AO3 News

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Published:
2010-02-14 14:59:44 -0500
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A few statistics on the works in the AO3, for the curious!

As of today, 14th February 2010, we have:

  • 5404 users
  • 5340 fandoms
  • 57128 works

The fandom with the most works posted is Harry Potter (3727 works), closely followed by Stargate Atlantis (3262) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2885). This isn't too surprising, but we'd love to see other fandoms give them a run for their money. Whether you're a fan of movies, anime, gaming, obscure 1950s audio plays, or pretty much anything else, you're welcome here!

A few lovely pie charts courtesy of our awesome 2009 chair Maia, showing the number of works in different categories:

AO3 Works by Wordcount, 22 January 2010

AO3 Works by Category, 22 January 2010

 

AO3 Works by Rating, 22 January 2010

 

AO3 Works by Warning, 22 January 2010

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Published:
2010-02-01 12:45:50 -0500
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First Accessibility, Design and Technology meeting of the year! For those of you who are new to this party, AD&T is responsible for designing and overseeing software projects for the OTW, which at present means we are responsible for the Archive of Our Own. We had a great (and very busy) year in 2009, and we're looking forward to more great stuff in 2010. \0/

Our brilliant 2009 chair, Maia, has passed her shiny AD&T crown to me, Zooey Glass (so the meeting posts for 2010 will be from me). It's quite intimidating taking over from such a great chair, but she's sticking about and will be acting as our Release Manager (organising the release of new code onto the Archive), so she'll be helping to make sure her legacy is continued *grabs on tight*

This week's meeting was mostly to welcome the fab new committee. I'm happy to have lured back most of last year's members (one or two have stepped down to focus on other commitments), as well as four new people! Our introductions revealed a wide range of experience - fannish and real life - and a lot of enthusiasm. I feel privileged to be working with such a great team.

In order to reduce the pressure on committee members, we're having less regular meetings this year, so you'll be seeing meeting reports every other week instead of every week (we originally stepped up to weekly meetings when getting ready for Open Beta and, er, forgot to switch back). However, this doesn't mean we'll be doing less work - we'll be beavering away on our subcommittees and discussing things via email.

Even though we've technically been on break, it is hard to get AD&T and its subcommittees to rest! There's been some exciting coding work going on over the last months: lim has been conducting a massive review of our front-end code, bringing order where there was chaos and making sure it all validates. In the back-end, Elz has been working on some major changes for tag wrangling - faster! better! with metatags! It's not quite ready to go live yet, but we'll post more details when it is done.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be working out our priorities for 2010 and getting rolling with a new wave of work. AO3 2010: even more shiny to come!

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. As a trial, we're opening comments on the mirrored versions of these posts (although we may switch back if it turns out to hinder things). Everyone is welcome to this party!

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Published:
2010-01-09 06:15:06 -0500
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Welcome to Release 0.7.2.9 or Revision 2101, up from 2050. This is a bug-fixing release and as such is mostly composed of minor changes.

Our next deploy will probably be late January.

Highlights

Collections & Challenges!

  • You can now reveal works one item at a time
  • Navigation links added to fandoms from the collections home page and the index

Filters!

  • We've done some maintenance on the filters so that if your works weren't being filtered properly before, they should be now. Please let us know if you encounter any problems.
  • If you have a work marked as No Fandom you may wish to update it

Known Issues

See Known Issues page

Release Details

Bugs

  • Fixed autocomplete on bookmark external works
  • Fixed remix not showing on preview if added on edit
  • Fixed redirects for admin-only pages
  • Fixed problem editing bookmark of a deleted item
  • Fixed Collection home pages not displaying both fandom and work counts
  • Fixed Collection displaying tags for unapproved works
  • Fixed author in browser page title displaying on anonymous series
  • Fixed problem with overlapping Login block and tabs resulting from fixed-font browser preferences
  • Fixed problem with Help Links displaying illegibly in a browser that is using font and background preferences

New Things

  • Added ability to translate login dialogue into multiple languages
  • Added redirect to login page for when people try to create bookmarks when not logged in

Changes

  • Hid 'bookmark this user' link when you're logged in and looking at yourself
  • Improved the way anonymity/unrevealed state of items in a Collection is handled
  • Upgraded search plugin thinking sphinx to resolve problem with finding extraneous works
  • Changed redirect on deleting a chapter to point to work view
  • Changed error message: fandoms page for non-existent media should trigger 404 instead of 500
  • Changed Collections link in Site map to reflect it now existing :)
  • Refactored comment code to make it faster

Love, AD&T

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Published:
2010-01-08 12:25:54 -0500
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Hi everybody! Just a heads up that we're deploying new code and doing some database maintenance tomorrow morning (Saturday, US eastern time), so the Archive Of Our Own will be down for a few hours.

Stay tuned to our Twitter account, AO3_Status for more information. (Archive status information is also embedded on the front page of the OTW site.)

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Published:
2010-01-04 19:41:25 -0500
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Sat 11pm to 1am but I've been practicing staying up late (am a morning person usually) so was pretty easy on me. This meeting was about an hour of 'stuff wot we have to work on' and an hour of 'winding up the 2009 term'. Winding up was good fun; we had a chance to talk about what we liked in 2009 and what could be better - mostly we want to keep improving our communication, processes and knowledge transfer. Plus, you know, keep working on and improving the AO3 - we know it still has a long way to go!

AD&T Update: AD&T has now officially dissolved as a committee, the 2010 committee will form and meet on 30th January. *hands over sparkly tiara of chairness* We tried to avoid doing any more work in the last two weeks but didn't quite succeed.

  1. 25 Dec 2009 Release 0.7.2.5 (5 items)
  2. 25 Dec 2009 Release 0.7.2.6 (1 item) - quick performance fix
  3. 26 Dec 2009 Release 0.7.2.7 (3 items
  4. 31 Dec 2009 Release 0.7.2.8 (20 items)

Full Release History

Deploy Schedule: We've got a few things coming up, the deploy is tentatively scheduled for 16th January.

  • Tag Wrangling: interface is no longer able to cope with the sheer number tags our wonderful users have been adding so we're sorting that out.
  • Collections & Challenges: we built the bits that meant we could run Yuletide in an ad hoc fashion. Now we can start fleshing out the design and adding all the features it needs.

Wanted: people with JavaScript skills, people for the Support team, people with an urge to design the perfect search interface, and a plastic rocket.

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. You are invited to this party :)

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Published:
2010-01-04 19:35:26 -0500
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This post is a high level summary of development work done on the Archive since the beginning. For the first 500 revisions I've summarised very roughly from the changelog - you can see us adding the first code for features and then refining them :)

Revision number by date

  1. 16 Mar 2008 Revision 1 - initial directory structure set up in google code
  2. 26 Apr 2008 Revision 100 - create user, post work, rudimentary chapters, co-authoring, commenting, translations in place
  3. 16 May 2008 Revision 200 - pseuds, password reset, abuse interface, archive specific config, some automated tests, activation emails for new users, work on OpenID, Reading History
  4. 15 Jun 2008 Revision 300 - error messages, fixes/refinement for post work/chapter/comments/deleting, validation, drafts, series, early counters, bookmarks v0.1, first pass at tags
  5. 18 Jul 2008 Revision 400 - co-author revamp, more bookmarks code, second pass at tags, tag wrangling, upgrade to Rails 2.1, work on chapters, work on comments, added top level navigation, tagging for bookmarks, editing bookmarks, more on series, added Ultrasphinx search plugin and very basic search page, fixed lots of bugs
  6. 30 August 2008 Revision 500 - hide works from non logged in user, orphaning, making things prettier, auto-complete for tag fields, "functional but tragically ugly code for  the sign up page", pagination all over the place, more styling for Post New, more automated tests, more bugfixes, user dashboard, adult content flag, browse by fandom, admins can hide things!, admins can suspend users, can't remove self from work if sole author, show/hide comments,more work on tags, related works feature
  7. 18 Sep 2008 Revision 672 - release notes emailed to Beta users
  8. 01 Oct 2008 Revision 907- release notes emailed to Beta users
    • Closed Beta Launch: 3rd October 2008 (people: 93, works: 971)
  9. 18 Oct 2008 Revision 951- release notes emailed to Beta users
  10. 20 Feb 2009 Revision 1081- release notes emailed to Beta users
  11. 10 Mar 2009 Revision 1134 - release notes emailed to Beta users
  12. 01 May 2009 Revision 1278 - release notes posted to DW
  13. 30 May 2009 Revision 1329 - release notes posted to DW
  14. 03 July 2009 Revision 1381- release notes posted to DW
  15. 17 Oct 2009 Revision 1585 Release 0.7.0 (85 items) - changed to a release numbering system
  16. 07 Nov 2009 Revision 1693 Release 0.7.1 (47 items)
    • Open Beta Launch: 15 November 2009 (people: 347, fandoms: 668, works: 6,565)
  17. 22 Nov 2009 Revision 1762 Release 0.7.1.1 (46 items)
  18. 01 Dec 2009 Revision 1789 Release 0.7.1.2 (14 items)
  19. 17 Dec 2009 Revision 1958 Release 0.7.2 (78 items)
    • Yuletide Participants Invited: 18th December 2009 (people: 2,648, fandoms: 3,775, works: 27,162)
  20. 19 Dec 2009 Revision 1980 Release 0.7.2.1 (11 items)
  21. 19 Dec 2009 Revision 1987 Release 0.7.2.2 (3 items) - five hours later
  22. 21 Dec 2009 Revision 1999 Release 0.7.2.3 (4 items)
  23. 21 Dec 2009 Revision 2001 Release 0.7.2.4 (3 items) - seven hours later
    • Yuletide Posting Deadline: 21st December 2009 (people: 3,974, fandoms: 4,170, works: 31,550)
  24. 25 Dec 2009 Revision 2012 Release 0.7.2.5 (5 items)
  25. 25 Dec 2009 Revision 2016 Release 0.7.2.6 (1 item) - quick performance fix
  26. 26 Dec 2009 Revision 2020 Release 0.7.2.7 (3 items
  27. 31 Dec 2009 Revision 2050 Release 0.7.2.8 (20 items)
  28. 09 Jan 2010 Revision 2101 Release 0.7.2.9 (24 items)
  29. 16 Mar 2010 Revision 2364 Release 0.7.3 (186 items)
  30. 17 Mar 2010 Revision 2375 Release 0.7.3.1 (7 items) - accessibility and performance fixes
  31. 19 Mar 2010 Revision 2380 Release 0.7.3.2 (5 items)
  32. 25 Mar 2010 Revision 2410 Release 0.7.3.3 (1 item) - challenge signup emergency fix
    • Remix...Redux Signup closes: 31 March 2010 (people: 6,217, fandoms: 5,637, works: 70,055)
  33. 03 Apr 2010 Revision 2410 Release 0.7.3.4 (52 items)
  34. 12 Apr 2010 Revision 2500 Release 0.7.3.5 (39 items)
  35. 13 Apr 2010 Revision 2510 Release 0.7.3.6 (5 items) - opera fixes and critical view assignment bug

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Published:
2009-12-31 04:38:59 -0500
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Welcome to Release 0.7.2.8 or Revision 2050, up from 2020. This is a bug-fixing release and as such is mostly composed of minor changes.

Our next deploy will probably be early January (if we need to deploy more fixes).

Highlights

  • Limitations removed from the 'works' page for collections. You may now see all works saved to a collection.
  • 'OR' option added to filters - you may now select (for example) multiple fandoms to filter on

Known Issues

See Known Issues page

Release Details

Bugs

  • Removed caching of hit counters to resolve 'there/not-there' problem
  • Fixed fandom counters for Collections
  • Fixed 500 error on /tags/notarealtag/bookmarks
  • Fixed comment box 'jumping' for some browsers
  • Fixed 'weird transparent gap' for auto-complete menu on the bookmark tags
  • Fixed 'whitespace covering page' for auto-complete menu on the Post New form for some browsers
  • Fixed problem with Mystery Works that have been revealed still a Mystery in Reading History (not anymore!)
  • Fixed problem with sometimes getting the wrong comment notification
  • Fixed problem with Series anonymity

New Things

  • Added cookie to preserve name/email for not-logged-in-users to allow easy serial commenting
  • Added sort by hits to .../works pages
  • Added "Don't show me any hit counts" to user preferences (don't want to see *anyone's* hit counters? This is the option for you)
  • Added 'OR' option to filters to supplement 'AND'
  • Added rake task of DOOOM (filter realignment) to update filter counts (will be run at a suitable, slow point in the next few days)
  • Added caching on Collections pages to improve performance
  • Added caching on Comments to improve performance

Changes

  • Removed limits on returning results from Collections (no more 'last month' or '1000')
  • Refactored Bookmarks code to improve performance

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Published:
2009-12-28 03:01:04 -0500
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As most of our users will know, the Archive of Our Own has been playing host to the popular multifandom challenge Yuletide Treasure, one of the highlights of the fannish party season. There've been a few metaphorical spilled drinks and broken glasses along the way, but we've been having a blast! There's been a lot of hard work from everyone on our team, and a lot of great new stories in the Archive.

Yuletide was our test case for our new Collections code, and was also an opportunity for us to give the servers a real workout. We'd already had the opportunity to see how the Archive performed under high demand during the first days of Open Beta, but the high volume and short time period of the Yuletide challenge - c. 2000 users joining, posting and browsing in the space of less than a week - took things to a whole new level. The exercise highlighted a lot of the things we needed to work on - although we knew we needed to optimise the code and improve some processes, having the real world usage made it possible for us to see exactly where the fixes needed to go. This did result in quite a few hiccups and slowdowns - at peak usage browsing the Archive has been an extremely slow process - and we appreciate our users' patience while we work on these issues.

Our coders and Systems team have worked miracles in the last week, tracking and fixing bugs and working to improve performance. You may have noticed the Archive going down a few times over the past week - while one of these outages was due to server overload, all the rest were maintenance periods for us to deploy performance fixes. Some of the key things we deployed included:

  • A host of bugfixes for Collections code, including some work strengthening anonymity and ensuring gift recipients got their gifts.
  • Lots of refactoring and improvements for the 'Post New' form to make it load much, much faster. If you've experienced problems with the form freezing up or crashing your browser in the past, this should now be fixed.
  • Some caching for the Archive so that loading pages doesn't make a whole lot of database calls every time. This is something we've been working on for a while, but we were having problems perfecting it. It's still not perfect, but we decided the performance benefits WAY outweighed the remaining costs.
  • Behind the scenes, we added lots of indexes and other database improvements to speed everything up.

In the past week we've gone from revision 1980 to revision 2020 - a BIG jump! Massive, massive thanks go to our coders Elz and Naomi, and our Systems admin Sidra, who have worked on through sleepless nights and holiday commitments and flu to fix bugs, make improvements and keep things working. Sidra has appeared like a ministering angel at every server hiccup and coaxed the Archive back to life - she is truly amazing.

In the course of all this activity, we've also received a huge amount of feedback from users. In the past week, we've received more than 200 support requests, and our Support team have done an amazing job of keeping up with the volume. It's testament to their hard work and dedication that at the time of writing, almost 90% of all support requests have been resolved, and most of the rest are in progress. Special mentions go to Cesy and Cal, who have done the work of ten women. We do our best to answer support requests within a few days - and much faster for urgent requests - but please bear with us if there's a delay.

The Archive still needs a lot of refactoring and refining: at peak usage times (typically the evening hours in North America) it's still running very slowly indeed. The great news is that our servers themselves can take the strain - we just need to improve our code and our setup so that they're used to their full capacity. We ask for your patience while we work to make it even better - please refrain from refreshing multiple times if a page is slow, and if you're able to browse at quieter times then you'll be helping us out (and getting a nice fast Archive *g*). Remember that you can keep track of site status via our Twitter feed AO3_Status, which you can also follow on the front page of transformativeworks.org or via the feeds on AO3_status @ Livejournal, AO3_status @ Dreamwidth or AO3_status @ Insanejournal.

Some stats for the period 18th Dec - 26th Dec 2009:

  • Number of new users added: 1,566
  • Number of new fandoms added: 1,188
  • Number of new works posted: 8,012
  • Number of code issues committed: 29
  • Number of deploys (new code pushed to the Archive): 7
  • Number of support requests raised: 260
  • Number of support requests solved: 229

As you can see from the above, a phenomenal amount of work has gone on. The Archive of Our Own is entirely run and supported by volunteers. If you've had a great experience, or you have ideas you'd like to contribute, or you're being driven mad by the imperfections, please consider volunteering! We would love to welcome more people to work on support, coding and testing - no experience required in any of these areas, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. If you're interested, get in touch via our Volunteers and recruiting webform letting us know what you think you might enjoy working on. If you would like to support the Archive for the future, you might also consider making a donation to the Organization for Transformative Works - keeping us on a sound financial footing is important so we can continue to purchase the hardware and technical support that we need.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to:

  • Sidra and the Systems team for keeping the servers running.
  • All the AO3 coders for their immense hard work and ingenuity.
  • All the AO3 testers who worked against the clock to test out new code and allow it to go to the live site.
  • The AO3 Support team for working like crazy to ensure users were helped as quickly as humanly possible.
  • All the AO3 tag wranglers who have worked so hard in such a limited amount of time to make sure all the new fandoms show up in the filters and listings.
  • Maia, AD&T chair, whose amazing leadership formed the team that made all this possible.
  • Yuletide mods astolat and elynross for their support, encouragement and great communication.
  • All the Yuletide participants for being so patient and encouraging during the upheaval of a move to a new site and the subsequent bugs (nice new bugs instead of the boring old ones on the original Yuletide site *g*)
  • All of the other Archive users who have been so patient and supportive while the site slowed to a crawl.

2009 has been a great year, and Yuletide has been an exciting and crazy way of rounding it off. We hope that this year's experience will lay the foundation for an even better, stronger Archive, and that this will be the first of many challenges on the AO3. Although it's been crazy hard work, we've had a lot of fun! All of us are fans, so when we hit problems we have a BIG incentive to work on them! Thanks again to everyone who joined our party!

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