James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door: Click here to go to my Home Page. yahoo! webring the jan 2001 changes; wazillion navbars project; qwerty
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Wazillion Navbars Project: Yahoo! WebRing - - - A stack of "ABC" blocks symbolizes stacks of "navbars" - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website about the Wazillion Navbars Project - - - Original image copyright Jeff Allen Johnson - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com

Wazillion
Navbars
Project 

Yahoo! WebRing
The Jan 2001 Changes

This essay is based on postings to the Ring Managers List made after the January 16, 2001 changes. These postings were also made to the Yahoo! Club Webring News Uncensored.

This essay has been edited and unified from the multiple postings.

See also the links after the essay to other resources on this site and across the net including the WebringNews Club, the Ring Managers List and more.

To see Yahoo!'s remarks about the changes, click here.

To contact me about Yahoo! WebRing, either new problems or fixes to listed problems, email me.

This article is part of the Wazillion Navbars Project: a project to explore and write about the Yahoo! WebRing system. For a list of these articles click here or see the section menu at the bottom of this page.

Note that the Yahoo! WebRing system no longer exists. It has been spun off to the independent WebRing.com system. The Wazillion Navbars Project has been closed. These pages are thus, no longer accurate and do not apply to the new WebRing.com system. Instead, these pages are being maintained for a "historical record".

For current information on the WebRing.com system, see my webring subsection about the WebRing.com system.

 

Yahoo! WebRing The Jan 2001 Changes

. This is the WebRing.com system logo as of Oct.2006. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the WebRing.com system.
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This is the new logo for the WebRing.com system, implemented in their changes of Oct.2006. It distinguishes this webring system from the other systems like Ringlink, RingSurf and Bravenet. See also my articles: WebRing.com Logos and Is Webring a Trademark?

OVeRVIeW

I spent a few minutes journeying through the changed Yahoo! WebRing.

I found some new features. I believe that the most important one, for "most" ringmasters will probably be the automatic checker. The most important one to me, was the way the webrings are listed. But I found nothing spectacular.

I found a few problems. But nothing particularly disastrous. (One significant one identified by others and documented in the Yahoo! Clubs was promptly fixed and is not discussed here.) Mostly the problems I found are just little sloppy errors or small bugs, probably easily fixed.

A QUICK LOOK

They changed the primary navigation. It seems that the top of page "My Rings" link and the "List All My Rings" link both go to http://dir.webring.yahoo.com/mbr?p=mr

I'm not sure why there are duplicate links, but it isn't "bad".

However, there is a problem. Once you get to the "My Rings" pages, neither of these two links exists. Thus as you travel through the list pages (e.g., to the 2nd and 3rd list pages) there is no way to go back to the first list page.

On the "My Rings" pages the "Webring Home" link has been made into a "button". I have no idea why, but again it isn't "bad".


The "My Rings" listings have changed substantially. Previously, the link in the "Web Site" column went to the registered website. This made it possible to hover your mouse over the link and determine to which specific page this entry was registered. This is gone. Now the "Web Site" link goes to the edit Web Site Information page.

The "Ring Name" link now goes to the Webring List (Hub) page.

Previously, there were three individual links to

  1. obtain the code,
     
  2. edit the site and
     
  3. leave the webring.

These have disappeared. Item "B" moved to the "Web Site" link. Items "A" and "C" are now sub-links on the List (Hub) Page along with a duplicate of "B".


These items are now on the List (Hub) page, are listed under "Member Tools" and are labeled

  1. edit Site Settings (which goes to a page labeled edit Web Site Information),
     
  2. Get Navigation Bar, and
     
  3. Leave This Ring.

The membership status now shows clearly and prominently. The statuses include:

  1. Pending (i.e., in the Queue,
     
  2. Active, and
     
  3. Suspended.

There has been an interesting development: the webrings are listed in "clusters". They are clustered by the particular navbar stack onto which they appear. And within the cluster they are listed in navbar stack order. These clusters are separated from each other by a blank line.

Well, that is not completely true. For webrings and memberships existing before the January 2001 changes, they are not listed in navbar stack order to start with. However, if you do the stack ordering thing (see below), they will be listed in navbar stack order after you do. It is a subtle distinction, but an important one.

Note that you do not need to change the order. Just click on any listing under "My Web Site(s)". Then click Order Navigation Bar. Then click Submit. The listing on the listing page will now be in navbar stack order.

(Personal Note: Because of the large number of distinct navbar stacks I have, this is useful for me. The blank line is a also nice touch.)


If I click on the link for a webring I own (i.e., a link in the top portion of the page), it will show a listing of the webring members.

The listing uses two icons for "status": "Active" and "Suspended". (The third status, "Pending", only shows for sites in the Queue and those are on a different management page.)

There are three one-word descriptions for the navbar status: "Working", "Broken" & "Unknown". There is no clear description of exactly what constitutes "unknown". [1]

There are direct email links to the individual site owners (a nice new touch). And there is a test button to test the navbar stack (another nice new touch).

As part of my testing I viewed a dummy registration I had previously created that deliberately did not work. It correctly showed as "broken".

There is also an option (and note, is is an option) labeled "Auto Management" to let the system automatically activate and suspend sites. (For some ringmasters who use webrings as a kind of free-for-all link exchange, this may be the nicest new feature).

SOMe PeRSONAL ISSUeS

Although the registrations for the webrings to which I belong are listed by navbar cluster, and although the clusters will be listed in navbar stack order, there is not an obvious sequence to the clusters.

It turns out that they are listed in a sort of "reverse" order based on when they were "touched".

Whenever you reorder a navbar stack, it moves to the bottom of the list of stacks and becomes the last listing cluster. Now again, for many (perhaps even most ringmasters) this is not not an issue. However, I have more than 1,200 navbars in multiple stacks. The fact that whenever I reorder the navbar stack on the first page of my listing it immediately moves to the back of the listing is a significant issue.


If I could "choose" it would be "nice" if the clusters were in some "obvious" order. The sequence I would suggest is "alphabetical" by the URL of the registered page. [2] This would also make it possible to provide an "index" listing so that I could go directly to the particular cluster in which I was interested. (Currently I have to single step through ten pages of listings trying to find the one I want.)

It would also be nice if the clusters were "labeled". Having the blank line is nice; it delineates the listings. But there is no indication which particular navbar stack is being shown. A label would be a great feature. And again, I would suggest the URL of the registered page.

(See below for a personal workaround I developed to the labeling issue.)


There is no convenient way to find a particular webring membership out of 500+. Of course, this problem, however real for me, may not be a problem for most. And, while it is possible to go next, next, next to look through my 500+ webrings. However, there is no direct way to go backwards (except by direct manipulation of the URL). Again, sequencing the clusters and providing an index would assist this.


On the page to get the Webring Navigation Bar it says

"(After installing the nav bar, you may customize it. The Customize Navigation Bar link can be found on the webring list/hub page.)"

This may be a slight discrepancy. At this time it appears that the link is not titled "Customize Navigation Bar" but rather "Order Navigation Bar".


I can easily get the Webring Navigation Bar page to fail.

To do this I work with a test webring I created in which I am a member multiple times. First, I go to the Navigation View of the Webring Hub Page (the one that shows all the sites). Then I click on "Get Navigation Bar". Because I am a member of this particular webring multiple times, the system gives me a radio button list to choose from. I choose one "membership" and click continue. When I do, the system fails to communicate the information. The resulting page shows flawed JavaScript: it does not have the "U" number. Also the sample navbar stack only shows the navbar stack shell and does not show the actual navbar; it does not show the detail.

I also do not get an error message when I should. If I go to the radio button list mentioned earlier and if I select no button at all and hit continue, it also proceeds to the Webring Navigation Bar page. Clearly this is an error on my part; I should be required to select an entry. When I do not select an entry the system should report it as an error. And, again, after I click continue and go to the Webring Navigation Bar page the JavaScript is wrong (as before) and the sample navbar stack is wrong (as before).


When you go to the "Process New Submissions" page it says

"Applicants will be sent navigation bar information once they are approved."

This confuses me and also contradicts both the registration email and the approval email. First, I would like to know if they have installed the navigation bar before they are approved.

Second, the email to the registrant says:

"Meanwhile, you may be required by the RingMaster to have the server-side Navigation Bar (SSNB) on your site (your site may not be approved without it). You can find the SSNB for your site at this URL:"

Thus the registration email contradicts the page and sends the Navigation bar. (See below for the approval email.)


Unlike the "Manage Members" panel, there is no way to force a test to see if an applied site has installed the required JavaScript and installed it correctly. I am greatly puzzled by this omission. It seems to me that, given the new approach, a site should not be approved until the JavaScript for the navbar stack is on the page.


There is a new feature: the ability to automatically expire submissions every 7, 30 or 90 days. However, while this feature appears optional to turn on, there does not appear to be any way to turn it off!

For example, my webring has no expiration set. However, if I choose 7, 30 or 90, there appears to be no way to go back to "no selection". "Never" is not a button option. It is unclear what happens if I leave it unchecked. But it does appear that if I do check it I cannot go back to "never". [3]


I added a test site to test. When a site is approved, the status is "unknown". (This is at least one meaning of the status "unknown". There is no definition what the other meanings are.) The system does not, apparently, automatically test a site upon approval. I am unsure why. Clicking on test, it was able to identify the registration as broken in less than 2 seconds It would seem to me that upon approval of a registration, a test should immediately and automatically be run. (Or, better yet, that the test should be available before approval.)

Since it is not possible to test a site before approval, if you approve and then test and then suspend . . . the user will receive an approval email then a suspension email. I am completely puzzled by this approach.


The approval email included no information at all about the navbar. Again this contradicts the information on the page about when registrants should add the JavaScript.

(Let me recap this: the system says "Applicants will be sent navigation bar information once they are approved". However, it is sent in the registration email and it is not sent in the approval email.)


The link labeled "Navigation View" was far less than intuitive to me. I finally figured out what it did, but I wonder how many newbies will have a clue.


The reordering JavaScript is a nice touch. But it is inadequate. For one thing, there are man/machine interface issues. It only lists 3 webrings at a time. Now for me to reorder a navbar stack with 168 navbars by looking at only 3 webrings at a time is not quite impossible, but frustratingly close to it. There is plenty of space on the screen for a larger display. Ten, twenty or even thirty lines would be much better.

The reordering JavaScript could be much more useful if it would offer some additional options. Here are some:

  1. A single click to move a navbar to the top,
     
  2. A single click to move a navbar immediately below the last navbar "touched",
     
  3. A single click to move a navbar to the bottom,
     
  4. A single click to move a navbar immediately above the last navbar "moved",
     
  5. A single click to "touch" a navbar to make it the "target" for a move above or below,
     
  6. A single click to alphabetize the navbars.

Why do I make these points? Because right now to move a navbar from the bottom of a 168 navbar stack to the top of a 168 navbar stack requires 167 individual clicks (and it is not possible to just click-and-hold).

A PeRSONAL WORK AROUND FOR CLUSTeR LABeLING

As I noted earlier, the clusters of listings are not labeled. But I've designed a personal work-around.

Whenever I create a new page needing a new navbar stack, the first thing I do is to register myself into a webring I own. I do this so that I can get the JavaScript for the navbar stack, and "prime the stack" with a navbar. This also lets other RingMasters see a stack with a webring in it. Cute huh!!

When I register my page into my own webring, I use name that describes the URL. For example, if I am going to have the navbar stack for /rng3/yahoo_navbars.htm#a2, I use the description "RNG3 Yahoo Underline Navbars A2".

Since my own webring will appear at the top of the stack (and hence the top of the cluster listing), it will effectively "label" the listing.

WRAP UP

I found a few nice new features. I also found a few errors I'm surprised their QA didn't catch. I did not find any big surprises.


Notes

1. Subsequent to this article, Andreasrings researched this question through her contacts at Yahoo! WebRing and added this to the the Manager FAQ at Andreasrings' Y!WR Help Site: "Unknown refers to new sites that haven't yet been reviewed by the AMS and those that timed out when the AMS attempted to load them. Clicking 'test' will often return 'working' or 'broken'." [back]

2. Alphabetization is not simply a function of pure ASCII Collating Sequence. It is not simply a character sort. Rather, proper alphabetization must create a "sort key" based on standard English alphabetization rules. At a minimum, such a key should eliminate the effects of "case". That is, webrings named "AAA", "aaa", "AaA" and "aAa" should all occur before webrings named "BBB" or "bbb". More advanced rules would include, for example, elimination of leading articles (e.g., a, an, the), handling of numbers (e.g., 100 Reasons vs. One Hundred Reasons) and compound names (von Trapp, Mc Mahan). The curious can obtain more information from the American Society of Indexers,  a Selected Bibliography for Roman Alphabetization, and sample alphabetization rules for the Wesleyan University Library Card Catalog. [back]

3. On 06.Feb.2000, in Message 416 in Surviving Y WR, Andreasrings reported that "never" has been added as an option. [back]

 
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 Webring News and Announcements

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WebRing.com Changes Big Time ---  It was October 2001 that WebRing.com came into existence following the end of Yahoo! Webring. Now, 5 years later, WebRing.com is changing again. Moving from primarily a free service to primarily a paid service, the system is undergoing massive change. Stay tuned.

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This is the logo for the Ringlink system. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the Ringlink system.  

Ringlink Activity  ---  While Ringlink has not released a new version since Version 3.2 on 21.Feb.2005, the system seems to be getting a lot of activity. Many people are discovering this great webring system and moving their webrings here. If you don't know about Ringlink, definitely check out this great webring system. I personally recommend it.

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This is the logo for the World of Webrings Community. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the World of Webrings Community.  

WoW  ---  The World of Webrings features the World of Webrings discussion list. It offers a forum for both webring owners (ringmasters) and webring members to discuss the latest hot topics about all webrings, including WebRing.com, Ringlink , Alt-Webring, RingSurf, Bravenet and others. If you belong to any webring in any webring service, you should join this list.

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This is the logo for the RingSurf system. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the RingSurf system.  

RingSurf Passes 3 Year Anniversary  ---  It was 3 years ago, on 16.Aug.2003 when the WoW list list noted that RingSurf's domain name registration had changed. Then the new owner came forward. A RingSurf Feature List was developed and debated. Then, on Thanksgiving day, 27.Nov.2003 the new owner posted on the WoW list that the new RingSurf is up! If you haven't checked it out lately, see what has happened in the last three years.

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James S. Huggins is interviewed and quoted in a new Salon.com article entitled: The Strange Saga of Yahoo and Webring (05.Dec.2001)  

Article About Webrings  ---  Check out this excellent Salon.com article about the history of Yahoo! and WebRing.com: The Strange Saga of Yahoo and Webring . For some, it will bring back memories. For others, it will explain the history. Now, I wonder if they will update it to talk about the latest WebRing.com changes.

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The Wazillion Navbars Project

WNP Table of Contents 
 
The August 2000 email: Text 
 
  Project Overview 
 
 The August 2000 email: Advice 
 
  Yahoo! WebRing Lite 
 
  The August 2000 email: Remarks 
 
  The Jan 2001 Changes 
 
  Webring System Hosts 
 
  Descriptions 
 
  Forums and email Lists 
 
  Validation 
 
  Comments Across the Net 
 
  JavaScript 
 
 Mirrors of My Wazillion Stack  
 
  Links and Pages 
 
 Other Large Navbar Stacks  
 
  Glossary 
 
 Letters from RingMasters  
 
  Problem: Split Stack 
 
  Webrings That Moved or Closed  
 
  Problem: Navbar Graphic 
 
  Media Articles 
 
  Personal/Unofficial List of Problems 
 
  Other Yahoo! Integration  
 
  Why You Should Not Delete 
 
  Other Yahoo! Issue Sites  
 
  Why You Can't See The Navbar? 
 
  My Yahoo! WebRing Memberships 
 
  Is "Webring" a Trademark? 
 
  Help With Yahoo! WebRing  
 
  The January 1999 email: Text 
 
 

Want to link to my Wazillion Navbars Project?
Want to suggest a link for me to add?
Please read my
Requests and Suggestions for Linking


Webring Sections and Subsections

The Webring Section is a large section of my website. I have divided it into four major "subsections".

  • General Information
  • The WebRing.com System
  • Webrings I Own and Belong To
  • The Wazillion Navbars Project

each "subsection" has it's own special "logo".

As you travel in the various subsections you will find, near the bottom of each page, links to pages within that subsection and also links to the other subsections. To go to any subsection, just click on the "logo" or on the text link for that subsection.

Webrings - - - A chainmail web of rings - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website about webrings in general - - - This graphic is by Dylon White. Graphic copyright 2001 by Dylon Whyte of artofchainmail.com and James S. Huggins

Webrings: General Information

This subsection includes general information about webrings. Webrings can be hosted by a variety of different services. This section deals with the overall concepts and issues, not with any one particular "brand" of webring.

It includes my Webring FAQ, links to articles about webrings, and general help information. Click here or on the graphic.

The WebRing.com System - - - An interlocking stack of gold rings symbolizes the system - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website about the Webring.com System - - - Original image copyright Jeff McIntosh - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com

The WebRing.com System

This subsection includes specific information about the WebRing.com system.

While not the only webring system on the net, it is the best known and the most used. I own many webrings in this system and belong to many webrings in this system. (I also own and belong to many webrings in other systems as well.) Click here or on the graphic.

Webrings I Own and Webrings I Belong To - - - A floating stack of rings - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website showing webrings I own and webrings I belong to - - - Original image copyright Jeff McIntosh - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com

Webrings I Own and Belong To

This subsection shows all the webrings I own and links to all the webrings to which I belong. This includes webrings in Ringlink, RingSurf, Bravenet and the WebRing.com system as well.

If you are looking to join one of my webrings, this is a good place to start. If you wonder about the webrings I belong to, this is the place to go. Click here or on the graphic.

The extra text menu links (previously here) are being removed in the site redesign.
Browser and search engine improvements have eliminated the motivation/necessity for them.

This page created:
before
Fri, 25.Oct.2002

Last updated:
16:18, Sat, 10.May.2014

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yahoo! webring the jan 2001 changes; wazillion navbars project; qwerty . . . yahoo! webring the jan 2001 changes; wazillion navbars project; qwerty