AO3 News

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2016-06-16 03:10:56 UTC

Over the last eleven releases, we've tackled nearly forty issues ranging from performance improvements to infrastructure upgrades to new features -- not to mention more than a few minor bug fixes and enhancements.


  • Coders: Ariana, Cesy, james, jkingsman, Lin, Naomi, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Cesy, Enigel, james, Naomi, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: CJ Record, Lady Oscar, Sammie, Sarken



  • [AO3-4536] - Guests would sometimes enter the wrong email address when leaving comments, and the rightful owner of that email address would ask us to make sure no one was able to use their email address on the Archive again. Now our site administrators can actually do that.
  • [AO3-2665] - We've implemented the changes announced in our post, "Maintainers Can Invite Works to Collections!" Surprisingly, these changes allow collection maintainers to invite works to their collections.

The Support Form

  • [AO3-4532] - Our Support team switched ticket tracking services, so we updated the form to work with the new service. This change includes removing the "Category" field, which wasn't particularly useful, and adding new fields for "Your name" and "Language," which will make it easier for Support to know how to address users and in what language to respond.
  • [AO3-2909] - There was some HTML showing in the subject line of all the emails our Support form sends to the Support team. This was ugly and made things harder to read, so we fixed it.
  • [AO3-4534] - The OTW website recently got a major overhaul (check it out -- the Webs team did great work!) that included moving AO3's back-up Support form. That meant the link on our main Support form no longer pointed to the right place, so we updated the link.
  • [AO3-4557] - We rewrote some of the text on our Support page to be a little less wordy.
  • [AO3-4569] - When we made changes to the Support form, Abuse reports stopped getting submitted to Abuse's ticket tracker. We fixed that ASAP, so the Abuse chair would no longer need to enter all the reports into the tracker manually.
  • [AO3-4570] - The new language field on the Support form was defaulting to Bahasa Indonesia, which is a lovely language, but not the one we meant to use. It now defaults to the site's default language, which is currently English.
  • [AO3-4568] - We removed some instructions from the Support form that were no longer necessary given the addition of a language option.

News Posts

  • [AO3-4535] - Translations used to be listed at the top of news posts with each language and news post title on a separate line. This was fine when we only had a few translations for each news post, but our awesome Translation team is huge now, and we sometimes have ten, fifteen, or even twenty translations for a post! We've switched to a comma-separated list of languages instead, which will take up much less room. We also moved the tags from the bottom of news posts to the top.
  • [AO3-4538] - Our news posts occasionally contained wide images that made the page scroll horizontally or display awkwardly on narrow screens. Now these images will shrink on small screens but continue to display at their actual size on large screens.
  • [AO3-4123] - To make sure news post translations were listed in alphabetical order by language, our Translation team used to have to post the translations in alphabetical order. We've helped them out a bit by automatically alphabetizing the list according to the languages' standard two-letter abbreviation.
  • [AO3-4522] - On the homepage, we have "Read more..." links for each news post. Having multiple links with the same text can be confusing for people who use a screenreader, so we clarified the text that screenreaders use.

Caching and Performance

  • [AO3-4512] - To improve performance, we've started caching the list of tags associated with each work.
  • [AO3-4510] - Some overenthusiastic caching meant the icon on a user's old comments wouldn't update when the user changed their icon. We've tempered the cache's enthusiasm somewhat and now the icons will eventually update.
  • [AO3-4230] - When a tag wrangler changed the capitalization, diacritics, or suffix of a tag, the tag on the work blurbs didn't always update. We've fixed the caching issue that caused this.
  • [AO3-4495] - We've started caching the number of bookmarks a work has to give the site a little performance boost.
  • [AO3-4401] - We were adding a lot of works to users' history pages at one time, and it was pushing the limits of our database. Now we add fewer works at a time to make the database happier.
  • [AO3-4581] - We've started caching the total number of unwrangled fandom, character, relationship, freeform, and unsorted tags on the Archive in order to improve the performance of various tag wrangling pages.


  • [AO3-4365] - We have joined the modern era and switched our doctype from XHTML to HTML5.
  • [AO3-4542] - Two of our gem updates from a previous release began causing an issue that prevented works and bookmark listings from updating, so we removed those changes for the time being.
  • [AO3-4543] - We upgraded the gem we use to communicate with internal services like Elasticsearch, which powers our searching and filtering code.
  • [AO3-4555] - We updated the software that allows our Translation team to work on the Archive.
  • [AO3-4427] - We upgraded the gem that controls our database.
  • [AO3-4563] - We upgraded our version of Ruby to 2.1.9.

Deploys and Automated Tests

  • [AO3-4545] - Whenever we deployed new code for testing, our test site would run around naked until a database administrator wrangled it back into its skin. We've corrected this behavior and our testing process now involves 100% less nudity.
  • [AO3-4527] - The continuous integration service that runs our automated tests was set up to send emails to our main coding discussion list. It was a lot of emails, so we switched it over to a secondary mailing list where it won't drown out our discussions.
  • [AO3-4450] - We added more automated tests for pseuds.
  • [AO3-4386] - We added automated tests for part of our tag set code.
  • [AO3-4528] - We had a brief scare in which we thought we found a code bug with the bylines of works imported by Open Doors archivists, but it turned out to be a caching issue. Still, we added automated tests to make sure we don't end up with a code bug there in the future.

Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

  • [AO3-4491] - When we deployed responsive layout changes earlier this year, the layout was somewhat lacking in margins. We hurriedly threw some tiny margins in to make up for the oversight, and now we've made them a little bigger and more consistent throughout the site.
  • [AO3-4525] - There was a little "-" loitering in the upper left of work pages. We didn't want it there, so we sent it on its way.
  • [AO3-4580] - Inviting a work to an anonymous or unrevealed collection would immediately make the work anonymous or unrevealed, hiding either the creator's name or the entire work from other users. Now the work won't be made anonymous or unrevealed unless the creator accepts the collection invitation.
  • [AO3-4500] - Sometimes works imported by Open Doors would be missing the creator's name, and this would break any RSS feeds that included the work. We've fixed the problem with the feeds, although we still need to track down why the creator name is sometimes missing.
  • [AO3-4523] - Fandom lists on users' dashboard pages were always showing both the "Expand Fandoms List" and "Collapse Fandoms List" links. We've fixed it so it only shows the relevant option.
  • [AO3-4561] - Our DMCA Policy page had links pointing to The links now point to the pages' new locations on
  • [AO3-4587] - When a work you've bookmarked is deleted by its creator, it leaves behind your bookmark notes and a little message saying the work has been deleted. Trying to edit or delete this sad shell of a bookmark resulted in a 404 error, but we've fixed that now.

Edited 23:41 UTC June 16, 2016: We also fixed AO3-4591, wherein a user could not delete their AO3 account if they had a bookmark of a work that had been deleted.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.