elz: (AO3: learn ruby)
Deploy day at AO3 today! We're upgrading from Ruby 1.8 to 1.9, from Rails 2 to Rails 3, and from Apache and Passenger to Nginx and Unicorn. We're also replacing our authorization and authentication systems, changing our html parsing and sanitizing, and updating/replacing a whole bunch of third-party plugins and gems, as well as updating nearly every file in the codebase to work with the new version of Rails. The site will be down for an extended period of time while all the underlying software is switched over.

So, that's not stressful at all, haha! On the plus side: unicorns!

Basically, the number of users and works and the amount of traffic keeps increasing, and we hope to do some hardware upgrades, but in the meantime, we're doing what we can to improve performance and maintainability. (Plug: if you happen to know a lot about MySQL or memcached and you'd like to help us improve our system, we will love you and throw roses at your feet!) An enormous amount of work has gone into this deploy, and I feel like I did barely any of it - yay, team! And the yuletiders who've been helping out with testing are beyond awesome.

My goal for the next couple of weeks: see how much I can get done in terms of filtering and browsing. The filters are both unwieldy and a big drain on performance, so we've been looking to replace them for ages, and the upgrade should facilitate that. And we've been brainstorming about browsing for eons as well - its time has come! *resolve face* I try to use the archive as much as I can, and those things drive me crazy as well. Maybe more so than other people, even, since I stop to yell at myself every time I get frustrated. :)
elz: (archive of our own)
Some of the bigger changes:

-Advanced search! Which includes word count, hit count, boolean options, and language, as well as search for bookmarks and people.

-A page that displays all the works you've remixed/translated and all the remixes/translations of your works by other people. It's only linked from your own user page for now because we're still working on making it prettier and working out all the kinks, but I think it could be a really handy resource eventually. [There was an issue with the titles of unrevealed remixes being visible - I fixed that, so we just have to test it and get it out to the site.]

-A new HTML parser. The biggest upside is that it should be easier for us to fix bugs and maintain in the long term. One problem we were having with the old parser was that it was hanging on some works, which was slowing down the site at times. I'm hoping that won't happen any more.

If you run into any problems, especially with regard to Remix, drop a line to Support!


Oh hey - Lost finale!
elz: ao3 logo with pirate hat and sword (ao3 yarr!)
So I made a bookmarklet for AO3 story pages, basically just for me to use when reading things for fun. (I love Readability, but when reading a whole bunch of things on a site, I get tired of switching back and forth sometimes.) We got some support requests about line length and spacing as accessibility issues, though, so I thought I'd put it up here in case it was helpful to anyone.


1. It's very basic and only for the actual chapter content.
2. I really like whitespace.
3. It will be obsolete once we introduce customizable styles. Which are currently under construction!

Link to draggable, bookmarkable code, since my journals weren't too keen on it!

And totally feel free to play around with the javascript, improve on it, etc.


Mar. 16th, 2010 11:02 pm
elz: ao3 logo with pirate hat and sword (ao3 yarr!)
AO3 code is finally deployed! *falls over* big rundown of changes

I always expect things to calm down after a big deploy, and I don't know why, because it never actually works out that way.

One thing that's probably worth mentioning is that when you make really extensive changes to things, which we did this time to really all of the html and css, along with the code that cleans up and formats titles/summaries/stories/comments/etc., you gain things: accessibility, maintainability, speed, performance. But you also lose all the testing and debugging work that had gone into the old code, so it's especially helpful for us to get feedback about what works and what doesn't, and what people like and what they dislike.


Smaller feature that you may find handy: Tag Search (you can also get there through the tag cloud page)

It isn't very fancy yet, but it's a good way to see what tags are actually in the archive and what the official/canonical version of each one is. It also gives you a glimpse of what kind of work the tag wranglers do - I count 17 versions of the fandom name for the newest Star Trek movie.

You can also see all the community tags, all the alternate universe/reality tags, and the ever-popular ____ made ____ do it tags.
elz: (booty)
-Ahh, I'll miss the Olympics. I was watching it pretty much all the way through, from ski jumping to skeleton to the awesome hockey tournament. I have to remind myself of what I normally watch on tv when there aren't people in spandex finding new and creative ways to hurl themselves down mountains every night.

-Hey, did you know that Fanlore has a fandom newsletter index? That is super-useful! And the site just passed 100,000 edits. \o/

-AO3: We're putting the final touches on a MONSTER code deploy now. It'll probably take another week or so to get to the site, depending on how many testers are around, but I'm very excited about it. And I think actual users will be too! I've been working on some of this code since November, so I'll be really relieved to get it off my hands.

Highlights: user icons, code for running challenges, significant changes to CSS/page structure, meta tags, tag wrangling tools, better navigation and filtering for collections, navigation for news posts, improvements to category tags, improvements to series listings, easier way to edit tags on a work, user renaming, and more.
elz: (archive of our own)
5,000(+) fandoms!
Fandom #5,000: Okujou Fuukei | Rooftop Scenery

5,000(+) users!
User #5,000: auberus

50,000(+) works! (<- number appears lower if you're logged out)
Work #50,000: Frodo/Sam Drabbles by claudia603

*throws confetti, hugs everyone who's participating in our open beta*

The archive, of course, is not-for-profit, so we don't actually gain anything from these numbers, they're just fun to look at.

And now, back to coding! (I'm dreaming about tags these days, it's not even funny.)
elz: (otw)
We tried hard to get these in before the reveal for anyone doing some last-minute reading and reccing of Yuletide fic while they're still anonymous.

Release Notes


  • You can see all works in a collection at once now.

  • The story counts on the main Yuletide fandoms listing (which combines Yuletide 2009 and Yuletide Madness 2009) should be more accurate.

  • We added an option to switch filters back and forth from 'and' to 'or', so you can select multiple fandoms from the filter list and read through them all at once. You might want to stick to fandoms, since it really does mean "works with any of these tags."

  • You can sort works by hit count. While there's not a predictable ratio of hits to comments, it could at least be a guide to which Yuletide stories have gotten a little less attention and whose authors might appreciate a couple more comments.

  • You can also turn off hit counts globally, for your own viewing.

  • If you're logged out and leaving comments, the site will remember your name and email until you close your browser.

  • The bookmarks listings and main collections pages should be much faster.

  • One handy tool, especially if you're reading a lot and then going back and commenting/bookmarking is the reading history page, which is linked from the sidebar on your user page. Earlier in the week, it was hampered by a bug that made all the Yuletide stories show up as Mystery Works, but that's fixed now. It also tells you if the story was updated since you last read it. (If it's not a feature you want to use, there's also an option to turn it off in your preferences.)

Also, one thing: the tag wrangling pages, as it turns out, have not scaled well at all with the significant increase in numbers of tags. Those pages were all due to be revised soon anyway, but many of them have become straight-up unusable because they're so slow. We asked the wranglers not to wrangle anything but fandoms, and a bunch of those were marked common/canonical in a rushed manner just to make them accessible in fandom listings and filters. I'll try to get the code done as fast as I can, but in the meantime, please bear with us. I know it's frustrating for both the users and the wranglers. <3
elz: (omg!sam)
(Happy | Merry) (Christmas | Yuletide | Doctor Who day | Sherlock Holmes day)!

I was a little busy yesterday, ha ha... ha. The good news is that the archive should be pretty zippy once the Yuletide rush starts to ebb a bit. And we've gotten a lot of extremely valuable data that we can use to make things better. Sidra deserves a special award for service above and beyond the call of duty for being stuck chained to the servers to keep them from dying, while sick, on Christmas. She definitely deserves more fic!

A few AO3 tips:

-Filters work by AND not OR, so if you click a bunch of things, you won't get any results. We're always talking about ways to improve those, though, so that's subject to change. (Just not this weekend. *g*)

-When you're posting a story, the tags are comma-separated, so if there's a comma in the name of your fandom or character, you unfortunately do need to leave that out or it gets broken up into two tags that might not make sense on their own. The good news is that you can always go in and edit your tags if you notice it later. We're working (long-term) on a separate 'edit tags' option that would be quicker than the standard edit form.

-If you have an account, you have a preferences page that lets you control things like the visibility of your hit counters and whether or not you want comments emailed to you.

-If you comment with your name and email address, you get reply comments emailed to you. (We're also working on ways to let you turn that off.)

-Authors can restrict stories to be visible only to registered users (and not to search engines), so that's one reason to sign up for an account even if you're not an author yourself.

Recent fixes:

-Hit counter should not count your views of your own works anymore.

-Comment form is now visible when you load a story, so that's one less thing to have to wait for.
elz: (ada-numbers)
See if you can figure out when Yuletide invites went out and when the posting deadline was...

mmm, stats )
elz: (ada-babbage)
There's a wee bit of a bug in the gift-checking code, so quite a few people will see Gifts (0) even if their gift is in the system. This affects users whose Yuletide names are different from their user names.

If you'd like to make sure you have a gift, go to the gift-checking page and enter your name as yuletide name (user name). This shouldn't affect you getting an email notification later in the week, whether or not it's been fixed by then.

Sorry for the confusion! (Ooh, admin post up about it.)

Also: Yuletide Madness! Anyone with an archive account can participate. If you don't have an archive account, it's a good time to sign up! We've been clearing it out fairly regularly so people can play.
elz: (archive of our own)
Good luck, Yuletide authors! I'll be around if anybody needs help posting or typo-checking!

Also, we're going to be sneaking in one last performance-related code deploy this morning, so there will probably be a few minutes of downtime. Keep an eye on our twitter account (AO3_Status) for updates.
elz: (archive of our own)
  1. I keep checking to see if someone's actually written Star Wars Holiday Special fic, and I keep being disappointed. I - huh, I was going to say it sounds like a Yuletide fandom, but it's probably ineligible, isn't it? Alas, poor unloved Itchy and Lumpy.

  2. They've both kept climbing, but SGA continues to maintain a steady lead over BtVS in the top fandom sweepstakes. It's only a matter of time until HP really takes off, though.

  3. What you can do with a multifandom archive: the tag wranglers started writing Steampunk RPF about themselves. It is awesome. As is their epic wrangling work. (31,591 tags in the system right now!) And writing fic about how badly you need new features is one way to get the coders' attention. *g* (Signed, she who is charged with the sacred duty of bringing metatags to the Wrangulator. I feel a tiny bit like Frodo, or possibly Gandalf.)

  4. The automatic invite queue has been chugging along, so don't forget that you can request an invite if you don't already have an account! Even if you're not an author or aren't interested in uploading your work yet, registering lets you create bookmarks and comment more easily, as well as letting you see works that are only visible to logged-in users (sort of like a mega-flock).

  5. We'll be deploying some bug fixes and collections groundwork tonight/soon. Most of what you'll see over the next few weeks will be preparation for Yuletide - which will hopefully go off without a hitch *knocks wood* - and then after the new year, review and refactoring and exciting new features!

Oh, and you can follow AO3_Status on Twitter, for status updates of the up/down/updating variety.
elz: (archive of our own)
AO3 code updated!

We fixed as many bugs as we possibly could this week, so hopefully that will be helpful to both users and support.

Next stop: Yuletide! O.O
elz: (archive of our own)
There's just one more bug I wish I could fix for our next deploy, but I can't fix it because I can't reproduce it locally. Which is driving me NUTS. It's the problem with single chapter works appearing as 1/? when you post them; it happens consistently on our test deployment and not at all on my local machine, even when posting from the same browser with the exact same data. The code is the same, the data is the same, the html source is the same - something must be different, but I can't figure out what.

It also only happens when you're posting something new, which is good in that it means you can fix it by editing, but further adds to my confusion, because it's the same form. Hmph.

code changes we are currently testing )
elz: (ada-reboot)
I have fixed the bug preventing James T. Kirk from getting laid on the AO3! I'd like to think that he'd approve. *g*

(There's currently a routing problem for tags whose names contain both a period and a slash, so clicking on a pairing tag for James T. Kirk/anyone won't get you any stories. Sadness and woe!)


Nov. 15th, 2009 01:18 pm
elz: (archive of our own)
As of 1:16pm EST, the AO3 had 1224 users, 888 fandoms and exactly 10,000 works posted!

We had a small server-related hiccup in the middle of the night (my time), and we've gotten a ton of useful feedback, but I'm really, really psyched about how smoothly things have gone in general given the scale of the increase in users and activity. And the things that haven't gone smoothly, we're working feverishly to improve on!

<3 all the users and volunteers (and especially the systems committee)

Open beta!

Nov. 12th, 2009 11:16 am
elz: (archive of our own)
There will be official announcements with details forthcoming in the usual places, but:

AO3 Open Beta = this weekend

Existing users will get a very (and for now, probably VERY, VERY) limited number of invitations, but we'll have an automatic queue that you can add your email address to if you'd like to create an account. That should allow us both to add people at manageable rates and to guarantee that you don't need to know someone who already has an account to get one.

A couple of things:

1) If you have religious, family or social obligations on Saturday or Sunday and you're really eager to sign up, you can have someone else add your email to the list. You can have me add your email to the list! (By which I mean, type it into the form same as anyone else, not do anything adminy with it. *g*) We know weekends are better for some people and worse for others, and we don't want anyone to feel left out or inconvenienced.

2) Open beta is still beta, and many things are still under active development and construction.

3) User names are unique, so it's possible you may not get the one you want, depending on demand, but every user can have multiple pseuds (pen names, nicknames, RPG names, even), and those are names that appear alongside your content and can be searched for, etc. So I wouldn't worry unduly about the prospect of somebody else stealing your identity.

4) The AD&T committee had spirited debates about the exact mechanics, rates and ratios of inviting new users so that we can accommodate as many people as possible while keeping an eye on stability, but everyone has always been in strong agreement about wanting the archive to be open to a diverse community of people from every corner of every fandom, with every level of accessibility needs. So if you are interested, you are welcome! And we'll keep on trying to make the best site we can for everyone to use.

...and I should totally stock up on alcohol, shouldn't I?


Nov. 8th, 2009 05:00 pm
elz: (archive of our own)
Woot! I finally got Ruby, Rails and MySQL running again on Snow Leopard! I would like to say I accomplished this by fully understanding the issues at hand and configuring everything properly myself, but instead I stumbled across a Ruby one-click-installer while looking for help. (MySQL wasn't really a problem once I got the right version, but I couldn't get Ruby to compile - it kept having issues with Readline.)

TextMate, I missed you, although I have to say, gedit is a pretty capable substitute once you tweak a few things.

You may also notice that there's been an update to the archive.

I love "Welcome to Revision 1692, up from 1585. This is a small release..." Only 100+ revisions, 3 new database tables, a dozen or so new pages and a redesigned home page, along with some significant bug fixes, new features and CSS tweaks. I think our sense of scale changed somewhere along the line. *g*
elz: (Default)
As of this writing, [info - community] intro_to_cs has 101 subscribers! That is an awful lot of people! Remember, we're officially starting up next week, and quite a few people are waiting until January, so it's never too late to join in.

Javascript: else if
PHP: elseif
Ruby: elsif
Python: elif

Some language out there totally uses "eif", doesn't it? Just to keep us on our toes. :P

AO3 Open Beta: coming soon! ish! (At a date to be named later, but likely this month.) I spent about 9 hours yesterday coding, so I feel like I've got open beta momentum now. I was thinking yesterday that I really love fixing bugs; not the Shelob-sized bugs that try to suck out your soul, but the smaller, more isolated ones, when an established feature isn't working quite the way it's supposed to and you have to hunt down the mystery of why. There's just something satisfying about that.


elz: (Default)

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