Fresh Coat of Paint

Defacto2 has changed servers, received a back-end upgrade and changed the overall look + feel of the site!

What is new?

Front-end has been redesigned to use Bootstrap, reduce complex navigation clutter and introduce a uniformed user interface. Icons have replaced a significant number of the text descriptions to hopefully make the site seem less cluttered and overloaded.

New and improved listings for files, links, search results, people and groups.

Files thumbnails can now be viewed in different sizes or in a more usable list mode and are now shown in their correct aspect ratio.

Fixed a significant number of back-end bugs.

Implemented both reactive and fluid design to improve support for mobile and desktop screens.

A new server and provider hopefully means improved bandwidth, so downloads for many users should be faster.

There is now a limited API like function enabling data exporting using JSON. This will be expanded in the future.

File details page layouts have been improved with options to view or play the file in browser, download it or export the database data as a JSON document.

User accessible links for file assets such as screenshots, thumbnails, image previews which are all covered under a liberal Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.

Scene website portal has narrowed in focus to now only show sites that relate to the files hosted on the site. So links to alternative computer formats, emulation, etc have been culled.

Why the change?

I wanted to future proof the front-end code-base and migrate it to HTML5. The previous version of the site was stuck on XHTML 1.0. While compatible with all modern and most legacy browsers, it is an evolutionary dead-end. Keeping to XHTML it made implementing new functionality difficult so the change was needed. Besides the overhyped browser features of HTML5, it lays out the pages in a more logical manner which makes it easier to work with.

While the new HTML5 code-base will break many old browsers there is always the legacy HTML3 edition of the site. That will work in every browser and has access to every file served and hosted on Defacto2.

Potential hiccups

Site works great in modern Firefox, Chrome, Safari both on mobile and desktop. It does mostly work in Internet Explorer 9 but fails to render correctly in IE10 and IE11. There is no intention to fix this and instead these IE users are forced to view the page in IE9 quirks mode. I hope Internet Explorer will eventually catch-up to support the HTML5/CSS3 functionality that is breaking the layout.

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