NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Pacific NW Portal 5.1 (Agate Beach) released

Last month, when we unveiled Pacif­ic NW Por­tal Ver­sion 5.0 (code­named New­port), we also com­mit­ted to adopt­ing a more fre­quent release cycle for the project, deliv­er­ing improve­ments on a more incre­men­tal basis, like we did dur­ing Pacif­ic NW Por­tal’s ear­ly days sev­en years ago.

I am pleased today to announce that the first fruits of our new approach have borne fruit. Today, just one month after New­port went live, we are releas­ing its suc­ces­sor: Ver­sion 5.1, code­named Agate Beach.

Agate Beach is what’s known as a main­te­nance release. As the ver­sion num­ber indi­cates, it is sim­ply a more pol­ished incar­na­tion of the last major release (New­port). It’s sort of the inverse of an overhaul.

Agate Beach is an unin­cor­po­rat­ed com­mu­ni­ty in Lin­coln Coun­ty near New­port, Ore­gon. It is named for the agates (a vari­ety of sil­i­ca) found on the shores there. It is acces­si­ble to the pub­lic as a state recre­ation­al site.

Agate Beach

Agate Beach, Ore­gon (Pho­to by Mike Krzeszak, used under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

The fol­low­ing post con­sti­tutes our offi­cial changel­og for Ver­sion 5.1. Please feel free to leave ques­tions, sug­ges­tions for future ver­sions, or oth­er thoughts on Agate Beach in the com­ment thread.

Overall Site Enhancements

  • Full titles for arti­cles and posts now appear on mouseover. Many of Pacif­ic NW Por­tal’s feeds trun­cate titles to save space (and always have). This allows items to be neat­ly pre­sent­ed. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this often means some words get cut off. We have repro­grammed our feeds with trun­cat­ed titles so that read­ers have the abil­i­ty to mouse over a link and see the full title in a tooltip. This way, it’s pos­si­ble to pre­view the full title before click­ing the link.
  • Feed titles and descrip­tions now trun­cate with prop­er ellipses. In the past, cut-off descrip­tions and titles end­ed in two dots (..) to sig­ni­fy the omis­sion of the rest of the descrip­tion or title. How­ev­er, a prop­er ellip­sis has three ellip­sis points (…), as defined by the Chica­go Man­u­al of Style and NPI’s own Style Guide (in draft). We have recon­fig­ured Pacif­ic NW Por­tal so that it trun­cates all cut-off items with prop­er ellipses.
  • Fed­er­al, State, and Local columns now line up more con­sis­tent­ly. We’ve elim­i­nat­ed some align­ment prob­lems by mak­ing a cou­ple of adjust­ments to Pacif­ic NW Por­tal’s stylesheet. Items appear­ing under one of these three front page columns are no longer per­mit­ted to spill over and take up more than their allot­ted space.
  • Vis­it­ed links now tracked. Pacif­ic NW Por­tal now dis­plays clicked links in pur­ple (which is the uni­ver­sal default most browsers adhere to) instead of the same blue used for unvis­it­ed links. This should make it eas­i­er to dis­tin­guish between already-read and not yet-read posts.
  • Bugs and blem­ish­es fixed. We’ve resolved a few minor prob­lems relat­ing to user expe­ri­ence and lay­out. Some were brows­er-spe­cif­ic. For instance, in Mozil­la Fire­fox, an annoy­ing gray rec­tan­gle was appear­ing when­ev­er the Pre­vi­ous or Next but­tons were clicked. We’ve made that go away. And on the Black­Ber­ry Play­Book, one of the carousel slides was appear­ing at the edges of adja­cent slides. Not anymore.

Regional Blogs Directory Update

Here is a list of the blogs we have added to Pacif­ic NW Por­tal’s Region­al Blogs Direc­to­ry since New­port (Ver­sion 5.0) went live.

All of these blogs were added to the Wash­ing­ton column.

Our thanks to all who con­tin­ue to sup­port Pacif­ic NW Por­tal. Enjoy the new version!

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