AO3 News

Release 0.9.46: Change Log (The invitation queue is back!)

Published: 2015-02-01 04:45:18 -0500

This batch of code includes several new features and enhancements aimed at assisting the Abuse team in their work, as well as some changes under the hood to protect us against attacks from download bots while keeping disruptions for our users to a minimum.

When we announced that we'd be suspending our automated invitation queue at the beginning of the month, we didn't plan for it to be closed quite this long! Writing, testing, and improving the new code, while also working with Abuse and taking care of our servers through planned and unplanned downtimes, took considerably longer than we expected.

While the queue was closed, we continued to provide invitation codes to existing users upon request. According to our records, we handed out over 5000 such invitations this month, which is more than three times our usual number. To everyone who reached out to friends and strangers to share invitations, we thank you!

If you wanted to create an account in January and couldn't - we're very sorry for making you wait! The queue is now back in business: request an invitation today and receive a code in 48 hours or less!

Credits

  • Coders: Elz, Enigel, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Enigel, james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mumble, Sarken

Details

Admin

  • In order to combat spam works (e.g., works consisting solely of advertisements), our Abuse team will now be automatically notified of accounts with a suspicious level of activity or works with suspicious content, allowing them to investigate before the problem gets out of hand.
  • When our Abuse team hides a work that is under investigation, the creator(s) of the work will now receive an automatic email, letting them know the work has been hidden intentionally and not as the result of a bug. The email also contains a link to the work so that they (but no one else) can access it while it is hidden.
  • Users whose accounts have been permanently suspended (banned) are not allowed to create new works, but it was still possible for other users to list them as co-authors. Now they cannot be added as co-authors unless the ban is lifted.
  • When a user's account is temporarily suspended, the error message they receive when attempting to post, comment, or perform other actions will now let them know when they can expect their suspension to be lifted.
  • Attempting to post, comment, or perform other actions using a suspended account previously resulted in an error message that said, "Please contact us for more information." The message has been clarified to say, "Please contact Abuse," and now provides a link to the appropriate contact form.
  • When an admin deleted an invitation request submitted through our automated queue (e.g., because the requester was likely to be a known spammer), they would be redirected to the first page of the list, which was annoying if they needed to delete more than one request on the same page. Now they will be returned to the page they were on.

Downloads

  • We were receiving reports from users whose IP addresses were blocked from accessing the Archive for downloading too many works too quickly, even though they hadn't done anything wrong. This would happen, for example, if their browser tried to download a file many times, despite the user having only clicked the download button once. We have added code and tweaked server settings to make this much less likely. In particular, we are now serving cached copies of downloads to users, which are currently refreshed on the server as soon as a work is updated.
  • During site-wide downtime because of an overwhelmed server, users were receiving an error page that incorrectly stated they were downloading works too quickly. We've corrected the error page we give when the Archive is down and also added a dedicated error page to let users know when they are posting works too quickly.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

(Please note that while it looks like we skipped several version numbers since our last batch of updates (Release 0.9.41), you haven't missed out on any new code! The jump is due to a few test deploys to get our deploy script into shape after adding another server to our line-up.)

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Releases 0.9.40 - 0.9.41: Change Log

Published: 2015-01-11 08:00:49 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Elz, Enigel, james_, Marie Markwell, Sarken, Scott
  • Code reviewers: Elz, Enigel, james_, Sarken
  • Testers: Anika Kabit, Lady Oscar, Matty, mugenmine, mumble, pendrecarc, Sarken

Details

Accounts

  • It was previously possible for suspended accounts to request new invitations and access the ones already granted. We're now blocking those accounts from using their invitations (e.g. to invite friends or create a new account) and from requesting more.
  • The big chunk of code responsible for handling accounts and user-related actions had become unwieldy and messy over time. It has now been refactored--cleaned up and reorganized--to adhere to best practices.

Challenges

  • Challenges that were set to "moderated" (i.e. works can be submitted, but must be approved by a mod before they appear) were not included on the Open Challenges page. Now they are.
  • Previously, if you went to the posting form and used one of the Open Assignments checkboxes to fulfill a gift exchange assignment, but the gift exchange collection was closed, you'd get a 500 error. Now you will be redirected back to the posting form.

Works

  • To help battle spam works (see our post Urgent Anti-Spam Measures for context), we've started recording the IP addresses from which works are posted, with the information only visible to site admins, e.g. Abuse personnel. This allows us to suspend spam accounts (accounts specifically set up to flood the Archive with advertisements) more efficiently.
  • On the "Import New Work" page, the link to the relevant Importing & Mass Editing FAQ was broken, as it hadn't been adjusted to the new FAQ structure yet. It works now!
  • The button for displaying a work in individual chapters, rather than all on one page, was renamed from "View Chapter-by-chapter" to "Chapter by Chapter" for button labeling consistency.
  • The "Subscribe to the feed" button on work lists by tag (e.g. Agent Carter (TV)) was renamed to say "RSS Feed", to distinguish it from our Subscription feature. (Read more in our Subscriptions and Feeds FAQ.)

Misc.

  • The Error 500 page was displaying a sad little Archive mascot juggling Error 502 messages before, which was misleading. It is now merely sad.
  • As our temporary donation page (created for the last Membership Drive) will be in use a while longer, we adjusted some wording and links to avoid confusion.
  • The help text for the "Apply to make public" option for Site Skins was advising to use CSS comments for attribution and notes. However, due to the way we currently sanitize CSS, the comments are getting stripped out. The help text now tells you to use the Description field. Note: We are currently not reviewing submitted Site Skins, and are thinking of better ways to handle skins in general.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Releases 0.9.37 - 0.9.39: Change Log

Published: 2014-12-31 10:03:14 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Ariana, Daniel Erenrich, Enigel, james_, Marie Markwell, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Elz, james_, Scott
  • Testers: Erialeduab, hele, Lady Oscar, mugenmine, mumble

Details

Works & Stats

  • We have updated the text of the emails that go out (to existing AO3 users as well as creators who don't have an account yet) when an archive mod or site owner imports someone's work through our Open Doors project. (See what the team has accomplished this year in our News posts about Open Doors!)
  • On the Statistics page, reversing the sort order for Date, Kudos, Comment Threads, Hits etc. would not update the corresponding graph title. It now properly says "Oldest" or "Bottom Five By [Kudos/Comment Threads/Hits etc.]" when displaying the reverse sort results.
  • Drafts of a related work, e.g. fanart for another user's fic, were showing up in the author's sidebar, e.g. Related Works (1), even though the work draft was still invisible to anyone but the artist. Now the number in the sidebar only increments when the work has been posted.
  • The code responsible for deleting drafts one month after their creation was not working properly in some cases, resulting in the drafts still being listed on the user's draft page despite being deleted/inaccessible. It should be working properly now.
  • The big chunk of code responsible for handling works and work-related actions had become unwieldy and messy over time. It has now been refactored--cleaned up and reorganized--to adhere to best practices.

Collections & Challenges

  • When changing the settings for a challenge (Moderated, Closed, Unrevealed, Anonymous), the challenge blurb, e.g. on the main Collections index, would not be updated to reflect the change. This has been fixed!
  • If you posted a work to fulfill a challenge assignment and your recipient deleted their account, you would then be unable to edit your work (getting an error 500 instead of the editing form). This has been fixed!
  • In tag sets, the option for adding a chunk of relationship tags at once ("batch loading") wasn't working. Now it is.

Misc.

  • Our tag cloud was displaying only a few very popular tags in large font size, with all the other tags being more or less the same size. It now calculates tag counts and display size differently, making the cloud more useful and easier to parse.
  • When selecting a tag from the dropdown menu to browse the AO3 News, but leaving the language selection blank, trying to get to the next page of results would lead to an Error 500. This was because the code expected a language selection - we now explicitly set the default language to English, so this error won't happen anymore.
  • In preparation for further work on a translatable interface for the Archive, we removed all lingering code related to a previous translation project.
  • Switched our Rails memcached client to Dalli, which is better maintained and should make pages load slightly faster.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Release Notes 0.9.36: Change Log

Published: 2014-12-14 03:41:24 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Ariana, james_, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Elz, james_, Lady Oscar, Sarken
  • Testers: Anika Kabit, Lady Oscar, legalizemavin, mumble, Priscilla del Cima, Runt

Details

  • When a user attempted to change their username to one that was less than three characters or more than forty, the error message they received would tell them which characters are allowed in user names. Now it will tell them how long a username must be.
  • A user who had archivist privileges and wanted to import their own works from another site would receive an error message incorrectly preventing them from importing their work. They will no longer receive this error message, allowing them to import their works.
  • The admin interface for creating translations of news posts had a dropdown menu that let translators choose which of the recent posts the translation corresponded to. However, our translators are awesome and want to translate some older news posts, so we changed from a dropdown menu with a limited number of posts to an autocomplete that will let them choose any news post they like.
  • In our previous release, we tidied up the margins on tags in work blurbs, but we also introduced a bug that moved the tags closer together. We've fixed the typo that caused the problem and tags are properly spaced out once again.
  • We made some minor improvements to the code used for manual imports, in particular to turn names listed on a line starting with "Characters:" into tags where possible.
  • When a logged out user tried to access an FAQ using an old URL (e.g. one ending with archive_faqs/30), they would get a 404 error telling them the page could not be found. Now they should be redirected to the new URL (e.g. one ending in /faq/ao3-internal-tools?language_id=en) just like logged in users are.
  • In works and site documentation, <h4> headings were hard to distinguish from the main text. Now text in <h4> tags will be bold to make it stand out more.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Release 0.9.35: Change Log

Published: 2014-12-02 15:25:44 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Emily E., Lady Oscar, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: james_, Sarken, Scott
  • Testers: Agwen, Lady Oscar, legalizemavin, LtFoxYee, mumble, nightmarefluff, pendrecarc, Runt, Sara Heins, twofingerpost

Details

Tag Wrangling & Tag Sets

  • When a tag wrangler attempted to create a tag containing certain restricted characters (i.e. , ^ * { } = ` \ %), the error message they received was incomplete and confusing due to the way the ^ character is interpreted by our code. We switched to using the numeric character reference for ^ and now a full, clear error message will be given.
  • When a user attempted to nominate a tag or create a tag set using restricted characters (e.g. giving it a title with * or ^ in it), the error message they received was similarly incomplete. These issues have been fixed as well!
  • The Wrangling Tools page (visible to logged-in wranglers) previously contained only a few links to the Wrangling Guidelines and the OTW-internal wiki. Now it includes a more detailed set of links to various pages of documentation and updated contact information for the committee staff.

Importing

  • Attempting to import a work from a LiveJournal community or journal marked as containing adult content would instead import the contents of LiveJournal's support page. We adjusted the importing code so it will bypass the adult content warning and import the work itself.
  • The "Post New Work Instead?" link on the import page was only reloading the import page. Now it will take you to the page for posting a new work.

External Works

  • When a user bookmarks an external work, they are asked to provide information about that work based on the work's headers. However, the field for providing the work's category (i.e. F/F, F/M, Gen, M/M, Multi, or Other) was presented as a dropdown menu, which would only let the user choose one category tag. The options are now presented as checkboxes, so the user can select all categories that apply.
  • Admins were unable to access the form for editing external work information due to a conflict with the "Hide my work from search engines when possible" preference. We've fixed the conflict so admins can access the page once again.

Stats

  • The "Totals" section on a user's Statistics page lists how many users are subscribed to them as a work creator. It was previously labeled "Author Subscriptions," but because we have more than written works on the Archive, we changed it to "User Subscriptions."
  • A work posted on or backdated to 31 December would not be included in the user's statistics for that year (or any other year). Now it will be listed in the correct year and any word counts, kudos, comments, hits, or subscriptions for that work will also be included in that year's totals.

Misc.

  • In work blurbs, the first tag in a line of text was aligned differently based on whether it started on that line of text or had wrapped from the previous line. Now the tags will always align the same, creating a tidier margin on the left side of the tag section of the blurb.
  • If a form's HTML provides certain information, most browsers will place keyboard focus on an input (e.g. a checkbox or text field) when a user interacts with its label. To improve usability and accessibility, we've added that information to the form on the reset password page, so the field will correctly receive focus.
  • We recently changed the code for the pop-up search suggestions in the header (e.g. tip: lex m/m (mature OR explicit)) on most site pages. However, because our error pages use different code than the rest of the site, the search tip was always displaying there, not just when using the search field. The error pages have been updated and will now work the same as all other pages.
  • The chapter number at the top of a chapter was supposed to be a link in Chapter-by-Chapter mode and plain text in Entire Work mode, but caching would sometimes result in the the wrong format being used in a given mode. Now the chapter number will always be a link, regardless of which mode is in use.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Release 0.9.34: Change Log

Published: 2014-11-18 21:44:48 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Lady Oscar, Sam Johnsson, sarken
  • Code reviewers: Enigel, james_
  • Testers: Anika Kabit, Lady Oscar, Runt, sarken

Details

  • Misc.
    • Previously, if the original version of an AO3 News post was accidentally designated as being a translation, it couldn't be set back, creating a situation in which the post would permanently vanish from the main feed. It's now possible to restore the setting.
    • On the External Bookmark page, required fields were not correctly marked as being required. All required fields are now denoted with an asterisk (*) and error messages have been updated to be inclusive of non-text fanworks.
    • We have added a link to the Troubleshooting: Common Problems When Logging In News Post from the error message that is generated upon a failed login attempt.
    • We have reduced the number of emails sent out during the AO3 signup process. After signing up, users will still receive an email with an activation link, but will not receive a success email after activating the account, as this email contained no new information.
  • Skins
    • While using the 'Reversi' Skin, it was previously impossible to read the 'You have already left kudos' message. This has been fixed.
    • We have also edited Reversi to make it easier to read the tooltip information displayed when viewing Tag Set nominations.
    • We have added a '.book' style to the Basic Formatting workskin. This style will indent the first line of each paragraph and remove the blank lines between paragraphs to give an appearance similar to the text in a standard printed book. You can read more about Work Skins in our Work Skins Tutorial.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Release 0.9.33: Change Log

Published: 2014-11-02 09:39:14 -0500

Credits

  • Coders: Emily, Enigel, james_, sarken
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Enigel, james_, Scott
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mumble, Runt, Scott

Details

  • The option to remove requests or offers while filling in a challenge sign-up wasn't working when there were required tag fields on the sign-up form. Now it works again.
  • There was some old bookmark code hanging around, not doing anything. Now it's gone.
  • The "Bookmark External Work" button was available to visitors on the bookmark listings for tags. Only logged-in users can create bookmarks, so we removed the button.
  • When browsing your subscriptions page on mobile devices with small screens, the links for accessing only series, user, or work subscriptions weren't working when tapped. Now they work.
  • The little tooltip pop-up for the header's search field (suggesting possible keywords and sort options) only worked for users navigating by mouse or trackpad. Now it will work for people using keyboards, screen readers, or touch screens as well. Additionally, now it only appears when the search field is selected, rather than popping up whenever the cursor is nearby.
  • We used an HTML attribute to label many things in various listings on the site -- for example, the titles of works. Unfortunately, some screen readers read the content of this attribute instead of the actual text, which made it sound like every work on the Archive was named "Title." We've removed this attribute from everywhere it could impact screenreaders in this way.
  • When an admin went to a user's dashboard, any restricted works the user had posted were hidden from the admin. Now the admin can access those works from the user's dashboard, just like regular logged-in users can.
  • We moved to an even stronger encryption method for safely storing passwords.
  • Previewing a work for the first time automatically creates a draft. However, subsequent previews don't update that draft unless the user explicitly chooses "Save Without Posting". We removed the message that implied otherwise. Remember, don't use our posting form as your only writing tool! Browsers can crash, things can go wrong, your draft might get eaten. Always have a backup somewhere else.
  • We considerably spruced up the README file used for displaying information about the AO3 software project on GitHub.com.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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Releases 0.9.30 - 0.9.32: Change Log

Published: 2014-10-29 15:56:11 -0400

Credits

  • Coders: Elz, Lady Oscar, sarken
  • Code reviewers: james_, Scott
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mumble, Scott

Details

  • There was a "Bookmark" button on user dashboards, implying that you could bookmark another user, although no such functionality exists yet. We have removed the button and the "Coming soon!" page for now.
  • The log of admin activities (used primarily by Abuse personnel) was returning errors if a page contained an admin account that had been deleted. It now displays the activity with an "Admin deleted" note.
  • The log also wasn't accessible from the main Admin menu. Now it is!
  • We deployed a temporary donation page (put together by Development & Membership staffer Kristen!) for our October Drive, and made some edits halfway through the Drive week. Thank you all so much for your donations!
  • Relatedly, we reached our goal for the Drive after only two days and had to make some on-the-spot edits to our "progress bar" code to allow for stretch goals. Next year we'll be better prepared!

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.

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