After a long development process we are finally ready to update to a more secure and stable infrastructure. You will likely see the red banner at the top of this page alerting you to this fact and that while we do the transition the site will be effectively down. This process will take several hours but at the end you will see a website that looks a bit different. We have done a lot of testing, but there will surely be some bugs that we simply didn't find. If you have any issues, or find any bugs, please let us know by sending and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for your patience during this time and a special thank you to the many people who have helped make this transition possible.
Staff Astronomer, AAVSO
New webpage looks very nice, clean and consistent! Great work.
There is however something I noticed and other people may also miss - it seems that currently there is no way to see latest forum posts without going into every subforum. I guess that affects the most people who are using a smarthone or maybe tablet.
Do you have any plans to bring that functionality back (or even something that resembles RSS (I have no idea about proper/suitable technologies))?
Hi, since the transition I receive all the mails from the forums. I not subscribed to any of these forums and don't wish to receive them. I wanted to edit these subscriptions but I'm not subcribed according the AAVSO site. So, why am I receiving them.
Can someone look at this?
There was a bug with the subscribe/unsubscribe feature this morning, but I believe it is now fixed.
To subscribe or unsubscribe to a forum please try this:
1. log on to the AAVSO website
2. click "My Account"
3. click the "Subscriptions" tab
4. click the "Terms" tab under that
You should now see a list of all AAVSO forums. To the right of the name of each forum you are subscribed to, there should be an "unsubscribe" button to click. If you are not yet subscribed, you should see a "subscribe" link.
I hope that helps.
I have taken to wearing shades for corneal protection until I can purchase a UV blocker for the monitor.
I see that other sites break up the white with color images, and some use a grayer shade. A little bit of color goes a long way.
Witness AAS.org and APS.org .
I use the Add-on Night Mode Pro (Firefox, Win 10) in "Night mode" to invert the colors of the website: background black with white fonts. Fine tuning in night mode is also possible. That often helps (website dependent).
Since the update I'm unable to upload large AAVSO Report files -- 250 observations. The upload page times out before the observations are displayed.
If I break the file into smaller files they will be uploaded.
I'm sorry, but I think the new website is a huge step backward! Just a bunch of whitespace and a "dumbed down" look. Maybe it's more secure but it's a lot less usable. Whoever designed it probably doesn't actually use it. I was able to get to everything I needed from the front page of the old website, but not anymore. Where is LCG v1?, why aren't the Alerts and Notices on the front page? If changes to the old site were needed why not make them incrementally instead throwing it out completely? -EEY
Thank you for your feedback. I will try to address some of your questions, but let me start with your last one: If changes were needed why not make them incrementally? While this sounds like a great idea, it's not always feasible. Because of security issues and outdated software, we were essentially stuck on the old website, not having the ability to make significant changes without the risk of the website completely dying. As you can imagine this is a very precarious situation which required significant upgrades to our backend. When this happens not everything is compatible and things must change. It is true that not everything is available directly from the home page. However, we have tried to put the tools people use daily in places that make sense. If you have specific things that you can no longer find, please let us know and we will try to help you navigate to them easily. Now to your more specific questions:
LCGv1: This has been deprecated I'm afraid. It is not compatible with the new infrastructure in it's current format and was a huge security risk. We mentioned multiple times that it would need to go away. Most of the functionality can be duplicated with either LCGv2 and VStar. However, we do realize there are some things now that simply don't exist. We have a list and we are trying to address the things that are most useful to our community as a whole. While we would love to have everything, we are limited by time and resources.
Alerts and Notices: This is located directly on "the tools and observer resources" button on the home page. Once you are there the link is in the center block in bold letter.
I know that change is difficult and since we can't keep everything the same, we would like to help you make the transition as easy as possible, so please let us know about any questions or issues you might have.
Staff Astronomer, AAVSO
When composing a forum post we are offered the option to see a preview before we save the post. I like this option, but it doesn't seem to work (for me) in the new website. I get this message whenever I try the preview.
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.
It appears that *anyone* can edit a comment, not just the user who posted it.
Edit: when I posted this original message the error: "Unable to send email. Contact the site administrator if the problem persists." appeared at forum top.
We do not seem to be able to repeat this bug. Are you still able to edit another person's post?
Please provide an example (you can try to edit this post if you want).
This may only apply to forums like those used for CHOICE. I just did it there again in the Statistics Dry Run. Also, it appears that one CHOICE participant was able to completely delete a thread I created.
Ahh. That makes sense. This was specific to that particular forum, probably because it was set up as a test case. Either way, the permissions on this forum have been fixed.
Staff Astronomer, AAVSO
A significant quantity of ink has now been spilled regarding the revised website. I have largely held off on my own comments, but it is now time for me to voice my concerns. I do so for two reasons. First, AAVSO paid money for the redesign–we were entitled to a professional job. Second, the website is the public face of our organization. The first impressions we make to newcomers are delivered there, and the image we currently present is decidedly amateurish. This is particularly serious in view of our recognized need to connect with younger people. This demographic has spent its whole life surfing the web. It recognizes good web pages when it sees them. It also recognizes poor ones.
My first point has been raised in earlier postings: the annoying bright-white background that covers large portions of the pages. This is irritating to the eyes. To see the problem directly, go no further than this forum thread. Each posting has a pale blue header (much too large, but that's another story). The text within the header is easy to read. The text against the hot background is not.
My next comments regard the "home" page. Assuming that the instructional video will eventually disappear, the top of this page will be dominated by the oversize static matrix of what are presumably the most useful buttons for people who visit us. The rapidly-changing forum activity is now out of immediate sight. That material is surrounded by bold blue bars that draw your attention to...the bold blue bars, not the forum activity. Meanwhile, the static matrix is divided up by tic-tac-toe lines. Take a quick look at the page: your eye most quickly settles on the intersections between the lines, not the elements of the matrix.
And as for the matrix, how many of the icons would be clearly recognizable if they were not accompanied by text labels? Would you identify the symbols for observing sections, VSX, and Join/Support? And are all the symbols really worthy of a large number of pixels? Wouldn't light curves, data access, and observer tools logically command a bigger presence than JAAVSO and shopping?
On the home page, one might excuse the oversize icons as an aid to fat fingers that are working the website on a cellphone. But on the data access page, we find the opposite situation. The large symbols don't do anything (not clickable). The action "buttons" are embedded in wide grey bars that lower their visual impact. These are the kind of bars used on the home page as brackets around useful content, but here the bars contain the important features–features that look like more labels than buttons. And there is another visual contrast problem. Take a quick look at the page–where does your eye go? To the bright yellow symbol for exoplanets. Why is that icon the prime point of interest?
On the observer tools page, we again have problems with symbology. How many icons would be recognizable without the labels? Even with the label, what will newcomers make of "WebObs" or "VPhot"? What was the rationale for providing icons for some tools and not others (eg: Target Tool)? And one of the perceived problems with the old website was that there were too many ways to get to the same places. Here, we see access points that are redundant with those found on the home page (eg: LCG, VSP, VSX).
Finally, however well-intentioned (and helpful) the new-website video is, it constitutes a tacit admission that the updated design is still not intuitive to use. From a user's perspective, that was the key problem with the old website, and it remains a problem. That it is necessary for the video to explain the layout of the home page resource matrix is confirmation that the matrix is poorly presented.
Postscript: I thought the the banner for the Video Tour was a fixed element that would eventually go away. I now see that it is one of a suite of announcements/notices that were presumably intended to cycle automatically. At least on my Firefox, the display sequence is stuck on the Tour and one must manually advance through the announcement panes. These panes take up a tremendous amount of space and the content of any individual pane will typically stay up for weeks at a time. Thus, the prime location on the web site is now devoted to telling users the same thing over and over and over.
I agree with the white background issue. It is painful on the eyes (like from car LED headlights when driving at night or >5000K household LED lighting). Blue-white light aversion is a common problem for aging eyes. The old website had a soothing background that often I would leave the webpage up. I would prefer an inverse color scheme (at least a darker background) without the need to make special adjustments in a browser or monitor.