Lottery Post Journal

IE8 Beta 2 is out -- and it's great!

I've been using IE8 exclusively for the past couple of days, and I'm really happy with the product Microsoft has put together!

Importantly (for me at least), Lottery Post has been designed to work well with IE8, so you can using IE8 right now with great success at Lottery Post.

In fact, the experience at Lottery Post using IE8 is decidedly better than using IE7.  There are only a few minor display glitches, and you'd have too look very hard to find them. 

Performance of JavaScript seems a little better than IE7, but the main performance boost seems to be in the page load-times.  Pages definitely seem to come up quicker and render much quicker, which makes the whole experience better.

The text editor is working very well in IE8 too, which is a pleasant surprise.

Compared to the way Firefox 3 acted at this stage in its development, IE8 is much more bug-free, from my testing.  The product feels like a Release Candidate, rather than a beta.  Again, much better than Firefox when it was in the beta stage.

The download is free for anyone.  It is easy to uninstall if it doesn't work out for you.

Fixed nasty bug in Image Manager

I'm sure Gold and Platinum members have been cursing their computer screens every time that warning message about "String can't be converted to Boolean" appears just before the text editor comes on the screen.

I know I have — for the last week now! Mad

The good news is that I have finally found and fixed the bug.

Just to find the stupid thing, let alone fix it, did not happen until today.  Several times over the past week I thought I had found and fixed it, only to see it reappear again.  Grrrrr....

This morning I finally narrowed the problem down to the Image Manager, which is why only Gold and Platinum members ever saw the error. 

(Image Manager is only available to premium members.  It is software that allows members to upload images to the Lottery Post server, manage them in folders you create, edit them, and post them on the forums, in the blogs, as an avatar, and anywhere else you can post an image.)

After narrowing down the component causing the problem, I traced all the data being sent to a web browser from that component, and eventually found the exact piece of code that was triggering the error.

Then I spent a few hours wrestling with the code trying to work around the problem, and even at one point purchased the latest version of the Image Manager software, hoping it have the bug fixed.

No dice.

The authentication — the part that verifies that the person using the software is indeed a premium member — just would not work without giving the error.

So in order to fix it, I completely re-wrote the authentication module from scratch, and that is what finally fixed the problem fr good.

Despite the tremendous difficulty and heartache this kind of thing causes, there is almost always a silver lining.

In this case, the good news is that the new authentication module I wrote is much more reliable that the module that came packaged with the software, and nobody should ever run into the error caused when your browser "times out" and displays an error message in the Image Manager window. 

(That error would happen if you opened the editor, didn't move from that page for about 20 minutes, and then attempted to open Image Manager.)

Now I have to catch up on all the things that I have put off while trying to fix this thing!  (I apologize if I have been slow to get back to anyone, but now you know what I've been doing.)