AO3 News

Call for Feedback on Category Change Proposal

Published: 2013-09-18 12:55:38 -0400

The Category Change Workgroup is excited to share its proposal changing the way fandoms are categorised on the Archive, and we are looking for your feedback!

Our goal is to change the current fandom categories into something that balances complex, sometimes competing, factors such as diverse fannish traditions, user behavior (current and potential), and ease of browsing. You can read about the concerns that brought the workgroup into existence and some more information on the workgroup in our introductory post.

Right now fandoms on the archive are sorted into media categories - Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery can be found under Books & Literature for example, and fandoms that fall under multiple categories are listed under multiple categories.

Under the proposed system, media categories are one of three attributes that fandoms will be sorted by and browsable under. The other two attributes are country of origin and source language. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery would have the attributes Canada and English. Like with the current media categories, fandoms will be able to have more than one country or language. The guidelines for how the country and language attributes are assigned to fandoms will be made by the Tag Wrangling Committee.

The proposed media categories have subcategories. Fandoms can belong to multiple categories and subcategories. Fandoms may also belong to a category but none of its subcategories. That subset of fandoms that belong to a specific category but none of its subcategories will be viewable.

The proposed media categories and subcategories have been named with the idea of that name being easily understandable to different people.

Proposed Media categories and Submedia categories

Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art

* Anime & Manga
* Bande Dessinée
* DC
* Films
* Manhwa
* Marvel
* Webcomics & Webseries

 

Audio & Music

* Albums & Songs
* Audio Plays & Spoken Word

 

Books, Literature & Lore

* Myth, Folktales & Religion
* Novels, Novellas & Short Stories
* Poetry

 

Games

* Board Games
* Tabletop Roleplaying Games
* Video Games
* Visual Novels

 

Live Action Films, TV Shows & Other Productions

* Films
* TV Shows
* Webseries

 

Performing Arts

* Ballet & Dance
* Theater & Musicals

 

Real Person Fiction

* Actors
* Bands & Musicians
* Political & Historical
* Sports

 

Other Media

* Paintings, Sculptures & Related Art Forms

So, Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery would belong to the media category Books, Literature & Lore and the subcategory Novels, Novellas & Short Stories. It will be findable under those media categories as well as its language and country attributes. Users will be able to browse fandoms by combining these attributes to find, for example, Books, Literature & Lore fandoms that have Canada as a country of origin. Users will also be able to search for a fandom by typing its name into a search box on the main fandoms page that will replace the current media page.

Each fandom on the archive will have a landing page that will include a list of its attibutes (media, country, language), a link to its page on Fanlore (if the page exists), and a link to its works and bookmarks on the archive.

Layout Changes

Mock-ups have been created to illustrate how finding a fandom on the archive will work when this new system is implemented. This is not a finalised lay-out of the new page.

Figure 1: The Initial State of the New Fandom Page (Click to enlarge)

There is a small selection of fandoms initially displayed on the page including fandoms that have recently experienced activity, and fandoms that are currently popular on the archive. Above these fandoms is a search box labelled "Search for a fandom" as well as three tabs labelled "Media Type", "Language of source", and "Country of source".

Figure 2: Media Category Dropdown (Click to enlarge)

When the "Media Type" tab is selected, the small selection of fandoms originally listed is replaced. In their spot all of the media categories are listed and submedia categories are displayed as buttons beneath their respective categories. Alongside each media category's subcategories are the buttons "All" and "No Submedia". The number of fandoms belonging to each subcategory is displayed in brackets on that subcategory's button. Beneath "Performing Arts" one finds "All (1287), No Submedia (71), Ballet & Dance (412), Theater & Musicals (23)". (The numbers used in this mock-up are not accurate.)

Figure 3: Submedia Display Page (Click to enlarge)

When a specific submedia is selected, a small selection of fandoms in that submedia category is displayed - fandoms with recent activity and fandoms that are currently popular on the archive. On the header for the submedia, the option "show all [count] fandoms" is displayed.

So, for example, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) is a fandom that would belong to the Films submedia category of Live Action Films, TV Shows & Other Productions as well as the Films submedia category of Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art. El Eternauta will belong to Animation, Comics, Manga & Other Sequential Art but none of its subcategories.

Please tell us!

There is a Category Change FAQ that has been prepared for this announcement and may answer some basic questions that you may have.

Two subsets of fandoms not yet categorised in the proposed new system are WWE-type Wrestling and Anthropomorphic.

1) Wrestling is under the current fandom categories as Other Media. Are you in Wrestling fandom? Do you think it belongs in Other Media? Real Person Fiction? Performing Arts? Real Person Fiction and Performing Arts? Let us know.

2) Anthropormophic is also currently under Other Media. Do you think it should stay there or does it belong with the proposed Real Person Fiction subcategories under a Real Life category?

Those are two areas that we're particularly interested in feedback on, but we of course welcome feedback on all aspects of the proposal.

The Category Change Workgroup will be reviewing all of the feedback and making (or not making) adjustments to the proposal in response to that feedback. There may or may not be another public review period, depending on how the proposal is altered because of the feedback. Once the Category Change Workgroup has finalised the proposal it will be sent to the Board for approval.

We want your feedback on this proposal. Please leave a comment on this post or contact us through the Category Change contact form.

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Category Change FAQ

Published: 2013-09-18 12:52:41 -0400

This post is connected to a discussion of proposed changes to media categories on the AO3

What are the reasons for the change?

The current "media categories" (http://archiveofourown.org/media) date back to the very beginnings of the Archive. We have grown immensely since then, and the way fandoms on the Archive are organized needs to reflect that. The current division is limiting and unbalanced, with some categories also facing cultural issues. We additionally wanted to make it easy to further adjust the categories as we continue to grow.

Who worked on this proposal?

The Internationalization & Outreach (I&O) committee made the initial proposal to the Board. Once it was approved, a workgroup was formed with staff members from Accessibility, Design & Technology, Tag Wrangling, I&O, and Support, as well as a Tag Wrangling volunteer. These are the committees most involved with the issues of Media Categories on the Archive.

Additionally, the proposal went through several rounds of feedback internally and externally. The gathered input was used to help us in our decisions and make adjustments to the proposal. Any input you have on the current status of the proposal will be considered as well.

Is this the best solution you could find?

No system is perfect, and it will never be possible to please everyone at the same time. The big factors that steered our decisions were:

  • Usability: Does this make it easy for people using the Archive to find specific fandoms, while also allowing for more free-form browsing?
  • Inclusiveness: The categorization shouldn't make some fandoms harder to find than others. The system should be welcoming to currently under-represented fandoms, but shouldn't unfairly punish popular fandoms.
  • Flexibility: It's easy to get side-tracked by philosophical considerations and wanting to find neat little boxes for everything. We instead tried to keep things simple to allow the system to grow more painlessly.
  • Feasibility: There is always a technical aspect to keep in mind. Is it reasonable from a performance and coding effort point of view? Is it sustainable going forward?

Why are some of the category names so long?

The goal was to use familiar names to make fandoms quickly and easily findable. Newly-created or more obscure terms might be able to encompass everything while taking up less space, but we felt it was more important for category names to be clear and recognizable. This has resulted in a certain amount of redundancy (and thus length) when it seemed needed to ensure names that were both obvious and inclusive.

Will the Media categories stay exactly the same going forward?

Probably not. Category names have been changed in the past and the new system will make it easier to do so in the future. Fandom is ever-changing and the Archive is growing, so Categories will have to be adjusted to reflect that. It's not our intention to change them lightly; stability and consistency is important. However, having the ability for change should make it easier to address problematic areas.

What are the guidelines? What's the process for adding a category/submedium, or for changing a name? Who decides in which category/submedium fandoms go?

This will all be Tag Wrangling's purview going forward. The Category Change workgroup will document our suggestions, but after that it's up to them to make the decisions.

Can a fandom be in several categories?

Absolutely! The hierarchy of Media categories and submedia is fixed, but a fandom can appear in as many places as necessary inside that hierarchy. A fandom doesn't have to be placed in a submedium, either, if none apply; it can be located directly inside a top-level Media Category.

What's the point of searching by country/language of source?

This information is not useful or applicable for all fandoms (some sports RPF, for example). However, we wanted to make it easier to find those fandoms where it is useful. This should help address the current invisibility of under-represented traditions like manhwa, manhua, bande dessinée or historieta.

It is important to note that rather than trying to create an exhaustive pre-filled list, countries and languages will be added as needed, based on what fits a fandom, or a group of fandoms, best.

What will the main navigation look like?

There will still be a Fandoms drop-down menu listing the top-level media Categories. Choosing one will take you to the Fandoms page pre-filtered for that Category.

When can I expect this to arrive on the Archive?

It will take some time. This round of feedback will have to be incorporated in our proposal. There is then the possibility of more rounds of changes and feedback, depending on the feedback received here.

Once the proposal is finished, the considerable process of designing, coding and testing the functionality begins! While we can't give you an exact date, we don't expect it to go live any earlier than 2014.

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Release Notes for Release 0.9.9

Published: 2013-09-16 06:25:08 -0400

Welcome to Release 0.9.9! Ariana, ecuoln, Elz, Lal, Naomi, Rebecca, Sarken, and Scott contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: Camilla M, Enigel, Estirose, FishieMishie, hele, James, Lady Oscar, mumble, Reppu, Runt, Sarken.

While we were working on upgrading our Ruby on Rails install, many other fixes and improvements had to bide their time in our "pull request" queue. A pull request is a way to submit code to a software project on Github, where we keep the Archive of Our Own code: A coder "pushes" a fix to Github (where it can be reviewed) and asks for the code to be "pulled" in (so it can be neatly slotted into the appropriate places).

Since we've had many more pull requests (yay!) than we could put in during the last few deploys (boo!), we're now dealing with a considerable backlog (and some dust and cobwebs in the corners).

We're hoping to chip away at the queue in the upcoming releases, while also starting to work on larger design projects we've had to put on hold. Expect many more fixes, and please stay tuned for news about upcoming features.

Highlights!

Tag Set and Challenge Fixes

The festive challenge season has started, with several holiday-themed gift exchanges starting to get ready for nominations, sign-ups, or assignments. We will continue to work to improve these features, and have included a handful of fixes in this release. Some of the more awkward tag set bugs should be taken care of, and many more fixes are yet to come. We are also working on improving our challenge/tag set documentation!

Lifespan of Drafts

This deploy increases the time between the creation of a draft and its automatic deletion to 1 month (from 1 week). We are considering ways to better handle drafts in upcoming updates, but do not have any plans to enable true drafts and document management in the immediate future. Please, please, please don't use Archive drafts as the only place to store your work! Browsers crash, errors happen, and yes, drafts will be deleted. Once deleted, a work cannot be retrieved, no matter how much our Support team would really like to help you. :-(

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Release Details

Bug fixes

  • Admin
    • Site admins could not view works restricted to site members, which has now been fixed.
    • An option in the admin interface said "days" instead of "weeks"; this has now been changed to reflect the actual setting units.
    • A setting in the admin interface could be set to zero; this caused errors and has been fixed.
  • Front End
    • We had some lavender backgrounds hanging around where we wanted grey (e.g. to mark a draft as a draft). All lavender should be gone now.
    • We've changed the Terms of Service link on our sign-up form to open in a new window.
    • Due to a bug, expanding the fandoms list on your own dashboard left you with no way to collapse the list again. That is now fixed.
  • Collections & Tag Sets
    • On fandoms pages in collections, fandoms with articles were breaking the order of the alphabet (e.g. "A League of Their Own" would shuffle the entire L section to the top of the list, where the A section should be); this has been fixed.
    • Tag sets that belonged to a collection did not actually show up on the collection's profile, and were hard to find by other users. This has been taken care of.
    • Non-canonical fandom tags vanish from a tag set when a work using that tag was posted and then deleted; this has been fixed.
    • There were some issues with accented characters in tag sets; these should now be taken care of.
    • Nominated canonical tags wouldn't display properly on the tag set page after approval by a mod; we've addressed the caching issue that caused this, so updates should now appear on the tag set as expected.
    • There were some issues with how associations between tags in a tag set were handled; these have been fixed.
    • Tag nominations with [brackets] in the tag could not be approved or rejected; now they can.
    • When signing up for a gift exchange, tags put into the "Optional Tags" field were not properly saved if there was an error in the signup or if the signup was edited; this has been fixed.
  • Misc.
    • Users could not access the second page of bookmarks if they had filtered bookmarks by a tag containing a slash. Now they can.
    • The lifespan for drafts has been extended to 1 month.
    • We have added helpful explanations to every single option on your Preferences page! Just click the little blue question marks next to the headings.
    • Support have been working with the Translation committee to offer support in various languages; this deploy updates the list of the languages we can offer support in.
    • On the list of fandoms in need of a wrangler, the fandoms could not be filtered by medium and sorted by work count at the same time. Now they can. The menu box was also displaying at the bottom of the page; it's now correctly at the top.
    • Our .epub files were identifying themselves as "application/epub" instead of "application/epub+zip", which caused issues on some devices. This has been fixed.
    • We cleaned up the method we were using to handle error or success messages on cached pages.

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The "Search Within Results" Field and You, Pt. 1

Published: 2013-09-13 20:24:26 -0400

When we brought back the tag filters after their long sleep last year, we tried to keep the interface as uncluttered as possible and focus on frequently used or requested search options. Like the Archive itself, this is a work in progress. There's a lot of scattered documentation about finding stuff to read, look at, watch, or listen to on the Archive: The little blue question marks all over the Archive should provide some pointers, and there's also the Searching and Browsing on the AO3 tutorial for more details.

However, there are some "secret" search options that are already built into the filtering and search code, but aren't necessarily reflected in the interface (because ticky box overkill). Here's an overview of neat things you can put into any of the following places to narrow down (and sort!) your results:

  • the "Search within results" field in the tag filters for works (e.g. for the Pacific Rim tag or in the Dark Agenda collection)
  • the "Any Field" box in the Work Search form
  • the main search box in the header

For Works:

  • words:1000 (works with exactly 1000 words)
  • words>1000 (works with more than 1000 words)
  • words<1000 (works with less than 1000 words)
  • words:1000-5000 (works between 1000 and 5000 words)

(works for: words, hits, kudos, comments, bookmarks)

  • sort:kudos (sort by kudos, default to most kudos first)
  • sort:>kudos (reverse to fewest kudos first)
  • sort:words (sort by words, default to longest works first)
  • sort:>words (reverse to shortest works first)
  • sort:>posted (oldest works first, going by actual posting date)
  • sort:>updated (oldest works first, going by author's publishing date)

(works for: author, title, posted, updated, words, hits, kudos, comments, bookmarks)

  • restricted:true (only restricted works; requires you to be logged in)
  • complete:false (only unfinished works/works in progress)
  • expected_number_of_chapters:1 (only one-shots)
  • -expected_number_of_chapters:1 (only multi-chapter works)

For (Your) Bookmarks:

  • private:false (your public bookmarks only)
  • private:true (your private bookmarks only)
  • rec:false (everything but recs; works for any bookmarks)
  • bookmarkable_complete:true (bookmarks of completed works only)

Search Operators:

These will handle any text matches in the title, summary, notes, and list of tags. Note that there will be some inaccuracies due to the way the code stores information and handles search strings: "Derek/Stiles" will also match a list of tags containing "Derek, Stiles" in that order. (Please stay tuned for Part 2 for a workaround!)

  • kittens
  • "needs hugs"
  • "kink bingo"
  • m/m OR f/f (works tagged either M/M, F/F, or both)
  • explicit OR mature (most of the porn)
  • -death (exludes works with 'death' in the title, summary, notes, or tags)
  • -rape -"dubious consent" -"consent issues"
  • -crossover -fusion -"alternate universe"

Mix and Match:

These were put into the main search box in the header to generate results, but you can also use these tricks in the "Search within results" field to narrow down work lists for a particular tag. Just remember to put everything into one of the three search boxes listed above.

Happy browsing!

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Help the OTW Get New Volunteers Started!

Published: 2013-09-09 13:51:05 -0400

Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Volunteers & Recruiting Staff - 16 September 2013

We also are still looking for additional technical staff

  • Web Developer Staff

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

Volunteers & Recruiting
The OTW is an entirely volunteer-run organization, and Volunteers & Recruiting looks after those volunteers! As the human resources committee, our job is to make sure that everyone has the tools, training and assistance they need to perform their best. If you have strong written communication skills, an interest in or knowledge of personnel and/or project management, Volunteers & Recruiting would like to hear from you!
Applications are due 16 September

Web Developer Staff: Web Developers are responsible for improvements to and maintenance of the primary web properties owned by the Organization for Transformative Works. S/he will participate in an on-call rotation of three Web Developers, implement new website features, and help determine priorities for future development efforts. Applications will be accepted until the role is filled.

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

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The AO3 Mail Bag: Mobile Apps

Published: 2013-09-08 15:41:10 -0400


This is the first in a new series about frequently requested AO3 features. We get lots of feedback about things people would like to see on the site, which we take into account when developing. Sometimes people ask for stuff we already have (but which might be a bit hard to find), and sometimes we're already planning to add the feature, but can't say exactly when. Other times our answer has to be 'no', or at least 'not right now'. Since there are a few things that come up more frequently than others, we thought we'd do a few posts on the most common requests.

Random Letter #1: Have you considered making an app?

One question we get asked a LOT is whether we'll ever have a mobile app for the Archive. (Since the beginning of the year, AO3 Support has received roughly 40 requests for a mobile app, in addition to the numerous posts on Tumblr and Twitter to the same effect.) The AO3 design and coding team knows that this is a super popular idea, and they have lots of ideas about what an app could look like.

However, there is sadly no magic "App This!" button hidden somewhere in the dark recesses of our servers (we looked!), and building an app from scratch takes time and resources. Websites with official apps typically have a dedicated team of developers doing nothing but taking care of the apps (plural, because iPhones/iPads and Android devices are based on completely separate frameworks) while other people focus on the website itself. The AO3 is entirely built and maintained by volunteers, and right now we simply don't have enough developers to do this.

A few people have volunteered to step in and build apps for us, which is cool! However, in order for anyone to build an app that actually lets you log into your account and make use of most features, the AO3 would need a public API first. An API, grossly simplified, provides a set of hooks in an application (which in our case is the Archive), so other websites or apps can interact with its data. Without an API, even the most beautiful app you could build wouldn't be able to access the Archive database in any useful way.

We do plan to release a public API, but again, this will take time and resources to build. Because the AO3 is still in beta and changing a lot (you'll see on our Roadmap that we need to make some major revisions to important bits of the code), it's not really worth spending the time to build an API right now. We first want to be sure it's not going to have to change radically in the near future.

Right now, our main priority is keeping the main site running smoothly, and working on our long list of bugs and feature requests yet to be implemented. The Archive website should already be functional in most mobile browsers, and we make sure it looks good on Android and Apple devices at least.

As a sidenote, even once we have an app, you probably won't be able to carry an offline copy of the Archive with you: our database currently holds 50 GB of data, which would be tricky to get onto a phone. Of course, a dedicated AO3 app would make it easier to mark stuff for later, pick up where you left off, or download and sort works without the need for another app.

Until we can make this happen, there's lots of ebook readers for your phone that let you view .epub or .mobi files while you're offline, and all files come with Archive links so you can leave kudos or comments once you're online again. For more information, please check out our Downloads FAQ!

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August 2013 Newsletter, Volume 72

Published: 2013-09-03 11:16:43 -0400

For more information about the purview of our committees, please see the committee listing on our website.

I. PERSONNEL

August has seen people moving in, out, and around the OTW with new recruitment efforts and chair appointments.

The Web Strategy, Design & Development Committee is actively recruiting for Web Developers. They are also focused on creating a process to support the 2014 Board election and on refreshing a substantial number of outdated pieces of documentation.

Communications is also recruiting for a liaison to committees working on AO3 who will write news posts and do monitoring of AO3 News accounts.

OTW's Board recently appointed hele as the new Translation Committee Chair. The staff will be discussing organization and procedures for the next few months, as well as make sure their internal documentation is up to date. Translation will be contacting committees to set up or restablish liaising relationships as soon as they can do so.

II. LATE SEASON PLANNING

Development & Membership is preparing for the October fund drive. They've also been working on documentation and considering possible revisions to membership renewal reminder e-mails.

Accessibility, Design, & Technology has been working hard on the Rails upgrade, which was successfully deployed last week (see the Release Notes for more information). Many thanks to everyone involved in the coding and testing of this update! They've also been working through a list of topics focusing on organization and documentation before moving on to the next release. So far they've discussed committee structure and procedures, talked about our place in the Open Source community, and started a collection of things that need better documentation.

For a new Archive milestone, AO3 passed 200,000 registered users last week! \o/ The committee contributed stats and figures to a news post about the occasion.

Meanwhile, from July 15 to August 15, Support answered almost 450 user-generated tickets. Systems has been fine-tuning the Archive as issues arrive, setting up accounts for the OTW's new recruits, and working on a more universally usable 32-bit Vagrant distribution of the AO3 for the coders. They're about to start this year's installation of new and upgraded servers!

AO3 Documentation is whittling down our list of FAQs that need to be updated. Once they are finished, work will begin on other external help text, as well as tutorials that need updating. They'll also be checking with AD&T and updating FAQs as new code hits the Archive.

Open Doors has been working on a more comprehensive moderator agreement with much help from Legal, sent a committee role document to Board after feedback from many other committees, and corrected our archived copy of Demeter from a hardcopy of the zine.

Journal is hard at work doing production for the next issue of Transformative Works & Cultures, which is on track to be released September 15. The Journal editors, Karen and Nina, are also working on a fan fiction studies reprint anthology, due out in 2014 from Iowa; the book has gone into layout and they're expecting page proofs shortly. Nina gave a keynote speech at a convention, and work continues apace for the first two issues of 2014, which are guest edited.

III. GOVERNANCE

Board set aside 19 August - 19 September for Project Document All The Things. What this means is that they are taking a month to focus on building, updating, and reviewing some of the documentation for how the Board functions and how it interacts with the rest of the OTW. This includes things like Board position descriptions and training plans, procedures for agenda management and issue tracking, confidentiality and conflict-of-interest policies, and more. OTW staff and volunteers will have an opportunity to review and offer feedback on each document before it is formally adopted by the Board.

Fanhackers has gotten approval from Board to become a separate committee. They will continue working very closely with Journal and look forward to welcoming some new people in the near future. More info to come!

In addition, Legal received Board approval to take part in friend-of-the-court briefing in two lawsuits currently pending in U.S. Federal Courts regarding issues that could have important impacts on aspects of fanwork legality. At present, our participation remains confidential, but stay tuned for more news on those briefs.

Legal had an active month working with Communications, Support, Board, Quality Assurance & Testing, Volunteers & Recruiting, Open Doors, Systems, Development & Membership, Content Policy, and Abuse! They have also responded to a couple of legal queries from fans, and requests from outside the organization to participate in policy-related projects.

Strategic Planning is currently finishing up their report on the Wiki Committee and Fanlore, as well as surveying Support, the Survey Workgroup, and the AO3 Documentation Workgroup.

IV. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

Volunteers & Recruiting finished working on our staff training documents just in time to welcome a new staffer, bookgazing while bidding a sad farewell to co-chair, Curtis.

New Committee Chairs: hele braunstein (Translation)
New Committee Staff: Melannen (Tag Wrangling), dizmo (Tag Wrangling), Lenore (Internationalization & Outreach), bookgazing (Volunteers & Recruiting) 1 other Tag Wrangling staffer, and 3 other Internationalization & Outreach staffers.
New Communications Volunteers: Robyn, caitie, Erin Sullivan, 2 additional
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Firefox

Departing Committee Chairs: Agnieszka Siemienska (Translation), Curtis Jefferson (Communications, Volunteers & Recruiting)
Departing Committee Staff: 1 Translation staffer.
Departing Communications Volunteers: 1 Communications volunteer.

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW blog. Find related news by viewing our tag cloud.

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Release Notes for Release 0.9.8

Published: 2013-08-30 03:27:59 -0400

Welcome to Release 0.9.8, our Big Rails Update of 2013! Ariana, Elz, Enigel, James_, Sarken, and Scott contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: aralias, Ariana, BelleGee, Camilla M., Enigel, Etharei, Eve Forbes, FishieMishie, hele, Jane, Jenny Scott-Thompson, Katy Armstrong, Key Foster, Lady Oscar, Leigh Berry, ljunattainable, matty, mumble, Northern_Star, Reppu, Runt, Sarken, Sumeria, Tai, and vtn.

Highlights!

This release was reserved for upgrading the version of Rails we are using. The Archive is built on the web framework Ruby on Rails, and it's important for us to make sure that we are always using a reasonably up-to-date version - this means that we have the latest security fixes (or can easily grab new security patches as they come out) and that we can take advantages of spiffy new features and plug-ins.

We've updated to Rails 3.2.13, which is the newest release of the version we're on. We're holding off on upgrading to the latest version because this is a BIG change - Rails 3.2. gives us up-to-date security with less potential for oddities. However, we will be upgrading to Rails 4 in the future (by which time lots more people will have made the switch and we'll know the most common gotchas).

This update shouldn't affect any of the visible parts of the site - it's just a change to the underlying code. However, sometimes these changes can have unexpected effects - for example, a form used by our Open Doors staffers suddenly disappeared because the updated Rails framework required a single extra character in our code! To avoid such problems showing up for our users, our trusty testing team (aided by our coders and tag wrangling volunteers) have been hard at work testing ALL THE THINGS and reporting issues to be fixed by our tireless coders. While our ever-growing suite of automated tests has helped a lot with this, it was still a major undertaking and we thank everyone involved!

Because this release involved subtle adjustments to the underlying code, we kept other changes to a minimum (it's useful to be sure we didn't create a problem ourselves). Now that the upgrade is done, we can once again turn our attention to bugfixes and site improvements! Stay tuned for a bugfix frenzy in upcoming releases! As always, if you think you've found a bug, or you have a question about any aspect of the site, our Support team are more than happy to help you out.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

Release Details

Bug fixes

  • The information in chapter headers was being aggressively cached, and would often not update to reflect changes made to authorship or chapter number unless the chapter title was also edited. This has been fixed.
  • If a collection owner had ticked the "Send a message to the collection email when a work is added" option, trying to add a bookmark to the collection would result in an error 500. This has been fixed, and an appropriate email will be sent.
  • Trying to search for a tag set would lead to an error 500. This has been fixed.
  • Trying to load any bookmark page (by user, tag, work, or series) while logged in as an admin would result in an error 500. This has been fixed.
  • Leaving a comment as the creator of an anonymous work would not properly update the comment (e.g. after creator reveals during a gift exchange) and instead keep attributing it to "Anonymous Creator". This has been fixed.
  • The emails sent to authors when a work of theirs was imported from another archive included lingering information from a previous import. They have now been scrubbed clean of specific fandom references.

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