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Mindat toolbar

Posted by Harold Moritz (2)  
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Uwe Kolitsch July 14, 2011 05:55PM
Thanks, Branko. I didn't like what Facebook does and now I don't like it even more. At all.
I guess all websites that nowadays have Facebook buttons on their main page (e.g., government sites, museum sites, university sites etc.), will allow FB to get such information. Makes FB pretty powerful if you think about it...

Glad I don't have a computer at home.
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Ken Ceglady July 14, 2011 05:56PM
Yes, I notice pages are loading more slowly.

More importantly, what Branko says is deeply concerning. If I wanted FB to have access to, and the ability to use, misuse, sell, etc. my information, I'd sign up for a FB account.

Mindat's privacy policy states:
"Your personal details will not be revealed to any third party unless you decide to be listed in the members' directory (this is available to other members). All changes made to the database are logged along with the user name of the person who changed it. This information is available to others who have access to the database. Apart from occasional update emails from mindat.org your email address will be kept purely for registration."

By logging on to mindat, I gave Jolyon my IP addresses and my real name. I trusted him not to misuse them. But FB I do not trust. So by simply opening mindat is my privacy being violated? If so, that's a deal-breaker, ladies.

I don't really understand all of this; I just don't want all my business to be owned by FB unless I authorize it.

If there is no problem, then I apologize. Great site, great minerals, great people. Just don't give my s#*t away please.
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Darren Court July 14, 2011 06:04PM
Branko-

Thanks for the clarification. I occasionally post links to Mindat pages so friends and family can see why I enjoy minerals so much - they appreciate it and in at least one case a family member has asked me about starting a collection. Again, thanks.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Darren
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Scott L. Ritchie July 14, 2011 06:17PM
I enjoy seeing the most recent site updates with the hyperlink to the mineral or locality and user with date and time, which makes me feel connected to the staff of managers and users here, and highlights the dynamic progress of the database.

Understanding the complicated issues of internet privacy and anonymity is important, especially for children... but the mindat toolbar is a far cry from the dreaded HAL 9000. B)-

Scott
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Harold Moritz (2) July 14, 2011 08:49PM
Really, FB is spying on me just by having their logo on the web page?! That has got to go! Does sound like it violates the mindat privacy policy.
I also must rely on a wireless internet connection, which while good is not the fastest, and now this toolbar may be slowing it down more? Mindat should not assume everyone has a lightning fast connection....
I've blocked the toolbar, does that prevent the spying, or just stop me from seeing the toolbar? Will it speed up the page loading? If I customize the bar eventually and take that logo off, does it stop the spying? Why should I even have to be asking these questions?
For the person who's message says FB is so great cuz it's on the stock market, I suggest you ask yourself, as I did, "How do they make any money if the account is free and there are no advertisements?" - by selling your (no longer) private information! Many sing the praises of sites like FB, but I agree with Rock, I just dont find it necessary, in fact just a giant time waster and have opted out. My life is just fine without it, I already have enough real flesh and blood friends and plenty of things (too much I think) to do.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 14, 2011 09:08PM
An IP address is not regarded as personal information under UK and EU law, and that is what we need to be concerned about in regard to Branko's worries.

The internet would simply not work if it was not possible for remote computers to view your IP address.

You may be upset about Facebook having access to your IP address. But each time you access Google, they have your IP address, so do advertisers on any major website you visit (except on mindat).

Google also can record IP addresses from people who visit mindat, because we use both their hosted copy of jquery files (to reduce load on mindat) and also because of the Google ads.

Most people have an IP address that changes frequently (Dynamic IP), and can rarely be resolved to greater than town level, except by law enforcement working in conjunction with your ISP.

If it is possible with a simple IP lookup to get your name and other personal information, it is because you have at some point allowed this information to be associated with your IP address, and has nothing at all to do with Facebook, Google or Mindat!

It's a big panic about nothing.
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David Bernstein July 14, 2011 09:51PM
Jolyon,

You have a knack for making things worse sometimes. A big panic about nothing? That's pretty arrogant, even for the owner of a site. There, I said it because probably no one else will.

I'll say it again. I do not like my page views obscured by this wretched thing. It is right in the middle of my page views. Now that is pretty straight forward.

Telling me not to worry about it or telling me I'm going to miss out on the thrill of the Mindat experience ain't cutting it.

You're an intelligent guy, Jolyon. I'm sure you considered the backlash this would cause. And you chose to disregard it.
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Harold Moritz (2) July 14, 2011 10:08PM
Thanks for the clarification, Jolyon, I do understand about the necessary sharing and changing of IP addresses. I am very sensitive to issues dealing with FB and their ilk and voluntarily try to stay as far away from them as possible. So when I hear they may be gathering info against my will anyway, especially when I'm visiting and contributing to my favorite web site, it doesn't make me comfortable. I don't want to see a good thing ruined by their insidious pervasiveness.
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Harjo Neutkens July 14, 2011 10:39PM
Relax winking smiley
Don't make too much of a fuss about it.
Just as we don't expect to be able to travel the real world incognito it's not obvious to be able to travel and use the internet incognito.
This is good and bad at the same time.
Still, I'm more worried about the burglars that have been active in our village recently....

Cheers,

Harjo
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Mickey Marks July 14, 2011 10:57PM
Please, just give us the option to close the toolbar once, so that it remains closed when we jump to other Mindat pages. Is that really too much to ask?
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Mike Dennis July 14, 2011 11:00PM
Don't mind it at all,I'm sure everyone will like it after a little while.Change is good,although more difficult the older I get lol.
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Don Saathoff July 14, 2011 11:04PM
What tool bar? Oh!! there it is!! On my screen it's hardly noticeable......or is it me??!!!......
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Reiner Mielke July 14, 2011 11:51PM
The solution would seem to be simple, an optional toolbar, in other words a way to turn off the toolbar.
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Chris Mavris July 15, 2011 12:13AM
Seriously, you got credit cards, mobile phones, GPS, etc. that tell the operators where you are 24/7...and you are afraid of a social network which might be spoil your privacy?
I believe it's pretty controversial. Really.
What Jolyon mentioned about Google and the IP adresses is true. Perhaps you should think twice before doing another web search?

Anyhow Branko, I do respect your point of view - despite I mostly disagree with it. I will keep running those groups and I hope young people and open minds keep joining it. So far I was successful (see this conference) and I won't stop the generational renewal is accomplished :)

Chris
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Debbie Woolf July 15, 2011 12:40AM
I also would like to have the choice to switch off this tool bar.
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Justin Zzyzx July 15, 2011 03:12AM
The whole Facebook debacle was just a white elephant.

The real issue is, for some people the toolbar is inconvenient and at worst it really makes the website look foolish.

On my desktop it is annoying as all sin, on my laptop, it is...okay

Jolyon, why can we not just have an option to turn it off? This is not something exciting or new, I've seen these stupid things on all sorts of other blog sites. Those sites, I'm just going to read one article and then I bounce. I don't see how this thing is going to win over any hearts or minds. Since MinDat is ALL about digging through pages, with locality trees, bajillionze of photo pages to flip through, the reoccurring banner is maddening.
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Stephanie Martin July 15, 2011 04:28AM
I get the sense that The Thing can't be made optional or Jolyon doesn't want it optional.
Either way for me I don't like where The Thing is now.
If we must have it, it would be nice to have The Thing at the top of the page, preferably either above or below the advert banners, if this is possible.

venting completed,
thanks
stephanie
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Branko Rieck July 15, 2011 07:03AM
Jolyon,

"If it is possible with a simple IP lookup to get your name and other personal information, it is because you have at some point allowed this information to be associated with your IP address..."

I guess "allow" is probably misleading: it is the law (at least here where I live), and AFAK it is also required on a worldwide scale that your domain information with your NIC is correct.

The internet is based on the IP protocol and would not work without it. This importance has led to legislation in some countries to protect individuals that have a static IP address associated with them and I am happy to live in one such country.

The matter here is one of choices. As you have to give away your own IP address or that of your proxy server and/or ISP to the owner of the site you are surfing to for technical reasons it all boils down to the question: Do I choose to trust the site owner or not? If the answer to that question is “Yes”, then you can go to her/his site. But if your answer is “No”, like it would probably be with porn sites and notorious data collectors/miners, then you simply do not go there. So it is my personal choice to trust you and hence I visit Mindat on quite a regular basis. But it is also my personal choice not to trust Facebook and other notorious data collectors/miners and therefore I do not visit their sites. The internet is a much smaller place for me than it is for others, but I can very well live with that.

Up until you have decided to implement the changes the way you did there was no problem with Mindat. But now I find myself in a conflict: suddenly I have to take the good with the bad, and have no possibility of avoiding the bad in a site-supported way.

For me there is an easy way out: as stated earlier I mainly access Mindat through one of my computers at home that is internet-connected and through my internet connection at work. Both these internet connections have an in-depth protection against the notorious data collectors/miners that includes firewalls, access-rules on the routers, DNS servers and the tracking protection of my preferred browser. So I am pretty confident that on these two computers I will have my privacy protected. Again it was my personal choice to implement exceptions to the rules that govern my protective measures for e.g.: http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.1/jquery.min.js in order to have Mindat work properly. Fortunately I know how to parameterize a Cisco router and firewall and how to configure a DNS-server so I am able to protect myself. But until such time as there is a way to respect my personal choices in regards to privacy I will access Mindat through these two protected computers exclusively (which is fortunately 90%+ of the time), but I will no longer access Mindat on other computers (like on holiday, through public WiFi hotspots, on my Phone,…).

We will see how that works out for others that do not have this specific knowledge.

Branko
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Uwe Kolitsch July 15, 2011 08:09AM
Thank, Jolyon, for explaining the bigger picture.

I guess we should all be aware that when entering the internet we become partly transparent citizens.
If multinationals assemble user profiles, it also has advantages. For instance, I like that websites suggest to have a look at items (e.g., books, music) my user profile suggests I might have an interest in.
Hacking websites of multinationals happens all the time, but as long as only user profiles are stolen, there won't be much damage. It's a different thing, of course, with data such as bank account details, credit card numbers etc. Cybercrime needs heavier punishments IMO.
Just thinking loud … - I am sure more apt people have tackled these issues.
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Marcus Voigt July 15, 2011 08:18AM
@ Branko: Thanks for your detailed explanations,

Your posts make me more pure joy to watch here!


@ All: Toolbar or not.......this decision is the decision of the side holder.

Because the excited discussion he will make his thoughts already ...

The developments here lately let me ask you excited:

"Where we are headed?" Wohin wird diese "Reise"/Entwicklung noch führen?

Best regards

(a worried)

Marcus
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Donald Peck July 15, 2011 03:16PM
As yet, I don't find the toolbar useful, but I am willing to take Jolyon's word that it will add many new functions.
I don't get involved with Face Book. Twitter, etc., but I do not have to click the buttons and perhaps there will be a way to customize the bar and remove them.
A couple of days ago, the mindat site was slower that the growth of grass. Today it is fine.
Already, I do not even notice the presence of the bar. I use a desktop computer.
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Brent Thorne July 15, 2011 04:43PM
I have also noticed that Mindat is extremely slow since the toolbar has been added. Especially when I am looking at the daily photos. Is this something that is going to be fixed? I think the answer may determine how often I use Mindat. I enjoy Mindat and use it constantly during the day. It would be a shame to have to cut back my usage just because a new application has made it inconveniant for me to view the other applications that I use so frequently.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 15, 2011 11:51PM
The performance problems we have had are nothing to do with the toolbar.
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Will Shewfelt July 16, 2011 04:24AM
I noticed the performance problem months ago. Since adding the toolbar it is even slower. I find myself avoiding Mindat lately because its actually faster to get the info from my mineral library! Others Ive spoken with are doing likewise. Is this really benefiting the realm of mineral knowledge?
Discoveries are being made that may not be posted here if it takes so long to upload info...sort of contradicts the purpose of the site.

The toolbar is a redundant annoyance...continually.
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David Bernstein July 16, 2011 11:36AM
Another layer of madness with this thing. From my IPad, the task bar "X" sits right over a link to the Mindat directory. So when I close out the task bar, I get directed to the directory. I then have to hit the back button and navigate away from the homepage. One good thing, I find myself gripping my iPad tighter while browsing, due to anger and resentment, that my wrists are getting an excellent workout.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 16, 2011 12:53PM
The problem with the toolbar on iPad and iPhone is due to a bug in Safari on these browsers not correctly rendering the 'Position: Fixed' property.

I am told this will be fixed in the forthcoming IOS version 5 - which is due for release soon.

Jolyon
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Ed Godsey July 17, 2011 12:51AM
Branko said:
"The content I dislike are the so-called “social networks”. Maybe I am too old for this kind of crap, but I consider them to be data collection endpoints where unsuspecting people are seduced to enter personal data which in turn is exploited by some mega-companies for monetary gain. "

I agree with Branko - I'm too old for this kind of crap. I have never and will never use Facebook or any of the other "anti-social" sites. Screen real estate, bandwidth, and time are too precious to have to deal with this kind of stuff. Why do you think I use the DVR for almost every TV program? So I can skip thru all the #$^*)^ commercials.

Easy Goin'
USA
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Philip Bluemner July 18, 2011 11:13PM
Hi,
I followed this thread because I'm neither especially fond of the toolbar. I first found it annoying due to its simple presence and the impossibility of deactivation. In the meantime I don't notice the toolbar anymore. It's just 1 cm less mindat on my monitor.
I don't quite understand the reason of connecting the toolbar with social networks but that shall not be purpose of my post.
It may be of browser nature (in my case Mozilla Firefox v 3.6) but I find it really annoying when looking for a locality and if there are multiple choices I use the strg+f function. Firefox highlights the text parts I type into the find field in green color at the bottom of the page. And due to the existence of the toolbar I cannot see what I am looking for. So I have to close the toolbar every time.

Regards
Philip
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Uwe Kolitsch July 19, 2011 09:40AM
I use Firefox 3.6.12 and the toolbar makes space for the search window so there is no problem anymore (I should upgrade to version 4 or 5 anyway).
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J. Roger Mitchell July 19, 2011 09:47PM
Lose the tool bar. It's annoying. Just add a new tool bar on the top of the page that reads "Social Media". I'm interested in minerals not the latest software.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 20, 2011 11:20PM
The reason for connecting to the social networks I would have thought was obvious - to increase the visibility of mindat.org and to encourage new people to discover the site.

If you don't use such services then of course you will find these features unnecessary (and I promise I WILL provide a way to permanently turn them off), but just because they are not useful for you does not mean they are not useful for mindat.

I am experimenting with some other ideas to make the toolbar less annoying for some of you.

One option is to fade the toolbar out, so it is translucent and not so distracting unless you move your mouse over it. This will not be the default behaviour, because it is not compatible with touch devices such as the iPad (and yes, David, I am very keen to make sure it works well with the iPad!) - This will also solve the problem where a text search identifies an item that is hidden below the toolbar.

Another option is to pin the toolbar to the bottom of the page rather than the bottom of the screen, so it will just act like a standard page footer and never overlay anything. Again, this will be an option, and will be permanent once you have set it.

There will also be an option (as mentioned above) to enable/disable certain items, such as the social media options and the minfind link.

There are some new tools coming soon to the toolbar. The most exciting will be the lightbox.

With the lightbox, when you are viewing a photo, you have the option to add it to your lightbox. This is a panel that allows you to store and compare photographs. You can reorder them, comment on them, create an article about them, or a slideshow presentation which can be stored in your profile in a similar way to an article. actually - as you've already seen, a slideshow and article can be the same thing.

This will be improved in the future so you can add text slides to slideshows, and play it in a presentation format (so you can move from one slide to another with a button press). Then you'll be able to build an article in mindat that can also be viewed as a slideshow presentation, complete with text, if you want to!

Perhaps at the next mindat conference, all presentations will be created and presented on mindat.org using this system. This has the great advantage that you can be able to view the presentations even if you're not at the conference!
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Chris Mavris July 21, 2011 12:10AM
I like the lightbox idea!! :)
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Mickey Marks July 21, 2011 04:07AM
I can live with "pin the toolbar to the bottom of the page". When will this option be available?
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Branko Rieck July 21, 2011 07:30AM
Jolyon,

Thank you very much! This is really good news!

With all my rants against Facebook and others one thing may have gone unnoticed: I don’t think these items should go! Even if it is only for SEO, the times we are living in makes it necessary to have them. What I do hope however is that there is a way to disable the network traffic to these sites.

It is some kind of (good!) compromise between the necessities of Mindat and the privacy concerns of many users to include logic like that:

If the user has not disabled the social network connections (default behavior):
Load the plugins (FB “Like it”, Google Plusone,…) from the respective site and enable reoccurring traffic to these sites.

If the user has disabled it:
Load static resources (images, static links) from the Mindat site and disable reoccurring traffic.

The screen real estate should not be a concern for anyone because if you look at it without emotions it is actually really tiny (350 x 30 pixels) compared to the rest of the screen, even on a netbook like the one I am writing this from. If carefully placed it will never be in the way (and we cannot hold Jolyon responsible if it is in the way because of a bug in the respective implementation of certain browsers).

What all users should be aware of is the fact that these much criticized items generate income in the long run for Mindat and/or Jolyon (e.g.: Minfind.com) which in turn helps to keep our most favorite mineralogical site alive. For this reason alone we should be glad that they are there.

The idea to fade the toolbar out if not in use is pure genius and will make the experience painless for all.
Pinning it to the bottom of a page makes no sense to me (others might disagree here), but if it is an option, so be it.
I still believe that the best solution would be to merge the menu bar at the top (which really takes a lot of screen estate for what it does) and the toolbar at the bottom to a single “Command Center” that is pinned to the top of the page (and possibly with an option to pin it to the bottom).

I am looking forward to seeing the new functionality in action like the lightbox, which sounds exciting.

Thanks again, Jolyon, and please forgive me if I’ve come across to strong in my criticism.

Branko
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Roger Curry July 21, 2011 08:19AM
Lightbox idea sounds excellent!
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Chris Mavris July 21, 2011 09:23AM
"With all my rants against Facebook and others one thing may have gone unnoticed: I don’t think these items should go! "

It went unnoticed to me (and a few more other people I talked to at the Mindat conference) when you were talking about them as 'crap'... :)
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David Bernstein July 21, 2011 01:26PM
**Another option is to pin the toolbar to the bottom of the page rather than the bottom of the screen, so it will just act like a standard page footer and never overlay anything. Again, this will be an option, and will be permanent once you have set it. **


Fine by me. Again, my complaints have involved aesthetic and navigational issues and what you write seems to address them. So many thanks. Seems to be a better solution then waiting for the IOS 5 or whatever it is called which will not be released till fall.
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Michael J. Bainbridge July 21, 2011 05:20PM
In Safari on the iPhone (and iPad, I guess) the toolbar doesn't stay put at the bottom, which is hugely annoying (along with other minor compatibility issues with the site). Otherwise (when using my proper computer), I have no issue with it. In it's current state (and mine, I suppose) I don't have much use for it, but it certainly doesn't bother me.

What is Google +1?
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Douglas Merson July 22, 2011 04:08AM
Michael

Google+1 is their version of Facebook and is currently still in beta.
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Jim Hall July 28, 2011 12:49PM
I believe what is seen on an android tablet is similar. The toolbar is part of the way up the page, and as you enlarge the page, the toolbar gets bigger and moves more towards the center, obscuring any photos you are looking at. More than just annoying. On my regular windows computer I am fine with it as it stays on the bottom as it should.

Jolyon Ralph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The problem with the toolbar on iPad and iPhone is
> due to a bug in Safari on these browsers not
> correctly rendering the 'Position: Fixed'
> property.
>
> I am told this will be fixed in the forthcoming
> IOS version 5 - which is due for release soon.
>
> Jolyon
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 30, 2011 10:29PM
The toolbar options have arrived - thank you for your patience!

Most people will want to choose one of 'Fade toolbar when not in focus' or 'Fix toolbar to bottom of page'

There's not much point to use both.

iPad/iPhone users should find this version automatically fixes the problem they had before with toolbar in middle of page. The 2nd option is therefore not available to these users, as it's enabled by default and can't be disabled.

The timer for slides isn't working right yet. Please be patient!

I'm also going to fix the slideshow so the first frame doesn't load in an ugly way.

Jolyon
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David Bernstein July 31, 2011 01:34AM
Just home after long day. What a nice surprise. Stress free browsing. Many thanks.
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Dan Fountain July 31, 2011 01:47AM
Jolyon,

Thank you.

I opted to 'Fade toolbar when not in focus' - unfortunately, now the Search and Options icons don't work.

Windows Vista & IE 8.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 31, 2011 02:02AM
If you're using Vista you really should upgrade to IE9 (or an alternative modern browser). Many features in the future (and now - the slideshow) won't work with IE8 so it's not really officially supported on mindat any more.
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George Eric Stanley Curtis July 31, 2011 05:56AM
I selected fade and noticed that now I no longer have access to the 'tools' option.
Not that I mind much.
Can we not have a 'fade' option that makes it totally and permanently invisible?
For info, I have windows 7 premium running latest IE on a brand new laptop.
The 'text' window on the Tbar has dropped out of sight. The close button closes and reopens within seconds.
The toolbar option remains non functional, even if I shut down and restart, so I am on permanent fade.

Your toolbar is no longer functioning.

Thanks
Eric :S

United Kingdom, Cornwall



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2011 06:39AM by George Eric Stanley Curtis.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 31, 2011 10:59AM
> I selected fade and noticed that now I no longer have access to the 'tools' option.

I cannot repeat that here - it's working fine on my Windows 7 machine with Internet Explorer 9 - Version 9.0.8112.16421 - please go to "About Internet Explorer" in the menu and let me know what version you are using.

> Can we not have a 'fade' option that makes it totally and permanently invisible?

No, because then how would you be able to open it again when you need it?

> The 'text' window on the Tbar has dropped out of sight.

It will sometimes do this, after loading a page or resizing, but should automatically repair itself within a few seconds.

> The close button closes and reopens within seconds.

Have never seen this.
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George Eric Stanley Curtis July 31, 2011 11:59AM
Hi Jolyon,

I was on IE8, because I do not like IE9 format.
I tried IE9 just for you.
The toolbar works on IE9.

I shall now return to IE8, which is my preferred browser.

Cheers,
Eric ;)

United Kingdom, Cornwall
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 31, 2011 12:18PM
Eric.

Then I have a solution for you!

Install this:

http://code.google.com/chrome/chromeframe/

And it will make Mindat (and many other modern websites) work properly in IE8

Jolyon
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George Eric Stanley Curtis July 31, 2011 05:49PM
Thanks,
It is sorted now,
Eric
B)

United Kingdom, Cornwall
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