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Jan 23, 2007 09:48 PM

Report from Engineering

Hey guys. So, we've been pretty busy.

Last night and today stability was our #1 priority. At this point we're pretty confident in the site. It should be faster than the old one, most noticeably on the big threads.

As for the 'usability' bugs, we've been reading the threads and agree with a lot of the suggestions and constructive criticism. Have you checked out the new My Chow? Just log in and head to or view Tatum's at

Along with the My Chow stuff, we put names back into collapsed threads, fixed bugs, tweaked CSS, and have generally been trying to clean the site up today.

With the new backend and CSS/HTML we're able to make changes a lot quicker than we could before. For the techies in the crowd, we migrated from Rails 1.1.6 to Rails 1.2 and went from two backends to one. Cool stuff.

The big deal is, obviously, color. We're trying to push out a solution tonight: you'll have the ability to easily switch between the Chow red and a lighter Chowhound theme. The colors will be those of the previous Chowhound: white, tan, etc. We need to make sure it works in all the browsers and doesn't break the site, so just hold tight. If it's not tonight it will definitely be tomorrow. I attached a sneak peak, shhh.

Here's what's coming: better search, the return of your Chowhound questions (no data lost), better friends / tracking in My Chow, 'reply to' links in posts, fixed dates on posts, and tons of bug fixes. As fast as we can.

I gotta say, the Constructive Criticism topic ( and the Non-Hysterical Gripes topic ( are awesome. Thanks a lot for these. This is a really great community and we're trying to make everything easier for you guys.

We'll be checking in with updates as we push on over the next few weeks.

Engineering out.

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    1. You've done a great job fixing the essential problems promptly. There's a lot to love about this new site, and I look forward to seeing more improvements in the next few weeks. I'm particularly excited about the prospect of a new and improved search feature.

      Thanks Team!

      1. How are you guys beta testing these major site overhauls? Are you using any long-time Chowhound powerusers in your beta testing? It seems like if you were a lot of these problems could have been avoided.

        1 Reply
        1. re: extramsg

          Great point, and something we can do with some of our major new features. With our new setup, we can actually do this without a lot of duplicate work on our part. So expect preview beta testing going forward.

        2. Fast work. Worth a few days pain if the tradeoff is that you can whip new features out that fast.

          1. "My Chow" looks awesome. Big improvement over yesterday, but
            more importantly it's exactly what everyone has been asking for for
            the last six months. Nice work!