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YWS: Cassini Updates Thread



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Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:22 pm
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Nate says...



Advertising will be re-enabled for guests only starting this Sunday and lasting for probably about a week. Doing this because the YWS advertising account with Google Adsense is currently just below the $100 threshold for payment. The advertising funds will go toward December's donations goal.




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Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:34 am
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Nate says...



In 2007, I purchased a 10-year domain registration for youngwriterssociety.com from GoDaddy. In 2013 (or thereabouts), I transferred the domain registration to Google, which extended the registration period by another year. So today marks the first time I've actually had to renew the domain since 2007!

In doing so, I also transferred registration from Google to Cloudflare, which I'll be doing with all of my domains as they come up for renewal. It only costs $8.03/yr with privacy protection, which is incredible to me.




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Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:06 pm
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Nate says...



No specific place to post this, but we're getting closer to YWS' server costs being completely covered each month. Recurring donations are now responsible for covering $116 a month, and thank you to everyone who has that set that up. On top of that, the server is now hosting a second large website that is covering another $50 of the hosting costs. I'm actively trying to get a third website too, so keep your fingers crossed!




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Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:05 am
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Nate says...



Some minor updates:

Chat added to navigation bar
I'd really like to see the chatroom used more often, so I've added it to the top navigation bar and removed the requirement of 5 reviews. The requirement had been put in place years ago to deter trolls, and might be put back in place going forward depending on whether or not my attempts to resurrect chat succeed.

Also, if you hate how adding Chat to the bar messes with your muscle memory, you're not alone.

Storybook Creation Sidebar extended to Roleplays
Roleplays now have the same abilities as storybooks to add characters and display certain information in the sidebar area.

Better spam countermeasures
The YWS registration page has been rebuilt to include much better spam countermeasures than before.

On the docket...
- Christmas theme
- Cover art for literary works
- Revamped newsletter
- Some other stuff




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Mon Dec 12, 2022 12:42 am
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Nate says...



Storybook / Roleplay Creation Sidebar

There were some issues with the creation sidebar. Those issues should now be fixed.




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Wed Dec 14, 2022 2:49 am
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Nate says...



Visually Improved Breadcrumbs

Improved the look of the breadcrumbs that appear across the top of the main content area. I think they look much better, and although all that's changed is the visual style, I think it will actually do a better job at helping people with navigating YWS.

Since I didn't like how there were two home icons practically right next to each other, I also got rid of the navigation tab home icon.

As always, thoughts appreciated. If you thought the old style was better, please express your displeasure!


Minor formatting updates in People tab

Quoted text no longer requires you to squint, and any text that comes after quoted text also appears normal. On profile pages, status messages are no longer at the top, which I hope will reduce visual clutter.


Other stuff I'm working on

Cover Art for Literary Works: Began working on this, and then I remembered why I hadn't done it already! Needless to say, it's going to be a bigger job than I'd like, but I think people will really like the end result.

Revamped Newsletter: Expect to see a new information box in the sidebar on the front page soon about signing up for the newsletter. In the past, newsletters have gone out to all YWSers, but with the website being 18 years old, I don't think that's a viable solution anymore. So instead, to get the newsletter, you'll have to sign up for it, which is a good thing in the end.

Improved Pagination: The visual style of the pagination is just something that's always annoyed me. Looking at improving that as well.




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Wed Dec 14, 2022 3:28 am
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Rook says...



Love the look of the breadcrumbs! Definitely an improvement.
The removal of the other home icon will take some getting used to, but I agree that having two icons right next to each other feels weird. Has the furthest-left button always been flush with the side of the page? I don't know if I like that very much. feels kinda cramped over there.
thanks for updating the text size thing! looking forward to future updates :D
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To this, the Wolf answered, Lo!

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Thu Dec 15, 2022 5:39 pm
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lliyah says...



Did everyone's names get bolder or is it just me? I think now possibly the DJM and regular users have the same username format? Wonder if DJMs could be a slightly different blue or if you're intentionally making that look more similar.

I really like the breadcrumbs - makes site a lot easier to navigate I think, and I think it'll help out new members too.

Really looking forward to cover art options - > I think YWS has gotten a lot more visual than when it first started as far as people incorporating art into their writer's corners / NaPo threads / novels / roleplays etc. If you browse through NaPos in current years the amount of people using images for poems rather than text options has really increased in the last three years especially.

One question - is if it will be possible to give attribution / credit to a cover-photo if someone uses it from a source that they didn't make. I'm also curious from a mod perspective if we will have any formal rules / guidance about cover-art maybe similar to the very minor rules we have about avvies (no slurs / swears / no nudity / maybe no graphic violence). I think this would be helpful to have some minor general guidance there.

Excited about all the changes - and think the navigation ones on the top bars make a lot of sense and though it will take some getting used to (I keep clicking on the gear instead of the home key) I think the changes all seem positive! Thanks for all your work Nate!
you should know i am a time traveler &
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Fri Dec 16, 2022 9:06 pm
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Nate says...



@lliyah ->> Bolder usernames might have been an artifact of how I went about implementing the fake verified accounts. Should be back to what it was now.

That's a good idea about attribution for cover art. In the past, I got around it by pre-selecting the cover art that members could use, and it was all either licensed under the broadest creative commons license or from Vlad Studios, which I purchased a license from a long time ago. But, I'd like to allow members to upload any cover art, so attribution will indeed be necessary (as well as rules).


Everyone ->> One of the things I'm doing is just deleting stuff. Like, a lot of stuff. Over the years, the code base has just built up a lot of crud, which has kept me from making anything but minor changes. If I do it right, you should notice absolutely nothing, but occasionally the site will break if I delete something that's actually necessary. If you notice something broken and it's still broken after an hour, please report it in the report a site bug thread. Thanks!




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Mon Dec 19, 2022 5:47 pm
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Nate says...



New Favicon

YWS now has a new favicon, which is the icon you see in browser tabs:

Image

If you think you've seen it before, that's because you have! The favicon is designed by @looseleaf, so please be sure to thank her for YWS' new icon :)




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Thu Dec 29, 2022 5:28 am
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Nate says...



Code update to posting comments on people tab & profiles

For me, this is a big deal. For everyone else, it really doesn't mean much. I wouldn't even post an update about it except that there might be bugs.

As you may or may not know, YWS uses phpBB 3.0.14 as the base software. It's been extended far beyond that, but it's still constrained by being phpBB at heart. That has always made ajax calls rather difficult because phpBB 3.0.14 is not built for it. (Ajax calls are what allow you to click "post comment" and have that comment appear without refreshing the page)

The biggest issue were ajax calls that return content -- especially highly formatted content like comments on the People tab and within profiles. The code for that is (was!) awful. It's just a huge mess to look at, much less try to decipher. It also meant any updates to comments required me having to update the same code in a few different places.

Anyhow, finally figured out after all these years how to use the phpBB templating system in conjunction with ajax calls. This is a huge deal for me because it means that I can now group the code for comments all in one place. In the short term there'll probably be a couple bugs as I work out the kinks, but in the long term, it means much fewer bugs. Not only that, but much faster development time. It means that as I build out new features, I can do in one hour what used to take me three hours or more to do.

So if you notice any bugs with the People tab or profiles, please report them. Thanks!




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Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:16 am
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Nate says...



A less cluttered Who's Online

Just a small thing, but bots will no longer show up when checking the "Who's Online" listing on the forums and roleplay tabs. Makes it much easier to determine who's actually online! Also went ahead and blocked a bunch of bots that were hogging up data usage without contributing any value whatsoever to the site. That means the guests number should also be much more accurate and no longer give crazy results like "115 guests online."

Of course, this does not mean that everyone but you is not a bot.




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Wed Feb 08, 2023 3:03 am
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Nate says...



Lots of small updates recently:
  • Chat tab removed: I was hoping the chat tab would lead to more activity in the chatroom. That did happen at first, but it quickly returned to its normal somnolent state. Expect more experimentation with the chat room in the future.
  • Staff picks removed: No new staff picks had been added in over four years. They were just difficult to manage, and they were hardly ever clicked on.
  • Image headers changed: The image headers for the main page, the forums page, and the people page have all been changed. The images used on the forums page and people page come from Vlad Studios. The image on the main page, though, is an AI generated image using Dall-E 2.
  • Authors can sticky comments: Authors can now sticky comments on their works, pinning that comment to the top. They can do this with any comment -- not just their own.
  • Reading times added: When browsing literary works, you can now see the approximate time it takes to read a work. This is based on a reading speed of 200 words per minute, which is on the low end of average.
  • Literary work length limits: New literary works are limited to a length of 8,000 words. This only applies to new works, although older works will still see a warning.

Also, a couple of bug fixes:
  • On the Green Room page, when you press load more, the formatting is now consistent. It also shows the content ratings, which it did not before.
  • In the literary area, going to the last page of works will actually show the last page instead of a blank page. What was going on is that it was including drafts, private works, and works by deleted accounts when counting the number of works.

More is on the way!







People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.
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