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Posts

You've stumbled on the little blog for Good-Tutorials.



Updating icons

Posted almost 8 years ago — 15 comments

So recently I wanted to make a few tweaks to how we handle icons on Good-Tutorials. In true developer spirit, I looked at the code written before the real rise of Paperclip or really even before attachment_fu, got disgusted, and decided to rip out all of that. I moved tutorial icon uploads to Paperclip, and once I did that I figured I'd go the whole way and shift everything to Amazon s3.

This means a few things:

  • I removed a bunch of old custom code, which is awesome.
  • Restrictions on file format are now gone, so we're no longer locked into jpeg for your icons.
  • I can (conceivably) bump up from 40x40 in the future much more easily, so we could get some newer, larger graphics.
  • I'm not tied to a file system, which will almost certainly have an impact on the site's infrastructure, which I'll detail closer to when that particular shift happens.

This does mean that I'm going back and reprocessing all of the tens of thumbnails on the site right now, so you'll see the default Good-Tutorials icon next to tutorials for the next hour or three while we comb through the database. Let me know if you run into any issues other than that.

Thanks!



We could use your help

Posted almost 8 years ago — 4 comments

Hi everyone.

Long time no chat; I know. Life has been perpetually busy for me this year, which will never really be a legitimate excuse for anything of value. When you get down to it, a lot of it stems from burnout for me. I've been doing this mostly every day since 2002, and it just wasn't as exciting like it used to be.

Luckily, a hiatus like that can bring a refreshing look at things. I'm back to getting the itch to revamp tutorial topics, fix some longstanding bugs, and add some fun new features to Good-Tutorials (and I'm in the thick of development of a number of new site launches that you might hear about in the future, too). In other words, it's time for new again.

Until the ball gets rolling on those, we have some more pressing matters, particularly in the moderation realm. I know things in the last week or two have been quite rough, with many delays. Much of this stems from a few atrocious weeks I've had personally as I've been mostly bedridden with a flu-like illness and as I've been moving to a new residence in a new city, but it also stems from a lack of active moderators, which can happen over time.

So, we need help with the upcoming queue. You can help right now by logging in and rating those tutorials in the queue. Your votes will help determine which tutorials float to the front page, and that helps everybody.

If, however, you have some regular spare time, you can apply to be an official Good-Tutorials moderator. Please read the instructions on the top of that page for more details. The more the merrier, and I'm looking for a wide range of skills, from those new to Photoshop, PHP, Flash, CSS, or other technologies, to those working with any technology professionally. All are welcome, every bit helps.

Secondly, float me some ideas. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, features, problems you've had with the current site, and so on. It'll provide good inspiration for me to get going on these new features and functionality. Feel free to post in the comments of this post.

In the meantime, you should follow me on Twitter, which will be the place I'll drop hints to my new sites as they creep towards launch (one of which will absolutely be interesting to users of this site in particular). You should also follow Good-Tutorials on Twitter, which is one tweet per day of the most interesting tutorial found on the site.

Thanks for being a Good-Tutorials visitor. I hope you've enjoyed your visit today.



Looking for Good-Tutorials Moderators

Posted over 8 years ago — 20 comments

The moderation process has been off a little bit as of late; I'd like to fill a number of new moderator positions to get some more feedback on incoming tutorials and to get better accuracy on tutorial submissions.

Moderators get a warm fuzzy feeling of helping improve this site for everyone, they get a little moderator badge whenever they comment on a tutorial or blog post on this site, and they get a link to their website rotated on the main sidebar of every page on Good-Tutorials. (I'm also open to any other ideas you might have to help thank you guys some more, as well.)

If you're interested in helping out, write a quick post on why you want to be a moderator and your qualifications, and I'll be sure to review your submission as soon as I can. Thanks!



Tweeting the best tutorial each day

Posted almost 9 years ago — 11 comments

I'm happy to announce that you can now find @goodtutorials on Twitter.

What is it?

Twitter is a microblogging service; you can send "tweets" of 140 characters or less to your friends, colleagues, or anyone you happen to meet on Twitter. If you follow @goodtutorials on Twitter, you'll get a short, simple link to one tutorial per day.

The Science

Part of the motivation behind this was to not be just another Twitter bot. There seems to be a great deal of bots that just mindlessly regurgitate an RSS feed, post every minute detail, and so on. I'm just not a fan of noise. So @goodtutorials is selective.

Through an exhaustive analysis of the tutorials submitted in the every 24 hours, we pull one tutorial that is most likely the most interesting tutorial of the bunch added that day. This is based on a long list of factors, variables, and normalization procedures; rest assured we're doing Science all over the place. It's likely that this may be one of the "best" tutorials listed that day; it's also possible that it's just a tutorial that many find interesting for one reason or another. Either way, we think you'll like it.

I'd love it if you gave it a shot, followed @goodtutorials on Twitter, and let me know what you think. I'll be improving and tweaking the algorithm over the coming days and weeks, so I'd love to hear if you're digging the chosen tutorials or if you think there's something better listed that day that we missed. Feel free to follow @holman to hear more of my thoughts as well while you're at it.

Happy Thursday!



Let's make things faster

Posted almost 9 years ago — 6 comments

Just a quick update to touch base with you all again: last night I rolled out a number of tweaks, optimizations, and updates aimed to reduce response time on the site. An informal monitoring of the site over the subsequent 24 hours or so points towards load on the server being anywhere from a half to a quarter of what it typically is. Savings like that mean that there should be a more consistent load profile; in the past the site has been able to run pretty fast, but it would get bogged down during high traffic and become noticeably slower.

For those of your interested, I turned to god to solve a chunk of these problems. god makes it rather easy to keep on top of out-of-control processes. So far, haven't seen any issues with god that I've seen with monit, so that's certainly a plus.

One last thing: as I mentioned on twitter, I'll be releasing some nifty new functionality in the coming days that you might be interested in trying out. Keep an eye here on the blog or follow me on twitter to be the first to know when it gets released.