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2011-10-02 21:02:51 -0400

Welcome to Release 0.8.8! Many thanks to everyone who helped with this release: Bingeling, Elz, Enigel, Erda, Jenny, Karen, Laura, Lucy, Mumble, Naomi, Rebecca, Sidra, Tel, and Velocitygrass contributed code, which was tested by our awesome testing team: Jenn, Kylie, Seph, Tai, Weimar, xparrotx and Zebra. This release required extra attentive testing because we were making site-wide changes to all of our Javascript code - we did our best to review everything across a variety of browsers and operating systems, but let us know if you spot any problems.



A few days ago, we gave a run-down of some of the challenges we've been facing with performance on the site. The coding team and the systems committee have been brainstorming ways that we can make things better, and we've started by moving some our most read- and write-heavy operations off our main MySQL database and to a system called redis, which allows for very fast reads and writes as it stores information in memory. Additionally, you may have noticed that we were up and down a bit this weekend - we were moving things around and also doing some tuning of our main database. Right now, the database is the primary bottleneck for our system and the reason you may run into 502 errors, so we're hoping that all of this work pays off in greater stability and fewer errors for users. Apologies to those of you who got stranded in the middle of multi-chapter works! As fellow fans, we understand exactly how inconvenient that is. And special thanks and ALL the cake to Sidra and james_ from Systems, who did great work getting everything back in order!

Javascript changes

When we started coding the archive, a Javascript library called Prototype was the standard for Ruby on Rails, and Rails had a lot of built-in helpers that utilized it. Over time, Rails has become more flexible about allowing you to switch libraries (and has even switched defaults itself), and we've been interested in making the jump to jQuery ourselves for a while now. Enigel from our coding team finally finished the epic work of migrating everything over! This was a big undertaking, but it's also a big help to us going forward, in terms of volunteer skills and available resources. And if you're a jQuery wizard who'd like to help out, there's never been a better time to volunteer! (hint, hint)

Filtering improvements

One thing that's been requested a lot is the ability to only view completed works when you're searching and browsing, and we've finally enabled that. (It may take a little time for our search index to catch up with it, since that takes a good bit of time to finish running.) It's also now possible to filter by language more easily, and to sort works by the date they were first added to the site. We'll be continuing to improve our browsing interface in the next few months, but we hope the new features will help you find what you're looking for!

New icon color for Teen-rated works

In response to user feedback, we changed the color of the Teen rating icon so that it's no longer the same as Mature; if you're browsing on a phone or a small screen, the letters can be a little tricky to make out. If you're not a fan of the new color, we have a site skin that you can use to restore the original orange icon.

No more 500 errors on downloads

One of our most pernicious bugs has been the error that you get if you happen to be the first person to download a work in a particular format. We believe we've resolved the problem there! It's a tricky one, so please do let us know if you run into any similar errors.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page.

Release Details


  • Switched to jQuery from Prototype for all Javascript-related functionality
  • Searching and filtering by WIP/Complete
  • Seaching and filtering by language
  • Sort by Date Updated/Date Added
  • New icon color for Teen-rated works
  • Optimized the History feature that keeps track of all the works you've viewed and allows you to mark works to read later

Bug fixes

  • Admin:
    • the interface to update the Known Issues was broken and has now been fixed
    • improvements to the Admin banner feature, for users with and without Javascript
  • Accounts:
    • there was a loophole where you could join the invite request queue even when it was temporarily turned off, this has been fixed
    • changed the error message wording for problems when activating a new account
    • added a link back to "Edit My Profile" from the "Change Password" and "Change Email" pages
  • Works:
    • trying to download a work for the first time would throw up a 500 error while the file was being generated in the background, this has now been fixed
    • trying to approve a related work from the link in the notification email would sometimes give an error 500, this has been fixed
    • you can now assign a language to an external work, especially helpful when you're posting a translation of said work
  • Collections & Challenges:
    • tweaked the listing of Open Challenges: a gift exchange will appear if the "Signup open?" box is ticked and it falls between the "Signup opens:" and "Signup closes:" times given by the owner; prompt memes will show up in either case
    • added options for owners and moderators of a challenge to delete prompts and edit challenge signups if necessary
    • the option for Challenge owners to download signup data has been adjusted to produce .csv files (although these are tab-separated rather than comma-separated) instead of potentially broken .xls files. (Please note that you might have to tell your spreadsheet program that this is a tab-separated file before viewing.)
    • changed wording on settings button from "Submit" to "Update"
    • there was a bug that would cause bookmarks of unrevealed works to disclose information, this has now been fixed: bookmarks will default to the "Mystery Work" blurb if the work hasn't been revealed yet
    • the "Add to Collection" button was broken and has now been fixed
    • when creating a challenge and selecting Gift Exchange from the dropdown, this selection would not be retained if you ran into an error (e.g. because of missing information) and had to submit the form again, this has been fixed
    • the page title on static work pages now reflects the title, fandom, and author of the work
  • Prompt Memes:
    • fixed the issue with autocomplete not working beyond the first prompt form in a signup
    • fixed capitalisation in prompt meme signup wording
    • when editing a prompt meme signup, you will see a list of jump links at the top of the page to quickly get to the prompt you want to edit (especially helpful if your signup consists of twenty prompts); you will now find a brief summary of your tags beside each prompt and a helpful button if you just want to add another prompt
    • the link to the list of prompts is now visible in the navigation for logged-out users as well; the list of claims is still only accessible for logged-in users
    • added pagination links for long prompt lists
    • tags in the prompt overview are now a comma-separated list instead of one-per-line
    • added a link to the prompt overview to edit a single prompt without having to open the whole signup
    • when signing up for a prompt meme, you can pick one of your pseuds to sign up with under "General Information"; there was a bug where this section would show up even if you only had one pseud, this has been fixed
    • when creating a challenge, there's a section referring to assignment notifications; this has been reworded to only apply to gift exchanges and not prompt memes
    • improved caching of information in prompts and signup overviews
  • Comments:
    • the character counter now works when posting and editing a comment
    • the link to leave a comment from within a downloaded work or a static page in a collection was broken and has now been fixed
  • Tag Wrangling:
    • there was a rather thorny issue with tag relationships and filters (for example, when a tag's "synonym of" relationship was changed, it wouldn't always show up in filtered work lists for the new tag), this has been fixed
    • fixed a bug that prevented the autocomplete help from popping up in Meta Tag fields
  • Misc.
    • some unused code has been tidied up to speed up URL routing
    • fixed the issue where only the first frame of an animated icon would display
    • removed obsolete "Limited CSS properties" text from the skins form and fixed a dangling sentence fragment in the help box
    • in the post new/edit work form, the text box to create a new series was misaligned in IE7, this has been fixed

Thanks to mumble for compiling the list of fixes and new features and to Lucy who normally writes up our release notes but is currently off celebrating her birthday! --Elz