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Huge functionality update in a second, but little business out of the way first.

I did a tiny update to the DC list and placed Jonah Hex: Tall Tales.

I’ve got the Captain’s Log thread on the forum feeding into the twitter account now, for those interested in mini-updates/what I had for breakfast.

You can now view any books TRO Database ID under the other ID numbers at the bottom of a database page. This value is displayed more for your curiosity than anything else – it’s external functionality is minimal. But higher numbers mean the book was added to the database more recently.

Ok, now the big news:

The DC Quick list now loads much faster and a link to each book’s placement has been added to database entries!

A lot of you asked about way to quickly see where a book lies in relation to other books on the main list. It was impossible to link to a paged wordpress listing, so I couldn’t generate a link that sends you to a placement on one of the main lists.

However, I was able to add id tags to the text only DC Quick List!

(you can read about my programming struggles and intentions here)

Then I could go back and put a “View in place on the DC Quick List” link on every single (placed) dc book with a few lines of code! These links bring you right back to the quicklist with that book at the top of the page.

I’m hoping I can style and tweak this a bit somehow, with it showing the book highlighted in place a few entries down the page. But I’ll need some help with that kind of dynamic formatting.

So that’s pretty exciting, but it’s not all! As you may have realized, the website is generally quicker to visitors who are not logged in.

Because of the collection management feature, we can’t show the main lists or book entries cached to logged in visitors, because they might be changing that page by adding or removing books from their collection.

But the DC Quick List is a whole ton of database queries, so for a quick list it’s been kind of slow to load for logged in visitors (since the site has to generate the list every time – giving me a nice memory warning in my email box.)

I figured out a way around it. I made a widgetized space (like the sidebars, where everything is cached except the login widget) and put all the list generation code inside a single widget. Then I set that to be cached for a day or so. If I’m doing DC placements, it might be a day behind, but it should load very quick for everyone now – which should be useful considering how much more use it’s going to see!

That also means I can probably add a few more features to it. I’m thinking the most useful might be an amazon link for each entry. But I’m curious to see what you guys think. Thumbnails are out – too much load on the server, takes up too much space.

This functionality will be fully available for the marvel books once they are all sorted and added to the database.

Only downside? Totally got distracted from the review I was working on. D’oh! :D

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2 Comments Post New »

  1. Dirt55 wrote on at January 13, 2011 12:48 pm:

    This is fantastic! Everytime I wanted to look up an individual trades placement it would take some detective work as well as manipulation with a “my collection” list. This will help tremendously. Thanks!


    Ian replied on January 13th, 2011 at 8:12 pm:

    Great, glad it’s helpful! I was excited to actually figure it out.


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