The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Mechanic at workBack in January I upgraded the CLUAS discussion board to the latest and greatest version of the software that it uses. As I blogged at that time it introduced a whole bunch of improvements, including a considerable reduction of trips that had to be made to the database to pull data required for building a discussion forum page (the sort of thing I - sadly - get excited about as it means faster loading of web pages for users).

Nonetheless there was a downside to this upgrade: the code we used on the home page to automatically insert links to the latest discussion topics was broken by the upgrade. I was reduced to manually putting links to recent discussions on the home page which in the hands of anyone - especially me - is a terribly inefficient thing to be doing. I did try to fix the broken code myself but, with a massively elementary understanding of SQL, I just didn't have the wherewithal to do so.

However, at last, it has been fixed and needless to say, it was not fixed not by me. CLUAS writer Stephen McNulty stepped into the breach and strong-armed Rod, an SQL wizard colleague to update the code. I updated the home page with this code late last week and ever since the links to the latest discussion topics are automatically added to the home page.

When putting Rod's code in place I also fixed another problem on the discussion board (this one involved the content of some pages on the CLUAS disscussion board being pushed downwards so that you would only see the text if you hit the 'page down' button on your PC). Thankfully I did not have to call in the experts to fix this one - I managed to work it out myself (to be honest it was a no-brainer, all it took a was the deleting of a single declaration in the CSS style sheet).

The bigger picture however is that these two updates are only minor details. There is something else cooking on the site at the moment, something far bigger (some eagle eyed readers may already have stumbled on some hints of it). For full details on what I am alluding to look out for the CLUAS newsletter in your inbox some day soon. Not subscribed to the newsletter? Then you need to sign up now...

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Nuggets from our archive

2005Michael Jackson: demon or demonised? Or both?, written by Aidan Curran. Four years on this is still a great read, especially in the light of his recent death. Indeed the day after Michael Jackson died the CLUAS website saw an immediate surge of traffic as thousands visited to read this very article.