned and I'm happy to create designs at people's request. It's also possible for other users of GnuBg to create their own boards. If they, or others, can provide web space then the choice could be vast.
More about the boards later. ;-)
The forum page and table headings provide little information once a person has got used to them and so they've been removed to save space. This allows about 5 more threads to be seen on the page (at medium text size in IE).
The Add New Thread link is now at the top along with an additional link to go down to the bottom.
Threads may be bookmarked. This means that they will also be shown at the top of the forum whether they're new or otherwise. No more searching for your tourney threads. That's as long as they're visible; inactive bookmarked threads will still be lost (at least until a later version of DG Extras which will be able to save the thread titles and then display a list of all your bookmarked threads. At the moment only the thread ids can be saved, which is not so handy).
Down at the bottom there's a new link Next new thread - which is why you might not know which thread you've arrived at! ;o) There's also the link to bookmark the thread.
The other item of interest in the picture above is the Add a comment button. This displays a comment box within the thread which allows you to reply in context. The thread remains available for reading and cut-n-pasting. The Preview button is highlighted to encourage its use! lol.
"Stylesheet" and "CSS" may be meaningless technobabble to you but I'd still recommend that you push any aversion aside and allow yourself to get interested. It's very easy to make a few pleasing changes to the stylesheet to get the colours that you'd like. But if that's still daunting, I do plan to create that theme editor fairly soon.
In the meantime, once this project is underway, I (and maybe one or two interested people) will be creating alternative themes for downloading.
If two or more people use the same computer, DailyGammon stores their colour preferences separately. DG Extras allows this too but doesn't at present make it easy to change it on the settings page. You'll need to create a stylesheet in a particular folder and include your user id in the name. Doing this is highly recommended if you have multiple accounts. Getting confused is easy when a user change is only a click away!
Instructions for all this will be forthcoming...