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FutureTimeline 5.0

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Hi guys and girls,


Just thought I'd give you an update on the mobile/responsive site redesign, which I know has taken an absurdly long time. I began working on it some time in 2014 or 2015... I can't even remember now; it's been at least a couple of years though.


There are several reasons it's taken so long:-


1. Initially, I tried using pre-made template services (e.g. Duda), but wasn't overly impressed, and there were a couple of technical issues I didn't feel comfortable with. It became clear that FT would look better if I used my own style/layouts. So I began creating my own templates manually, entirely hand-coded, but this took far longer than expected. The menus, in particular, required some fairly detailed JavaScript and CSS.


2. There are many inconsistencies between the various browsers/platforms, and it's taken a ridiculous amount of testing (via BrowserStack) to get everything looking and working correctly on every device, screen size, OS, and browser. Sometimes, even a simple change can take an entire day.


3. FT isn't my full-time job. It's something I do in my spare time (i.e. evenings and weekends). Alongside this, I have to keep the main site updated with predictions, blogs, etc. on a regular basis, which further restricts my time. Of course, I could devote all of my spare time to the mobile site, but then I'd lose traffic and visitors if the main site wasn't being updated (!). I also need time for a social life.


4. By far the most complicated thing was the homepage. This one page – alone – took almost a year. Once it was finished, however, I had many elements I could use on other pages, simply by copying and pasting from the homepage, e.g. the menu navigation. Therefore, progress has accelerated in recent months.




So here we are, in the summer of 2017, and there is light at the end of the tunnel... at long last. :) The screenshot below shows the footer at the bottom of a typical page, with the various sections and sub-sections. I will briefly describe the progress on each (click to enlarge).







Homepage – 100% finished


Latest Updates – 100% finished


Timeline – 100% finished


Blogs – The main landing page is finished, as are the individual sub-sections (AI & Robots, Environment, Space, etc). It's only the individual blogs themselves that still need doing.


Features – 95% finished


Community – 95% finished



So it's really just the individual blog pages that need shifting to the new format. There are more than 1,500 of these. However, I can borrow elements from other templates I've done, with a few minor tweaks. I can then do a find-and-replace to convert all the old pages to the new responsive style.


I will probably take a week's holiday in the next month or so, and devote that entire week to updating the blogs and other remaining stuff, which means FT can hopefully re-launch some time in August. There are some other final things I'll need to sort (e.g. SSL), but again these shouldn't take long.


It's really exciting to see years of hard work finally coming to an end. Being in a responsive format will greatly enhance the site, making it quicker and easier to browse, as well as improving our SEO ranking and hopefully our ad revenue too. And once it's done, I'll have far more time to work on the main site and do what I love, i.e. writing future predictions.


As you may notice from the screenshot above, I'm introducing some new sections too (e.g. Artwork, Data & Trends, Interviews, and the return of our opinion polls). Hopefully even more sections will be added in the coming months/years – such as book and film reviews, lists of futurology conferences, other calendar events, etc. I may even do some competitions where readers can win prizes.


Thanks for your patience everyone, I look forward to relaunching FT, and then we can start on PT... :biggrin:



  • Time_Traveller, Zaphod, Casey and 10 others like this



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Ooo, Looking great. :)

  • wjfox and ddmkm122 like this
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Video section is now 100% complete – I spent all of today working on it.


So, just the individual blogs now... and the template for them is pretty much done, since I can just duplicate the Videos template.


I'm a bit worried about doing such a massive find-and-replace (i.e. 1500 pages), so I might have to do some test runs.


I figure I will have to enclose the old code in two spans, top and bottom, with the actual blog text sandwiched in between. These top and bottom tags will be stripped out, and replaced with the "new" top and bottom. So basically, the top half will be everything from the banner down to the blog date, and the bottom half will be everything from the "Follow us on Twitter" element onwards. Anyway, enough rambling here. We're on track for an August relaunch. :)

  • Time_Traveller, ddmkm122 and Maximus like this




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Just a quick update. I thought I'd be able to finish it last week... but then a fairly major problem came up.


The blog pages were (and still are) the only remaining section left to do.


I created a new template for the earlier blogs (2010-2012), and was ready to find-and-replace the various chunks of code. But then I discovered that Dreamweaver has a character limit for this action. I looked around on the web for other programs able to handle massive long strings of code, but was unable to find any.


Then today, I found a workaround in Dreamweaver. I can break the code into smaller chunks, and do a larger number of (smaller-sized) find and replaces. It's a bit more time-consuming than I'd hoped, but is manageable.


To cut a long story short – the earlier blogs (2010-2012) are now complete. The later blogs (2013-2017) have a slightly different design and coding, so I'll be doing those over the next week or two.


After those blogs, we're pretty much done, apart from the very final touches, i.e. insertion of adverts, social media buttons, etc.


So I'm hoping the FT relaunch can happen this month, assuming no further problems... (!)

  • Time_Traveller, Yuli Ban, ddmkm122 and 3 others like this

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