Being well and truly fed up with answering the same comments and complaints over and over I'm taking up wg100's idea of an FAQ. Better late than never. Q1. Why is the avatar on the right in the forums? A. Because the theme we chose as the base for the new design came that way and during the development most got to like it. Q2. Can it be changed? A. Not as a user option, but we may add this in the future. However there will be a vote on this in a few days time and if there is a strong call for it on the left we will make it happen. Q3. What's the image on the front? A. It is drawn from the Micsellanous -> Front Page album in the gallery and drawn at random from the pictures users have submitted. If you want to contribute the image must be exactly 468 x 260 pixels, < 30kB, good quality and yours to publish. Q4. Where did the insulting comments go on the front page? A. I took them off - nice idea but wouldn't be funny for long. Q5. Why change when it wasn't broken? A. In many ways it was. The code of those last themes was troublesome in many places and needed considerable hacking to get it to work with the latest version of the software (and we must stay up to date for security reasons as much as anything else). Ads were all over the place, the work was shoddy in places, and the Desert DPM was frankly naff and in need of retirement. Q7. Why the front page change? A. To create a more attractive welcome mainly to new users, with varying content and not just be a stepping stone on the way to the forums. It intends not only to look much better, but also to highlight the other parts of the sites - Blogs, Wiki etc., that deserve far more attention than they get. Also we wanted to promote Rum Ration, Troops to Task, RVOps and Rear Party more. Q8. Why is the new theme slower? A1. There were / are two reasons: if you are using Internet Explorer 6, we do have a fundamental problem that made it past the censors. This is causing a pause before the page will move, and crashes. It is being worked on. A2. The front page has a larger image in it. A3. The rest should actually be slightly faster, and if it isn't that could be temporary problems at either end or the internet in general. Q9. What's new? New PMs and a link to it is in the right under the NAAFI advert in the header on all pages except the wiki when logged in. More forum functionality is offered in the text links immediately above the forum pages. There are fewer google text links in the forums. Many elements of the forums are clearer - for example the icons above the posting box. The forum font is (for most people - someone did disagree) much more natural and easy to read. The forum is narrower - this is following standard wed design advice that narrower columns are easier to read, although it is in theory still too wide. The screen is designed for a minimum monitor resolution of 1024 x 768. This is because very very few people now use 800 x 600, and our previous requirement to fit to 800 x 600 required compromises - for example the width of the header menu. A footer menu contains login / logout, help, home etc. There is a new 100 recent posts page. Who's online is moved to a dedicated page. A tag by each user on the forum states whether they are online or not. We have a cookery forum Q10. Some of the colours are odd. A. Agreed. I think the backing on the forum threads are too dark for example. I will experiment further offline with this and it may change. Q11. Why only one theme? Why not keep the old ones? A. The old themes don't work with the new front page. The style of the old ones will return though once the issues with the new "ARRSE" theme are sorted. There will definitely be a Light / Worksafe theme, and possibly an "Original ARRSE" theme. Q12. Why do you keep fiddling with the bloody thing? A. ARRSE has evolved a lot since its birth because we keep fiddling with it. We have tried a mass of different things - many have failed (eg. Classified ads) and some have been big successes (eg. wiki). We have changed the look numerous times as we have had more resources to use in development and as we have used more advanced software - also as internet design advice and user hardware / software has developed. In short, don't complain about this - if we stuck with the attitude that change is bad, we would all be using a very very poor shadow of the current site. Q13. What's happened to the images that have been uploaded into the forum? A. People used to regularly upload images that were way too large for the page. To get around that all new uploads appear as thumbnails, which you can click on to see the full image. Older picture uploaded before the change appear with scroll bars - not ideal, but it stops them distorting the page so much.