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Published:
2017-06-21 13:03:48 -0400
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OTW Contested Election

Candidates Announcement

The Organization for Transformative Works is pleased to announce the following candidates for the 2017 Election (in alphabetical order by given name):

  • Claire P. Baker
  • Danielle Strong
  • Erica Dulin
  • Gimena Calixto
  • Jessie Camboulives
  • Milena Popova

Because we have 3 seats to be filled and 6 candidates, the 2017 election will be contested – that is, the members of OTW will vote on which candidates fill the seats.

The Elections Committee is excited to introduce the candidates to all of the members of the OTW! Included in this post are links to short Bios and Platforms written by the candidates. This post also marks the beginning of our Q&A period, during which we invite the public to submit questions for the candidates. Additionally, we will be holding a series of live chats – dates and times for those are to be announced based on candidate availability. Information on the voting period and how to vote will also be posted shortly.

In the meantime, there is a timeline of Elections events available here for your reference. Read on to learn more about our candidates and how you can submit questions for them!

Platforms and Bios

We asked each candidate to provide us with a Bio that sums up their professional and fannish experience, as well as to write a Platform about their goals for their term on the Board by answering the following questions:

  • Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
  • What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
  • Choose one or two goals for the OTW that are important to you and that you would be interested in working on during your term. Why do you value these goals? How would you work with others to achieve them?
  • What is your experience with the OTW’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Try to include a range of projects, though feel free to emphasize particular ones you have experience with.
  • How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the OTW, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?

You can read both the candidates’ answers to these questions and their bios by following the link below.

Question & Answer (Q&A)

Candidates will also answer questions from the public. Anyone may submit questions via the Elections form. Please submit all questions by 11:59pm UTC on June 28 (what time is that where I live?). All candidates will answer each question submitted, subject to the following restrictions:

  • Questions must not be repeats of questions from the Platforms. This is to allow candidates to spend their time answering new questions.
  • Similar questions will be grouped together so candidates don’t have to repeat themselves. Elections staff will decide which questions are similar enough to group.
  • If you have a follow-up to a Platform question, please specifically mention that it is a follow-up so it isn’t treated as a repeat.

The posting date for answers will be chosen depending on the number of questions received. Posts will be spread out, arranged by topic, to make it easier for voters to read all the answers.

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Published:
2017-06-14 12:33:08 -0400
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OTW Recruitment Banner by Erin

Would you like to help your fellow fans use the AO3? Or do you have skills with graphic design, fundraising, or customer service? Or do you have a background in finance? Or can you translate documents on a tight turnaround? Communications, Development & Membership, Finance, AO3 Support, and Translation are looking for new personnel in a range of roles!

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Translation Volunteers and Strategic Planning Staff.

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

  • Communications Graphics Volunteers
  • Finance Committee Staff
  • Development & Membership Committee Staff
  • Support Committee Staff
  • Translation Committee - News Translation Volunteer

These roles will all close Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC.

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. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

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.


Communications Committee Graphics Volunteers

Do you have experience with graphic design or creating digital fan art? The Communications Committee is looking for volunteers!

Communications handles most of the information distribution for the OTW. We manage the OTW News blog and related social media accounts, and we assist other teams in managing project-specific communication. Most of our OTW News posts use original graphics created by volunteers, and we’re looking for new recruits to create those graphics. If you have experience with graphic design or digital fan art, apply to join us as a Communications Graphics Volunteer!

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC


Development & Membership Staff

Do you have skills or interest in fundraising, membership database management, creating promotional graphics, eCommerce, or customer service?

The Development & Membership committee (DevMem) coordinates the OTW's fundraising and membership-building activities. Our primary responsibility is coordinating our biannual fund drives. Our other responsibilities include designing a new convention outreach process, communicating with donors, and exploring new fundraising opportunities. If you have skills or interests in these areas, consider applying to join our staff!

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC


Finance Committee Staff

Have you checked out the OTW’s budget for 2017? Did you by any chance look at it and go, hey, I could help them with that? If you have a background in finance and if you’re up for contributing some time and knowledge, we’d love to hear from you!

The OTW Finance committee handles payments, ensures that the accounting records are accurate and up-to-date, communicates with the Board and OTW committees in the creation of an Annual Budget, and produces annual financial statements. We are improving and documenting internal financial policies and procedures, such as payment requests or setting up new vendors.

More information about the Finance Committee can be found at the Finance Committee Page

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC


Support Committee Staff

If you've spent time figuring out how to make the Archive dance (or are willing to press the button to see what happens), are patient in the face of strange questions, can self-motivate, and are interested in helping your fellow fans, we would love to hear from you!

The Support team is responsible for handling the feedback and requests for assistance we receive from users of the Archive. We answer users’ questions, help to resolve problems they’re experiencing, and pass on information to and from coders, testers, tag wranglers and other teams involved with the Archive.

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC


Translation Committee - News Translation Volunteers

Would you like to help translate OTW/AO3 news posts? We are looking for volunteers who can translate or beta news posts within five-day deadlines. If you enjoy working collaboratively, if you're fluent in a language other than English, if you’re passionate about the OTW and its projects, and want to help us reach more fans all around the world, working with Translation might be for you!

We particularly need people for Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish.

(Please note that our Chinese, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish teams are not accepting new members at this time.)

Applicants may be asked to translate and correct short text samples and will be invited to a chatroom interview as part of the selection process. More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page. If your language is not listed, feel free to contact us anyway! We'd love to hear from you.

More information about us can be found on the Translation committee page.

Applications are due Wednesday 21 June 23:59 UTC


Read more and apply at the Organization for Transformative Works' Volunteering page!

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Published:
2017-06-11 13:08:08 -0400
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5 things an OTW volunteer said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Ely, who volunteers as a translator.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

The mission of the OTW is to “provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures”; I reckon that, as a volunteer translator, my role fits primarily with the part where we “provide access”.

Even though, in the 21st Century, more and more people use English online, there are still many users who don’t feel confident enough in a language that is not their own. What we do in Translation is try to reach as broad a public as possible by translating content that otherwise would be inaccessible to many.

Knowing that, thanks to our work, people get to feel part of the wonderful community that is the OTW makes it one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever volunteered to do.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I am part of the Italian Team, which is one of the teams with the highest number of volunteers, and we don’t get new tasks daily since we have completed all the main ones already. Therefore, I don’t think we have a “typical” week, every day varies greatly according to the tasks we’re given. But that doesn’t mean that our week is anything but exciting!

When I am given a new document to translate, I draft a rough rendition of the translation as quickly as possible. Then, I put it away for a day or so before I get back to what I’ve written with a fresh mind and work properly on it. It usually takes me four to five days before I feel confident enough to send it back.

We have a two-beta system and I very much enjoy being the first beta. Being the first beta means that I can point out what I would change but I get to hear what other people think of my changes before anything is set in stone. I love to discuss grammar and stylistic choices with my fellow teammates –- yes, I am that nerdy. The second beta wraps up any comment and marks the doc as “Ready”.

Sometimes, the teams are given new terms whose translations they need to discuss before adding them to each team’s cheat sheet. Everybody writes what they believe would be the most accurate translation and we discuss and vote the terms that are the toughest to find a solution to. Don’t be fooled! This is a hard task that can take days if not weeks.

We also take surveys about our work as volunteers; once a year, we chat privately with our Chairs; we have regular Translation meetings on Slack (that I regularly miss due to personal schedule conflicts!); and when there is a Drive or other time sensitive posts to translate… well! That’s when things get hectic!

What sorts of OTW content have you worked on?

I have worked on all sorts of OTW content: AO3 and OTW FAQs, News posts, Election posts, Abuse and Support messages, Open Doors tutorials, Drives, Video Subtitles, Annual Reports, and the recruitment samples.

My favourite tasks to work on are the Abuse and Support emails, though, because the role of the translator is essential –- not that it usually isn’t -– and, without our mediation, the Abuse and Support volunteers wouldn’t be able to communicate with non-English-speaking users seeking practical help.

Alas! My least favourite tasks are legal documents; I am pants at translating all that technical vocabulary and, when I get one of those, it’s usually accompanied by an apology from our Translation Chairs –- who totally understand and share my grief.

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Being a language graduate from the University of Venice, and having worked as a freelance translator and interpreter for years, one of the most fun things for me is working on the translations themselves. Some of them are a field day, some others are much more byzantine, but it is always rewarding when the document is finally ready and you know you gave all you have to do a good job. Plus, you get to know about what’s going to happen on the Archive before everyone else (when you have News posts to translate)!

Another fun aspect of my work as a volunteer is to meet other nerdy people that share my passion about fandom, and to chat with them about their fanworks and their own involvement with AO3. I am always interested to see the similarities and differences between other users’ experiences and my own, and I am often surprised to see how much I share even with people that have very different interests from my own.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I like to do all sorts of fannish things! (Who doesn’t?)

Primarily, when I have time, I love to write. I am an author (and have been one for 14 years, now) for the Harry Potter fandom (my one and only fandom), and I love to pen long, plot-driven, multi-chaptered stories about my OTP (Lily Luna Potter/Hugo Weasley). When I feel particularly inspired by a prompt, I participate in the occasional fest on LiveJournal (which usually cross-posts on AO3, nowadays).

I love to read, and I absolutely adore to leave long and detailed feedback that makes other writers and artists squeal in delight. I am also a mod for Crack Broom, a reccing community on LiveJournal, and I love to rec those stories that leave me a gooey mess.

I am artistically impaired, but I am a junkie for fanart, and I always marvel at how good other people are. I commission the occasional drawing, too, just for the pleasure of my eyes and to support those wonderful artists out there.

I take part in-fandom discussions on LiveJournal, read meta-essays, enjoy fandom stats, beta-read Italian fan-fictions, cheerlead my fellow writers when they need help, and study articles on Transformative Works and Cultures. In fact, I used one of the articles from TWC as a source to write my plagiarism essay for my university induction last year.

Fandom is such a big part of my life; the one place where I always come back. It is the beautiful fantasy world that we build all together and where I love to get lost.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

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Published:
2017-06-08 12:01:55 -0400
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Banner by caitie of a newspaper with the name and logos of the OTW and its projects on the pages

I. OTW IN PERSON

May brought two opportunities for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) staff to interact with OTW members offline! Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Communications staffer Claudia Rebaza presented "Celebrating 10 Years of Serving Fans: Meet the OTW" at WhedonCon in Southern California. Thanks to the convention organizers and everyone who came out to chat!

Additionally, Legal staffer Casey gave a TedX talk at Colorado University about fair use and remix, entitled "How the Internet and Copyright Fuel Creativity." You can check out a video of the talk on YouTube and learn about how fanworks fit into US copyright laws.

II. AT THE AO3

During May, Accessibility, Design & Technology deployed releases 0.9.191 - 0.9.193. These releases included updates and bug fixes for managing co-creators on works, resolving some common issues that would result in an error 500 message, and various other improvements. There is now a code freeze (brr!) to ensure a smooth behind-the-scenes update from Rails 3.2 to Rails 5.

Open Doors completed the import for The Quidditch Pitch this month. They also announced archive imports for Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest and Death-Marked Love.

Tag Wrangling worked hard this month, continuing on from a busy April where they wrangled approximately 497,000 tags! \o/ At the request of Open Doors, wranglers assisted with tag mapping for several archive imports and searched to find metadata for over 1,000 works in the Stargate SG-1 fandom. Wranglers also continued to work on disambiguating single-name characters and relationships to bring them into compliance with guidelines on ambiguous tags.

Lastly, Support received over 1167 tickets, and Abuse received roughly 500.

III. LEGAL ADVOCACY

May was an active month for Legal. They submitted reply comments to the U.S. Copyright Office regarding the Copyright Office's inquiry into the "moral rights" of attribution and integrity. These reply comments followed up on their submission in March, corrected some other participants' assertions about fanworks and fan cultures, emphasized the complexity and effectiveness of fans' attribution norms, and pointed out that if converted into law, an attribution right may be more likely to be used against noncommercial creators than it is to be used by them.

They also joined with several allies to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Georgia v. Public Resource. The case is about ensuring that the public has free access to the official versions of laws and related government information. Among other things, the OTW's brief argued that making something available for free cannot be "commercial use" for purposes of analyzing copyright fair use.

Lastly, Legal worked on two public posts about legal developments. For the first one, they worked with Communications to inform and mobilize fans in the European Union with regards to pending legislative proposals that would promote censorship and Internet filtering. For the second, they explained some recent U.S. legal developments about what internet service providers can do with user data, and discussed what impact those legal developments might have on fans in the U.S. They also responded to a number of individual queries about fanworks and law.

IV. GOVERNANCE

Board has announced a change in Treasurer: Finance chair Yuechiang Luo has replaced Atiya Hakeem (Lady Oscar) as OTW Treasurer.

Elections has continued to prepare for the upcoming election. As a reminder, some dates from the election timeline: This year's election will be held August 11-14, and the membership deadline for being eligible to vote is June 30. Candidates running for the Board of Directors will be announced on June 21. Check out Elections' Twitter and Tumblr for updates throughout the election season.

V. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PEEPS

As of the 28th of May, the OTW has 638 volunteers. \o/ Recent personnel movements are listed below.

New Committee Staff: Rachel Bussert (Volunteers & Recruiting), Connie Pini (Volunteers & Recruiting), Judy Wen (Elections), Hazel Seanor (Elections), 1 other Election staffer and 1 other Volunteers & Recruiting staffer.
New Tag Wrangler Volunteers: Alex Garner, BooksAreLife, Christina L Simpson, fykan, gracethebookworm, Helena, hthesecond, I-Mushi, Ingi, Iridium, Ironweed, Jackie, KamW, Lianne, Mieun, Mikayla, Miniwave, Miranda Parker, mmmdraco, Nis, Nissi, oncomingtragedy, Parker, Paula, Rimb, savannaharcana, scm.sarah.miller, squallina, TajarGirl, tallcoins, The Calamity, Thewordlover, Tildy, Trixxster103 and Victoria M.
New Translation Volunteers: Anhaita, redsummernight and 12 others.

Departing Committee Chairs: Kiri Van Santen (Communications) and Atiya Hakeem (Finance).
Departing Committee Staff: Astrid Clemons (Abuse), Rachel Pearl Bracker (Communications), Pip Janssen (Communications), Elanya (Tag Wrangling), Michele Carter (Open Doors), 1 Volunteers & Recruiting staffer and 1 Strategic Planning staffer.
Departing AD&T Coder Volunteers: saraolives.
Departing Communications Volunteers: ElenaWho and 1 other.
Departing Fanlore Gardener Volunteers: 1 volunteer.
Departing Tag Wrangler Volunteers: 3 volunteers.
Departing Translation Volunteers: Mareen Fischer, Andita, Roser Agnés, Zsuzsa Gábor and 1 other.

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

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Hammer to Fall banner with quote -- but still the stories get out. They spread by word of mouth, by whispers, by rumor; each time the story is told it is elaborated upon -- Bercol in episode Seek-Locate-Destroy

Bang and Blame banner -- Maroon background with blue text -- Have you betrayed us? Have you betrayed me?

Hammer to Fall, a Blake’s 7 fanfiction archive, and Bang and Blame, a Blake’s 7 post-series fanfiction and meta archive, are being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

Founded by Oracne in 1998, Hammer to Fall was among the first multi-author Blake’s 7 fanfiction archives, and was also the largest for some time. Its sister site, Bang and Blame, was founded in 2000, also by Oracne, and focused on post-series fanfiction and meta. Both sites have been offline since 2010, but after the successful import of the Hermit Library, Oracne decided to resurrect the archives to keep the works available for readers and scholars.

Open Doors will be working with Oracne to import Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame into two separate, searchable collections on the Archive of Our Own. As part of preserving the archive in its entirety, all works currently at Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame will be hosted on the OTW's servers, and embedded in their own AO3 work pages.

We will begin importing works from Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame to the AO3 after June.

What does this mean for creators who have work(s) on Hammer to Fall or Bang and Blame?

We will send an import notification to the email address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

Please contact Open Doors with your Hammer to Fall or Bang and Blame pseud(s) and email address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archive
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. you have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Hammer to Fall or Bang and Blame account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great; if not, we will work with the mod to confirm your claims.)

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on:

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the stories of Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Hammer to Fall and Bang and Blame!

- The Open Doors team and Oracne

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Daire’s Fanfic Refuge header

HL Raven’s Nest header

Two Highlander fanfiction archives, Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest, are being imported to the Archive of Our Own (AO3).

In this post:

Background explanation

Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest were Highlander fanfic archives that were started in 1997 and 1998 respectively. Their moderator, Daire, decided to move their stories to a more long-term home: AO3!

Open Doors will be working with Daire to import Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest into separate, searchable collections on the Archive of Our Own. Eventually the links going to the old site will redirect to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs.

We will begin importing works from Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest to the AO3 after May 2017.

What does this mean for creators who had work(s) on Daire's Fanfic Refuge or HL Raven's Nest?

We will send an import notification to the e-mail address we have for each creator. We'll do our best to check for an existing copy of any works before importing. If we find a copy already on the AO3, we will invite it to the collection instead of importing it. All works archived on behalf of a creator will include their name in the byline or the summary of the work.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors. Open Doors will then set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

Please contact Open Doors with your Daire's Fanfic Refuge or HL Raven's Nest pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), if:

  1. You'd like us to import your works, but you need the notification sent to a different email address than you used on the original archives
  2. You already have an AO3 account and have imported your works already yourself.
  3. You’d like to import your works yourself (including if you don’t have an AO3 account yet).
  4. You would NOT like your works moved to the AO3.
  5. You are happy for us to preserve your works on the AO3, but would like us to remove your name.
  6. If you have any other questions we can help you with.

Please include the name of the archive in the subject heading of your email. If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's great. If you don't, we will work with the moderator to confirm your claims.

Please see the Open Doors Website for instructions on:

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the stories of Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Daire's Fanfic Refuge and HL Raven's Nest!

- The Open Doors team and Daire

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Published:
2017-05-16 03:30:02 -0400
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In this big batch of bug fixes and enhancements, we sorted out several issues with collaboration on chaptered works, reduced errors when trying to download works, took another small step toward sitewide https support, and kept making improvements to our automated tests.

Credits

  • Coders: Cesy, cosette, cresenne, james_, redsummernight, Sarken, ticking instant
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, bingeling, james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Alison Watson, james_, Lady Oscar, mumble, Sammie, Sarken, Stephanie Godden

Details

Enhancements

  • [AO3-4847] - To help users who are receiving abusive comments, Abuse staff can now find a commenter's IP address without having to ask for a database admin's help.
  • [AO3-4999] - It is now easier to manage co-creators you collaborated with on chaptered works. When adding or editing a chapter, a list of checkboxes will suggest users who are already co-creators on another chapter. For works without any previous co-creators, you can still add users in the "Add co-creators?" autocomplete field. (This also fixes the previous behavior, where a co-creator on any chapter was getting added to the whole work.)
  • [AO3-3359] - We've added a Search button to the top of the Work Search form, so you don't have to scroll all the way down if you're only using a few options on the top half of the page.
  • [AO3-4885] - Challenge assignment emails can now be translated (for when we introduce that functionality).

Work Bug Fixes

  • [AO3-4943] - Users kept running into error 500s when trying to download works. /o\ This deploy should fix several common causes for these errors: hyphens in work titles, a deleted parent work (i.e. the inspiration for a remix, or the original of a translation), or a deleted series that included the work. Fingers crossed!
  • [AO3-4986] - We discovered that it was theoretically possible to add yourself as a co-creator to a work you did not actually co-create. We fixed this as soon as our coders found it, and we have no reports of it being exploited, or any reason to believe that it was.
  • [AO3-3176] - If you were listed as the co-creator of a work and you tried to edit a chapter you were not explicitly listed on, you'd get a 500 error. Now you can edit it successfully.
  • [AO3-3733] - Orphaning a co-created work would add the orphan_account as a creator to every chapter, even if the orphaning user was not a co-creator on the entire work. We've now added a check to only display the orphan_account on the appropriate chapters.
  • [AO3-4174] - The same would happen for works in an orphaned series, where the orphan_account would suddenly be attached to all works. Fixed that too!
  • [AO3-4963] - After a change we made to speed up the posting process behind the scenes, new fandom tags on works showed up on the wrangling interface as intended, but fandom tags on bookmarks of external works did not. Oops! We made sure all new fandom tags are treated equally now.
  • [AO3-4105] - It used to be possible to completely delete a series (not the works in it!) when editing a single work in that series. We decided that this was maybe a little weird and removed the "Delete" button from that part of the interface.

Other Bug Fixes

  • [AO3-4712] - Trying to filter collections by fandom would lead to an error 500. Now it actually produces a list of collections containing works for that fandom.
  • [AO3-4985] - While the buttons to mark or unmark a comment as spam are hidden from everyone but site admins and the work's creators, it was theoretically possible to access those actions while logged out. We have now put in the appropriate checks.
  • [AO3-4718] - In a similar vein, if they had the direct link to a tag comment, logged out users could potentially see replies to and also cancel the edits on that tag comment (not comments on works!). Now they'll see the appropriate error message if they try.
  • [AO3-4956] - The redirect tool Open Doors uses to manage imported works would throw up an error 404 when being presented with a faulty URL. Now it responds with a much friendlier error message. We also extended test coverage for this feature!
  • [AO3-4407] - To keep spammers at bay, the feature that lets you request invites to friends has been disabled for a while now. We've finally adjusted the code for the front page copy to correctly reflect your options in getting an AO3 account.
  • [AO3-4621] - User icons, which we're storing on AWS servers, will now be fetched over https, making it less likely that you will get a mixed security warnings message on a page.
  • [AO3-4863] - The message you'd get when trying to access the Reindex Work action without being logged in as an admin or tag wrangler was a friendly blue instead of the appropriately dangerous red. It will flash the right color at you now.

Automated Tests

  • [AO3-4997] - In a previous deploy, we made it possible to test JavaScript features with our automated Cucumber tests. This fix brings back scenarios that were commented out when we were still grappling with JavaScript testing.
  • [AO3-4993] - We used to test URL caching with Cucumber tests. What were we thinking! Now we're using the RSpec framework for this, like normal.
  • [AO3-4992] - To start each automated test with a blank slate, we've added a little clean-up step before each test is run. Previously, that step only applied to tests of the autocomplete functionality.
  • [AO3-4990] - We've added some coverage for easy-to-test parts of various models.
  • [AO3-4982] - The service we use for our continuous integration needs, Travis CI, upgraded their operating system. We made sure we're still compatible.
  • [AO3-4981] - We added an automated test for invitation emails.
  • [AO3-4714] - We also extended coverage for the series feature.
  • [AO3-5004] - And we've added a test for work URL detection in abuse reports.
  • [AO3-4733] - The test for the public Wrangling Guidelines has been updated (and the related code received a small correction).
  • [AO3-5003] - The RSpec test for the reindexing button available to admins was broken, and we fixed it.
  • [AO3-5010] - The bookmark search test was very short and used fixtures. It is now longer (in this case, that does mean better), and uses factories instead.
  • [AO3-5014] - We now use the same factories for unit and feature tests. If this means anything to you and you have some free time on your hands, shoot us a message and join the team!

Code Clean-Up

  • [AO3-4942] - The code for viewing and editing locales on the Archive included some unused cruft. Now it's all neat and tidy. (Or neater and tidier, anyway.)
  • [AO3-4480] - We've added caching to the redirect code for imported works and made sure the cache gets updated when a work is deleted.
  • [AO3-4978] - Cleaned up duplicate definitions.
  • [AO3-5009] - We had a /docs folder that hadn't been used for anything in years. It sleeps with the fishes now.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Published:
2017-05-14 14:15:17 -0400
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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Rebecca Sentance, who volunteers as chair of the AO3 Documentation Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I'm a co-chair with the AO3 Documentation committee, also known as "Docs", which handles the user-facing documentation for Archive of Our Own -- things like FAQs, tutorials and screencasts. You can find our work over on the Archive FAQ page. Our job is to make sure that there's clear and accessible documentation explaining the different functions of the Archive, which users can consult if they run into any issues.

For this we work closely with the Support Committee, making sure that our docs address the user queries that they're getting; Accessibility, Design & Technology, to take interface changes and feature updates into account; and Translation, who make our documentation available in all sorts of languages.

I also wear another hat which is as a layout editor for the Transformative Works and Cultures academic journal, where I'm responsible for HTML tagging articles for publication in each issue. I've learned a lot about the world of academic HTML in the process!

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

Every week is a little bit different. I do the bulk of my work for Docs at the weekends, so during the week I'll take care of smaller tasks like replying to and resolving comments on documents I'm betaing, checking in with the newer members of Docs that I'm mentoring in my capacity as chair, and looking over documents on "Free For All" -- that's the last internal beta stage our documents go through, where everyone in the committee goes over them with a fine-tooth comb and provides feedback.

Then every Saturday, Docs chairs will have a meeting to touch base and discuss anything that needs our attention. There are three of us, based in Australia, the UK (me!) and Canada respectively, so finding a time of day that works for all of us is a fun task! On the plus side, it means one of us is always awake and available if we're needed. We also have committee-wide meetings about once every two months.

At weekends I'll sit down to do more in-depth beta and drafting work. Drafting is the process of creating a document from scratch, after which it passes through five beta rounds which focus on different areas: Testing, Accessibility & Internationalisation, Coherency & Consistency, Readability and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). From there a doc moves into Free-For-All, and finally into External beta where other committees will take a look and provide feedback. My favourite beta stage is Testing, because I'm a hands-on sort of person, and I like to poke about with the Archive and find out what works and what doesn't!

What was your path to becoming chair of AO3 Docs?

Haha, to be honest, it was a path I hadn't even realised I was on at the time. Right from when I joined the committee, I was interested in training to be a chair someday, but imagined it would be a long way down the line. But I was proactive in volunteering to help with any admin tasks that needed doing, attending committee meetings (I love meetings), and offering my opinion on issues to do with the committee's direction and future. I was also keen to get involved with the wider OTW, which is a plus point for a prospective chair.

This must have caught the eye of our incumbent chairs, because eight months after I joined Docs I was approached about training to become a chair, and I delightedly said yes. That was in April of last year, so from then on I became a "chair-track trainee" (as we like to call it) and carried out hands-on training with my fellow chairs, Sammie and Claire, and in January of this year I was officially "chaired up" to the level of a full Docs co-chair. However, I still consider myself a "junior chair" and there's always more for me to learn.


2 new and 2 revised docs in 2014; 4 revised and 6 new docs in 2015; 5 revised and 1 new doc in 2016

User-facing documentation uploaded to the Archive between 2014 and 2016 by the AO3 Docs team. The Docs team is responsible for creating and editing help documentation in multiple formats, from text-based FAQs and tutorials to video tutorials, or 'screencasts'. Revised refers to existing docs that were rewritten or amalgamated, and New refers to brand new docs that were created from scratch. Statistics start midway through 2014.


What do you enjoy the most about your work?

The best thing about being a chair in an OTW committee - and about being part of the OTW as a whole - is the feeling of doing something tangible to give back to the fannish community. That was the reason I applied to join Docs in the first place, and the reason that I pour so much of my time and energy into the OTW.

Docs is also the perfect committee for me because I'm a writer and editor in my day job, and I get a lot of joy out of tinkering with language and helping to improve the way something is communicated. The Docs committee is a haven for word nerds, and we have members who love to delve into the intricacies of spelling and grammar or spend ages debating the perfect wording for a single sentence. I used to be a beta reader for fanfiction, which I got into because I love to edit and help improve the quality of someone's writing. Docs work is really similar, but with a bigger team -- and we're in the business of creating as well as editing.

Plus, I get a kick out of knowing that the documentation that we create is the same documentation that countless Archive users refer to whenever they have a problem, or want to learn about a feature. So we contribute directly to helping people use the Archive -- which is a big responsibility but also very cool.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I've been an avid reader and writer of fanfic ever since I was a teenager (well, there were also a few fanfics I wrote at a younger age before I discovered the wider online fanfic community, but we won't talk about those...), and fandom has always been a big part of how I spend my free time. I started out reading fanfic on Quizilla, which was written as a second-person narrative with occasional responses to choose from, sort of like a fanfic choose-your-own-adventure. From there I progressed to Fanfiction.net, LiveJournal and AO3. My early fannish experiences were mainly in anime fandoms and Harry Potter, but I've since dabbled in all sorts of fandoms from The Road to El Dorado to Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Inception.

In the past I've written some journalistic articles about fandom and fanworks for Paper Droids, an online magazine for geeky ladies. I also love to read about fandom, and record my fannish recollections over on Fanlore.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

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