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--- Ten Years Ago... ---------------------------------------------------------- In April 1995, Erowid.com first went online with just a few pages of data about psychoactive plants and chemicals. There was no public announcement of the launch and no other sites (that we know of) linked to erowid.com for months to come. Earth and Fire worked on the site as a minor hobby in their spare time. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This month we have several major releases to announce. We'll be sending separate announcements for each of the major items over the next week or two. If you have an opinion about the changes and updates, we'd like to encourage you to send us a note. It helps us to hear what people think.
If you have photos of psychoactive substances and would like to contribute to the Erowid project, please read the "Photo Drive" section (#2) below about images we need.
====================================================== Index ======================================================
1) Major Site Overhaul (Front End)
One of the projects that has been taking up much of our time over the last couple of months has been the design and implementation of the 'Erowid 3.0' design across the main sections of the site. This change includes cosmetic, navigational, and data updates. Not every page has been converted, but this release represents a completed structure and templates for the changeover. Major changes include:
Perhaps the first thing friends of Erowid will notice is the new front page of the site. The old Alchemist Collage is gone and is replaced by a design we call Blocks (or the 3.0 splash page). There are a variety of fun things about the new Blocks design, including a more dynamic effect from visit to visit as well as a place to showcase some of the interesting photos in our collection, and direct links into subsections of the site. We have chosen to continue with a 'splash page' design, and will also be adding some interesting features to the page soon.
Those familiar with the site will recognize the new header from other sections which have already been migrated to the 3.0 design. In addition to the new header, we have also regularized the look of most index pages on the site. The cosmetic changes should also make the more complex pages easier to read, scan quickly, and find the information you're looking for.
There are a handful of changes and additions to the navigation of the site. These navigational changes include:
- Search fields are now at the top of every 3.0 design page. - Dynamic HTML (jscript) menus in the header make navigating between sections faster. - Psychoactives page index format changed. Header menus make it no longer necessary for other topics to have links on the psychoactives page.
- Path links, sometimes called 'bread crumbs', make it easier to go "up" a topic level. - Standardized topic buttons make it clearer when there is and isn't a page for a given sub-topic. - Anchor Links, sometimes called 'pound anchors' or 'page anchors' or 'sub-page links', are now present on sub-sections on 3.0 vault pages. Next to each section title (for instance, MEDIA COVERAGE on the 2c-b page) is a very small grey "#" sign that is a link to that specific sub-section. Click on the link and copy the url from the url line to reference a specific sub-section. - A correction link in the bottom left corner of every page under the "About this Document" menu allows easy access to sending corrections.
- Summary Cards with images have been added to every vault. All substance vaults now have a 'Summary Card' on their main index. The summary cards are intended to be a very brief (and necessarily incomplete) overviews, but will hopefully provide a useful introduction to the substance for non-experts and a mnemonic for those who already know the information. The summary cards have not yet been fully reviewed, so please feel encouraged to point out errors or offer suggested changes.
The addition of the Summary Cards to every index means we now have a more pressing need for images of many substances that we have never sought photos of. We need help finding good, sharp, high resolution photos of dozens of plants, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and smart drugs. We are only interested in photos owned by the submitter, so we can use them on main substance indexes with clear copy rights.
The Erowid Crew will select images to be used on Summary Cards and all submitters who have an image chosen for use on a Summary Card will have the opportunity to have their name/nick and a link to their own site in the list of contributors to the 2005 Photo Drive. In addition, the Erowid Crew will vote and choose the top 5 images in each section as "drive winners". Submitters of drive winning photos will receive: an erowid mug or t-shirt, a year subscription to our print newsletter, and will have their work highlighted on a page of contest winners. The photo drive will run until May 15th.
================================================ Other New Items ================================================
Links added to the Spiritual Traditions > Christianity vault. Perhaps the most interesting of these is an article about a minor movement in the Catholic faith to decentralize some power away from the Papacy.
Our new triage system continues to improve the quality of the reports that are getting published. We are nearing a next release of the triaging system that will allow us to add yet more triagers. Thanks to everyone who has been helping with the beta test!
======================================================= ECSTASYDATA.ORG ======================================================= Conducts laboratory testing of street Ecstasy tablets (NOTE: co-pay is now $30).
======================================================= DONATE OR BECOME A MEMBER ======================================================= If you find Erowid a useful resource and are interested in supporting its future development, please consider donating or becoming a member. http://www.erowid.org/donations/
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