Hamsters Update The Site Again
Gaia Tools once again has been updated. The hamsters that power the site have been hard at work bringing many refreshing changes. As you may have heard from our previous article Gaia Tools is now 10yrs old. That's a big accomplishment. Our hamsters were disappointed they could not get the site update out for it's anniversary, but they have given us a late anniversary gift packed full of updates!
We have added two new services to Gaia Tools!
- Colorize is a gradient BBCode generator. Select your two colors and insert the text you want to have made into a gradient. It's as simple as that. We use a very elegant color picker to make things easy for you!
- YouTube Redirect makes it easy to create YouTube URLs for Gaia profiles with many of the AS3 YouTube parameters without Gaia stripping them off. Gaia likes to strip off YouTube all YouTube parameters other than autoplay. Why? We don't know, but we find it very annoying. So we've made this redirect service to help users get around that and to take advantage of the flexibility that YouTube provides.
Here is a list of things we have updated!
- Removed the articles from being the star content on the home page. It’s now more focused on the rest of Gaia Tools, talking about the site and listing some features.
- My Tools has been merged with Tools & Services. Upon group discussion, it was decided that the My Tools was no appropriate for it's position. Dynamic links in the left navigation are not common practice and we want our links to be indexed so people can find them.
Random Image Generator
- RIG images can now be re-arranged and individually removed.
- RIG now has an easy click to copy interface for copying URLs
- Added an easy click to copy interface for copying theme CSS
- Current template now allows for panel re-arrangement
- You can now favorite a theme
- If your theme is rejected we will now send you an email telling you that it has been rejected and why.
- We have dropped the requirement to enter a date of birth. We don't care how old you are, our users' age does not affect how we value each one. So we dropped the date of birth fields and removed your birthdays from our system! We do still require you to be 13+ though and this will be explicitly stated in our upcoming Terms of Service. If we find evidence that other wise the offending users will be dealt with accordingly.
- We have redesigned the My Account page to be less cluttered and confusing. Account Settings will will now appear on the Settings page, while password changes are now located on the Password page. Notification email options have been temporarily removed, but they will be on their own page as well when we implement them.
- The Gaia linked account process no longer requires you Gaia session ID. We feel that many people probably feel uneasy about it. Restassured we never stored any of them and we never used them other than to fetch your Gaia account. However, to put any of those worries at rest we switched to fetching accounts by their email. This also means you can link more than one account at a time!
- Almost every page has received a layout update. While our HTML was not very bulky to begin with, we flattened it even more anyway when we updated our framework. This means our page downloads are smaller.
- We also did a number of back-end changes and while I can't list what they are know that some of them will provide some really awesome features in the future.
So these updates are all fine and dandy, right? However, now you're probably wondering what's our roadmap for the future looking like. Well fret not, we have some things planned out and we don't think it'll take too long to actively develop them. However, because we're a small team comprised of only a few people and I (Knight Yoshi) am the lead developer for the user services
and I'm going to start my summer classes starting June 27th (for the US), active development will likely slow down. I'll try not to keep you guys waiting for long though. We're well aware that the time between updates is slow and while we don't like it, much of the development falls on me and I'm in the process of getting my bachelors in Information Technology.
So with that in mind, here is what we have planned and that I can talk about.
- Colorize. There are many things that I can do with this to help generate colored text for users and that I'm going to implement
- Item Database. We're going to pull all of Gaia's items and keep the system up to date. This will take some more time to implement, but we have big plans for other services we can implement once we have the item database.
- Theme Builder. There are many things with this that need to be implemented. In this update we added the ability to re-arrange panels while working, but that was just one small incremental feature out many features that will go into it to make it an invaluable tool for helping everybody create their own profile.
- Themes. We are very proud of the themes we host on Gaia Tools for all Gaians to use. However, it's not quite where we would like it to be, just yet. We plan to work on themes a little more, to add buff it out.
As always, if you have any questions or feedback, post them in the Gaia Tools guild on Gaia; links are located at the top under the Support tab. We love interacting with our users!
July 3rd Update ~ Due to unforeseen circumstances one of my classes was dropped which impacted my ability to take the second class. So I have no 2016 summer classes, but I did pickup a new [and paying] client. So I have to give much of my focus to their site. Luckily it's not as intensive as Gaia Tools, but they still have priority.