Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

Tell Me Your Troubles

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What a weekend this has been. We’ve deployed the new site and have, over the course of 48 hours, improved the state of affairs from a “D-” to about a “B+”. I have a laundry list of stuff we have to fix, much of it tiny, but a few of the more obvious problems that I already know exist are:

  • Slope Daily Digest, which is emailed about an hour after the close each day, has stopped going out;
  • People reading Slope via RSS aren’t seeing it, since we need to update the link with Feedburner;
  • The “@” feature in comments isn’t sending the targeted user the comment via email;
  • Those of you who used to use your username (instead of email) to log in are unable to do so;

For those of you who have written me, clearing your cache has solved your problem 95% of the time, so please, have mercy, do that first (and log in) before you reach out to me with issues.

Setting that aside, however, if you’re still having trouble, or if you see something wrong, please write to me and let me know. We are fixing problems in terms of severity and importance, so please be patient. On the whole, I’m pretty happy with how things turned out, since this was like replacing the engines on an airborne jet.

The New Slope of Hope

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I will begin this important post with a quote from the movie Apollo 13:


That, better than anything else, summarizes the old Slope of Hope. It was built, piece by piece, step by step, with no particular plan in mind, over many years. It did its job well, but it lived well past its prime and, technologically, fell far behind the times. But it was a good ship.

I introduce you now to our new ship – the new Slope of Hope. This system was built new from the ground up. We started with a blank sheet of paper and blank hard drives and went from there.

The vast majority of improvements are invisible to the eye. I wanted to take this opportunity, however, to illustrate a few differences between the old and new Slope to get you acquainted with our new home. (more…)

Up and Running

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Well, so far, so good. I’ve been through enough product launches to get suitably nervous about them. Last night, things were going a bit off the rails (particularly when WordPress decided it would be a great idea to retweet notifications for every post I’ve ever made, which blew up some people’s cell phones).

After an early-morning push today, however, it seems like things are working more or less As God Intended. I’m still hunting every corner of the site for problems, and if  you see any, please email me (there is no guarantee I’ll notice your remark in comments). And please, no matter what, watch this quick two minute video which gives a spiffy overview:

A Final Warning

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I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it one final time: after the close on Friday, we’re going to throw the switch. The old site goes dark and the new site comes up. There are endless scenarios:

+ Best Case: everything runs perfectly, and the only change you see is a beautiful new site.

+ Worst Case: Slope is totally down, and you get a 404 error all weekend.

+ Probable Case: the site will be up, but there will be some snags, problems, and bugs we need to frantically fix (because, cough cough, so few people helped me test, although I begged endlessly…….)

Anyway, I just wanted to tell as many of you as possible. Good luck to us all!

Brace Yourselves

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It was almost a year ago that I got an email from a local developer who pointed out a variety of important ways Slope could be improved. Since then, particularly over the past few months, my team and I have been hard at work on the new Slope.

If all goes as planned, this Friday, May 4, we’ll shut down the old system and start up the new. I am deliberating doing this after the close on Friday, just in case we have some snags (or a complete disaster). I wanted to warn you well in advance that if things look totally different (best case) or if you get a 404 Page Not Found error (worst case), it’s because of what we’re doing. Remember the day!

may4 (more…)