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  Another giant subscription preview page!Oct 21, 2011 12:27 AM PDT | url
Added 1 new A* page:There's a little more info about this in the news post I made earlier, but the quick version is that you can now, by means of the "preview" link at the lower-right corner of the latest comics, try a free preview of the upcoming subscription mode, which (the actual subscription mode, I mean) will grant you comics so big you need a 1080p monitor on which to see them, delivered completely free of ads, for a whole year, for $25.
Oh and you can also get into it by clicking on this eye-catching large banner I made for the occasion:
You can exit the preview mode by clicking the "exit" link you'll have to the bottom right of the comics. Only the new, hand-painted comics will have giant-size versions available, but--in the real subscription mode, not in this limited free preview--ALL the comics--including the older, smaller, computer-generated ones--will be ad-free for subscribers.
I'm very curious to know what you think of the comics at large size.
When I opened this preview earlier today I was thinking I'd take it down once I get the full subscription service going--which will hopefully be some time next week--but now I'm thinking maybe I'll leave it going, just limited to what will by that time probably be the first dozen or so hand-painted comics.
Also spent some time tweaking the layout of things in the navigation bars above and below the comic in barely visible ways; far too much of that time was taken up trying to fix--or work around--stupid spacing problems suffered by Internet Explorer. GAR. Also the center bits--the drop-down menus on top and the bookmarking and networking widgets below--are now actually centered, b'gosh.
And that chain-link link button between the networking widgets always has a link to the permanent address of the current comic, even if it's being displayed on the front page, or in subscription preview mode, or in the "9999" latest comic shortcut page (I think once I get the subscription mode done and the site switched over to a dynamic front page I'll probably just have the comic viewing script default to showing the latest strip anyway, if not given any parameters--currently it defaults to the first strip), or whatever. I was actually prompted to do it a day or so ago when I thought I'd be using basic authentication for subscription mode security, because that would have meant running the script in a separate, secure directory, so if you were viewing a strip while logged in with your subscriber account, and tried sending a friend the URL directly from the address bar (rather than from the "SHARE" widget, which would give you a better one), it would have been inaccessible to them--not that I could have gotten around that limitation of basic authentication, so I was hoping people would notice the chain links and realize they might get a good sharing address from there.
But that's still kinda kludgy, so for that and other reasons basic authentication is out, and--assuming I can get it working--it'll be based on rather more user-friendly session IDs and cookies and all that like a real site, and you won't end up on strange secure pages you can't show to others.
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