AO3 News

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Published:
2010-04-23 18:40:05 -0400
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Welcome to Revision 2596, up from 2500 (we also deployed a release in between with a few selected fixes for critical bugs!). This deploy comes only ten days after the last one – our teams have been busy! If you'd like to join in all this exciting development, we welcome volunteers – no experience necessary.

Highlights

We now have a bookmarklet, if you like to bookmark external fic using your AO3 account. We've added a new translations feature, so you can now link your translation of someone's story to the original version. We've also started a "light style" option, which is the first step towards allowing more styling options for works!

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page.

Release details

Light style

We've introduced a new feature: "Switch to light style". You can choose to view in light style on individual works, or set it as a preference for the whole site via your preferences. At the moment, this doesn't do very much, but it's the first step towards allowing lots more styling options for works – light style will strip out styling such as font colours so that users who don't want to see heavily styled text can have a nice plain version.

You can add ?style=light to the URL on any page, and it will have the same effect, so you can use it on things like collection FAQs if you need to. Light style also skips our special font, Fertigo, so should be faster to load on things like the iPhone that like to pretend they're not mobile phones and don't use our mobile version.

You can also add some extra formatting to your stories now. The following will all work:

  • <span class='font-red'>This text will be red.</span>
  • <span class='dropcap'>This text will have drop capitals.</span>
  • <span class='flashback'>This text will be formatted in italic and should look good for a flashback in your story.</span>
  • <span class='font-serif'>This text will be in a serif font instead of sans-serif.</span>
  • <span class='font-big'>This text will be bigger than usual, but still accessible to readers with different font sizes.</span>
  • <span class='font-small'>This text will be smaller than usual, but also still accessible.</span>

External works bookmarklet

To make it easier to use our bookmarks system to bookmark works hosted outside the Archive, we've introduced a javascript bookmarklet. You can find this on the External Works page – just right-click the link on this page and save as a bookmark, or drag it to your bookmarks bar to 'install'.

Once you've added the bookmarklet to your browser, then clicking on it will open a pop-up containing the form for creating a new external work, with the url of the page you were on already filled in. Just fill in the other details and click create! You'll need to close the pop-up window when you're done.

Features

  • Added Javascript bookmarklet for creating AO3 bookmarks for external works.
  • Added ability to specifically indicate that a work is a translation of another work.
  • Added option to not get admin notices emailed to you.
  • Added ability for admins to get comments on their posts mailed to them.
  • Limited the number of tags in the tag cloud to a slightly more reasonable number. It shows the most popular freeform tags by default and has an option to generate a cloud of random freeform tags.
  • Added the beginnings of a light style feature, which allows you to turn off more adventurous user styles (font colors, sizes, experimental formatting, etc.), which is also a lead-in to the archive allowing more adventurous user styles.

Fixes

  • Improved the message you get on the invite queue page if you check on an email that isn't in the system.
  • Tweaked background colors to make comment threading easier to follow.
  • Better error pages. They mostly look the same, but they'll be much easier to maintain now.
  • Better collection filtering (you can now search on any part of the title), and fixes for errors.
  • Made the series edit page a little spiffier.
  • Improved the work header display when previewing: it should say "Chapters: 1/1" now instead of "0/1" and should list your series titles.
  • Made filters work on language-specific pages.
  • Fixed the formatting on the main languages page.
  • The edit tags page should now tell you which work you're editing.
  • The inbox will now remember what filters you're using while you mark things read/unread/etc.
  • Added actual collection icons to collection blurbs.
  • Fixed duplication of works if you'd listed more than one of your pseuds as the author of the same work.
  • Fixed search and login buttons on the front page - they should no longer change shape or color when you hover over them.
  • Added some clarifying text to the search results page.
  • Fixed gremlin error causing random 500 errors around the site.
  • Fixed issue with importer creating invalid tags when importing from LJ/DW. (Specifically, if your tag names began with "fandom: ", "character: " or "pairing: ".)
  • Fixed malformed import link on user pages.
  • Fixed pre tag formatting.
  • Stripped images from series summaries on index pages. (They'll still appear on single-series pages.)
  • Removed a stray dash from the archive footer.
  • Made sure comments on restricted works don't appear on the latest comments page for logged-out users.
  • Fixed the symbol key pop-ups that you get when you click on the rating/warning/category/etc. symbol icons.
  • Made sorting link options easier for screenreaders to register.
  • Fixed the placement of the icon on the edit pseud page.
  • Added padding to work blurbs.
  • Made it so your works don't all have a grey background on your own user pages.
  • Fixed edit buttons on blurbs (there was some overlap/misalignment in places).
  • Fixed overlapping dates on edited comments.
  • Fixed IE blurb bugs: placement of the symbol block for external bookmarks and margins between the symbols.
  • Fixed the style of headings in admin posts so that they're not the same as the main post heading.
  • Tag wrangler stuff:
    • synonyms and associations should now carry over to new canonical synonym.
    • fixed bug causing characters to be listed as the parents of fandoms.
    • fixed bug causing links to error for tags with semicolons and other symbols in their names.
    • improved sorting on the tag wrangling pages.
    • improved filtering on the tag wrangler assignment page.
    • added more information about unwrangled tags to wrangler homepages.
    • improved wording on some of the wrangling pages.
    • wrangling pairings by character should now remember what fandom you're wrangling between updates.
    • added metatag column to wrangling table for canonical tags.
    • cleaned up the database to get rid of unused columns and data.

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Published:
2010-04-18 19:18:16 -0400
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My family claimed my attention this week (apparently there is a limit to how many times chairing a meeting can be used as a reason to be missing from Family Events) so the most awesome Enigel stepped up to chair in my stead. <3 Quite a few other people were claimed by Real Life, so it was a quiet meeting for once!

Highlights

  • Bingeling did a heroic job of collating all the feedback about fanart on the Archive and we starting discussing what we'll need to do to make these dreams a reality. There's a lot of work that needs to be done first, but we're really excited to be moving forward on this.
  • We talked about ways of making it easier to browse for works in a particular language - there are currently thirteen different languages represented on the Archive, but it's not too obvious how to find them (also, at the moment the languages page is a bit broken! We'll be fixing the layout in the next deploy). We'll be adding some more options for this soon.

Recent changes

We deployed Release 0.7.3.7. to the Archive with a couple of critical fixes - the option to hide warnings and tags by default should now be working properly (it was getting stuck in our cache) and you should be able to add other users as co-authors. Hurrah for Elz who coded and deployed these fixes.

Deploy schedule

  • April 18th: We deployed a bunch more code to our Test Archive for our testers to bang on.
  • May 2nd: If all goes well, we'll be deploying the new code to the Beta Archive in two weeks time! If our testers are feeling active and they don't discover any hideous bugs, it may even make it sooner.

Cool stuff coming up

There are loads of small enhancements in the new code we're testing now:

  • A way of marking a work as a translation, and linking to the original work.
  • A way of turning off admin messages so that people who aren't interested in getting our release notes can be left in peace.
  • Comment notifications for admin posts (this is only really exciting to me, but I am VERY EXCITED).
  • A basic bookmarklet for posting bookmarks of works not hosted on the Archive.
  • A fix for a bug which makes the sort criteria on index pages invisible to screen-readers.

Public service announcement - problems importing from Fanfiction.net

We're experiencing an ongoing issue with importing works from Fanfiction.net. Unfortunately, the request from our server is getting 'stuck' on the way to theirs, which means that imports hang for a long time and then time out. We're looking into solutions, but because this is caused by a server routing issue and not by our code there's not much we can do. We're very sorry about the inconvenience! For more information on this and other bugs you can always check out our Known Issues page.

News from our sub- and sister committees

Everyone continues to work incredibly hard and to contribute in many awesome ways. Go team!

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!

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Published:
2010-04-15 17:56:14 -0400
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This was a shorter meeting than usual, because we moved some meetings about to allow for the holiday weekend without messing up our schedule for the rest of the month. However, this team is so keen that we overran our planned hour!

Highlights

  • We're currently soliciting feedback from fanartists about what features they'd like to see on the Archive. If this is an issue you care about, please come and tell us about your dream Archive.
  • We had a long and impassioned discussion about which things should be bookmarkable on the Archive, and decided that it should be possible to bookmark users and collections as well as works. (In the future, we'll also be introducing ways to subscribe to different things on the Archive, but we think there is still a use for bookmarks.)
  • We looked at a preliminary design for a 'Light' style on the Archive, which will let users strip out styling on other users works. When we get this working right we'll be able to expand the styling options on the Archive, so people will be able to have their bright pink fonts without forcing them on other people.

Recent changes

We deployed Releases 0.7.3.5 and 0.7.3.6 on Sunday 11th April - check out the Release Notes for these. They included quite a few exciting things:

  • First commits from coder Kendappa, who recently rejoined the project after a break.
  • Lots more code for challenges - it's now possible to match up participants in a gift exchange challenge and have the Archive send out their assignments automatically! Anyone who has run a big challenge should be getting excited right about now! Remix Redux are trying out this code RIGHT NOW, and we'll soon be posting a tutorial to help other people use this awesome new feature.
  • The ability to list a work not hosted on the Archive as an inspiration.

Deploy schedule

We are anticipating another deploy today or tomorrow to fix a couple of bugs: there are currently known issues with adding co-authors (it doesn't work!) and hiding/showing warnings (our caching is interfering with this feature).

We haven't set a date for our next real deploy to Beta, but we expect it to be within a few weeks, as our coders have been very busy! People who don't like getting email messages about our new releases will be happy to learn that one of the changes waiting to be tested is the ability to turn off admin messages - so you'll be able to enjoy regular batches of new code without us spamming you.

News from our subcommittees and sister committees!

  • Coders have been crazily active - after a couple of weeks in commit freeze (where we limited new code to things that were urgently needed for the upcoming deploy) they are back in force! We're especially happy to be welcoming lots of new coders, who are already getting stuck in and tackling a few bugs.
  • Testers put in some amazing work testing the massive amounts of new code relating to challenges. New testers Kylie and Tai pitched in to do lots of work on this, with the help of some awesome folk form other teams. Many fake challenges have been created, and many cracktastic assignments issued.
  • Tag wranglers are still working on updating their policies, and working to keep up with the constant flow of new tags on the Archive. They are quiet but awesome!
  • Support have been doing a great job responding to user problems and suggestions. They respond to all feedback submitted via our Support and Feedback form as quickly as possible. If you don't hear back from us within a few weeks, it probably means that something has gone astray - if you're concerned, please do contact us again.
  • Systems do lots of work with a tiny amount of people! The lovely Sidra (who usually keeps the Archive running smoothly) couldn't make the last deploy, so Arrow stepped in to help out - thanks, Arrow!

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!

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Published:
2010-04-12 01:33:14 -0400
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Welcome to Revision 2500, up from 2452. We kind of like how nice, round and even this revision number is. We also welcome kendappa back after a long absence. \o/

ETA: Release 0.7.3.6 was deployed 24 hours later with a critical fix for assignments (you can view them now!) and some Opera fixes because we had them ready to go :)

Highlights

  • Matching code for Challenges!

Known Issues

Please see Known Issues.

Release Details

Bug fixes

  • Fixed comma problem for tag wrangling - mass wrangle.
  • Fixed Challenge signups being visible to other users via URL.
  • Fixed link in Challenge Assignment email.
  • Fixed overlapping series blurb icons.
  • Fixed deleting signups causing matching to crash.
  • Fixed extra comma appearing when creating parent Collection.
  • Fixed problem stopping users from editing multiple works.
  • Fixed bug with 'Fulfil assignments' link.
  • Fixed related works causing errors when the parent or the work is deleted.
  • Fixed adding an Inspired by work creating two related works for the same work.
  • Fixed sign-up edits going to wrong collection.

Enhancements

  • Added ability to cite an external work as a remix inspiration.
  • Added 'after' task for updating existing gifts.
  • Added redirect for bots with no referrer (to homepage).
  • Added 'Download' option for Challenge mods to export an excel file of challenge information.
  • Added pagination to Challenge matching page.
  • Added alert reminder to regenerate matches after editing.
  • Added ability to abort match generating for a Challenge.
  • Added more styling for navigation links/buttons in tables, to make them more compact

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Published:
2010-04-06 17:11:39 -0400
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The Archive of Our Own entered Open Beta in November 2009; in the six months since we've had 18 code releases and have seen 5929 users, 5031 fandoms and 64347 new works added to the Archive. \0/ We've had a bunch of new features, big and small, and have made big improvements in performance, cross-browser compatibility and accessibility. We still have some big features to roll out, but now the first rush is over, we're planning further ahead. One of the key things we're thinking about for our longer-term planning is opening up the Archive to fanart and other media, and we're looking for ideas from artists!

Fanartists - what features would you like in your ideal archive? We want to know:

  • If we were to replace the story box with an upload tool, would that do most of what you want, or are there other things you need?
  • What sites would you like to be able to import from automatically, and how should a multi-upload tool work?
  • What types of art would you want to host on the Archive? What special requirements would these have?
  • What things about the existing interface would work well for you, and what would you need to see changed / added?
  • What are your DREAMS? Whether you've seen a cool feature on another Archive, or it's something you're not even sure is possible, we want to hear from you.

Hosting fanart and (eventually) fanvids has always been an important part of the plan for the Archive, but up until now we've focused on building the text-based aspects of the site because, well, we had to learn to walk before we could run! Hosting other media represents a much bigger technical challenge, as well as additional legal complexity, and actually hosting fanart on the Archive itself is still some way off (we need to learn a LOT more about performance). In the meantime, though, it's really important to us to make the Archive a more welcoming place for the whole fannish community, and we want to make sure that our design and development is working towards a truly inclusive site. So - tell us your dreams! We'll work to make them a reality (and if you'd like to help in that work, we always welcome volunteers).

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Published:
2010-04-03 17:58:39 -0400
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This was a bit of a gruelling meeting, because it was held immediately after our All-Org meeting (two hours of hearing about the awesome things going on in other teams \0/). Because my team are totally insane extremely dedicated, we then had an extra-long meeting. We overwork because we care, people.

Highlights

  • We're currently reviewing the Archive FAQ to ensure it's clear, accessible and comprehensive. The best people to tell us whether it does its job are the people who will use it - you, the Archive users! If you'd like to help us out, check out our post on how to help review the Archive FAQ.
  • We are currently reviewing the Archive of Our Own roadmap and updating it. The roadmap maps out the main features which will be built into the Archive, and shows roughly where they fit into our plans. The version currently available to the public is a bit outdated, so once we finish revising it we'll post a shiny new copy for people to see and comment on. :D
  • Archive user punk has created a Firefox search plugin for the Archive. (Thanks, punk!) We're planning to create a new page where we can feature cool stuff created by users \0/.
  • We launched our new import from brain feature on the Archive - oh, how we wish it were real!

Recent changes

We just deployed a 'small' release of 50 issues to the main Archive - check out Release notes for Release 0.7.4.3. Highlights in this release include the new plain text skin (yeay Cesy \0/) and commits from new coders Amy, queenypolita and linbot. Many thanks to all the coders and testers for the increible hard work that went into this release.

If you'd like to help check that all this new code works, please check out our post on verifying new code.

Deploy schedule

  • Sunday 4 April: We hope to deploy the next block of code for Collections and Challenges to our Test archive.
  • Saturday 10 April: All being well, we will deploy the new Collections and Challenges code to the main Archive - this will include the ability to match compatible participants in exchange challenges.

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!

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Published:
2010-04-03 12:21:49 -0400
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Welcome to Revision 2452, up from 2380. This release tackles a number of front-end bugs and adds a few enhancements. We're happy to welcome first commits from new coders Amy, linbot and queenypolita.

Highlights

  • New plain text skin - this replaces the icons in the works blurb with text. We'll be adding many more skins options in the near future, but for now you can enable this one via your preferences.
  • Fixed the bug which was preventing commenting in IE7.

Known Issues

Please see Known Issues.

Release Details

Bug fixes

  • Release 0.7.3.3 (emergency revision before this one): fixed validation problem preventing challenge sign-ups with certain urls.
  • Fixed issue preventing commenting in IE7.
  • Fixed problem with layout of 'Add comment' on tag wrangling pages.
  • Fixed bug causing the Terms of Service to overspill their box when validation failed during account creation.
  • Fixed display issue with long titles overlapping the date on inbox comments.
  • Fixed problem with the display of blockquotes in comments.
  • Fixed problem causing multiple commas and other display issues on the works blurb in IE7.
  • Fixed display problem displacing index of admin posts (admin view).
  • Fixed problem where full comment notification was not stored in the database.
  • Updated logo on session pages.
  • Fixed display problems with end notes on work preview.
  • Fixed formatting on navigation for tag wrangling discussion.
  • Fixed display issues on bookmarks index.
  • Fixed styling inconsistencies on navigation for Collection Management.
  • Fixed styling issues on admin views of user pages.
  • Decreased size of notes field on bookmarks for better display.
  • Fixed overlap issues with stats and edit buttons on works you own.
  • Fixed display issues with admin posts in IE7.
  • Fixed problem causing missing navigation on some collections.
  • Fixed problem causing empty ul on challenge sign-up pages.
  • Fixed display issue with chapter navigation.
  • Restored the new comment form to being hidden by default.
  • Fixed problem causing 500 errors when trying to access non-existent collections.
  • Fixed problem with sorting on tag wrangling pages.
  • Added alt text for icons on tag wrangling home.
  • Added better redirect after mass wrangling tags.
  • Fixed problem where tag category menu was hidden on wrangling pages if it had no existing tags.
  • Fixed display issue where works blurb partly covered 'My Works' link in user dashboard.
  • Fixed display issues with icons in comments in user inbox.
  • Fixed problem with icon layouts on people and pseuds page.
  • Added meta information for Archive homepage.
  • Fixed problems with 'inspired by' notifications for anonymous works.
  • Fixed bug where filtering for authors and reccers was bringing up 'empty' users.
  • Added colon after 'Series' link in the work meta.

Enhancements

  • Updated the text in the 'first login' pop-up to reflect new warnings wording and to be more inclusive.
  • Added a preference for a plain text skin.
  • Changed Archive icons so that they are displayed by CSS image replacement. (Allowed us to introduce the plain text skin.
  • Reorganised and styled user preferences.
  • Improved behaviour of Viewing History so that rereading a work moves it back to the top of your history.
  • Added comment notifications for tag wrangling comments.
  • Added link to bookmarks from stats on work view page.
  • Added link from the home page to the full News index.
  • Added more information in notification emails for 'Inspired by' works.
  • Optimised fonts for quicker download. Custom font will no longer be shown on handheld devices (except those, like the IPhone, which ignore handheld stylesheets.
  • Added pagination at the top as well as the bottom of Collections.
  • Renamed external bookmark link, and added link to it on all bookmark pages.

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Published:
2010-04-01 06:30:21 -0400
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As usual, Accessibility, Design and Technology have been working hard on developing more shiny new features for the Archive of Our Own. In upcoming weeks we'll have new code for running gift exchanges on the Archive and the first version of Archive skins, and we'll be looking for more input from users. Today we're proud to unveil a cool new feature coded by our awesome volunteer Bod.

How many times you had that wonderful story idea you didn't have time or energy to write? Are your wrists killing you? Worry no more: the Archive of Our Own now allows you to import directly from your brain, using the new neuro/USB 3.0 port technology.

In order to use this feature:

  • Go to 'Import' (linked at the top right-hand of the screen) and choose "Import from Brain".
  • Focus intently on the scenes you wish to write. It works better to limit yourself to two or three at a time.
  • Press the 'Submit' button.

Note that you need to have a neuro/USB 3.0 adapter implant and associated drivers installed to your computer to use this feature.

The new feature is still in beta, so please be aware that there might be typos, minor translation mistakes and unusual background feedback to your brain. There is also a known issue with character names defaulting to 'Adam Lambert' when a user is distracted during import. Preview your work and check carefully before posting. If you encounter any bugs or problems, please let us know via the Support and Feedback form.

One of the great things about working on the Archive is that we're able to make cool ideas a reality. We would like to thank James@dreamwidth for bringing this wonderful idea to us, and we hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!

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