Welcome to Release 0.9.12! Cecilia, Elz, Emily E., Enigel, James_, Karangunii, Sarken, Scott, Stephanie, and tuff_ghost, contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: Camilla, Enigel, JanOda, Lady Oscar, MilenaDaniels, mumble, Runt, Sarken, and Sumeria.
This is our last deploy of this year, and we sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this or previous releases, in whatever small or big ways. Every line of code, every minute of testing, every supportive cheer helps this project prosper.
A look back at growth stats for this year will be posted in January, for all fans of hard data and color-coded charts. The Accessibility, Design & Technology team will take a short break over the holidays, but will stand by for any emergencies. We have big plans for 2014 and will share any news with you as we start new adventures. See you next year!
Backend improvements and server work
We've had an interesting couple of months, with growing traffic and increased server load, eventually leading to a collapse of our search index. You can find details about this in our updated news post, Site slowness and other currently known issues. We've been doing a lot of server maintenance in the past few weeks to tweak things, correct some settings, and generally make sure that the site will be running more smoothly. A million thanks to our all-volunteer Systems team, and especially sysadmin James_, for all their hard work! ♥
One issue we've consistently run into is with the code that refreshes the search index for works and bookmarks. This happens, for example, when a tag is edited by our wrangling team to reflect a new tag relationship or a new character name. Since we have a lot of works and bookmarks, updating the index to reflect all changes was taking a lot of time. More often than not, one re-index run wasn't even done when a new one was started.
This deploy includes a code change in how we handle these re-indexing tasks. They are now run by a tool called Resque, which we already use for many other tasks on the site that involve a queue (e.g. all subscription notifications going out at a certain time). This change allows us to monitor the re-indexing process and throw more power at it if necessary.
We are hopeful that this change will alleviate some of our problems during the traffic-heavy holidays, but we will also continue to look into further improvements both in our code as well as our server settings.
See our Known Issues page for current issues.
- Works & Bookmarks
- Work and bookmark re-indexing is now being queued and run in the background using Resque, making it more robust and less of a strain on the servers.
- Backdating wasn't working correctly when posting a work without previewing first. This has now been fixed.
- Unposted drafts (created when previewing) had no revision date, causing errors in several places on the Archive, such as item management pages for collections. We fixed this recently, and are making the fix permanent now.
- The "Works (#)" button on user dashboards (below the five most recent works) had accidentally vanished in a previous deploy. We have now restored it and also added "Works (#)" and "Bookmarks (#)" buttons to collection dashboards for consistency.
- The "↑ Top" button on a work page was forcing a full page refresh; it now just jumps you back to the top of the work as intended.
- The gifts page now displays gifts a user has received in order from most recent to oldest.
- Searches with slashes in them (i.e. all relationship tags) were giving Error 500 after a recent Elasticsearch update. We fixed this problem shortly after being alerted to it; this deploy makes the fix permanent.
- PDF and MOBI downloads were broken; we quickly fixed them after the last deploy and are making the fix permanent in this one.
- Trying to download a MOBI file directly from a Kindle device would frequently lead to errors; we have changed the MIME type of our MOBI files so the Kindle browser can handle it correctly. (Due to another issue, multi-chapter works may need to be downloaded twice to get a functioning file.)
- Tag Wrangling
- If a tag wrangler ticked the "Turn off emails about comments" option in their account preferences, they would also no longer receive comment notifications from tag discussions. They will now always receive such comments.
- Updating an unsorted tag from a page other than the first would redirect you back to page 1; this no longer happens.
- There was a small display issue with autocomplete fields on tag editing pages; this is now fixed.
- The account creation page advised newly signed-up users to contact Support if the activation email hadn't arrived within two hours. We adjusted the time to 24 hours to account for clogged mail queues or issues with some email providers, which are delaying email delivery.
- Our maintenance page (sometimes used for downtime during a deploy) was promising new features after the downtime; this wasn't always true, so we removed the line.
- On our Invite Requests page, we were only displaying the number of people already in the queue. We have added the number of invites we automatically send out every day, which currently makes for a wait time of 24 hours or less.
- On our Public Skins page, the skin descriptions were frequently one unbroken line, forcing sideways scrolling. In user inboxes, comments containing long unbroken words were also breaking the page. We have now added a fix that forces linebreaks. (In some browsers the lines won't be wrapped in the inbox; in that case a scrollbar at the bottom of the comment list should make it possible to read anyway.)