Fixing Pliny

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Pliny Crash of March 2019

Test files for testing these bugs

The Pliny system has a number of bugs in it, some minor, some serious. I've been asked in the past not to put lists of them up on the site because it makes the site look bad.

Face it. The site looks bad. It is bad enough to be unusable for both of its purposes, being the Guide and providing a place to talk. It is useful to list the bugs - it may help get them fixed, and it may prevent other people wasting time.

I know that there is little that I can do to fix the bugs, since although I am a programmer I have no access to the code. But I believe that some of the minor problems can be fixed by something as simple as changing a CSS file. If I can investigate these, I may come up with a solution. There's an equivalent page for Fixing Ripley.


table, th, td {
border: 1px solid black;
border-collapse: collapse;
}

Note: Brunel, Plain, Classic (Goo) and Alabaster are all 'skins' of the Ripley system. Pliny is not a skin but a separate system, but I may refer to it as a skin in these notes for ease of terminology.

The CSS column indicates that I think the bug can be fixed by a change to a CSS file.

Priority: 1=Most Important, 5=Least Important.

#PriorityDescriptionDetailCSSStatus
111Displays deleted entriesIf an entry is deleted in the Ripley system, its contents are still visible in the Pliny system. Broken
11Links to personal spacesEvery personal space has an entry behind it. If you search for text on the personal space, the search engine returns a link to the entry rather than the space. If you click on the link, you get an error. For example, searching for Gnomon's Space will return a link to A428807 but if you click on that, you get an error. (In Ripley, the entry link brings you to the personal space.) Broken
31Editor discarding workWhen you edit an entry, the edit window opens. You can make changes and then click Update. If you leave this too long (about 15 minutes), when you click Update your changes are all abandoned, and you are left with an empty text box and the Update button. And if that isn't bad enough, if you click the Update button a second time, all the text in your entry will be deleted, being replaced by the empty contents of the textbox.  
41Editor changing workIf you use complex GuideML in your entry, for example to set up a table with links in it, the editor will sometimes re-write your GuideML to its preferred form. Sometimes the rewritten version is valid GuideML which does something different from what you wanted. Other times it is invalid GuideML and the entry cannot be saved without you tracking down all the changes and changing them back again.  
22Links to forums other than Peer Reviewh2g2 has four forums: Peer Review, the Edited Guide Writing Workshop, the Alternative Writing Workshop and the Flea Market. If anyone contributes to these forums, their conversation will appear in the conversation lists, but clicking on the links causes an error.  
122Links to some postings go to first posting.In some large conversations, links to late postings get converted to links to start of conversation. This seems to apply to long conversations in some forums. Every link gets converted when you click on it, but these ones get converted to a link to the start of the conversation.  
83Conversations title render html tags in the "my conversations" listThe techs were concerned about this, but it has not yet been fixed.  
64Credits not displayed correctlyThe Credit tag allows for a title and a list of names. This allows things like "Additional Research by: Gnomon, Diagrams by: Tavaron". In Pliny, it just says "Credit: Gnomon, Tavaron". Broken
75Spaces around HTML markup in footnotes1.Very minor - but still might be possible to fix by CSS work. The rendered html mentions a class "footnotebottom" which I can't find. It may have got lost in transition.  
134Self-closing links to h2g2 entries not displayed correctlyA self-closing link is one where the opening tag ends in a "/>". What should happen is that the name of the entry is shown as the text of the link. Instead, the ID number of the link is shown. Broken
53No borders on tablesThe border attribute which is standard HTML works in Ripley and allows you to specify no borders or a border thickness of 1, 2, 3 etc. The standard border="1" produces a crude-looking old-fashioned border with double lines.In Barlesque, the fore-runner of Pliny, this had two options - no border or a cool single pixel wide border without the double lines. In Pliny, the attribute appears to be ignored, with no borders on any table.YesFixed
94Pictures displayed at rightAll pictures are displayed at the right of the entry, even if you put an EMBED="CENTER" or EMBED="LEFT" in the tag.YesFixed
104Smileys displayed at rightSmileys in the text (generated by the SMILEY GuideML tag) are displayed at the right, rather than in the middle of the text.YesFixed
      

CSS Files

Some of these problems were caused by CSS files and have been fixed. Others may also be caused by missing or incorrect CSS file entries. Here are some CSS files which are available on the system:

  1. h2g2.com/css/main.css
  2. h2g2.com/css/guideml.css
  3. h2g2.com/css/themes/pliny/pliny.css
  4. h2g2.com/css/themes/eddie/eddie.css
  5. pliny.h2g2.com/css/main.css
  6. pliny.h2g2.com/css/guideml.css
  7. pliny.h2g2.com/css/fixed_all_browsers_gvl3.css
  8. pliny.h2g2.com/css/themes/default/all_browsers.css
  9. https://h2g2.com/h2g2/skins/plain/style.css - used by Plain Skin
  10. https://h2g2.com/dnaimages/boards/includes/login.css

As far as I can tell, only numbers 3 and 4 are used in Pliny Guide Entries. I think that 5-8 were test versions which are not used.

The code for the GuideML section of a Personal Space in Pliny is different from that for a normal Guide Entry. In the personal space (at present) all images are left-justified while in the Guide ENtry, all images are right justified.

1For example onetwothree. Pliny puts spaces around the bold and italic words.

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