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2011-11-11 16:48:17 -0500

Welcome to Release 0.8.9. Elz, Enigel, erda, Jenny S-T, lim, Lucy P, Naomi, Phoenix, Pixel, Rebecca, Sidra and sarken contributed code to this release, which was tested by our awesome testing team: sarken, via_ostiense, Jenny S-T, Rebecca, Enigel, phoenix, Kylie, Irene, Jenn_Calaelen, Bridget, Zebra, Tai, linbot, mumble, XParrot, alasen, Naomi


Site Design Overhaul

The Archive's look has changed a lot, whoa! The amazing lim has completely overhauled our CSS and HTML.

A big reason for this change is to make it much easier to write skins for the Archive. This is important not just for people who want to use skins, but because it will enable us to make a variety of skins ourselves for different uses (even for users who aren't logged in!) and also allow us to keep developing and improving the Archive's interface in future without breaking skins all over the place.

If you want to update your existing skin or are interested in making new skins, you may want to start by browsing the new Archive default skin (it's broken down into lots of different modular parents, making it easier to see what each bit does). We'll shortly be posting a list of the new skins with some info on what they all do!


Another crucial reason for the change has been to improve the accessibility of the Archive. Among the changes we have put in:

  • Autocomplete now using ARIA managed focus, making it accessible to more screenreaders.
  • ARIA roles have been expanded throughout.
  • Lots of forms have been chunked up into fieldsets, making it easier to do a task at a time.
  • The dashboard has been reorganised and chunked into different sets of tasks.
  • Tables have been ruthlessly eradicated where inappropriate and remaining ones have been made accessible.
  • Lots of instructions have been rewritten using simpler, shorter sentences.
  • Labels have been made more consistent.
  • Extensive landmarks have been written throughout
  • All form elements should now be labeled and/or titled for screenreader access.
  • Buttons should be easier to mouse to for people with lower mobility.
  • A user icon is now in the header which you can always click to to get home, for more visual/spatial users.
  • All navigation jumpable to with headings and roles.
  • A bunch of other small tweaks have been made to make the Archive more customisable and more amenable to being viewed with unusual browser settings.

We continue to actively seek input from readers and users with any accessibility problems! If you are browsing with assistive devices and something doesn't work for you or is frustrating, please let us know. We know you probably hear this a lot, but we hope the work we've already done will demonstrate that accessibility is a genuine concern for us. We might not always get it 100% right, but we'll keep working to improve.

Skin Parents

You can now chain together multiple skins by making one skin the parent of another. This is particularly useful if you want to replace instead of override the archive site skin, because you can use parts of the default skin as parents of your own skin, and only replace the parts you need to change.

IE-Only Skins and Media Type Skins

You can now create skins that just have overrides for Internet Explorer, which will be loaded up using conditional comments. So if you're making a public skin that you would like IE users to be able to enjoy also, you don't have to put in hacks -- just put the IE fixes in their own skin, and put it into your list of parents.

You can also now make custom skins for different media types -- for instance, for "speech" to be loaded up only by screenreaders, or "print" to be loaded up only for printing, or "handheld" to be loaded up for small-screen mobile devices.

Tag Sets

Before this release, if you were running a challenge and wanted to restrict your participants to picking from a particular set of tags, you would put those tags into your challenge settings. No longer! You will now put the tags into a tag set instead.

Tag Set Features:

  • Reusable across multiple challenges.
  • Shared with other users.
  • Take nominations which you can then review.
  • Let users see your tag set in progress during nominations or not as you choose.
  • Can include tags that haven't been wrangled (this means you can use brand-new tags, or tags which suit your own challenge's preferred terminology).
  • Let you specify which fandom character and relationship tags belong to (which will make those options get loaded automatically in the signup form for your participants).

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page.

Release Details


  • Design overhaul
  • Tag sets
  • News posts can now be tagged and filtered by tags & language
  • Comments on multi-chaptered words now include information which chapter the comments was left on, to avoid confusion in "view full work" mode
  • Added security measures to the login process: after 50 failed login attempts, the account will be locked down for 5 minutes

Bug fixes

  • you can now delete a work without Javascript enabled, huzzah!
  • fixed a bug that would display works as incomplete even after the last chapter was added
  • there was a bug where deleting a work with a lot of chapters would take too long or time out, this has been fixed
  • fixed broken links in the sitemap
  • fixed several bugs and workflow isses with the new autocomplete functionality after feedback from tag wranglers
  • when posting a work, tabbing into the fandom field would enter the first autocomplete suggestion that would come up, this has been changed to leave the field blank when tabbing further
  • added author information to the body of feed items for tag subscriptions (so they wouldn't only show up in a byline like the author of a blog post)
  • fixed the character counter for the Notes fields on the "post new" form
  • bad class names in work skins (e.g. names containing special characters like $) would be stripped from the skin but left intact in the work body, this has been fixed
  • added a link to the FAQ item about importing from the "import new" page
  • after a failed import, the error message would stick around when going to another page, this has been fixed
  • more automated tests
  • Admin:
    • notice banners for admin announcements can now include links and basic formatting tags
    • made the links to translations of news posts visually clearer
    • fixed an issue with notifications for comments on news posts being sent out twice
    • made sure that comments marked as spam by an admin are not visible to users anymore
  • Bookmarks:
    • fixed the display of "most recent bookmarks" for a work on the bookmarks index
    • fixed a bug that would lead to unexpected behavior when trying to bookmark a work in IE 9
    • the help popup for the bookmark symbols didn't work on the main bookmark index, this has been fixed
  • Challenges:
    • the list of open challenges now exludes moderated and closed collections
    • brought some misleading timeframe information (such as, "SIGNUP PERIOD IS OVER") in line with actual start and end dates
    • you can now sign up to a challenge with multiple requests without Javascript
    • fixed a bug where drafts of an assignment would show up as the title of a posted work for the challenge mods
    • pinch-hitters now receive an email notification of their assignment
    • fixed a bug that would allow you to create subcollections in a subcollection (potentially breaking things) and made the error message clearer
    • added a link to the "Manage Items" page from challenge options to make it more obvious that you can reveal stories one by one
    • tweaked collection settings into a more logical order (compulsory items first)
    • deleting a signup from the My Signups would redirects to the Collection profile, it now redirects to the /signups page for gift exchanges or the prompt overview for memes
  • Prompt Memes:
    • added an option to give prompts a title; this can be turned on by the prompt meme owner by allowing/requiring a title in the request settings and affects the prompts overview and the list of assignments when posting a new work
    • you can now see the number of total prompts in a meme on the Collections index and
    • fixed a bug where posting to fill a prompt would persistently try and fill all prompts by that user (if you claimed more than one), leading to wonky results
  • Downloads:
    • ampersands in work titles and work content would lead to missing characters in .epub files, this has been fixed
    • fixed a problem with .epub files for works with very long chapters; made sure that they're split into small enough chunks to work with all e-readers
  • Lots and lots of display fixes:
    • made the site, especially the posting interface, more usable in IE 6 and up
    • fixed several alignment and spacing issues across browsers
    • fixed some bugs where HTML code would show up as text
    • generally prettied things up