AO3 News

The Accessibility, Design and Technology committee oversees technology-related projects within the OTW. Currently we are responsible for designing and building the Archive of Our Own. Our regular meeting updates keep you informed about developments on the AO3!

It's been noses to the grindstone for AD&T since our last meeting, with staffers working hard on the forthcoming deploy and on their own personal responsibilities (alas for the necessity of working for a living).

Archive downtime and performance issues

We had a period of downtime on the AO3 on September 18th between roughly 1pm-3pm UTC, and another one on September 20th between about 10am-12 noon UTC. The issues originated in two different servers. We weren't able to identify the cause of the first problem, but after that outage our Systems team installed some tools which are helping us identify a solution for the second outage.

The outage on 18th September did cause a few other issues; most noticeably for users, it caused a temporary glitch with notification emails which resulted in some people receiving kudos notifications for other people's works. This was a very short-term issue and should only have affected a handful of people - apologies for the confusion!

More generally, we are struggling with performance at the moment - we know that people are seeing a lot of 502 errors. We have some improvements coming in the next deploy, but there is one issue that we're finding difficult to pin down, so we're not sure yet whether this deploy will banish the 502s altogether! Thank you for your patience while we figure things out (and if you're an experienced systems admin with spare time on your hands, then do consider volunteering with us!).

Don't forget, you can get the latest status updates from our Twitter @AO3_Status, which is mirrored on Dreamwidth and Livejournal.

Beat the 1000 limit - how to browse and search on the AO3!

One of the parts of the Archive where we'd like to make some major improvements is search and browse. In particular, we'd love to come up with a solution that would allow us to remove the 1000 limit on search results, which we put in to avoid exploding the servers. We're working on this, but it's tricky! In the meantime, the lovely X-parrot, who serves on the Tag Wrangling Committee and is tag wrangling liaison with AD&T, has written a fantastic tutorial on Browsing & Reading on the AO3 which includes loads of brilliant tips on how to find the works you want.

Meeting highlights!

Deploy planning

We spent much of the meeting discussing issues relating to our forthcoming deploy, which we're keen to have on the Archive as soon as possible. It will include the much-needed performance improvements and the new tag sets for challenge nominations, among a lot of other nommy stuff. We're currently trying to ensure that we've tested everything thoroughly enough - we have lots of JavaScript improvements, but as different browsers react slightly differently to JavaScript we need to be extra-careful that we've tested thoroughly. We're particularly in need of testers who can test in Internet Explorer - if you think you might be interested then do volunteer!

Open Video conference

Our co-chairs Elz and Amelia attended the Open Video conference in NYC, where they picked up lots of tips about tools that might be useful to us. Popcorn.js looks particularly exciting - it's a tool for synchronizing html5 video with actions elsewhere on a webpage, with JavaScript and CSS. Full of nifty potential, even if we don't have an immediate use for it on the Archive!

Next deploy

The next deploy is scheduled for as soon as we can complete the testing we need to do! It will include lots of exciting things, but right now we're most excited about the performance improvements!

News from our sub-committees

  • Coders are helping out with some testing and fixing bugs which come up in the process. Coder astolat is working hard to get the new code for tag sets finished, so that it can be used for the Dark Agenda challenge, whose request inspired this feature in the first place!
  • Testers are working really hard on getting the new code ready for deploy. They are few in number but extremely awesome - thanks, testers!

News from our sister committees

  • Support EXCELLED themselves in their ticket party, dealing with ALL THE TICKETS. The number of unassigned tickets went from 99 to 0 in 24 hours! The backlog of old tickets had been delaying response times for a while now, so we're thrilled to be all caught up and able to deal with tickets in a more timely fashion. Major kudos to the Support team!
  • Tag wranglers are currently focusing on small fandoms in need of wranglers - very small fandoms may only need a small amount of wrangling work and are easy for new volunteers to get up to speed with. Some of the small fandoms without wranglers include Bái Fà Mó Nǚ Zhuàn | Bride with White Hair (1993), Never Gonna Give You Up (Music Video), Alarm für Cobra 11, and Hotel New Hampshire - John Irving, which have just one work each on the Archive! And of course, Tag Wrangling Committee member X-Parrot wrote the fab tutorial on Browsing & Reading on the AO3 \o/.

If there are things you'd like to do or say, please share them in comments, via the AO3 support and feedback form, by volunteering, or in whatever medium you feel comfortable with. Everyone is welcome to this party!

This meeting round-up by Zooey.

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The number one topic for support requests on the Archive of Our Own is the 1000 work limit on search and browse results. This was an early stopgap measure to prevent the servers from going 'splodey, and initially it didn't matter much, because there weren't 1,000 works of anything. But nowadays, if you want to read, say, Stargate Atlantis fic, with over 10,000 works, clicking on "Stargate Atlantis" brings up less than 10% of the available fic. This is understandably annoying to our users!

Eventually there will be fixes to the 1,000 works cap; the problem is being worked on (as evidenced by the 502s, server-'splodeyness is still a concern). Until then, however, there are still plenty of ways around it! If you're a completist trying to see all the fics, here's a few tricks to help you out:

Sort by: at the top of every works list page for a tag (such as works in a fandom, e.g. Stargate Atlantis, or works for a character, relationship, or additional tag) there are various ways to sort. The default is by published date, descending (newest to oldest); you can also sort by author, title, or my favorites, hits and word count. (After the next code update, you'll also be able to sort by the date added to the site - this will make it easier to find works added to the site recently, but backdated to the date they were originally written.) This sort covers all the works under the tag, not just the 1,000 listed. If there are less than 2,000 works in a fandom, you can easily access all of them by reversing the sort order - e.g. click on "Date" and it will sort by oldest to newest, bringing up all the early stories you missed in the first run of 1,000. So I can browse the most recently published Homestuck, and then the earliest published Homestuck, and thus catch all of the 1,600+ HS works on AO3.

I like to sort by word count myself, since I like reading longer stories; sorting by word count in SGA, for example, gives me all the SGA stories on the Archive over 9,000 words. On the other hand, if I'm in the mood for something short, you can click on Word Count again, and it will sort in ascending order (smallest to largest), giving me 1,000 fics all under 300 words.

Obviously that leaves out a bunch of fics in the middle. But there are other ways to browse:

Tags and filters: AO3's tagging system isn't perfect but it's still awfully nifty and convenient now. You can access tags two ways - either by clicking on the tags themselves on any work, or by checking the filters on the right to combine tags (note that the "or" feature is a bit broken; "and" works fine though, if I only want to read mature-rated McShep.) Tag results can be sorted, same as described above (so you can see all the long McShep stories first). Tag results are still limited to 1,000, and there's far more McShep than that - but if you narrow the results further (say, filtering by AU) then you can see all 873 McShep AUs currently on AO3.

One thing to note when using the filters: the work counts you see next to a tag in the right sidebar only are counting the works in that first 1,000. So the numbers will be off - they might only show 300 works, but when you filter by them you'll get many more. So even if a tag only shows a few works, it still might be worth filtering by it. (Also, ways to filter by language and by complete vs WiP are coming soon.)

But wait, there's more:

Search & Advanced Search: Currently there's no way to negatively filter tags in browse (i.e. subtract a tag from results, rather than add it.) This feature is coming, but until then there are still ways to run a negative search, by using search - simply enter a search term with a hyphen before it. E.g. searching "Rodney McKay" -"John Sheppard" will find you fics with Rodney but without John.

In the search bar, a space will equal AND, finding works with everything entered. You can also do OR searches, using |, to find works with either one thing or another, and you can combine these. So searching "Alternate Universe" Homestuck | "White Collar" will bring up works tagged with "Alternate Universe" in either the Homestuck or White Collar fandoms.

The advanced search feature is even more powerful - as well as searching tags, titles, and authors, you can also search for specific word counts, hits, kudos, and date - including ranges, which is useful tool for finding fics in a fandom. For example, you can search for all Stargate Atlantis fics published 5-6 years ago.

The date tool is a bit clumsy for finding all the fics, however; the word count search is probably better for that. To bring up all the fics, start with a range, e.g. 0-200. Then, once you've looked over those results, increment it, 201-500. As long as the results it brings up are less than 1,001, you are seeing all works within those parameters on the Archive. In that way you can fairly quickly go through all the fic in any fandom, or for a specific tag or tags.

A couple of notes about Advanced Search - like the rest of AO3 it's in beta and has its kinks. In particular it has trouble with tags with dashes - if you search for X-Men, for instance, you noticed you'll get lots with X and no X-Men. To get around this, put the tag in quotes: "X-Men". Also keep in mind that presently, unlike filters, searching for tags only brings up works tagged with that specific tag. So searching for "Charles/Erik" only brings up a handful of fics, while clicking on the tag "Charles/Erik" brings up the wrangled tag Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier.

Hopefully this will help improve your AO3 experience! If you have any other tricks and tips, or questions about how to do any of this, please leave a comment below!

This is a modified version of an original post by Tag Wrangling Committee member X-parrot - thanks for allowing us to repost, X-parrot!

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The Accessibility, Design and Technology committee oversees technology-related projects within the OTW. Currently we are responsible for designing and building the Archive of Our Own. Our regular meeting updates keep you informed about developments on the AO3!

This meeting was the last on the current timetable. We've been alternating between two times on a Saturday and Sunday, but as new members join the committee and the schedules of the existing members change, we have to review from time-to-time, and we're switching to some new slots that suit our current membership better. With committee members from Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Romania, the UK and the USA, it can be tricky to find a time that suits everyone! Kudos to the members who stay up insanely late or get up super early in order to make the meetings!

Meeting highlights

Collections and Challenges

Our taskforce met up to discuss the ongoing development of collections and challenges. Coder astolat is almost finished with the new tag sets functionality, which will allow users to create sets of tags for use in challenges - this will mean that nominations for multifandom challenges can take place on the Archive. Once this work is done we'll be reviewing the collections and challenges code to make it faster, prettier and simpler. We already have some major functionality - gift exchanges and prompt memes - but we want to refactor the code so it works better and make it easier for us to add other challenge types in the future (Big Bangs are definitely on our to-do list)!

FAQ improvements

The Archive FAQ is long and detailed - but it's not very easy to find what you want in it! We're planning some improvements to go along with our new Support Board so that our users can get the information they need.

CSS revamp

Front-end coder lim is currently working on a massive overhaul of the way CSS works on the site. The new structure will make it much easier for people to write skins (skins creators, you'll be able to bid a not-so-fond farewell to all those !importants). We're planning some very intensive testing to be sure the new design works in most browsers.

JavaScript revamp and testing

Our awesome coder Enigel has worked hard replacing the JavaScript library Prototype with JQuery. This should make our JavaScript less buggy and will help make it easier to design more accessible JavaScript which degrades nicely for people who don't use it. Now her work is done, we're faced with the massive job of testing it all. The changes affect most areas of the site, so our intrepid testing team have a big job on their hands!

Open Video Conference

AD&T chairs Amelia and Elz will be attending the Open Video Conference in New York this coming weekend. They're hoping to pick up some ideas for how we might progress with our plans for hosting videos on the AO3 - this functionality is still some way off, but we're really excited about the possibilties.

Fanart is coming!

In preparation for hosting fanart on our servers, our Content Policy team are revising our Terms of Service and FAQ to cover images. They are currently inviting feedback on the draft policy - our aim is to make our Terms of Service as clear and fan-friendly as possible, so please do raise any questions or concerns.

Technical preparations for fanart are also continuing. Our plans for a revamped 'post new work' form include more features for multimedia, and we'll be introducing ways of tagging different media so they can be easily filtered for.

Site performance and the invitations queue

The number of people waiting for an invitation now stands at over a thousand - we seem to have arrived! Many users will have noticed a corresponding increase in site slowness, especially at peak times when a large number of our 21793 users are trying to use the site all at once! The good news is that we have some performance enhancements in our forthcoming deploy which should help ease the site slowdowns so that you no longer run into the sad 502 page. The bad news is that the high demand means that we still need to manage the number of users signing up to the site at any given time, so we'll continue to use the invitations system for sign-up for the forseeable future. We're sorry that we can't give excited fans accounts immediately, but everyone who requests an account is given one. If you have added your email address to our invitations queue you can check that page to see when your invitation will arrive - if the date passes with no invitation, please get in touch with our Support team and let them know, as sometimes they do get caught in spam filters.

Tag tutorial

Ever wondered about how tags work on the Archive, or what the best way is to tag your work? Our awesome Tag Wrangling Committee have put together a Tags Tutorial explaining how everything works and what goes on behind the scenes! Thanks to the wrangling volunteers who gave feedback on the draft tutorial (and for all their hard work wrangling). If you have a specific question or comment about tags, you can contact the Tag Wrangling Committee directly via Twitter @ao3_wranglers or send a message via our Support team.

Next deploy

We're working hard to get the next deploy out as soon as possible. This deploy is a big one, and needs some heavy duty testing - because we've changed the JavaScript across the site, we need to do a full regression test to check everything is still working as it should. As soon as we're sure nothing is broken, we'll be putting the new code on the site - this deploy includes important performance enhancements as well as lots of other lovely stuff, so we're keen to get it out in the world as soon as possible!

News from our sub-committees

  • Coders are continuing to tackle our issues list and working hard fixing bugs identified in the new code.
  • Testers are working hard on the regression test for the new deploy - testing ALL the things. We always need new testers, so if you're someone who likes banging on the site and finding out how things work, please do get in touch with our Volunteers Committee and let them know you're interesed in testing. No special skills required, just a spirit of enquiry and a certain tenacity!

News from our sister committees

  • Support welcomed two more new staffers to the team - Oaktree and lionpyh! They are planning a ticket party later in the week to tackle ALL the tickets (or at least quite a few of them!). They've also been updating the FAQs - thanks to Cybel for adding the new Kudos FAQ.
  • Tag Wranglers are reviewing their membership to make sure that everyone on the list of volunteers still wants to wrangle. New volunteers are always welcome - check out the list of fandoms currently in need of a wrangler to see if there is an area you could help. The Tag Wrangling Committee has also recently revised some tag-related FAQs, and they have just posted their brand new Tag Tutorial! \o/

If there are things you'd like to do or say, please share them in comments, via the AO3 support and feedback form, by volunteering, or in whatever medium you feel comfortable with. Everyone is welcome to this party!

This meeting round-up by Zooey.

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Tutorial: Tags on the AO3 \o/

Published: 2011-09-08 11:40:51 -0400

The tag system on the AO3 is an attempt to balance two needs that we feel are important:

  • Users should be able to apply any kind of labels they want to their works and bookmarks.
  • Users should be able to find, sort, and filter works according to tags.

"Tag wrangling" is the behind-the-scenes work that makes both of these things possible at once.

The first thing to know about tags is that all the fields at the top of the "Post New" form, everything before you get to the title of the work -- all of those are tags. A few of them have set values you can choose from (the Category, Warning, and Rating fields); all the others are free for you to type in whatever you want. Fandoms are tags, characters are tags, relationships are tags, additional tags are -- as the name suggests -- tags. The Archive software handles them all the same way.

Screenshot of the tags section in the 'post new' form, indicating that Ratings, Warnings and Fandom are required tags, while Category, Relationship, Character and Additional are optional tags

Since they're free-form text boxes, there's a lot of variation in what people put in, even when they're talking about the same thing. We encourage that variety! You're always welcome to use whatever form you want on your tags. But while other fans are likely to know that "Gurren Lagann" is the same series as "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann," or that "SPN" is an abbreviation for "Supernatural," the Archive software doesn't know that automatically. This is where tag wranglers come in!

The tag wranglers' job is to look at all the new tags on the Archive, figure out how they relate to each other, and link them up behind the scenes so that somebody looking for works about a specific thing can find all the works on the Archive without having to look separately for all the different variations. Wranglers have guidelines to make the standardized forms of tags that show up in the auto-complete and the filters, but you should always feel free to use whatever forms you like best: the point of tag wrangling is that users shouldn't have to use any standard forms. For tag-filtering to be possible, the Archive requires some kind of standard form; the forms wranglers have worked out are intended to be as clear as possible for as many users, and are adjusted the more tags we get, as we see how users create and use tags.

Tag wranglers make three kinds of linking. The first kind, synonyms, is pretty self-explanatory; it's hooking tags to the standardized form of the tag, so "Snarry" and "Harry/Snape" are both synonyms of "Harry Potter/Severus Snape". Clicking on any of those tags will bring up the same list of works.

The second kind, metatags, can get confusing (and sometimes leads to users asking "Why does this tag show up in the filters?"). A metatag looks the same as any other tag, but it can call up other filterable tags. You'll see this in fandom tags like "Batman - All Media Types," which is a metatag for "Batman (Comics)" as well as "Batman (Nolan movies)" and all the other kinds of Batman canon. Clicking on the "Batman - All Media Types" tag displays works that use any of its included tags -- so if you've posted a story tagged "Batman (Comics)," it will turn up in filters when somebody is looking for just comics-verse Batman works and also when somebody is looking for all Batman-related works of any kind. Unlike synonyms, metatags only work in one direction, so someone looking only for comics-verse Batman will not see works tagged for Batman movies.

The third kind is currently not visible to users, though as our fabulous coders keep working on improvements, that should change: behind the scenes, tags in different categories get attached to each other, making a map of how they all relate. The Archive knows, for example, that the relationship tag "Zack Fair/Cloud Strife" is related to the character tags "Zack Fair" and "Cloud Strife," and that the additional tag "Community: badbadbathhouse" belongs with the fandom tag "Persona 4." Right now that's just back-end information that the wranglers organize, but we're looking forward to the upgrades that will let everyone use this information for browsing.

All sorts of tag linking are trickier in the Additional Tags field, because it's more debatable what things should be attached to each other, and it's harder to see what other related tags might already be floating around the Archive (as of July 2011, there are over 25,000 not-fandom-specific Additional Tags -- that's a lot to keep track of!). The tag wranglers do their best, but if you find tags that aren't connected where you think they should be, or something that is connected where you think it shouldn't be, please submit a Support request and the wrangling team will investigate.

If making your tags filterable is important to you, here are a few things you can do to make that easier:

    1. Use commas appropriately – use them only to separate your tags and not within the text you want as your tag, as the Archive treats a comma as the end of a tag. If you want to use more than one tag in a category, use a comma between them, including the names of fandoms in a crossover (enter each fandom separately).
    2. Use the tag categories as described above: fandom names in the fandom tags field, relationship tags (either pairings or platonic relationships) in the relationships field, character tags in the characters field. For anything that doesn’t fit into those other categories, use additional tags.
    3. Spell-check your tags before posting – you proofread your works, why not your tags?

For more information on tags, please see the Tag FAQ. If you're interested in Tag Wrangling, we welcome Volunteers!

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Fan Art is Coming! Fan Art Is Coming!

Published: 2011-09-03 19:00:10 -0400

In preparation for hosting fanart on the AO3 (that is, you will soon be able to upload art directly to our servers and not just link it from elsewhere), we are revising the official Terms of Service and our FAQ!

As always, we actively seek and very much appreciate feedback on all archive policies. The coding for fanart is still underway, and there is time to make changes, so if there's anything in this draft that concerns you, please let us know.

Here are the proposed additions to the FAQ:

* When can I use pictures I have made on the archive?

The basic rule is that a fanwork based on an existing work should be transformative. Transformation means adding something new, in meaning or message, to the original. We consider that fanart, like fan fiction, is generally transformative. Please remember that the ratings and warnings policies apply to images.

You can also use pictures you've made to complement a fanwork--so, if you are illustrating a story, you can use illustrations of the setting, the original characters, or anything else that fits with the story, as long as you otherwise follow the content policy.

We do not allow sexually explicit photos of minors, nor images manipulated so that they look like sexually explicit photos of minors (even if the manipulation is obvious). This is necessary for us to comply with US law, which has special rules for photographs and video of human beings under age 18. In addition, under Section IV.H of the Terms of Service, we may remove content, including photos or drawings, when we determine that it is necessary to resolve a threatened or pending lawsuit. We will not screen or ban images for offensiveness.

 

* When can I use existing (nonmanipulated) pictures in my fanworks on the archive?

The basic rule is that a fanwork should be transformative. Transformation means adding something new, in meaning or message, to the original. Existing works, including pictures, can be part of a transformative work. Please remember that the ratings and warnings policies apply to images.

When you're using an existing picture, commentary and critique are particularly favored kinds of transformativeness. A use that highlights the way that framing, angle, or other pictorial elements affect the pictures’ meaning; a use that draws attention to the roles of different people in the pictures; and a use that contrasts different pictures are all examples of potential transformation. Humor can also be transformative: unlikely subtitles may change the meaning of the picture substantially. Commentary can be explicit or implicit, as when it’s done by pointed contrasts between images, where the use of a picture recontextualizes it and gives it new meaning.

The number of pictures should be appropriate to the purpose: if you’re illustrating the relationship of a character’s costumes to her story arc, then you are likely to need more pictures than if you merely want to introduce the character so your audience knows what s/he looks like.

Where possible, credit or attribution to the original source of your image is also helpful.

We have drawn on the American University Center for Social Media’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video in our discussion here. You may find a full copy of the code here http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/related-materials/codes/code-best-practices-fair-use-online-video if you want to see more detailed discussion and examples, though they are focused on video.

 

* When can I use pictures in my skins on the archive?

We generally consider skins containing pictures to be fanworks, so please follow the guidelines in the sections above. In addition, since skins are created by individual users, the OTW does not endorse particular skins in any way. We do screen public skins for technical compliance, to limit the proliferation of public skins in order to keep the public skins feature usable for other people, and for obvious violations of the content policy, but it's the user's responsibility to make sure a skin complies.

You can use pictures you've made for skins, even if they aren't fanworks, as long as you otherwise follow the content policy--e.g., you can use a picture of the view from your window.

You can put attributions for images in your skins into a comment like this:

/* This image comes from SOURCE and is used here for INSERT TRANSFORMATIVE PURPOSE */
header { background: url(http://url/of/image.jpg); }

 

Here is the current text in the Terms of Service about user icons, which are the only artworks currently on the archive:

J. User Icons

User icons should be appropriate for general audiences. They should not contain depictions of genital nudity or explicit sexual activity. For more information, please refer to the ToS FAQ.

Here is the proposed new text of the Terms of Service for our new expanded set of artwork:

J. Images

A. User icons

User icons should be appropriate for general audiences. They should not contain depictions of genital nudity or explicit sexual activity. For more information, please refer to the ToS FAQ.

B. Other images

Other images are subject to the general content policy, including the ratings and warnings policy. No sexually explicit photographs of minors (people under age 18) or sexually explicit photomanipulations that appear to be pictures of minors (people under age 18) are allowed. For more information, please refer to the ToS FAQ.

Relatedly, we propose to delete the last paragraph of Section IV.D, which currently reads:

Please note that the first version of the Archive will only host text and user icons. Future policies will focus on other media.

Mirrored from an original post on the OTW Blog.

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This was a well-attended meeting - after a few meetings where real life took various members of the committee away, most of us were back together this week.

Meeting highlights!


Upcoming design changes

We've got various sections of the site queued up for design work - navigation, the home page, fandom landing pages and news posts, among others. Some of these have been on the back burner for a while, but we're making progress and some of the designs are almost ready for the committee to review. We're pretty excited about the new designs, which should make the site a lot more usable as well as prettier!

Challenges and Collections

Our Collections and Challenges task force recently met up to work on plans to improve all the stuff we learnt from Yuletide 2009, Remix, Yuletide 2010, Final Fantasy Exchange and other challenges. Maybe this year will finally be the year there won't be any panic in the run-up to a big challenge? (We can dream!) Work on tag sets for challenges is progressing - this will make it possible to run nominations for multifandom challenges on the Archive.

Site security

Our security task force gained a new member and is reviewing ways of improving site security. One area where we're planning improvements is site login - we've asked our Systems team to get us an https certificate so we can introduce https secure logins.

Coding Open House!

Have you ever fancied coding for the OTW or wondered what it is we do? AD&T member Jenny will be hosting a public chat on coding, introducing Ruby on Rails and the setup for our coders. All are welcome! The chat will be held on Saturday, 27 August at 04:00 UTC (what time is it in my timezone?) in OTW's public chatroom on Campfire. The chatroom can be accessed at https://fanarchive.campfirenow.com/e79cc.

Next deploy

We're working towards another deploy, which will take place as soon as we can get it ready. It will include more accessible Javascript (yay for jQuery) and several performance improvements that should reduce the number of 502 errors, as well as the usual list of minor bug-fixes.

News from our sub-committees


  • Coders have been working like crazy! Enigel has done awesome work updating all the JavaScript on the site and replacing uses of the Prototype library with another library, JQuery. This work will help fix some niggling problems, and lays the foundations for some accessibility improvements - soon, users without JavaScript will be able to delete!
  • Testers: There's tons to test in this deploy - particular thanks to Kylie for organising parties, and X-Parrot for testing so much.

News from our sister committees



  • Support are still working hard at keeping up with tickets, and providing feedback on the new Support Board as coder Sidra works on it. They are pleased to welcome new staffer Yshyn to the team!
  • Tag Wranglers keep a-wrangling! They are always pleased to welcome new wranglers - fandoms currently in need of love include Weiß Kreuz, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter – Laurell K. Hamilton and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.

If there are things you'd like to do or say, please share them in comments, via the AO3 support and feedback form, by volunteering, or in whatever medium you feel comfortable with. Everyone is welcome to this party!

This meeting round-up by Jenny S-T & Zooey

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AD&T had a quiet meeting, as quite a few of our members were off on holiday (yeay!) or dealing with various other commitments. This meant that we made it through our agenda in record time, i.e. within the two hours actually scheduled for the meeting. (This is probably only exciting to us, but take our word for it it's a red letter day.)

Meeting highlights!

Site expansion - hello to our new members!

We've seen another increase in new members recently - welcome to all our new members! We know that the recent DDoS attacks on Livejournal have made many fans eager to back up their fanworks with us (as well as bringing lots and lots of readers!), and we're very glad that we're able to provide fans of all varieties a home! We like to think that groovy site features such as downloads and reading history have also played their part in increasing our popularity - our coding team is constantly working on site improvements.

Performance improvements

One of the key areas our coding team is focusing on at the moment is site performance. As the site expands and we welcome more and more users, optimum code performance becomes ever more important. You may have noticed some site slowdowns and occasional 502 errors recently; in addition to tweaking our server setup as particular issues arose, our coders have been working on longer-term improvements. The forthcoming deploy will include a number of things designed to improve site performance and reduce the number of 502s you encounter.

Shoutout to vidders!

As we enjoy the vids which premiered at Vividcon, this seems like a great time to give AO3 vidders a shoutout! At the moment, we can't host vids (although we will introduce this option in the longer term), but you can embed vids hosted on other sites. Currently, video embeds are supported from Youtube, Vimeo, blip.tv, Dailymotion, Viddler, Metacafe, 4shared CreativeCommons, ning and vidders.net. If you use a site which is not currently supported, then drop our support team a line and let us know you'd like it added. You should also feel free to include download links in your vid posts. We're working on a new interface which will allow you to say what medium your fanwork is in, but right now you can just add a tag in the 'Additional tags' field to let people know your work is a vid (or fanart, or a filk, or whatever else you'd like to post!).

Vividcon vidders, you may wish to add this year's vids to the Vividcon 2011 collection, or archive your older vids in Vividcon 2010 and Vividcon 2009.

Farewell to Eylul and Ira

We bid a sad farewell to two committee members, Eylul and Ira, who are stepping down to devote more time to other things. We're really grateful for all the hard work and energy they've devoted to the project.

Next deploy

The next deploy is scheduled for the end of August. It will include a bunch of performance enhancements, improvements to our prompt meme feature, many JavaScript enhancements, and a fix for the very annoying issue causing downloads to fail on the first try!

News from our sub-committees

  • Coders launched Code Issue Bingo! Courtesy of coder Rebecca, coders can generate a custom bingo card linking to our Google code issues - the cards help us blitz some older issues, and also bring a strange sense of personal satisfaction. :D
  • Testers waved goodbye to former test lead Eylul - we're really grateful to her for all her work. They're gearing up to test our forthcoming deploy.

News from our sister committees

  • Support recently welcomed a couple of new members: mumble and Sam Johnsson have both dived in and are proving a great addition to the team. Support requests remain high, but the extra staff are making a big difference!
  • Tag wranglers have been reviewing the wrangling rosters to confirm how many wranglers are still active, and gathering wrangler feedback on the new tag autocomplete so coders can improve it. They also have plans for a wrangling open house - more news coming soon!

If there are things you'd like to do or say, please share them in comments, via the AO3 support and feedback form, by volunteering, or in whatever medium you feel comfortable with. Everyone is welcome to this party!

This meeting round-up by Zooey.

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ADT Tester Training and Open House - Learn All About It!

Published: 2011-07-30 14:19:10 -0400

Do you test for the Archive of Our Own or would you like to do so? Now is the time to learn how! The OTW's Accessibility, Design, & Technology committee will host an introductory chat on testing for the OTW and the AO3 today. The chat is aimed at current testers, new testers, and anyone who thinks they might be interested and wants to find out what testing's all about.

The chat will be held on Saturday 30 July at 21:00 UTC (what time is it in my timezone?) in OTW's public chatroom on Campfire. The chatroom can be accessed at https://fanarchive.campfirenow.com/e79cc

Accessibility, Design, & Technology is the guiding body that coordinates software design and development on behalf of the Organization for Transformative Works.

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