(Topic ID: 82096)

Site update: February 2014

By robin

7 years ago

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  • 174 posts
  • 80 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by robin
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 7 years ago

    Today I have pushed an update to the server which I have been working on for the past two months. A lot of the changes will not be visible but they streamline the way the server runs and should also cut down on our bandwidth cost.

    You will notice some visual changes on the front page. Most notably the subforum icons are now round: they're balls! Pinballs! You will also notice a new type of "new topic" icon: the hollow star. A hollow star indicates a newly started topic (in the last 24 hours that is).

    Scroll down the forum front page. Keep scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling! Today adds auto-loading topic pages. A huge improvement from the old "paged" navigation. This setting is adjustable in your settings but default to auto-loading. Hope you like that.

    Now, click on the activity tab. You will get a new screen with "views". There's your posts, your topics, topics you viewed, topics you fav'ed. Etc. All of them auto-loading. I think it's pretty powerful stuff.

    I have done away with the !! icon above each post, it has been replaced with the word "report" and clicking it will open a little form that will help you report a Pinside rules violation to the moderator team. The team have access to a dashboard that lists all reported violations and the times a post was reported. They can quickly jump to the post in question and, when they see it actually breaks our community rules, they can act on it.

    Ban votes have been retired for now. I have replaced this with a new system called "Pinside rules violation notices". A mouthful but it should help the moderators with their work and aid them in making consistent calls. Rules violation notices are basically warning messages from the moderators when you break one of our community rules. These messages will clearly inform you which post of yours has broken which rule. It may include a remark from the moderator and will tell you the consequences of the violation.

    Thread ejects are one of the consequences for breaking Pinside rules. E.g. when you start back and forth bickering with another member. Or when you pull a topic off-topic. Or when you troll a topic with a comment that adds little value to the thread. So basically they are a "light" punishment for common offenses on Pinside. A thread eject can be for 2 hours, 24 hours or forever. That's up to the moderators. But it's a less heavy tool than the ban votes used to be (but should hopefully prove to be more effective in keeping topics on track).

    Another tool we really needed was a way to contact the moderator team. As you probably know by now, publicly criticizing the moderators is not allowed. You are welcome to discuss issues in private and that used to mean PM'ing the moderator in question, or another moderator or even PM'ing me. Today we add the Moderator feedback sub-forum which allows you to discuss matters in private. Anything posted in this sub-forum is only visible to the topic starter (you) and to the moderators and me (robin).

    You've got mail! One of the most requested features returns: the bouncing envelope! If you have new PinsideMail messages since the last time you checked that page, then you will get a nice bouncy notification in the top right of the screen.

    And lots and lots of bugfixes...

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from KoolFingers:

    Shouldn't this be stickied?

    Yes, you're right, thanks.

    By the way, that's another feature: stickied topics will now show both in the sticky section but also in the "normal" topics list. This was requested a lot because apparently many of you miss topics that are stickied.

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from meSz:

    Robin, am I missing it or is the "Topics Started By You" no longer? I see the "Topics in which you posted" but not the option to filter by the topics for which I started??? THANKS!

    Hmm, I just checked and you're right, it's apparently missing.
    Will look into this, thanks!

    edit: fixed

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_faz:

    I think there's an issue with the time clock. A post I made a few moments ago shows 'posted' over an hour.

    You're right, that appears to be a bug. Will look into this, thanks.

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    ughhhhh i absolutely hate auto-loading pages.

    Fortunately you can change this behavior in your forum settings pages.

    However, I think this behavior is a great way to have people "look back in time" a little further. One of the problems Pinside was facing was that topics would move so fast of the front page, people could not keep up. I think the front-page auto-loading more topics works brilliantly to solve that issue. It also saves server load, because only the actual topics need fetching, no more re-rendering the page.

    Of course I respect your opinion and therefore this is a setting you can set to 'full auto', 'manual auto' or 'manual paging'.

    #30 7 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    sorry, rant off. Pinside does not have that problem right now and i'm glad. it's probably the best-designed site i visit. i just want it to stay that way!

    You have some valid points and I definitely appreciate you voicing them. Yes, I'll try to refrain from letting Pinside become the next Facebook. Ughhh! Facebook!

    #32 7 years ago
    Quoted from BowlingJim:

    My mail always shows I have 1 next to the envelope. It has been like this for at least 6 months. I can clear out all my mail and it still shows 1 next to it.
    Anyone else have this problem?

    I'm not sure what causes this. I can manually reset the number and then we'll see if it ever pops up again?

    Quoted from PinRob:

    Me too for a long time now. Asked about it many times before and never get an answer. Oh - well 1 = none.

    Sorry about that. I could do the same, reset it manually and we'll see if it holds up.

    #36 7 years ago
    Quoted from DCFAN:

    I am noticing for new posts the time lapsed says "1 hour, 1 minute". Why does it say 1 hour when it has only been a minute?

    I believe this should be fixed now. Stupid time zones.

    Quoted from DCFAN:

    Also, I am noticing the topic that I have visited is not always turning grey even though there are no new posts.

    I noticed this too, can't really put a finger on it but something appears a bit buggy. If you can find the pattern why this happens or when, do tell!

    #47 7 years ago
    Quoted from sysprog:

    It looks like every time I enter the site, the forums that I have 'unchecked' show up in the list. If I check them, then uncheck them again, the posts go away. But they always seem to be there when I come back in.

    I can confirm this bug, seeing it too. Will investigate, thanks!

    #58 7 years ago

    Thanks for reporting those bugs. I'm not near a computer but will work on these issues as soon as I can! I know it seems like a bit of poor planning to release this update and then not be near a computer for some days but honestly I didn't expect mayor issues because I have been testing this stuff for weeks. Grrr, software development...

    #63 7 years ago
    Quoted from Patofnaud:

    Robin, any thoughts into making the 'search' engine better?

    Are you sure you are using the form correctly, the search has been tweaked a couple of months back and should work much better than it used to. Have you tried the search tips in the blue box to the right of the search form?

    Quoted from RonB:

    I have one request for contacting other members, is there a way to have a contact list? Or possibly make it a one-or-two click process to send a pm?

    I realize this is needed and will see what I can do.

    Quoted from sysprog:

    It looks like every time I enter the site, the forums that I have 'unchecked' show up in the list. If I check them, then uncheck them again, the posts go away. But they always seem to be there when I come back in.


    Quoted from Richthofen:

    Any thoughts on open-sourcing the forum's code? Or selling it?

    Never thought about that, no

    Quoted from RCA1:

    When I edited one of my own posts, the "Edited" caption note appeared as "Edited by Moderator". I was able to change the label before finishing the edit, but that should probably come up as "Edited by Poster", or something.

    Thanks for noticing. Fixed!

    Quoted from ChrisHibler:

    I'd still like to see direct access to mail, even when I don't have any new messages.

    Changed this. You will now always see the little envelope icon next to your user name for quick access to your PinsideMail box

    Quoted from MikeS:

    The changes are great other than the new autoloading feature was causing my Android Dolphin browser to not be able to load the forum on some occasions.

    Hmm, I will have to look into that. Does anyone else notice issues with autoscrolling feature on mobile phones?

    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    If you click on the new posts indicator a little too close to the middle, it will turn the post indicator gray

    Just to be clear, you mean the green box with the number in it, on the right of the topic title?
    What do you mean with "a little too close to the middle?" And on which browser?

    Quoted from BoJo:

    Can you make the rest of the forum (or at least the front page) like the stickies where you have the option to only show posts with unread or new replies.

    Hmm, this could be done with a view on the new views page. Something like "visited topics with new posts".

    #75 7 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Definitely works a lot better with Android phones now. Thanks!

    Thanks for letting me know. I did some bugfixing specifically for Android phones. Finally have one of those available for doing site testing.

    The most annoying Android bug was the dynamic text sizing feature which has been fixed with a stylesheet hack (gotta love that there's no official way to circumvent this behavior in Android Chrome).

    Quoted from stevevt:

    It looks like the unchecked forums bug is fixed only for the first page of posts. It seems to be broken for page 2 and beyond.

    Yes you are correct, this still needs fixing - hopefully soon!

    Quoted from ChrisHibler:

    Something for the future, perhaps...
    ...I'd love to be able to select text, and quote it on iDevices, like my iPad.

    Note the "quote" link atop each post, specifically there for mobile devices where mouse selection is not possible.

    Quoted from viperrwk:

    Request; the stickies logic seems to be broken. If I view a sticky topic and refresh the page it still shows me the topic. I have to close the page and reopen it for it to not be there anymore. Furthermore, clicking the three dots to show all stickies on the forum home page only shows me five stickies and I'm not sure what logic is being used to show
    me the five that are there. It should show me all the stickies across the entire site.
    Otherwise, really liking this update!

    Sticky logic has had some changes: stickies are only visible if they have new new posts since your last visit. But we now also include sticky posts in the "main" topics list of the front page. In other words they will now appear in both these lists.

    Note that the front page stickies are a very special kind of sticky and only some topics get that status, so seeing only 5 stickies when opening the front page stickies via the three dotted link is correct.

    Lastly, I can confirm an issue with "remembering" topics you visited and this also affects the showing or hiding of stickies. This will hopefully be fixed soon!

    #84 7 years ago

    I can understand both arguments. I think a user setting would fix this problem.

    #92 7 years ago

    The search broke due to an unexpected server reboot, I have restarted the search daemon and it should now work again. I'm doing this from an iPad, so I can't really do an analysis of what happened but most important thing is it's up again.

    #101 7 years ago
    Quoted from Capper96:

    IPAD2 can only see the front page, the next page autoloader doesnt work fyi

    Testing this here on an iPad one and it seems to work fine if only a bit slow in response. If you scroll all the way down the "loading" message will not immediately appear but it does load the next page. iPad mini also seems to work fine here. So I'm not sure how to replicate the problem you're seeing.

    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    Hope this works. pinside_bug.png 2 KB

    Thanks, what browser is that? I tried it here but it only seems to be a 1 pixel line to the left of the sub-forum box and only when you have the meta setting set to left instead of the default right. But indeed it is a curious little bug.

    Quoted from Patofnaud:

    Something to think about, any possibility of making the Maintenance Logs exportable?

    Nice idea, will add it to my list.

    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Could we get these views sorted with who has the most recent posts?

    They are currently sorted by their latest activity (not necessarily your activity). I might be able to add different sorting options in the future.

    Quoted from Joshmx19:

    I wish I would have read this before publicly criticizing a moderator for sending out the new violation notices. oops, live and learn!

    It's also in our community rules which you must have read before signing up, you did read them right?
    Seriously, this rule exists to protect the (volunteer) mods. I want any feedback on their decisions to be directed to me in PM, not publicly. Thanks.

    Quoted from yonkiman:

    some day you might want to add a close box to the "Quote selected text" popup so it's easier to make go away if it accidentally appears...

    Good idea!

    #104 7 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_faz:

    Something is up with the "Pinside forum topics linked to this game:".

    Fixed! I also increased topic count to 50 instead of 10 on this page. Auto loading may be implemented soon, but for now this remains manual paging.

    I have also fixed a bug with sub-forum filtering (hiding topics from forums you are not interested in) in autoloading topics lists.

    #106 7 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_faz:

    I'm only seeing 10 items within the list however.

    Oops, looks like I forgot something
    Should work now!

    1 month later
    #113 7 years ago
    Quoted from KoolFingers:

    Is anyone else having problems viewing marketplace pictures?

    Make sure you don't have an adblocker plugin running, I heard from some that this is killing market place images. I'm baffled why this would happen but haven't had time to investigate this yet.

    Quoted from awarner:

    Thanks to Robin for the Python Background Art. Yes, we noticed!

    It's Pinside's tribute to one of the pinball greats!

    2 weeks later
    #119 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rascal_H:

    Think I found a small bug.
    Steps to reproduce:
    - Make a post with two game tags.
    CP left today. Got myself a TAF.
    - Hover over "CP" and info box popup reads "Champion Pub"
    - Hover over "TAF" and info box popup reads "The Addams Family"
    - Go back to hover over "CP" and info popup box incorrectly reads"The Addams Family".
    Maybe it caches the last loaded info box popup and gets confused or something?
    Tested with Chrome and Firefox. Hope its not just me.

    Thanks for the detailed bug report, very helpful. It was indeed a caching problem, it should be fixed now!

    #120 7 years ago

    I fixed PDF uploading today, so you should all be able to upload PDF files like you were before the big site update.

    2 weeks later
    #130 7 years ago
    Quoted from Erik:

    Lots of new users posting spam URLs
    Also long time pet peeve, the pagination for reading unread posts is a little off. For example if a thread has 50 posts and you read all 50, and later it shows up with unread posts. You click on the link that should take you to the newest unread post (starting at the 51st post), it actually takes you back to post 50.

    Please read my post : http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/aaaaargh-spam

    The pagination thing is actual by design, I load the previous last post as a "memory" refresher. I agree that long posts could be annoying. I could fix this by implementing an option in forum settings maybe?

    Quoted from Marten:

    I actually like this behaviour. It let's me see that I'm actually back where I was reading last. Otherwise I would have to scroll up every time to check.

    Yes, that's my idea too.

    Quoted from aobrien5:

    When I look at Dear Lloyd and click the "Previous dear Lloyd" link, I get an error page at the url: http://pinside.com/bbpress/

    I will look into it, thanks!

    #131 7 years ago
    Quoted from aobrien5:

    When I look at Dear Lloyd and click the "Previous dear Lloyd" link, I get an error page

    I fixed this today.

    #133 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    If you made it an option I would opt to jump to the new post, and not the "memory refresher", I don't care for that behavior personally. I can scroll up if I need a refresh, but now I always have to scroll down.

    Fair enough, I'll see what I can do.

    #134 7 years ago

    Small update today, May 22, 2014:

    - More anti-spam measures
    - Added a "resolved" flag for topics. you can now mark your own topic as "resolved" which will make them show a checkmark icon (also in topic listings). Handy for tech threads and such!
    - Added setting for "Last post in topic behavior". You can now set wether to jump to the last post you read during your visit to a topic (as a memory refresher, default) OR to jump to the first new post since your last visit to it.
    - Added "account freezing" as a an intermediary step before blocking (retiring) of an account.
    - Styling changes in topic header section
    - Sub-forums on the forum frontpage now all default opened, to give new users a good idea of all the sub-forums on Pinside. Closing sub-forum boxes will be remembered in a cookie.
    - Bug fixes to the moderator feedback forum, which was hiding topics there from everyone but the topic starter.
    - More that I can't remember...

    Found a bug? Let me know here or (if it's really embarrassing) via PM!

    #137 7 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_faz:

    I tried to resolve one of my threads and I got an error message.

    Thanks for the heads up, could you please try again?

    1 month later
    #145 7 years ago
    Quoted from LouMatt:

    Here is a screenshot of this issue I was talking about. Not a big deal, but just thought I would mention it again.

    Thanks. Definitely a strange bug, I have tried to replicate it but couldn't. Is there any pattern to this?

    #146 7 years ago

    Today, July 8th 2014, I have rolled out an update with various new features.

    One of the coolest new features is a search box allowing you to filter a topic for specific posts and/or Pinsiders:

    Notice the redesigned header and the addition of a topic search tool.

    Quoted from Erik:

    Also long time pet peeve, the pagination for reading unread posts is a little off. For example if a thread has 50 posts and you read all 50, and later it shows up with unread posts. You click on the link that should take you to the newest unread post (starting at the 51st post), it actually takes you back to post 50.

    Today I have added an option which allows you to choose wether to jump to the newest post -1 or just to the newest post:

    New option!

    #155 7 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    Hm. New bug to report. In the "Big Lebowski Pre-order thread" The link back to page 1 is wrong

    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    If you click on the paragraph symbol to filter posts by user, it keeps the page number in the url which doesn't work.

    Thanks guys, I will look into those!

    The filter is only a start, it started life as a "proof of concept": Under the hood, I have changed the whole mechanism that fetches a thread's post. It ties in with the search server and can do all kinds of fun things when fetching threads. I have some more ideas which will hopefully add more cool "wizard" features to the forum

    #156 7 years ago

    There was a problem with posting yesterday evening, due to a problem with the cache system. This may have led to a lot of duplicate posts. I have fixed it first thing today, even before my morning coffee, so I hope all is back to normal now!

    #160 7 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    I am sorry to have to report a massive bug.
    I don't know if I can browse here anymore.

    pb2.png 2 KB

    Hmm, you're right, that IS massive, Keith! Thanks

    #163 7 years ago
    Quoted from DCFAN:

    In the last few days, when I click on the green numbers to view the posts that I have not seen, often they are not turning grey to show that they have been viewed.

    You mean immediately when clicking the, topics don't turn grey? Or after clicking them, going to the thread and upon returning to the forum front page they do not show grey?

    #168 7 years ago

    Thanks, I will look into this tomorrow!

    #172 7 years ago
    Quoted from OCD_pinball:

    Ever since the change to SSL only, I can,t access Pinside on my regular computer which runs Windows XP. All I get is an SSL error window. Any idea what it could be ?

    Please install Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer if you are stuck with Windows XP. You can get it here, quick and easy install: http://google.com/chrome

    #174 7 years ago

    Could this have something to do with: End Of Support For Windows XP SP3 is April 8, 2014? Not getting any more updates also means no updates of the root certificates. Maybe this will help? I've not been using a Microsoft OS for a long time, so I'm just guessing here.

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