elz: (Default)
Posting here instead of as a comment on yuletide-admin because of length! These are all in the main collection.

Yuletide works with 0 or 1 comments )
elz: ao3 logo with pirate hat and sword (ao3 yarr!)
(To anyone who doesn't care about OTW: I'm so sorry? Also, maybe we should hang out more. That would be refreshing.)

Just to clear up a couple of misconceptions here: Naomi isn't the AD&T chair this year (and hasn't been since 2008), and thus she's not the manager of AO3-related coding projects. Amelia and I are the co-chairs, and we're the ones responsible for what goes on. Concerns about management of AD&T or coding or testing volunteers should be directed to us, to the volunteers committee, or to Kylie, our testing lead.

lim is a highly competent adult who has the right and ability to speak for herself and to make her own decisions. She volunteered to do the CSS overhaul, which is a project she'd undertaken twice before in the past. We don't ask anyone to do anything they don't have the time and energy for, and if we stopped people from working individually on big projects that interested them, nothing on the site would ever have gotten built.

I am incredibly grateful to Naomi and lim, the 10 other coders, and the dozens of testers who worked on our last release. There are some quality improvements in there: our CSS has been streamlined and reorganized, you can now write a site skin that doesn't include any of our CSS, you can add skins on top of one another, prompt meme listings are more readable, we have an enormous new tag set and challenge nominations feature (which has now had a successful first run with Yuletide noms!), news posts can now be tagged and filtered, and we fixed an enormous slew of bugs. And I know most people can't see the admin side of the site, but oh man, that is SO much better now. There were over a hundred tickets and a thousand code commits involved in this release. It sucks massively when bugs make it through to production, but even though we're always working to make our process better, it's never going to be flawless. I believe in constructive responses: you fix the problem, you do your best to fix the problems that led to the problem, and you keep going. As an example, we haven't had a formal structure in place for doing mobile testing, and due to circumstances which were as much my fault as anybody else's, the need to re-test the site on our phones before we deployed got lost in the shuffle. It's certainly not the fault of the testers for not doing something they weren't aware they needed to do, and it's easily addressed for the future. In this case, we were able to fix the bug within a day. We do our best, simultaneously, to communicate everything that's going on; sometimes it takes a day or two for a full post to appear because the people who would write it are hard at work fixing the bugs or answering support requests. There's not a huge team here. If you'd like to change that, come and volunteer.
elz: (AO3: learn ruby)
I'm really not up to reading anything about anything at this point (I'm building a blanket fort and hunkering down with this season of Merlin), but here are some fun behind-the-scenes stats from AO3:

  • In October 2011, AO3 had almost 500,000 unique visitors and almost 19 million pageviews. Right now, there are over 2,600 people in our invite queue. (We hope to lower that soon!)
  • We started doing self-hosted analytics in July, and the average number of pageviews per day has almost tripled just since then. We hit about 860,000 in a 24-hour period this Sunday, which was up from about 760,000 the Sunday before.
  • Traffic is always highest on Sundays. Posting is generally more evenly distributed across the week, although it is a little higher on weekends.
  • The most popular fandom on the site (by traffic) is Homestuck, and it has been for as long as I've been checking the stats.
  • The fandom with the most works is (unsurprisingly) Harry Potter, with 15,495.
  • If you want to rack up the hits, write a long Sherlock or XMFC AU WIP. Bonus points for mpreg or kidfic!
  • Relatedly (apart from the mpreg, as far as I know), abundantlyqueer's Two Two Bravo Baker is its own phenomenon, with over 1,800 comments and almost 80,000 hits.
  • About half the users of the archive (13,000) have posted at least one work.
  • There are 602 works over 100,000 words long. The longest work in the site is 863,000+ words. And that one's a WIP! (Glass Houses by Viridian5 in WeiƟ Kreuz fandom)
  • In addition to 25,000 users and 245,000 works, the site is home to 230,000 bookmarks and 10,000 series. There are about 200,000 tags in our system, of which about 100,000 are official versions.
  • AO3 includes works written in 24 different languages, from Spanish (1,400+) and Russian (600+), to Latin (5) and Esperanto (10).
  • Kudos were introduced on the archive last December, and in that time, people have left 1.1 million of them for one another! ♥

elz: (Default)
Once Upon a Time: I enjoyed that a lot more than I was expecting to, and I really loved Jennifer Morrison's character. Will watch again!

Community: caught up last weekend, and ADORED the last new episode. That was hilarious. I have to say (have I said this before?) that while I love Troy and Abed just as much as everyone else on the internet, I have a huge soft spot for Britta as well.

Haven: finally finished S2! Flailed all over the place and then gave thanks that the show got renewed!

Wait, this one actually needs a cut tag )

Doctor Who: at this point, my feelings about the show pretty much begin and end with thinking Amy and Rory are super-cute. And Neil Gaiman's episode was amazing. But other than that, it's not really doing much for me on the emotional engagement front.

Now, do I hope for a great seven-game World Series showdown, or do I hope it all ends tomorrow so that we get new Fringe on Friday? For a baseball fan, this is a cruel dilemma. AND YET. I really can't wait to see the next episode.
elz: ao3 logo with pirate hat and sword (ao3 yarr!)
You may or may not know this, but in addition to founding OTW, Naomi Novik is also one of the most prolific coders behind the Archive of Our Own - she's been responsible for (among other things) the importing code, which allows you to migrate works over from other sites, the downloading code (omnomnom, delicious mobi files!), and the collections and gift exchange features, she's helped speed up the performance of the site by integrating new technologies, and over the last few months, she's put an enormous amount of time into a new tag set and nominations system, which should improve our internal processes by taking a lot of burdens off our tag wrangling team and which will also offer challenge runners a wider array of options. She's currently working with one of our front-end coders to revamp the site structure and appearance to make it more flexible and more accessible (this is coming soon!).

I've been working with Naomi for almost four years now, and she's been incredibly dedicated to the organization, especially given her other responsibilities - she checked into the coders' chatroom from the hospital while IN LABOR. She has a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm for fandom, and she's extremely effective at getting things done. She's also been on the OTW board previously, from 2007 to 2010, before taking a year off after having a baby, so she's familiar with the challenges and the workload - a lot of new board members get burned out, so having a couple of veterans in the mix is definitely a good thing. We currently have one board member who's been on since the beginning, two who started this year, and four open slots; five of the six candidates would be new to the board, and three of the six have experience as OTW committee chairs (Julia, Lucy and Naomi).

On a more personal note, I think that there were a lot of challenges this year that came out of not having any of our senior technical staff on the board: you're left with a game of telephone between board members and the organization's biggest project, which leaves a lot of room for miscommunication. And even when communication is flowing smoothly, I think it's as useful to have someone on the board who can speak authoritatively about the technical options and challenges associated with hosting/preserving fanworks and video as it is to have board members with legal and financial expertise. I also value the fact that she'll tell me when bad code or a bad idea could be better - that's not always an enviable task, but it's essential when we're trying to make the best tools for users. And she's been incredibly encouraging to me, as someone who didn't know anyone when I initially volunteered and who has come a long way with coding.

Basically, Naomi gets a lot done, I really enjoy working with her, and without her, none of the rest of us would be here. So that's my first recommendation. :)
elz: (otw)
Three reasons to donate to OTW during its current membership drive:

1) We've had two separate offers from people willing to match donations, one of which is in memory of Sandy Herrold. It would be wonderful to max those out! You can also make your own donation in honor or in memory of Sandy or other friends/family members/fellow fans.

2) Next month is (I think?) only our second contested board election, where 6 lovely candidates are running for 4 open seats. To be eligible to vote, you need to have donated at least $10 US within the last year, by October 17th. The OTW board meets quite often (as boards go) and can have a significant impact on the mission, morale and effectiveness of the organization, so if you're interested in AO3 and other OTW projects, it's worth paying some attention to.

3) AO3 server space! Traffic has increased a LUDICROUS amount over the last year, and donation funds pay the hosting costs and fund future upgrades. $$$ = servers = fic/art/vids! And we have some exciting projects in the pipeline for the next year!

Massive thanks to everyone who's donated in the past or who has already donated this year!


In more frivolous news: eeeeee, Avengers trailer! I am kind of stupidly excited - I think fandom's free-floating enthusiasm for the movie is contagious.

New comm

Oct. 4th, 2011 09:01 pm
elz: (omg!sam)
Okay, I ended up creating the community I was posting about the other day:

[community profile] fandev_central @ Dreamwidth

Feel free to ping me with any ideas!

Code zombie

Oct. 1st, 2011 09:42 pm
elz: (ada-reboot)
Nnnrrgh. Been doing AO3 work for about 12 hours now - we've been making some changes to try to alleviate the load on our database, and this required some fine-tuning, which still isn't quite done yet. We'll have a real news post out tomorrow, but we did add the long-awaited filtering by whether a work is complete or not, filtering by language on main pages, and sorting by the date things were actually posted, so that if you're stalking a fandom, you can see what the new backdated works are. We also fixed the dreaded 500 error that came up if you were the first person to download a file! And we finished transitioning all of our javascript over to jQuery, which was a pretty significant project. And a bunch of other things - there were 57 issues in this release. Go team!


In other news:

-Here is a fic about the Brotherhood of Mutants adopting a kitten. You're welcome.

-I am finally all caught up with Fringe again! Olivia is my favorite, forever and ever, amen. And I'm very happy that we get to keep Lincoln. Too sleepy to have any deeper thoughts.
elz: (ada-tubes)
So with the ongoing delicious fail, there are a lot of conversations out there about building our own version, and one thing that got me thinking about was how useful it might be to have group for developers/programmers/sysadmins in fandom so that it's easier for people to find each other when these sorts of "let's just build it ourselves!" projects come up and for people to ask for/share advice about projects they're currently working on.

So, two questions:

a) Would you be interested in such a thing?

b) If so, what would be the most useful format? DW community, website, forum, IRC channel, Google group, something else, more than one of the above? I'm happy to set something up - a DW comm would be easy, but would people use it?

AO3 update

Sep. 3rd, 2011 09:13 am
elz: (AO3: learn ruby)
So I'm pretty sure AO3 went up and over some kind of turning point in the last few months - there are now 1130 people in our invite queue. Which is a terribly intimidating number, and it just keeps going up. We'd love to bring that back down - the invite system is there purely to keep traffic from exploding to a point that we can't handle, not to discourage anyone from creating an account, but site load's been pretty heavy already lately. We came up with a plan to help ameliorate *that*, and some great work's been done already, but we're still in the process of testing everything. So basically at the moment, I'm just stuck wincing whenever I run into a 502 error. Woe! But you don't really want to rush major back-end changes if there's any alternative, and hopefully we'll have that out soon.

Meanwhile, check out the proposed Terms of Service changes updates with regard to fanart and pass along your feedback!
elz: (shh)
So I experienced my first earthquake today! That was a bit unsettling - the office was definitely shaking quite a bit, and a few things did fall and smash, although thankfully no one was hurt. Having grown up in the NY area (I'm in DC now), the only real thing I know about earthquakes is that if we ever have a significant one, we're just all going to die, because things aren't built to withstand them on the east coast. Earthquake preparedness was thus never really big on the agenda. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on, and then I pretty much just stared at the light fixture wobbling over my head while attempting to determine when things were bad enough to warrant ducking under my desk. It ended before I figured that out. I did put my laptop away, lest anything fall on it, indicating that my priorities may be a little bit skewed.

The rest of the afternoon wasn't terribly productive, but we did have post-earthquake cupcakes. It took me over an hour to get home on the metro, but I had my Kindle with me, and the train wasn't crowded, so I can't complain.
elz: (otw: evil mush)
Signs that you spend too much time doing OTW work: LJ goes down for a few days and you're mildly inconvenienced. Campfire goes down for half an hour and you go into massive withdrawal.

(We use that as an internal chat tool - we have an IRC backup somewhere, but I've forgotten where. And it's down because 37signals had a critical database failure: http://status.37signals.com/)
elz: (Default)
So I'm catching up with fandom this evening, and I happened to be reading some posts about Game of Thrones and then watching [personal profile] thingswithwings excellent mainpain vid and reading her meta post about it, and it got me to thinking.

Book spoilers for ASOIAF )

Note to self: go find a good Arya icon.
elz: (shh)
The upside of not having heat all winter was that it was too cold in here for the GIANT FREAKING SPIDERS and so they all went away. Just saw the first one of the season scampering around a few inches from my bed. It evaded the large books hurled in its direction with enviable grace.

(Over the winter, I'd convinced myself that they weren't really that big. LIES, LIES AND SELF-DELUSION.)

Gyeah. Back to being twitchy and paranoid and unable to sleep all the time. *opens apartment listings in another tab*


May. 18th, 2011 12:04 am
elz: (castle)
Season Finale )

On the subject of fall TV, who expected One Tree Hill of all shows to be getting renewed for a ninth season? I actually thought it had ended a year or so ago. And here's hoping SMG's new series doesn't suck. It sounds a bit... high-concept, which doesn't usually work out.
elz: (Default)
I keep starting posts and then failing to finish them, so maybe I should just aim to say less.

Community: ...some weeks, it's like this show is being broadcast from inside my brain. A++

Doctor Who: quite intrigued by the season's setup. My emotional investment in Amy and Rory as characters is much, much higher than my emotional investment in Eleven and River, but that's been working out well enough for me so far.

Game of Thrones: I haven't had a tv all year, and I didn't miss it until this show premiered. I finally read the whole book series last month, and I'm loving the adaptation.

quick thoughts on episode 4 )


elz: (Default)

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