AO3 News

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2010-11-29 15:34:01 -0500

Welcome to Revision 3403, up from 3295. Since our last set of release notes we've had a bunch of small bugfix releases and added enough extra bits of code to warrant another round-up - we've rounded up the key changes here. These release notes put together for you by new tester mumble - thanks, mumble!

A note on Archive performance

Anyone who has accessed the Archive recently will have noticed that it is very slow. This is due to a combination of different factors - our servers are at more-or-less full capacity (we're getting new ones soon!), some of the changes in our Rails 3 upgrade unexpectedly slowed down code or required some Systems readjustment, and we're experiencing a high level of demand due to holiday challenges including Yuletide.

If you repeatedly receive a 502 error on the same page, but other pages on the Archive seem to be loading fast(ish), it's possible that your browser has cached the error page. Try clearing your browser cache if this is happening to you. (However, unfortunately quite a lot of the 502 errors are real ones.)

We know it's super-frustrating for everyone when the site is slow, and our coders and Systems team are working like crazy (seriously, eighteen-hour days in some cases) to make performance improvements. Please bear with us - we're doing our best!


"Share" a work

This was already introduced in the last big release, but got lost in the barrage of new features and fixes. Works now come with a "Share" button above the header, which enables you to quickly paste all relevant information about the fic (title, author, fandom, pairings, word count etc. etc.) into a Livejournal post or similar, to either link to your own work or to a story you want to recommend. The same button can be found on all works you've added to your AO3 bookmarks. No more fiddly copy-pasting or formatting, it's already been done for you!

Challenge improvements

Yuletide proved to be a good test case for creating a challenge with several thousand users and fandoms. Most of the major problems could be solved during the sign-up phase, other bits and pieces are still being worked on. The sign-up form was streamlined to lessen the load on our servers, and the summary page (for an overview of offered and requested fandoms) was rewritten to deal with a large number of sign-ups and an equally large number of people continuously hitting refresh in excitement. Several smaller issues regarding secrecy and fandom stats were fixed as well. This release also added a "See Open Challenges" button to the collections page, which lets you do just that. The list is based on the "Signup open?" ticky box under Challenge Settings, which a moderator has to check or uncheck manually, so if they forget to do this, the challenge might show up even if the dates say it's closed. You can see the current list here.

Spam protection on the Support form

We were getting hit with spam through the Support form, so we installed Akismet to weed out the p3n1s-related messages. This shouldn't affect regular support requests and feedback, but if you run into any problems, please let us know in the comments to this post.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page.

Release details


  • Option to share a work through preformatted header information for easy copy-pasting (since 0.8.2)
  • List of all challenges which are currently open
  • More improvements to automated tests
  • Made the HTML parser behave more consistently
    • the <del> tag works now
    • <br /> tags will be added to all linebreaks, so if you've pasted a work from an email message or similiar, you'll have to strip out any unwanted carriage returns first
    • Formatting tags such as <em> or <strong> that span across several paragraphs will be closed by the parser at the end of one paragraph and re-opened in the next
    • Fixed an issue with <hr /> tags (which should go on their own line with no surrounding text to allow the parser to do its thing)
  • Added an email link to assignments that only the challenge owner can see

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a tag wrangling bug regarding the introduction of new fandoms
  • Fixed an issue with auto-complete in the fandom field when posting a work
  • Fixed several issues regarding collections and challenges
    • You can now post works to a collection before fulfilling your main assignment
    • If you've posted a work to a secret exchange, this work's fandom won't show up on your user page before reveal
    • If a challenge has more than x sign-ups, the summary page will only be generated hourly to make it less of a resource hog (currently x = 20)
  • Added an error message when auto-complete can't find characters or relationships for the fandom you entered (or when you forgot to enter a fandom)
  • Fixed a bug where the Rich Text Editor wouldn't work after preview
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn't dedicate more than one gift to the same user
  • Unbroke the tag clouds (which now actually show the most popular and some random tags, respectively)
  • Fixed a bug that would delete characters from titles in epub and mobi files