Library Project / Among the Stars

Mr. Xeno Lovegood is hunting for new writers for The Quibbler, and he is quite sure he can find them in HOL.

He asks you to write about "The Battle of Hogwarts", because there are so many weird stories around and he wants the truth, no matter from which side it comes from.

If you need more info, and the chance to be part of The Quibbler's staff, click here.

Class Applications - FALL 2008 - NOW OPEN

For those of you who were eagerly awaiting the news....

CLASS APPLICATIONS are now OPEN! They will be open for at least THREE weeks. I will update this post when we have a firm end date in mind.

You will find the application under the drop down menu for "Main Areas" to your right.

When considering whether or not you will apply to be a Professor or Student Teacher, you need to keep a few things in mind.

1) You must be 17 or older to be a full-fledged professor. Student Teachers can be a bit younger.

2) We ask that you have your website up and running (and active!) with links to at least two lessons.

3) The MAXIMUM points you may give is 30 points per submission.

4) Plagiarism is absolutely NOT allowed within HOL. Do NOT copy your lessons directly from another source--and, credit any sources you do use.

5) Professors may gain points, BUT they do not go toward the multiplier! Student Teachers may gain points like regular students.

6) We will be LIMITING the amount of Student Teachers we accept this year!!!!

Consider carefully whether or not you want to be a full fledged Professor or a Student Teacher. BOTH Professors and ST's are required to sign the Prof/ST FAQ each term and are required to adhere to the rules and expected behavior of a member of HOL. In other words, we all have to behave!

Current Professors and Student Teachers need to check the Staffroom and Student Teacher Lounge for info on re-applying for their classes.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, please send a HOL Message to the Head Office.

More information can be found in the post in the Announcements Section of the HOL Forum.

Thank you!

The Head Office

IE 6 Issues

I've got several reports today about rendering bugs in Internet Explorer 6.

List of Bugs

Internet Explorer 6 is an old browser version (designed in 2000-2001 and released in October 2001) and a very buggy browser that no longer is maintained even by Microsoft. There are more than 100 known rendering bugs in IE6, and to make a modern layout work in this thing you have to hack a zillion fixes. IE7 is much better, although it still has too many bugs.

I am adding fixes for IE7 all the time and the site should work fine there, it is hard for me to hack fixes for IE6 as I don't even have that browser installed anymore. If you want to upgrade to IE7 or - much better - just use Firefox like the majority in HOL fortunately does, then you get a much better HOL experience. Sorry for this but I don't know when I can add fixes for outdated browsers.

But things are not looking that bleak. Firefox 2 is the most used browser on HOL (40%), followed by IE7 with 39%. In case you did not know, tomorrow is the big release day for Firefox 3 and I can strongly recommend to upgrade immediately as it is noticable faster than the current version and naturally beats the Microsoft thing in just about everything.

So maybe those 13.5% of you who still use Firefox 1 and especially the seven year old IE 6 want to upgrade their most important internet tool now. It takes just a few minutes after all.

Logs and Frogs

If you got multiple logs telling you that you have been added to the N.E.W.T. class, then this was because some old code hidden in the dungeons of HOL was throwing you out again (this is the first year we have N.E.W.T.'s). That's been fixed now as I poked the troll with my wand :)

And I have some free Chocolate Frogs, message me today or tomorrow if you want one, hehe.

HOL 4.0 Launched

In case you haven't noticed, the layout has changed :D

But not just the layout, there are many things that are new (and many more things we plan to add over the summer).

If you find some bugs, please send me a HOL Message (in your menu on the right under "My Messages"). I really prefer if you message me for all things HOL that way and not by email, forum pm or whatever else you think is just convenient at the moment. I have a hard time finding all these things and replying to them on time - so if all things HOL are together in the HOL Messages I am in heaven!

I know that the new site is hard to read on your smartphone or blackberry, so I am planning to add a mobile style for handheld devices at some point. But that is not top priority at the moment as it is a lot of work and not of the fun kind (adding Chocolate Frogs is more fun!)

Hope you like the new layout.


All students who are qualified to take their Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests this year should have received a log entry now. If you think you are qualified and haven't received such a note, please send a message to the headmaster.

You need to be a Seventh Year student and you must have the required O.W.L.'s for taking the test.

The Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests should be available by June 16.

House Multiplier

Something has been fishy about the house multipliers for a while and I have finally figured out what's wrong. Basically the same problem as with the HOL Pets not updating... the HOL server somehow got rid of the daily cron job that updates active and passive students.

Well that has been fixed now and the multipliers have slightly changed:

Gryffindor: from 0.68 to 0.76
Hufflepuff: from 1.75 to 1.53
Ravenclaw: from 0.73 to 0.71
Slytherin: from 1.75 to 1.59

To avoid that something like that happens again, I've set up an Active Students List (accessible for Prefects, Head Students and Professors) in the Staff Room. The list shows all currently active students of the four houses, today's active/passive cut date and when they earned their last house points.

HOL 4.0 Preview

It is 90% done and should go live in the next few days.

No need to keep it hidden anymore - you will also see the HOL Messages from one of my earlier posts, sorry bout that. If you find some bugs please send me a HOL Message (don't email, pm or whatever). Also if you have some great ideas about which features could be added.

Please don't forget that it is just 90% done. Not working at the time of this post is bulk house points submission, and I will also add full transparency for the house multiplier - so everyone can see who is currently active for their house.

Use Firefox!

I've just spent HOURS fixing several stupid bugs evil Internet Explorer has with HOL 4.0!

Please use Firefox if you can, it is still the much better browser and you keep me from losing the rest of my sanity.

This translates as: if you find some more Internet Explorer bugs leave a comment here or send me a HOL Message.

HOL Messages

While I am working on finishing HOL 4.0 one major new feature is already fully functional.

You can now send internal HOL Messages to any HOL-ID. If you have new messages you will be notified on the main page.

This feature will solve several problems at once: for anything HOL related you do not need to check multiple locations anymore: Forum PM, email, and the like. Every HOL member can be reached no matter if their email address is outdated or not checked. You can always see if the HOL Message you've sent has been received and read.

Also, depending on your user level and position in HOL, you can send Group Messages now. For example, Heads of House (and deputies) can group message all their house prefects, class professors all their students and the Headoffice all professors. More group options can be added on request (like all house newbies or even prefect groups if they are not organized randomly).

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