Rockfreaks.net v4.0 Beta

author NB date 09/06/11

Five years of internal discussion, three discarded layout attempts, thousands of hours of programming and graphical design later, Denmark's number one music magazine proudly presents version four of Rockfreaks.net. It's no easy task attempting to port a site with nearly twenty thousand articles from one layout into another without running into countless problems and bugs, large and miniscule. But much like "Chinese Democracy", the long-awaited, much hyped complete overhaul of everything graphical and functional has finally manifested itself in a form where we feel confident and proud to present it to the public. Perhaps now you can finally begin to understand why we toddle around in those bright blue branded t-shirts in concerts and festivals around Europe. But lets keep this short and to-the-point, here's a brief overview of what's new.

New Functionality

We've added a bunch of cool new features, the most important of which I'd say is the much improved community implementation courtesy of Disqus. It enables richer and more intuitive commenting functionality, among others, allowing registered users to comment with their own profile, replying to specific comments in a threaded manner, notifications of replies to your comments, commenting either anonymously or by logging in using your profiles at Disqus.com, OpenID, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Tumblr, WordPress, Movable Type, or TypePad. You can also include real links and images in your comments easily, or share the article on Twitter, Google +1, or Facebook (to be integrated shortly). Better yet - you can follow the most recent discussions by checking out the "recent comments" column on the front page. Neat, huh?

Disqus.com powered commenting

Remember how annoying it used to be clicking on a section index, such as album reviews and gig reviews, and not be able to sort alphabetically or modify the visible data in any way? All of this has now been fixed through a complete overhaul of all reviews and article index pages. Though the default view in each section - such as album reviews - is still sorted in chronological order, it is now easy to sort any section alphabetically, by date posted, or by specific author by clicking on the respective column heading. Ability to sort using grades will be added in the future.

You will also notice an easy way to browse reviews chronologically through the addition of a previous/next button at the top of each review. So if you've been away on holiday for the last three weeks, you can easily click the newest review and browse backwards by pressing "previous" all the way to the last review you've seen.

We have also created a Twitter account, be sure to follow us there. All tweets to @rockfreaksnet will appear on the Twitter feed, which you'll find on the front page.

A search box has been added to the front page. It uses a neat instant-search function which allows you to just type in a couple of letters and display a list of the most relevant articles (navigate this list with the arrow keys and press enter to go to the selected article). You can still press enter in the search box to display the full results on a separate search page.

If you also take a look at our about page, you'll notice that we've streamlined all sections to look and feel simpler and more readable. So if you're interested in sending us material for review, it's a good idea to browse through our revised submission criteria. Or perhaps you'd like to check out our sexy staff profiles instead?

Bugs, problems, errors, etc

Since launching a new version of such a complex and extensive site is a complicated task, we expect to encounter a number of bugs, problems, errors and stuff which will stand out to you, the reader. That might be articles that look completely fucked up, functionality errors, aesthetic failures, et cetera. So please consider this a beta version and help us iron out any irregularities by clicking on the "report a problem on this page" button visible at the top right corner of the site.

But most of all, you now get to enjoy a website that both looks and feels like it belongs to 2011. There are a large number of small tweaks which will make using the site smarter, easier and more enjoyable, but I'll leave you to discover those on your own. We're still running on our custom developed old school content management system from 2004, so no major breakthroughs or revolutionary functionality has been added as of yet. However, we're soon starting work on developing a custom CMS from scratch, as the vast majority of freely available open source CMS' aren't optimal for handling as large amount of articles as we currently have in Rockfreaks.net. You can follow our progress on the development page. Among other things an Android and iPhone app will be developed for all you mobile users out there. Anyway, with that said, I'll leave you to it.

Let us know what you think of the new outlook in the brand new commenting section below!

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