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Aug 10, 2010 07:10 PM

Release 08/10/2010 - Restaurants and Bars

I put on my reading glasses and reduced the site size to 100% until font and spacing issues are fixed.

However, even at 100% using IE, the formatting is off on the Restaurant and Bars record.

The information in the area of hours gets dropped below the photos section.I attached a screen shot

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  1. I haven't delved into the "I hate" thread to see if the problem has been reported there or not. But since this is tangentially related to R&B, I'll post the bug here. When linking a post via "manage your links", the matching is scanning through the entire database, not just the region. For example, when I'm posting to the SF Bay Area board and want to link, I'll type in a fragment of a local restaurant name. The menu of choices will include restaurants in Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles, etc. Previously, the search was faster because it only looked for restaurants in the region.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Also the links still appear and disappear, don't seem to be any more stable in the new design.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Hi Melanie - thanks for alerting us we apologize for the delayed response. There is a bug filed against it and we hope to resolve it in the November release (launch date TBD).

        1. re: CHOW HQ

          One thing that seeing the results from across the country has made clear is that there are a whole bunch of duplicate records in other regions that show up when I'm trying to find something on my own board. I hope that filters for duplicate matching on new data imported from your provider will be put in place to keep this from growing.

      2. When using the "add a restaurant" when submitting a new post, the software seems to be inconsistent and has twice caused me to lose the text of my message before it has a chance to post. Mostly when I create a new restaurant record via a posting, a new tab will open with the restaurant info in edit mode.

        But twice now, instead of a new tab, the edit screen opens in the same tab where I've typed my post. When I try to go back, the text and reply box are gone.

        Due to the various problems and time lags I've had with adding new restaurants, I've mostly just entered the ones that I'm writing up. I've been sending in the info for new openings or other establishments that are not in the database to However, for the last few weeks, these new places I've submitted have not been input into the database. I wonder what Chow's plan is for maintaining the restaurant database.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Hi Melanie, we have been working with our Restaurant data provider to get us good and viable data for months. We hear your concerns and are equally interested in resolving the data issue. We are close to having a process that will update the restaurant data on a routine basis and correct a lot of the errors in our data base. We appreciate all of the work you have done to send us the lists and are working diligently on resolving the this issues so that our records are current and up to date. Hang tight we hope to have the new feed and a good stream of data up and running sometime in the next month.

          1. re: CHOW HQ

            Thank you for the progress report. I had ceased inputting or sending in information for new restaurants because the lack of action or response felt like the Restaurants & Bars function had been abandoned by the developers. I'm please to hear that work continues on making it better.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I'll second that and I also, for the most part, stopped adding any new info to the database. I hope the upcoming updates address the formatting issues, apache error and loss of the ability to open a new tab from the restaurant search list.

              Chowhounds can be extremely patient if informed that HQ has flagged a bug to be fixed and we have at least some idea about when a major issue will be resolved. Nobody needs to hear every little detail, but some of these really big problems that make it too difficult to use the Restaurant and Bar database ... well, it helps if they are acknowledged.

            2. re: CHOW HQ

              > we have been working with our Restaurant data provider

              I see that this is the last post from ChowHQ (October) so maybe they have stopped working on the site. This lack of a viable link between discussions and the restaurant database remains a tremendous problem with the site. It would be nice if posters could add a restaurant they recommend whenever it doesn't automatically pop up in their discussion, but that might be too much to hope for. As it is, often finding a restaurant is detective work, especially if the poster got the spelling incorrect or doesn't mention the city.

              I still have hope for this board over other boards like Yelp because I respect the opinions of many CHs, but traveling to a new city and trying to do research on Chow is almost not worth it.

              1. re: Q47

                You should be able to add a link yourself. When you post a message on the regional boards, just below the dialog box for your message text there's a gray band that says "Manage Your Links" and there's an explanation if you click on "what is this". This enables you to search for the right link in the database or if it does not exist, you can enter a new record into the database.

                Do you not see it? Since so few posters seem to make use of it, I wonder if the field does not appear for some folks.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Too many posters don't add a record when they post in a discussion. If they type the restaurant name into the link field and the restaurant isn't in the restaurant database, they need to go ahead and add it, but evidently most people won't do that. And face it, you'd need to know the proper name of the restaurant and the name of the city, at the very least.

            3. re: Melanie Wong

              I've just lost the draft text of a post again while adding a new restaurant record via posting. I think I figured out why. In this case a dialog box popped up checking to see if I was making a duplicate record and I clicked to continue. This might be what's triggering the different response. Instead of opening the new record in edit mode in a new tab, the screen opened in the same tab and then my text typed for the post was gone. Hope this bug gets corrected in the next roll out. Now that it's mid-November, is the upgrade still on track to release this month?

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I haven't had time to determine exactly what is going wrong, but lately the server connection seems to get dropped when editing Restaurant records. There are lots of hangs and I have to start all over again. One record took at least 10 tries to update and that is not an exaggeration.

                I would like to know as well if there will still be a mid-November roll out. Perhaps some of these recent hangs have to do with new pieces of software being installed?

            4. Not sure if this has been reported so I'll add it here. Using IE8.0

              When editing an existing restaurant listing, the input boxes for GOOD TO KNOW and REVIEWS AROUND THE WEB are not functional. Typing characters into either box reduces the size of the box (character by character) until the box closes completely, preventing you from seeing any text.



              5 Replies
              1. re: Foody4life

                It is all fixed ... no more shrinking boxes. The formatting when editing the Restaurant record is perfect, no more overwriting. The apache error is gone. Most important to me, a right click will open a new tab in the restaurant search.

                As I wrote in another post ... a big THANK YOU.

                1. re: rworange

                  thats funny, I am still getting the apache tomcat errors on all my googlemaps links, as well as shrinking boxes (an misaligned headings) on one of my two IE8 computers.

                  dont know what accounts for the difference, but Id like to see this completely cleared up.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    If you are getting shrinking boxes on one computer and not the other, try clearing everything you can, cache, cookies, etc.

                    Usually I disregard that advice because 99% of the time, that ain't the problem. However when I was getting the vast white spaces that no one else was getting I gave clearing everything I could a try. It didn't work until what seems to be a fix went in.

                    If there was no fix, then all I can think is that one of my windows updates solved something. Sometimes Chowhound is like communicating with God. Did he really answer your prayers or did stuff just happen. A confirmation or post that a problem was fixed would be helpful every now and then.

                    I never got apache errors on the maps, but I did in other sections and that has cleared.

                    Can you email me? My address is on my profile. I was going to send you some info yesterday that IMO is inappropriate for the public site but may be useful to you.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Big Head Droop.
                      I so want this Internations restaurant thing to work for Chowhound.
                      Im losing mybelief it will ever be useful to me or anyone else.
                      Where are the enhancements? Where is the response?

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Jen, last weekend I visited Phoenix. Naturally, beforehand I did a lot of research on where to eat on the local board and I noticed that the PHX 'hounds have done a bang up job on filling in the restaurant pages with photos, websites, summaries, etc., as well as well as new openings. The collation of detail made it much easier for me to sort thru my choices and reference them on line via mobile. I greatly appreciated the work they'd put into it. It was a very pleasant surprise to discover this ready reference, as I don't recall the regular posters there participating in discussions about the feature here on the Site Talk board. I also had the chance to talk to one PHX hound and found we shared the same issues with functionality and frustration that something with so much potential doesn't work better. Looking at the growth of competing sites in PHX, I can see that is losing its position in that market by not acting. It's a terrible shame because there have been some very strong contributors on that board.

              2. Can you give us an update on the status of the restaurant data issue?

                While chowhound has many wonderful features to link it to the restaurant database (auto link, "Dig Deeper," "this is a review of a specific restaurant," etc.) I think the members are ignoring the ability to add a new restaurant until the kinks can be worked out.

                It really bugs me that someone will post "hey have you tried this new restaurant" but then don't tell us where it is. Many new ethnic restaurants are not quick to ensure they have an internet presence, so it is difficult detective work to find them.

                For example, here is a case of someone who doesn't feel like / know how to use this feature.

                2 Replies
                1. re: GraydonCarter

                  GC, the website for the restaurant is listed in the thread for those seeking more info. I recognize its not tied to the feature discussed here but even those restaurants that are in R&B, CH's have the option to include it or not.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Right, you'd assume that if nobody liked a place, it would never get added, and if everyone liked a place, it would get added right away.