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Christer
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Khemri Tomb Kings
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Khemri Tomb Kings
Record
59/24/37
Win Percentage
59%
Shambling Undead
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51/5/10
Win Percentage
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[R]
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229/56/79
Win Percentage
71%
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2019

2019-04-14 23:33:08
rating 6
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rating 6
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rating 6
2019-01-08 15:27:38
rating 5.9
2019-01-05 02:58:18
rating 5.8

2018

2018-08-17 17:28:31
rating 6
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rating 6
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rating 6
2018-06-28 14:28:08
rating 5.9
2018-05-23 17:55:10
rating 6
2018-05-10 22:42:46
rating 6
2018-05-09 19:42:28
rating 6
2018-04-30 10:44:23
rating 5.8
2018-04-23 12:33:02
rating 5.8

2017

2017-04-23 18:06:35
rating 6
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2016

2016-11-30 00:04:21
rating 6
2016-11-27 23:40:04
rating 6
2016-11-17 18:18:07
rating 6

2015

2015-09-06 23:59:26
rating 6
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rating 6
2015-01-22 13:10:32
rating 6
2015-01-19 21:20:53
rating 6
2015-01-10 19:03:45
rating 6

2014

2014-09-09 15:35:53
rating 6

2013

2013-04-26 11:48:40
rating 5.7

2012

2012-12-18 17:37:29
rating 5.9
2012-11-18 18:19:19
rating 6
2012-09-25 13:47:16
rating 5.6
2012-08-15 12:31:53
rating 5.9
2012-08-10 23:12:22
rating 5.9
2012-06-27 22:53:48
rating 5.9
2012-04-10 11:56:38
rating 5.9
2012-03-07 13:52:00
rating 5.9
2012-02-16 16:59:56
rating 5.9
2012-02-04 19:00:41
rating 5.3

2011

2011-07-25 23:32:43
rating 5.6
2011-05-23 13:12:52
rating 5.6
2011-02-04 14:26:18
rating 5.4

2010

2010-03-26 11:38:41
rating 5.1
2010-03-01 12:16:53
rating 5.6

2009

2009-12-08 16:40:30
rating 5.8

2008

2008-09-11 14:47:19
rating 4.1
2008-02-26 21:16:54
rating 5.3
2008-01-21 01:01:58
rating 5.6

2007

2007-11-06 21:23:14
rating 5.1
2007-10-16 00:26:11
rating 5.4
2007-09-30 17:10:03
rating 5.4
2007-09-30 12:01:42
rating 5.3
2007-08-09 12:14:57
rating 4.5
2007-08-06 12:02:52
rating 4.9
2007-08-03 17:56:21
rating 5.4
2011-05-23 13:12:52
69 votes, rating 5.6
Themes, navigation and legacy support
With the latest push towards the pastel theme, there have been some questions as to why it's necessary to drop support for the old themes. I am fully aware that a number of you are very used to the way FUMBBL looks, and feel the change is compeltely unnecessary.

In an attempt to try to explain my perspective and the thinking behind this, I will go through my thought process behind the change, and try to explain what I am trying to achieve.

Over the years, newcomers to the site have been stating that they thought the layout of the site has been confusung and complex to get used to. This is something I have been trying to take to heart and I have been trying to make the site easier to use over time, adding new themes with the help of members of the community. Adding a theme is one of the most frustrating things I do on the site, because there are so many people who oppose change and there's an endless stream of complaints over one aspect or the other. Meanwhile, making a new design is incredibly difficult both from a usability and visual perspective, but also amazingly frustrating from a technical perspective. I am aiming to keep the site functional and properly rendered for a wide range of web broswers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari) on a range of platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android). All this ends up making it very hard to keep motivated to do.

Now, A lot of the complaints tend to start incredibly harshly stating "This theme is complete garbage", and then the only concrete feedback is something along the lines of "I am missing feature X", or "This particular colour is different than what I am used to". I want to take the time to address some of this feedback on a high level.


First off, I want to talk about the colour scheme.

When I first got in touch with Whatball regarding the theme, he had done some initial suggestions on the forums. His mockup was dark gray overall and had a simplified navigation system compared to what the old themes of the site had. In my initial "specification", I gave him a very very rough outline of what I was aiming for and stated that I wanted the theme to have three primary colours: beige, green and red. Now you ask why those colours, and the answer is that those are the colours that, to me, are the official colours of FUMBBL. These colours have been with FUMBBL from the start as can be seen in the v1 (version 1) theme, and you will also see them in the most recent "Root" theme, with the name pointing towards going back to the origins when it comes to rough layout and colour scheme (coming from the "Pool" theme which was the default prior to Root).

To me, this combination of colours is a major part of the identity of the site. The particular shades have not been set in stone at any point (and you'll see that with how variants have been used over different themes). Some of the feedback I've seen with the pastel theme is that the colours are burning people's eyes out (yes, literally), which surprises me. Yes, the colours are probably more saturated than in the past but I absolutely don't agree with the notion of it being too hard on the eyes. However, I use colour calibrated screens to view the site and see the colours as they were meant to be seen. When I'm picking colours I simply have to pick something that looks good on my screen and hope that the end users' screens are not too far off from being correct. For those of you who are wondering, the site is designed for a colour temperature of 6500K and gamma 2.2 (which is pretty much a de-facto standard these days). For the rest of you, ignore that last sentence :)


Next up, I want to talk a bit about fixed versus dynamic width.

The new theme is the first one which is using a fixed width. As was the case with the primary colours, this was a direct request in my initial dialogue with Whatball. I was very aware that this would upset some people, but chose to make this call anyway. And now you are asking why.

As I stated earlier, designing websites is hard. Other than the colours, you need to figure out where to put various links and buttons, how the navigation system should work and how each page on the site should look. With a site like FUMBBL, where we have a very very large number of different pages and systems that interact, it's incredibly difficult to make things look proper and consistent.

Designing a complex page (for example the overview) is a major undertaking. It looks simple when you can just state that "Put a teams list there, put a list of latest news there", but in reality it's much more complex than that. Most of these blocks have content that varies in width and I, as the person who has to make things work, have to be sure that it renders properly on a wide variety of platforms. Now, I have a screen with a higher resolution than the majority of the users on this site (running at 2560x1440), and maximising the browser window on that screen makes the old themes look very strange when it comes to layout. There simply isn't enough content to fill up that width and it ends up having more whitespace than content in the page itself.

To me, there are two basic forms of pages on the site, which both behave badly on extreme widths:

1. Pages with tables (overview, team page, coach lists, etc)
These end up being expanded and whitespace fills up the content of the page. Stretching them out hurts readability and it just plainly looks strange.

2. Pages with text (forum, blogs, help system)
Stretching out a block of text too wide makes it difficult to read. The human eye has a hard time tracking long lines, and paragraphs have a tendency to be cut down to a very low number of lines. Again, the visual layout of the page suffers. Granted, I have a tendency to make very short paragraphs when I write anyway and my own posts would end up with 2-3 line paragraphs across the board.

To counter both of these, the decision I made was to request a fixed width. That way, designing pages for the site won't be impossibly hard and I can focus on adding features rather than spending hundreds of hours on making a page look decent (I'm of the opinion that it's impossible to make a page look good when it's on the wide end because of the issues explained above).

I'm also not alone in this. Take a look at the web in general. There are endless examples of major websites which use a fixed width layout. Facebook, Google, Twitter, CNN, BBC, Huffington post, Apple, Microsoft, Steam, battle.net.. These all use fixed width and I'm pretty sure it's for reasons similar to the ones I've listed above.

Yes, there are also major sites which use dynamic width. Amazon and Wikipedia comes to mind, both of which start to become hard to read maximised on a typical 24" screen (1900x1200 resolution).


Even though this blog is turning out to become quite long, I have a third aspect I wanted to bring up: Legacy support for old themes.

FUMBBL has 11 current themes: Pitch, Plastic (3 variations),Pool, Root, Aggressive (2 variations), Pastel, v1, v3

There are also two obsoleted ones: FUMBBL and v2

The thing with supporting multiple themes is that when I make a change to the site, for example let's say I add a new page for managing your personal menu (yes, I will add that to the pastel theme). To make that display properly on the major browsers and platforms, I have to spend time on updating each and every theme manually. It's not a simple matter of just adding a page and saying "This needs to be green". I have to verify that the font sizes are proper across the themes, I have to verify that the layout doesn't break any of the themes and I have to test it for all 10 themes in all browsers. Mind you, testing Internet Explorer is not trivial for me being a mac user. Especially since I would ideally want to test for multiple versions of it (7, 8, 9) when you consider that they can't be run on the same installation of Windows.

Some of you may say that "But Christer.. If the themes are properly designed and use a common API from the site, it's quite possible to make it work seamlessly and easily", and sure, you're right. However, the sad fact is that the current themes are not designed that way, and I simply can't redesign 10 themes to fit a more modern way of doing things. The Pastel theme has an improved technical design and there will be new themes in the future based on the same technical foundation which will allow me to maintain and support multiple themes. Right now, though, I feel that I have no choice but to cut the legacy support and deal with the complaints. The alternative would be to spend an incredible amount of time on themes rather than content such as the League division restructuring I have mentioned in the past. Spending hundreds, if not thousands, of hours on reworking old themes which are used by a handful of people simply isn't something I can do. I do respect that you want to keep your old themes but in the end I feel that I had to make the call to cut support for the old themes in order to take the site as a whole forward at the pace I want.


As with all major decisions and calls I've made over the years, I've spent time thinking things over and what you see happening with the themes of the site is the conclusion I have made based on rational decisions and necessary for me to reach the goals I want in a reasonable time-frame.

Now, there's of course a possibility of migrating the layout of the old themes into the new theme framework that pastel uses, but this is not something I can dedicate time to at this point.


There. I hope you all have at least some understanding of where this new theme comes from, and why I feel it's necessary to cut the cord when it comes to the old themes. If you've read all of this rambling, you deserve a break by now. Thank you for your time.
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Comments
Posted by Ehlers on 2011-05-23 13:29:06
Good call and I can understand your view better now

Keep up the good work

Posted by James_Probert on 2011-05-23 13:29:15
I presume you mean pastel in the opening sentence.
Posted by Adar on 2011-05-23 13:30:52
The changes will take some effort to get used to but I am always fascinated by how it aggravates people.

I do however agree with the people who got trouble with the colors. It is something about the reddish-grey that makes it tiring to look at, especially when mixed with the red top bar.

I would prefer it if we had a green top bar (matching the fillers for the fixed width), red replacing the white bar below and then a greyish-green shade instead of the greyish-red as the main background.
Posted by Mr_Foulscumm on 2011-05-23 13:36:57
I actually like it.
Posted by maysrill on 2011-05-23 13:41:51
Honestly, I like the new theme. My only real complaint is that it lacks the work-friendly "not obviously a game site" look of the old style ;)

My wife works in web development, so I get the frustration with multi-browser support. If FUMBBL ever totally doesn't work on IE6, I will be in full support (IE6...Satan's tool to torment developers).

I love that Android is being supported, which will be great for FUMBBL while I'm on the road. If we ever get Kalimar to the point of making a FFB client for Android (just speccing is fine, too much hassle to play on a tiny screen), I'll be ecstatic.
Posted by pythrr on 2011-05-23 13:45:16
i like the new format very much

great work sir!
Posted by Garion on 2011-05-23 13:50:59
@ adar, what white bar at the bottom?

I love the new theme, I think its a lot better. A few links are still missing at the moment but they have been fed back in the thread and will no doubt be added at a later date. I just look forward to seeing it complete. It has also made the Help guides far better as the columns have been made wider.

I also like the green on the side and the red on top. My only criticism with the main page is the colour is quite flat. If there was a little more distinction between all the windows. It might make things look a little better.
Posted by Christer on 2011-05-23 13:55:47
Corrected the first sentence.

As for browser versions, I support the following:

IE7 and higher
Firefox 3.6 and higher
Chrome (current version, it auto-updates anyway)
Safari 5
Opera 11

For iOS, I will only actively support the latest version (4.3.3 as of this writing).

Android is tougher since I don't have access to any kind of device that runs it. If someone has issues with layout on an Android device, I'll have to try to figure out how to solve it without having direct access myself :)
Posted by PurpleChest on 2011-05-23 14:03:17
now first sentance says 'push towards PATEL' which is a little racist (common asian name)

I dont like pastel, i wont pretend i do. Its Fugly.

But i changed the second you said old themes were dead and i wont change back. I'd sort of figured there were the sort of reason you state.

Into the brave, though fugly, new world.
Posted by jarvis_pants on 2011-05-23 14:08:22
LOVE the new layout. Going to be great for newcomers.

I would like it if the big fumbbl button at the top took you to your home, overview.

And would love it if we could see peoples BBWR as there are some sneaky top coaches hiding behind quite low CR ratings. :P

Apart from that great work and keep it up.
Posted by Sammler_der_Seelen on 2011-05-23 14:15:36
Im not familar with the change but at least i think i can live with all what you do (a good argument is the to much work for to less effect part)but at least we are here to play,im sure thats possible in the future so go change when it helps you to have less work espically you do that all for free.

Thx for it and for my last 4 years of online carnage:D
Posted by Bobs on 2011-05-23 14:18:29
I love everything that happens here.
Change is good when it is for the better.
Better in this case is making things easier for you in the long run meaning more love for the site and I can keep playing bloodbowl in an environment i love.
Too many forget that this is essentially a free site manned by volunteers so that the majority can seamlessly enjoy a great online experience.
Dont know where in that there is reason to whinge, bitch and complain. :)
Posted by BlizzBirne on 2011-05-23 14:20:21
sense making is the best way to deal with resistance to changes. well done, sir. :-)

just one idea (without me being able to technically judge it): if each users data would contain a list of favourite sites of FUMBBL for a quick-link-menu on the left (as in the aggressive themes), then the personalization would make the new design really close to perfect.

as a recent newcomer to FUMBBL i have to admit that the new theme is more intuitive than the old standard.

keep up your good work and dedication to this site!
Posted by DatMonsta on 2011-05-23 14:41:32
Hey Christer, even i was a user of the "plastic" theme i'm happy with your changes and thank you for you good arguments why you did so. I think evrybody will understand your reasons and even me will get used to the "new" look and menue-structure. And, damn it, don't we all love the pictures?
hell yeah, we do!

Thanks for all your work on FUMBBL, you are very kind to your people, great emperor C^^
Posted by SvenS on 2011-05-23 15:01:59
Thx for explaining! Sounds good. I'm sure I'll get used to the new look eventually.
Posted by Grod on 2011-05-23 15:16:40
I've been using the new theme since it was available.

No complaints here about dropping support for the rest!
Posted by Calthor on 2011-05-23 15:45:16
I like the new theme a lot, but I also respect this explanation blog even more. Thank you, as always.
Posted by Sigmar1 on 2011-05-23 17:26:55
Who is this Christer clown and why does he seem to have so much authority?

/snark

Keep up the great work. Looks like I better start adapting to the new theme and give up me ol' Root.
Posted by Cavetroll on 2011-05-23 17:35:48
Thanks for the detailed explanation, Christer, and for all your hard work improving this site. I've been trying the new theme out for about a week now and it's growing on me. I'm sure others will get used to it in time. Try not to let the complaints get you down too much. I appreciate what you are doing, and I'm sure others do as well.
Posted by Nhero on 2011-05-23 18:17:45
I've been using the new theme since it was available, and I like it.

As a web developer I fully understand the pain of testing every new page on all major browsers on all major OSes (and yes, I hate IE, every version of it).

As a user I run Opera on Ubuntu so I appreciate a lot the effort and professionalism you are putting in this awesome site.
Posted by Royston on 2011-05-23 19:49:56
Saw the new theme for the first time today and I like it a lot.

It is simplistic and aesthetically pleasing.

I particularly like the new Fumbbl screen. Before with the old standard green theme I'd rush to get to another page but this one will be of use and looks great.

Snappy, to the point and professional looking, just what Fumbbl needs to take it into the future.
Posted by avien on 2011-05-24 01:08:00
Thanks for the clearification. It's a blessing to read intelligent text, as it's so hard to come by these days.
Posted by bobafettsmum on 2011-05-24 09:25:41
I think the majority of us appreciate all your hard work & I for one am loving the new theme! Cheers.
Posted by Balle2000 on 2011-05-24 10:30:59
whatever lightens your workload is fine by me!
Posted by Adar on 2011-05-24 15:32:50
@Garion below the red bar at the top there is a thin white one that also serves as the background for the "did you know?" and number of coaches on the site.
Posted by KenThis on 2011-05-24 16:04:50
Cheers Christer,
As always your explanations are rational well thought out and incredibly easy to understand and agree with.
Appreciate all the hard work behind the scenes that we only glimpse occasionally.
If these changes make your life easier and provide more time for life's little pleasures like sex and chocolate then I'm on board.
Viva la Christer Viva la Fumbbl.

PS for your perusal I've sent you some special pics of me and a jar of nutella. Enjoy or threaten the admins with them.