Drop down menus

You may notice that the menus on top have been slightly reorganized, along with the addition of drop down menus. As the number of lessons and features increases on the site there has been a need to spread these out over a number of pages. Rather than cluttering the front page with more links, I have now added drop down menus to make it easier for you to go directly to the page you want. This way as more pages are added to the site down the road it should still be easy to get where you want to go.

The old Premium section has now been split into a “Premium feed” page and a “Resources” page. The links to the Premium content are now available in the “Course Outline” and in the main page under each lesson.

No Responses to “Drop down menus”

  1. Is it just me? The new menus don’t always work for me. At least half the time instead of seeing them as intended, they go vertically, spaced out down the page right over the text. I’m using Firefox on a Mac. Am I the only one having problems?

    Thanks heaps for putting the one-line recordings against the text on the traditional character page too, it’s going to change my study methods. Now I can do all the heavy learning work from a single browser window, since I get the pinyin in the pop-ups. There’s no need to see the English, I’ve memorised it by then.

    Did something change in the way that pinyin is displayed? I’m getting a little square showing up on rare occasions, and that’s never happened before. Oh dear, maybe I broke my browser when I applied the latest update.

  2. Parrot – fyi – I’m not having problems with the dropdowns using Firefox or IE7 on Windows XP (sp2). However, I’ve had some other problems,which I’ve traced to my firewall after updating my browser. I found that updating my browser (as I recently did from Firefox to Firefox, causes my firewall (ZoneAlarm Pro) to see my browser as a new program and consequently to apply the firewall’s defaults to this new, hence uncustomized program. The defaults are restrictive by design. By going into the firewall’s options and reinstating the former, more liberal settings for the browser, everything seems to work again, at least for now. So, if you’re using similar security, then try looking into whether the security settings are restrictive for Firefox or for the CLO site, itself.

  3. Thanks luobot. It’s working fine for me too now, it was just that one day, so maybe something was in an unstable state for a minute.

    What I am still having trouble with is viewing the Chinese characters, both simplified and traditional, but only on this site. I can see them fine, but they come out in a font that is so hideous I can hardly bear to look at it, and some of the characters are a tiny bit different in structure which makes it hard for a novice to look them up. It’s as if my computer can’t find the right font so it’s falling back to a very plain default. This is Mac OSX, it has zillions of Chinese fonts, but they could be using different names. Tested with three different browsers, and downloaded the html and loaded from disk file, all the same results. Are there other Mac users out there who have or don’t have this problem?

  4. parrot –

    Did you try setting the fonts in Firefox?
    If not, then you can try the following in Firefox (I’m assuming OSX has the same or similiar layout as Windows):

    You can set the fonts by going to:
    Tools > Options.
    Then select the “Content” tab.
    Midway down the dialog box you can specify the default font and size from a dropdown list.
    Then, to the right of the size dropdown, click “Advanced.”
    There you can select fonts for various font types as well as size.
    Beneath that, there is a checkbox.
    If checked, it means that you’re allowing the page to choose it’s own font.
    Uncheck it and now the page is forced to use your fonts.
    Beneath this, you can choose the default character encoding.

    You can experiment with the options to get the look that works best for you.

    Also, if someone else is using OSX and Firefox with good results, then they can list their settings for you to try.

  5. Thanks for all those tips. Unfortunately I’ve tried everything with those font settings and it’s not going to work. My chosen font doesn’t happen unless I tell the browser to always use my font override what the web site has requested. If I do that, the other 15 sites I have in other tabs all change to the same font, which doesn’t work for them.

    So what if I only have a session for CLO, spend a minute setting the forced font before I begin, and unforcing it when I’ve finished, sounds fiddly but good, eh? Or use a different browser and leave that one set up for CLO. Nice idea, but it doesn’t work out. The font that displays hanzi nicely, displays pinyin so badly that I can’t read it.

    So what I can do then is set up either Safari or Camino to force a hanzi-friendly font, and leave Firefox normal. When visiting CLO I can run two browsers simultaneously, and use Camino for the hanzi pages and Firefox for everything else, and flip back and forth between the two programs. Sounding much better, eh?

    Still not quite right though. When using a browser that forces a Chinese font for nice legible hanzi, I can’t use the mouseover feature to see the pinyin when I need it. Therefore, I’m not getting any advantage from the web page, I might as well have it as text. OK, there’s an idea.

    So I get rid of the forced-Chinese-font browser, and go back to normal Firefox with the hideous hanzi. Instead of studying the hanzi by viewing the hanzi page, I copy the text and paste it into my text editor. Voila! The text editor displays it beautifully. I don’t get mouseover in the text editor, but I didn’t get very good mouseover in the alternative browser setup anyway. So now instead of using two web browsers, I use a web browser and a text editor (or word processor) and flip back and forth between those two programs. To make up for not having the mouseovers, I can copy the pinyin version into my word processor too so that I can see both.

    OK, but now I don’t need the browser, so I just go to the site, copy and paste from the web pages into my text editor, and do it that way. No mouseover but the texts are short enough so it’s not hard to scroll. But wait, isn’t there sound with that?

    So I go back into Firefox and install an extension to grab the… Yeah, well, you get the idea. 🙂 Everything on a Mac is so much easier for Chinese than other types of computers, but this one has me stumped.

  6. No, but… I think I’ve worked it out 🙂 I think the stylesheet has a list of fonts that contains no font that I can use. If you look in style.css and, everywhere you see either sans-serif or Sans-serif, add Kai to the list… not only does it become readable for me but it gives me a gorgeous font! I tried a mock-up of the word-bank All page and of a traditional character page, and the same trick worked for both. Wanna try it?

  7. Oops, I celebrated too soon. It only gives me nice fonts for half of the words. I guess “family Kai” is not enough to pull in all of my Kai fonts. There must be some “standard” kind of font that works on Mac for everything Chinese. Is there a Macintosh guru in the house?

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