Release notes for release 0.8.14

Published: 2012-06-03 12:43:54 -0400

Welcome to Release 0.8.14. Ariana, Elz, Enigel, Lal, mumble, Naomi, Sam J. and Sarken contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: Jenn, Kylie, Melanie, mumble, Sparkling Snowfall, Xparrot and Zebra. A special welcome to our new coders Andreja, Ariana and Lal, who already contributed their first bug fixes for this deploy and the next! \o/

Right on the heels of our April deploy come the changes to our notification emails and the stats feature that we had previously announced. We welcome feedback on both! You can comment here, on the announcement or, for those more comfortable with code branches and spec drafts, our Github wiki.

We also spent some time going through our bug tracker with a fine comb and flagging several older issues that had been lingering for a few months or years. Some of those had been magically fixed somewhere along the way, some weren't relevant to our current code base anymore, some simply needed a confirmation that the fix worked as well on the actual Archive as it did in our test environment. Consequently, 53 additional issues could be closed in this deploy cycle.

In our next deploy, we're hoping to introduce some major improvements to our search and browse system. These improvements should help us address some of the performance problems we've been experiencing recently. We'll be testing everything carefully to ensure that we don't make the Archive blow up, but if it all works out, that will be coming your way within the next month. We'll have a preview for you before it's released, so stay tuned for more news!

Highlights!

Stats page!

This deploy sees the launch of the first version of our user stats page! Senior coder Naomi incorporated several popular feature requests into this information-rich overview, and added a few more features based on the feedback you gave us when we posted a preview of the stats page. You can see your total number of subscribers, kudos, and hits as well as your total word count, and a list of your works sorted by hits, kudos, bookmarks, or comments. On top of that, all this information can also be broken down by year!

Please note that this feature is still in progress, and improvements and bug fixes are in the works. Due to the way subscriptions are currently handled, it's difficult to differentiate between subscriptions to a work and to the series this work is part of. Consequently, series subscriptions are not being counted right now. Please stay tuned for updates!

A note about referrer information: The next version of the stats page will include a short list of recent referrers for each work. If you're unsettled by the idea that an author can see that you linked to their work, for example in a Tumblr or Dreamwidth post, you can use a go-between like anonym.to to link to works on the Archive. The content of locked or filtered posts will obviously not be accessible even if the link to it is listed! Furthermore, the mere fact that you linked to a work in the past will not make your post show up in the referrers. Someone has to click on that link as well.

Batch emails!

We know that many of our users liked to receive kudos notifications in real time, as a little nibble of joy throughout the day or week. However, the sheer number of emails going out every minute was bringing our server to its knees, so we had to drastically cut down on our email traffic. :-(

As a result, kudos notifications will go out only once a day, and subscription emails (new works by an author, new chapters in a WIP, or new parts in a series) will be batched and sent out hourly. This will relieve the pressure on our servers and help ensure emails arrive in a timely fashion. We're open to feedback on this process, and are hoping that the stats page will at least partly make up for the change!

Tools for Open Doors staff!

Open Doors gets an arsenal of new tools to make the importing process smoother, such as the ability to resend notification emails for unclaimed authors, for users that accidentally deleted it the first time, or no longer have access to the email address registered with the imported archive. (Previously, manually transferring works to current AO3 users generated a co-author notice which in turn generated confusion; for new users, invitations to the Archive needed to be sent separately.)

The Open Doors committee will also be able to change the redirect URL for works on the imported archive's original site, which is handy for users who have accidentally deleted the imported copy of their works or want to redirect readers to an existing copy of the work on AO3. (This is an interim fix until the merge tool is developed, which will allow authors to pick one version of the work to keep, and combine hit counts and reviews of both works.)

Note: If this is something you want Open Doors to arrange for your Smallville Slash Archive imports, please use this contact form to get in touch. Make sure to include your AO3 username as well as links to your work(s), both here and on the original archive. Open Doors staff will take care of it!

Last but not least, Open Doors will also be able to quickly look up what works have been imported under a particular email address, and block works associated with a particular email address from ever being imported, at an author's request.

Known Issues

We're currently experiencing some significant performance problems. We're working on the issue - now that we have deployed the code from this release we're able to start testing the big changes to search and browse, which should help a lot. You can read more about the performance problems and what we're doing to fix them at our post on AO3 performance woes

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Note: This page recently underwent a thorough update, as well as a restructuring of the available information for better scanning. We have added workarounds where possible and will keep adding information as it becomes available.

Release Details

Features

  • Stats page
  • Email batching
  • Mass Import improvements

Bug fixes

  • Importing
    • The code to manage redirects from imported collections to works on the Archive was optimized to better handle valid and invalid URLs
    • Tweaked the wording of emails sent out to authors whose works were imported by an archive mod, it's now clearer that initially restricted (members-only) works can be unlocked by the author or archivist
    • Trying to import a work with one or more chapters longer than our limit (500,000 characters in a chapter) caused imports to just fail - as a stopgap, the imported work is truncated and a warning message is added at the end
    • Some invitations to claim imported stories were not being delivered properly; these should now go out without a hitch
    • Stories by two co-authors should now import correctly: both authors should receive an AO3 invitation and be able to claim the story as theirs independently from each other
  • Works & Chapters & Comments
    • On multi-chaptered works, the word count would include unposted draft chapters; this has been fixed to only count posted chapters
    • When previewing a new chapter, then going back to edit and post the chapter, the chapter would get stuck as a draft; this has been fixed
    • We've received some user reports about whole works being accidentally deleted instead of single chapters; we have now renamed the "Delete" button on work pages (which also appears when viewing a single chapter) to "Delete Work" to avoid confusion
    • The character counter for comments wasn't working when editing a pre-existing comment; this has been fixed for all form fields, including the text box for challenge instructions (where the counter wasn't working to begin with)
    • The links in comment notifications (to reply, to see the whole thread, etc.) were broken in various ways, this should be fixed now
  • Skins & Cosmetics
    • On user pages, the link to the profile was in an easily overlooked position below the user name, it has now been moved to the sidebar navigation
    • One Point Faux skin: on user dashboards, the list of top five fandoms wouldn't show up in some browsers; this has been fixed
    • One Point Faux skin: on user dashboards, the text on the Bookmark button was greyed out to discourage clicking until implementation of this feature
    • One Point Faux skin: in the header, a | symbol was appended to the "Hi, example!" greeting, this has been taken care of
    • Reversi skin: on the Manage Chapters page, the chapter titles were white-on-white and thus unreadable; this has been fixed
    • When adding several works as an inspiration (e.g. for a remix or fanart), the list of "current parent works" was misaligned; this has been fixed (the same fix applies to a similar issue with works in more than one series)
    • On prompt meme dashboards, the "Manage Items" option would show up twice for maintainers; the unnecessary duplicate has been removed now
    • Updated the help text for searches by Date on the Advanced Search form to go with a recent bug fix
    • Renamed the "Full text:" label to "Any field:" (everything else on the form plus summaries and notes), as full work searches were disabled for performance reasons a while ago
    • Changed the wording of the "only available to registered users of the Archive" message (displayed to guests without accounts) to encompass all restricted works, not just stories
    • On the Preferences page, the text on the help pop-up explaining the "Hide the share buttons on my work." option was adjusted to match the wording of the preference
  • Error Extravaganza
    • When trying to download a .pdf version of a work that hadn't been generated (yet), users would get an error 500 instead of seeing a helpful error message; this has been fixed
    • There was an issue with an old reference to Javascript code that would cause errors 500 when trying to access the tags index; this has been resolved
    • Subscriptions as well associations between a work and its author weren't properly removed from the database when a work was deleted - resulting, for example, in errors 500 when trying to manage subscriptions; this has been fixed
    • Trying to access the bookmarks index for a nonexistent (e.g. misspelled) user or tag, or dashboard pages for a nonexistent pseud or Collection would throw up an error 500; it now gives the proper error message
  • Misc.
    • The login link in the header was unreachable in keyboard tab navigation, making it inaccessible for users of screen reader software; we apologize for this and will take even greater care about keyboard accessibility in future releases
    • The directory for work downloads (such as .epub and .mobi files) was organized by author only, resulting in a gigantic list of folders and potentially slowing down performance in the future; subdirectories have been added now
    • On the Abuse Report form, the "link to the page you are reporting" field didn't recognize https:// URLs as proper Archive links; the validator now allows those as well
    • Tidied up a small bit of code for gift exchanges and prompt memes
    • Added a note about recommended measurements (100x100px) to the icon upload form for user profiles