It's no secret I've had access to Eclipse for a while. I've had quite some time to thoroughly test it and to get used to it at my own speed. I've had ups and I've had downs, but before I get to that, let's get some stuff out of the way. This beautiful header image I am using is one @danlev used in this journal announcing beta testing for Eclipse. You can find this journal here, and I urge you: if you have access to Eclipse I am sure you'll have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it. But instead of ranting in random places, please use the feedback forms provided in @danlev's journal to send this to DA staff and the Eclipse Developing Team. If you do not use these forms, your thoughts will not end up with the right people. I'm all for writing journals and status update about Eclipse to share your thoughts with the community, but don't forget to share them with staff also.
I'm also absolutely supportive of you sharing your opinions on Eclipse with me in the comments below. However, I will not tolerate hate or other sorts of nasty crap. Be respectful. I'm human, not a machine. I have feelings too.
I also need you to remember that Eclipse is still in BETA. Beta means it's still in development. It means that several areas and things may not be working properly, or even working at all. It means that certain areas don't even exist yet in Eclipse (such as Forum, Chat and Groups). DA staff is working on this though, just be patient.
So, let's get started... again. I just found out there is no auto-save in Eclipse (yet) like we're used to in sta.sh writer, and my almost-finished-journal-about-Eclipse-written-in-Eclipse was eaten by the bugger.
And so am I!
Ok, off we go. Fasten your seatbelts, enjoy your beverage but most of all: have a safe trip.
I really want to start off with some positive thoughts about Eclipse. I've seen so much negativity surrounding it that I feel this really is necessary. Obviously, there are things I dislike as well. But I'll get to that in a moment.The GoodBigger thumbs
I have been doing some browsing while hunting for art to put in my features lately, and I've been attempting to do so in Eclipse. It takes some getting used to, and some features (such as drag to collect) aren't working (yet), but I have definitely been enjoying the fact that art is now so very front and central on the browse page. The size of the thumbs is most definitely a huge improvement! I am aware this is not the case for all types of art- I am generalising. The Daily Deviation Page
I have checked the Daily Deviations daily for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, they have been shown as teeny tiny little thumbs on the page. Imagine how excited I got when I saw the size of them in Eclipse! They're huge! I think that's absolutely amazeballs, and I think it gives the DDs just a little bit back of that spotlight they deserve so much. Sure, it's no footer, but it's a start, right?! Dark & Light Mode
Dark and light modes have been a growing trend on many big websites these days. Think about Youtube, Twitter... I think it's a great addition to DA. Using dark mode when you just open up your computer in the morning so you don't get blinded by the brightness, or using light mode when you can't see a thing on your screen because the sun is ruining your view. It's a lovely way to customise our viewing experience. However, I have grown attached to the "ugly DA green" over the years. It's always been there, and I will certainly miss it. BUT, when we're all dinosaurs on this site and the new folk only knows Eclipse, we will be the ones who fondly remember the "ugly DA green" and will be able to look back and reminisce on it. Profile
The new profile looks very sleek. Streamlined. Modern! Oh, and did I mention bigger avatars?The header
I looooooove being able to upload this huge-ass-in-your-face header image. It's pretty great that we can no make ourselves (or commission someone!) a beautiful personalised header/banner for our pages. You can do so many things with it, like feature your favourite piece of your own artwork, the custom thing I just mentioned... or just random potatoes. The possibilities are endless.
The BadNo Journal Skins
I grew up with DA journal skins. First we had the "super ugly DA green" standard skins, and over time, people started uploading their own for others to use, people offered them through commissions and so on. I am one of those deviants who has commissioned artists to make me a beautiful journal skin, and yes, I am displeased about the fact that they are going. Not only are journal skins a part of who you are on DA, they are also a very useful tool in quickly identifying which person, group or project the journal originates from. I will very much miss them. In return, we got a header image in our journals. This tool will put the first image in your journal as your header (which you may have seen in my journal if you're reading this on Eclipse), but I am really missing some customisation within. I could be as simple as being able to upload a custom image to your header, without it having to be in the journal. Or perhaps being able to pick which of your featured image you want as a header, and so on. Sure, it's not journal skins, but it would be something. And something is always better than nothing.No Custom Boxes
This has been a painful subject within the community. Custom boxes are incredibly useful if you want to display stuff that cannot be found in any other widget. It can hold content you want to share, which makes them unique to all of us. I have heavily used them over the past years, and like with journal skins, I am very unhappy about the fact that they are going. I don't need all the CSS (which, yes, I miss!), but being able to put information on my profile that I want there is definitely important to me. Categories
I think of all the things listed in the bad sections, categories is my biggest issue. If you have browsed in Eclipse (and hopefully, you found the categories tool too), you may have noticed subcategories have poofed. Vanished. Skedaddled. I have a weekly feature series that I create based on those photography subcategories. I love browsing just one kind of photography. I do not like tags at all. Categories are a mess. And while I understand where the choice came from, it's simply making my browsing-life harder.Dark & Light mode
As great as having a choice between dark and light mode is, it has to be comfortable to the eyes. I have been typing on this journal for a while and the white of the writer is really straining on the eyes. The light mode is too light, while the dark mode simply is too dark. Dark and light modes work amazingly when used in grey tones, because those aren't straining the eyes too much. Right now, I'm getting a headache. Profile
The profile looks sleek, and modern, yes. But it also has a lot of wasted space. It has nice widgets that could be even better with some personalisation options. A good example of that is the "posts" widget, which is displayed below your ID/About widget. Since the day I started creating art features, they have had a very prominent place on my profile. The posts widget simply lists the titles and no details, while at the same time showing polls and status updates. I would love to be able to show one longer journal, like we can do now. Or customise what shows up in that widget. Personally, I just want my journals there. Status and polls don't matter that much. I can find them elsewhere now too. No autosave mode on writer
I lost my previous journal. Need I say more?
Some more good
As a DA Dinosaur, I've seen many changes through the years. Some good, some bad, and some, like Eclipse, take some time to get used to but turn out pretty okay in the end. We've always survived. And even if we don't always agree with all the changes, in the end, we have always embraced them in one way or another. We cannot forget how many amazing humans there are at DA headquarters working their behinds off to provide us with a beautiful place to hang out with our friends and enjoy art. Change isn't easy. It never is. But we'll get through it. We always have, and I don't doubt we will this time.
I would be lying if I said I liked Eclipse from the start. In fact, I was very unhappy. However, I am also that kind of person who doesn't deal well with change. And that's why I am grateful DA staff have given us a chance to ease ourselves into Eclipse. We've been given the opportunity to provide them with valuable insights as to what our DA is and how we use our DA. DA has always been my online home, I have always loved being here. And while I'm going to need some more time to really adjust to all these gigantic changes like most of us, I am not going anywhere, even if I might have said so otherwise in the past.
I'll miss our dinosaur DA... but we cannot stop moving forward.
And with that, I'll have Gordon Ramsay convey the last bit of my thoughts to you.
Have you tried Eclipse? What did you think? How did you experience it? Tell me in the comments!
Edit: I just noticed my formatting on the lists is a bit funny. Bugs for breakfast, anyone?