We SHALL go to the ball - new code on the AO3 tonight

Published: 2011-11-11 13:37:08 -0500

The day is finally here - after much hard work from our coders and testers, we are ready to roll out our exciting new code on the Archive of Our Own! We will be deploying shortly, and the AO3 will go down for a while while we do so. When we come back, there will be some big changes which you need to know about:

New site scheme

Front-end coder lim, working with back-end coder Naomi, has reworked our site HTML and CSS to make it more accessible, more functional, and all-round nicer. So, you'll see some visual changes across the site (and if you're using assistive technology or special browser settings you should find it behaves better - if not, please tell us). Don't be alarmed if things don't look how you're used to!

New skins

The new CSS has allowed us to massively overhaul our skins functionality to make it way more flexible - check out our post about the new skins for a bit more background. This will allow for a lot more cool site mods in the future! The unfortunate side-effect is that old skins will break. To make the transition smoother, we'll be doing the following:

  • Disabling all old skins and setting all accounts to use the Archive default, so that noone gets stuck on a broken skin.
  • Loading up a whole bunch of new skins, including new versions based on the most popular public skins in use at the moment. So, many of you will be able to switch immediately to a new skin which replicates the one you were using before. We'll post a list of the new skins right after the deploy.
  • Holding an open house for skins support in the next week or so (time tba).

We'll be posting more docs and help over the coming hours and days! There may be the odd bit of unexpected behaviour along the way (with skins especially, the diversity of user-created skins means we can't prepare for every possible scenario) but we think the new functionality will give you much much more awesome! Cinderella is getting her ballgown on and the good news is that for the shiny new skins, midnight will never come!

We'll tweet to AO3_status when we start the deploy, so you'll have a heads-up before the site goes down. Download your long works now to tide you over while our fairy deploymother is working her magic!