AO3 News

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2009-12-21 21:42:15 UTC

7 am Sunday morning and I missed three meetings while on holiday. OMG people were busy in my absence; the Yuletide code drop got HUGE and a bunch of really cool changes got made. We started inviting participants for Yuletide and posting has been busy! We also updated the tag counts and simultaneously borked the Post New form but let us not speak of that (it's fixed now). In the meeting we mostly worked through a bunch of issues and tried not to generate anything new since we do want some time off over Christmas.

Succession planning: I'm stepping down as AD&T chair in 2010. I will continue to serve on the committee and help support the new chair - we plan to train up multiple people capable of coordinating a large open source project team (my successor is awesome by the way).

AD&T Update: We'll meet once more for the 2009 term - on 2nd of January - then break for most of January. We've not taken a break since January 2009 and we're in danger of melting the entire team into an exhausted (but very pleased) puddle.

For some perspective, we've been quite busy in the last few months:

Deploy Schedule: None! We'll make plans when the committee starts up again in 2010 (if Yuletide needs us or if the whole AO3 borks we will respond as needed)

Support: Still operating over the break but please forgive minor delays

I am so proud of what we've achieved! I love the amazing people I am so fortunate to be working with and the community we are part of.

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. You are invited to this party :)


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2009-12-20 00:18:17 UTC

Welcome to Release and Release (deployed five hours later) and *coughs* Release (deployed a day later again) and Release (and again) or Revision 1980 1985 1995 2001, up from 1957. This is a bug-fixing release and as such is mostly composed of minor changes.

Our next deploy will be a couple of fixes we're working on right now to resolve issues with the 'Post New' form loading slowly and possibly a fix for the tags cloud. Some time next year!

Any critical fixes we need for Yuletide coming through in a trickle.

Known Issues

See Known Issues page

Release Details

Fixed in R1980:

  • Fixed mousing to "confirm password" field problem during account creation
  • Fixed character limit for FAQ and re-factored into sections
  • Fixed problem with fandoms not showing up in 'fandoms' page
  • Fixed editing works in Challenge bug
  • Fixes to gift recipients code
  • Temporarily suppressing printing 'most-used' tags on users to prevent giving away Yuletide Authors (real fix incoming)

Fixed in R1985:

  • Post New form no longer pre-loads all tags in database (performance improvement)
  • Collection tag cloud now only show canonical freeform tags, sorted alphabetically, and includes tags from subcollections/challenges

Fixed in R1995:

  • tweak to text of Beta invitation email
  • caching for the collection fandom index
  • back end tags fix for multimedia fandoms (endless loops of DOOM)

Fixed in R2001:

  • problem with duplicate tags
  • color of 'choose not to' warning icon (hey, it was there!)
  • bug with drafts showing up in gift list of the recipient


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2009-12-17 22:28:55 UTC

Welcome to Release 0.7.2. Revision 1957, up from 1789. This is the big Yuletide release and very likely our last significant release of 2009!

A special thank you to our testers for checking over a vast number of changes in a very, very limited amount of time. They did a ton of work to help get the collections code finished and make this year's Yuletide possible. <3


  • Collections and Challenges! This is the big new shiny toy, and it will be getting quite a workout with the Yuletide challenge in the coming week! For more information, check out the Collections section of our FAQ (more info coming soon!).
  • Warnings have been revised a bit based on user feedback and cross-committee discussion. For a detailed explanation of the changes, please see our latest post on warnings.
  • The fandoms pages are currently undergoing a redesign. What you'll see now is a very basic version, but it should load quite a bit faster than what we had previously, and the work counts should be more accurate. You'll also be able to browse collections by fandom - it's also very basic, but we wanted to get it in there!
  • Finally, we made some changes to tags that we're very excited about, allowing them to be longer and contain a wider variety of letters from different languages, and we've done a lot of work to improve the accessibility and cross-browser compatibility of various pages on the site, which is something we'll continue working on in the new year.

Known Issues

Please see our Known Issues page.

Next projects

First, we make sure everything goes well with the Yuletide challenge. Then, we take a nap. Then, we start attacking our list of projects for 2010. \o/


Release details

Bugs Fixed

  • The header and main navigation should now at least be visible and functional in IE 6. It's not a browser we plan to support fully, but we hope to make things somewhat usable for people who are stuck with it.
  • In IE 7: multiple improvements to the homepage, the links to comment on or bookmark a work, the edit profile page, the comment form, tag links, and the new user page.
  • Other front-end fixes to the homepage, the profile page, the edit work page, the page to edit multiple works, user pages, the support form, the reading history page, and, of course, the collections pages. (Go, go, front-end coders!)
  • The character limit on tags has been raised to 100, making it much easier to (among other things) list threesome pairings.
  • Tags can now contain a much wider variety of characters, including international unicode characters: letters with accents and umlauts, non-Western alphabets, etc.
  • Fixed the very annoying bug with filters not accurately reflecting edits made to a work's tags, which caused works to show up in the wrong places when browsing. (Note: once we're sure this is fixed going forward, we'll be able to shuffle all your works back to where they belong, but that will happen in the next release.)
  • When you post a new work with an invalid tag, the valid tags should still be there when the form reloads.
  • When you go to the languages page, you should no longer be able to get all works in English at once.
  • You should never get more than 1,000 works at once, on the main works page or on any other page. The upside is that the pages won't take an age and a half to load anymore.
  • When you post a work with a pairing and an unofficial/non-canonical name for one of the characters in that pairing, they should now be collapsed the way other cast tags are if the wranglers have set up the relationships behind the scenes.
  • Bookmarks on user and pseud pages should be listed in the order in which they were created, not the order in which they were edited.
  • The links to mark comments on your works as spam/not spam should be working properly now.
  • The admin backend is now about a thousand times less hideously ugly than it was before. (Poor admins.)


Other New Features

  • Added a hit counter! If you go to your preferences, you'll see that you can control both whether other people can see hit counters on your works and whether you can see them on your works when you're logged in.
  • Added a link to our Known Issues page in the footer of each page.
  • Added special stylesheets for Internet Explorer, which should be a big help going forward.


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2009-12-17 08:55:02 UTC

Samvara was enjoying the last of her vacation this weekend, so the meeting was co-chaired by elz and bingeling! This update brought to you by elz.

Deploy Schedule: We're pushing code out to be tested as quickly as we can with the plan to deploy before the end of the week. We'd like to get Yuletide users set up as soon as possible, but there's been an awful lot of code to verify, though the testers are doing a fantastic job!

Open Beta: Servers holding steady, although we're constantly looking for ways to improve performance and make pages speedier. The waiting time for new accounts is pretty minimal, so it's a good time to sign up or request invites for your friends.

ZOMG YULETIDE: Coming up very, very, VERY soon! The coders, testers and tag wranglers have been working hard to get everything in place, and support and communications have been coordinating with the Yuletide mods to hopefully make the process go as smoothly as possible for Yuletide participants. Stay tuned for Yuletide-specific posts on all frequencies!

Code: lots and LOTS of work going on with Collections and Challenges. The front-end coders (whose numbers have grown! \o/) have also been doing great work making the code more accessible and more compatible with Internet Explorer. And we're doing a lot of design and brainstorming for issues we'll tackle after Yuletide.

Stuff coming up:

Warnings: we decided on a new icon to differentiate works with warnings that are not provided from works with specific warnings attached to them. Look for that in our next release.

Tags: we're expanding the character limit to 100 and allowing a greater variety of characters in tags, which should make things more convenient for fans of non-English sources and pairings that involve more than two characters. We're also actively working on making changes to the Warning and Category sections of the posting form to increase clarity and usability and to better reflect the diversity of relationship types that works may include. (Better support for polyamory in 2010!) We also tackled, and will continue working on, how to improve the tag cloud and how to make the best possible use of our tag wrangling data when it comes to filtering and browsing.

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. We welcome your input. :)


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2009-12-09 03:31:50 UTC

While the fabulous [info - personal] samvara is still on well-deserved vacation, this week's update is brought to you by [info - personal] rustler.

Deploy Schedule: More Collections and Challenges code needed for Yuletide is heading for deploy shortly, as well as some more important fixes and enhancements.

Open Beta: Still good! Our servers seem to be doing fine and we're readying everything for the influx of new Yuletide users.

Code: Collections and Challenges, bug fixes, and IE optimization are still at the forefront for our coders. Our testers and tag wranglers have been very busy behind the scenes, coordinating with the coders to get crucial pieces in place.

Invitation Schedule: We're maintaining the 30/day rate for issuing new invitations for now, while Support catches up with current requests, and fixes go in which should anticipate many of the most common Support issues before more new users run into them.

Stuff coming up:

Collections and Challenges: Yuletide is coming! The time is growing near and the Collections and Challenges code is being put into place to provide Yuletide a comfortable new home.

Warnings: We've received a lot of feedback about our warnings and tag systems, and have some changes and clarifications on the way. Be on the lookout for a special post on this important topic soon!

About the Support Team: Our brilliant Support team deserve a massive shout-out for all their hard work helping people out with the Archive. They've been doing their best to answer support requests speedily and have done a great job keeping up with the work generated by Open Beta. They would love to welcome new people to the team: if you feel like you've gotten to know the Archive well and would enjoy helping other users, get in touch via our Volunteers' form. No experience is required, but you'll need to be a friendly and clear communicator.

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. We welcome your input. :)


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2009-12-01 17:55:27 UTC

Our fearless leader [info - personal] samvara is off on a fabulous holiday (we hope she's having a great time!), so we're sharing chairing duties amongst the rest of the committee. This week brought to you by [info - personal] zooey_glass.


Deploy Schedule: After lots of discussion about timing, we deployed release This includes a few emergency fixes and the first set of the code for Collections and Challenges, which will be needed for Yuletide. Our team of Testers performed heroically to get all the issues included in this update tested out so that we could deploy them to the live site *loves on testers*. Check out the Release Notes for R1789 for more info on what was included.

Open Beta: Still going well! We're excited to have seen the number of works shoot up to over 21,000 already!

Code: We've been focusing our energies on fixing bugs in our existing code and building Collections and Challenges. Our front-end coders are also working on making the site more compatible with Internet Explorer. We're holding off on adding other new features for now so we don't get all confuddled with Collections *g*

Invitation schedule: The number of people on the queue has now dropped below 300 for the first time! Last week we dropped down to issuing 30 invitations per day to give our Support team a bit of breathing space and prepare for Yuletide. We reviewed that again this week and decided that we'd stay on 30 per day now, since Support are still busy and the queue is going down.

Stuff coming up:

  • Collections and Challenges: Most of our energies are going towards preparing for this at the moment *wibbles* Naomi has been hard at work coding Collections and Challenges, while our testers have started the first round of banging on things to see if they are working right.
  • Speedy tag editing: Lots of people have asked for a way to quickly edit tags without going through the whole Edit - Preview - Post process. This is definitely scheduled as a future improvement, although not until Collections and Challenges is well out of the way.

If there are things you want to do/say - feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you're comfortable with. You are invited to this party :)


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2009-12-01 16:58:40 UTC

Welcome to Release Revision 1789, up from 1762. This is a fairly small release, with a few bugfixes and the first round of code for Collections and Challenges \0/


Collections and Challenges! This release includes the first set of code which will be needed for Collections. Most of the changes are not visible ones: we've put in some of the behind-the-scenes code which will be necessary for importing from other Archives (we'll be using this to rescue stories of Yuletide past from the decaying Yuletide site, all being well).

Known Issues

Please see our Known Issues page.

Next projects

We're focusing on Collections and Challenges from now up until Christmas, in order to be sure that everything is tickety-boo for Yuletide. We're also looking to make some improvements to how the site displays in IE7.

Release details


Fix for "Post Comment" not actually posting comment on first click

Fix for problem with cast tags with non-canonical characters in pairing - this should fix the problem which was causing some people to get 500 errors on their profile pages.

Fix for wonky display on some tag pages

Fix for a problem with sorting filtered results

Fix for an error which occurred when filtering bookmarks by tag

New things

Added feature: importing works for other users (not available for use yet)

Added feature: redirect to imported stories from their original URLs

Added feature: allow users to opt out of notifications of imported stories, and to opt out of having stories uploaded in the future.


Removed old code for 'Communities' (now replaced by 'Collections')

Updated warnings help popup to make it a bit clearer

Increased number of works which can be imported at once.

Code for import/story parser refactored and improved

Made some edits to help popups on the works form.


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2009-11-23 22:07:15 UTC

7am Sunday to about 9:30 (sorry to everyone in Europe/UK who were at that meeting and thank you for all the highly productive not sleeping you are doing). We had a rather large number of issues to work through – mostly design questions collated from all the Support and Feedback we’ve received plus some Tag wrangler questions.

  • Deploy Schedule: Release is on Beta now and it’s mighty fine if I do say so myself. The amount of coding and fixes that got created since we launched Open Beta is remarkable and they all got tested in time! The next deploy date is subject to change but will be within the next two weeks and will contain some of the code for Collections & Challenges (and a couple of fixes, if I put the kibosh on them I'll get pilloried :p).
  • Open Beta: Still ticking along nicely.
    • Code: we’ve fixed a lot of the most urgent problems and are quietly working on designs for half a dozen of the less urgent ones. The longer term changes will be for early 2010 though, we’ve only got 5 weeks left of 2009.
    • Invite schedule: we slowed to automatically issuing 30/day so as to give Support a chance to catch up (in preparation for bringing in Yuletide authors) and we’ll leave it on that for the week of 22nd – 29th Nov then re-evaluate again.
  • Stuff coming up:
    • Yuletide: importing the Yuletide user table and inviting those users. I’m with [info - personal] astolat on this one *runs around in terrified circles*
    • Passwords: we’ll add password validation for people updating their email addresses
    • Tag display: a maximum of 12 tags display on the works blurb, we’ll increase this and add a 'more...' option to display all
    • Chapter numbering: we’ll give people the option of overriding the automatic numbering for those who write prologues and epilogues

If there are things you want to do/say – feel free to share either in comments, or by volunteering, or whatever medium you’re comfortable with. You are invited to this party :)

Previous posts on Dreamwidth (by[info - personal] samvara the 2009 committee chair) and the Organization for Transformative Works website (by the Accessibility, Design & Technology committee)


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