Welcome everyone to a modestly upgraded ScriptSpot. While all the same data is exposed and much of UI is similarly structured, it's different (and IMHO better) in several ways that I've wanted for the past couple years. Here are a few of the changes:
- Brand spankin new UI (no more white on black that so many of you hated). Personally I like it - I was tired of the black UI, this feels more polished, modern and easy on the eyes. If for some reason, there are enough of you who want the black UI back I may restore it as option...
- Additional search option to make finding what you want fast. Now any view within the site will allow you to search only the content within that section. You can then sort the results however you'd like. For instance - if I'm looking for a vray script but I can't remember the name I can go to the 3ds max scripts section, punch in "vray" into the "search within results" box and then sort the results by date submitted.
- Sortable tag sections that will allow you to view all content tagged with a particular name, and search or sort within that category.
- Breadcrumb changes that will more closely mirror your location on the site.
- Signatures work correctly FINALLY! Signatures used to be stored in the content which meant sometimes you'd get double signatures accidentally... Now signatures are properly handled in your user profile and will show up on the site just like they would at any other site...
- Restructuring of the URL's to ensure a consistent understandable hierarchy everywhere. For example scripts are /3ds-max/scripts/something and the pages to view data will follow the same rules (/3ds-max shows all 3ds max content while /3ds-max/news shows just news).
- Dual RSS feeds per section of site that sort by date published or date modified. I know some of you only want to know when there is new content and others would like to know when there is updated content. So - when you're browsing the default RSS icon behavior is to take you to a feed that sorts by date modified (what I believe most users want) but if you'd like just sort your view by date submitted and click the RSS icon and you'll get a feed sorted the way you like it.
- The potential for additional app support. There is a poll to see what app you'd like added first.
- Small refinements that I think make interacting with the site better as a user
- Social network intergration. There is a sitewide "Follow ScriptSpot On" Twitter/Facebook block on the lower right. It appears on the major landing pages. There is also a user "follow" section that will appear in your user profile *if* you enter your various social network links.
- Anonymous voting. I have real mixed feelings about this. Time will tell if that is a good decision and we will change back to user only voting if it becomes a problem.
There are also a few issues that I already know aren't working right. ScriptSpot is based on the open source content management system Drupal. The funny thing is Drupal is much like 3ds Max in that major versions break plugins from the previous version. In this case I went from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 which is some cases hasn't been an entirely smooth upgrade. Much like 3ds Max there are times when a free plugin isn't supported anymore and we have to find a new solution to a problem with a new tool. Same goes here. Most of this can be fixed but I've committed to getting the site online today (it's my birthday present to myself) so all of you can continue to use the site. Over the coming weeks I will continue to work myself and with as many of you who are willing to improve those areas that are rough around the edges. The closer we get to May I want the site humming along perfectly for the anniversary!
Things missing / broken that I wanted to get implemented but didn't have a chance to (first 2 are CSS if anyone wants to volunteer):
- Comments below nodes have way too much white space between user picture and text.
I'm sure there are some glitches that were missed. If you notice something you like please share below. If you notice something that used to work on the old site but no longer works or is missing please let me know ASAP. If you have broken links that used to work - please let me know ASAP because they should have all forwarded to their new location without any errors.
This year we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of ScriptSpot and this site update is just a piece of the fun we'll have this year. On a personal note - today is my 30th birthday. I started developing the first version of ScriptSpot using Dreamweaver and Microsoft Access when I was 19 because I couldn't keep track of all the great scripts that were coming out... Time really flies. I hope you appreciate some of the refinements I've made this time around and I'm looking forward to continuing the tremendous growth we've seen in the ScriptSpot community over this past year.
I will post some ideas I have for ScriptSpot in 2010 and more info about our upcoming contests / raffles in May, 2010!