Small Site Edits Incoming

Just a little warning. I’ll be working with Watergirl to adjust some things on the site, based on others’ feedback to her.

I don’t expect anything massive, but if things go wonky for a few, I hope you’ll understand!

Otherwise – open thread.

Note: I will not be monitoring this thread for your comments; once I’m done working with her, I’ve got other fish to fry, and will finish the list of issues she provides later, over the weekend, etc.

Quick Tech Note Regarding Comments

I just fixed an issue that made some comments disappear for a user or two. And that made me want to reach out to everyone so that I can improve your Balloon Juice commenting experience.

So – when/if a comment disappears or goes into moderation, please use the contact form to send me a note and let me know:
1) Your nym
2) the time the comment was made
3) the words used
4) the email address you used with your nym for the comment

I’m finding that comments that disappear don’t really disappear – they trigger the blacklist and go into the trash. Which gets filled up with real junk and then emptied. This is triggered by keywords; some made things go to moderation, some to the trash. If you let me know what you said, I can try to fix this annoying issue.

So really, it hasn’t been FYWP some of the time, it’s been poorly-constructed blacklists to stop spam and assholes, mostly assholes.

ETA: Omnes/Steeplejack/Adam, I think I fixed the issue from yesterday but should you re-encounter it, please let me know!

Additional information: I removed sheeple last night; I just removed Watson. So both should work now. Rejoice!

Quick Tech Question

Some users report their comments ALWAYS going into moderation or disappearing. Some others report moderation after editing a comment (but not all users).

This is most worrisome as you can’t report the issue in a comment if it disappears! So if this happens to you, dear reader, please use the Contact option in Quick Links at the top to send me details so that I can make it better for you.

Details I need:
1) what happens
2) nym
3) email address you fill out for the comment form
4) does this always happen at home but work elsewhere, or vice-versa?
5) what’s your IP address? go to Google and type “what’s my IP address” and include the number

Open thread (until Betty posts)

Quick Tech Note and Open Thread

Due to many reports of resource issues, I changed the video ad back to non-secure. I suspect that making it secure (using https) was causing the resource drain issue. So hopefully if you had that issue recently, it should be solved.

I am still hoping to make a small tweak to the Read More function and such, but please use the Contact Form to report issues to me – I am not monitoring threads for reports.

Finally, I am not in charge of ads here, so please do not complain about them to me!

ETA: Should you be a collector, I just put up for sale a 1980’s never-used Dupont Chinese Lacquer lighter and will be soon selling two Parker Chinese Lacquer fountain pens. Feel free to use the contact form to let me know if you are interested or know a collector who would be. They are gorgeous!

ETA: Pix:

Parker Pen 2

Parker Pen 2

Parker Pen 1

Parker Pen 1

Dupont Lighter

Dupont Lighter

Open Thread

Update Done: Use This Post To Report Issues

Folks, the update hit last afternoon and it was pretty undramatic. There are likely a few issues here and there, so please use this post to report them. I will be working on other things this morning and early pm, but will check this post before I consider my work done.

There is no guarantee that I will fix everything or do what is asked, but I will see what I can do for things that make sense or are truly bad. Thanks to all for your kind words and help in identifying remaining issues.

ETA: Back button is fixed and HTML help hidden for now. I know there are a few small issues to solve on the mobile site too, but since most users access the desktop site, it’s my priority right now.

Updates Done, Please Report Issues You Encounter

The updates are all done, and there’s still some customizations to apply and some font/design tweaks. Mostly stuff you won’t notice.

So, this post is here for you to report issues. I’ll make another post tomorrow morning to get the day crew’s answers as well.

I have addressed many of the issues reported in the previous posts, but many are not yet addressed. Some will remain unaddressed at this time.

Most importantly, due to the great help of the Hosting Matters team, we’ve now fixed the update mechanism to take care of some pesky file permission issues and built a failsafe so future updates will result in at most a 5 minute permission limbo.

Tonight/tomorrow, I hope to go back in and retro-add Adam’s National Security posts to the new Silverman on Security Quicklink category, and I hope to convert many past recipes into the new widget.

I may or may not respond tonight to comments in this post, but they will most assuredly be read and considered tomorrow!

Prepare For Turbulence: Site Update Rolling Out Soon

ETA: Site was updated with the excellent help of Hosting Matters’ excellent support folks, our procedure is fixed for the next time. I’ve still lots of tweaking to do. Recipe widget coming live soon.



I’m still puttering about trying to figure out why the Read More links don’t create the anchor like they’re supposed to, but I will be launching the updated files, new plugins, etc. shortly.

I’m using a software repository to apply changes already working on my test server, but last time I did this, there were some permission issues. If they re-occur, I will note them and will have the Hosting company fix it as that is out of my control. Their script, made after the last update/twitch, resets permissions on files, so finger-crossed, there should be no issues.

Worst case scenario, the site is wacky for five minutes.  Hopefully that won’t happen.

Once the new files are all good, and the dust settles, there should be a few welcome tweaks:

  1. A recipe plugin to make using them, copying them, finding them, etc. much easier.
  2. Adam has his own “Silverman on Security” section from Quicklinks.
  3. Bare link issue should be solved.
  4. This should mean that editing comments going into moderation is solved. If not, speak up!
  5. I made the video add force HTTPS so no more security warnings about mixed content. This may break some work-arounds, so if it is an issue, make sure you’ve adjusted your filter to https
  6. Fixed mobile site icons being “vertical columned”
  7. Once main site updates hit, I will update the mobile sit and plugin so that will be a bit later this pm.
  8. Amazon ad will be added to mobile site and I will make a few tweaks to it.
  9. Blogroll opens in same window because if it forces a new window, many devices block popups. So error reports galore, not to mention bad user experience. Deal with it or shift-click to open it in a new window/tab!
  10. Looking at adding CAPTCHA or such to Contact FrontPager form; we’ve been getting too much crap.
  11. Arrow controls on main site – there are hovering arrow controls to jump to top/bottom and prev/next post on the main desktop site.  They are great tools, so please use them if you don’t already.
  12. There are no arrow controls on the mobile site but you can us links to jump to comments, and there are visual controls for next/prev post.  The one thing missing is arrow to jump to top of screen, but for mobile devices, there are simple built in shortcuts:
    1. iOS: double-tap top of screen and it will jump to top of browser page
    2. Android: There is a simple technique. I was wrong, the technique I read about was BS. There is no jump to top outside of some apps that you can get, but I can’t recommend them as I do not know them.  Apparently you can swipe to top of window much faster in Android than iOS. I will get some solution soon for the mobile site.
  13. I plan a few slight font tweaks and such, but that’s pretty much it.


Hope the changes are good to you all, but please feel free to use this post to complain, troubleshoot, etc.  I hope to push the changes about 3 Eastern. Be well.

ETA: The site is secured using HTTPS, using an SSL certificate from the Let’s Encrypt initiative. I have one Opera user reporting some errors about the certificate authority, but I am mentioning this in case anyone else gets weird certificate notifications.  We’re legit, and I suspect that the Opera version is old, or that the list of CAs that install is using is outdated but not updated.  Similar issues may occur to users of other older browser versions or OSes without recent builds. But please do report any SSL/certificate issues.