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posted by NCommander on Monday August 18 2014, @08:16PM   Printer-friendly
from the and-there-was-much-rejoicing dept.
Over the weekend, Paul finished upgrading the site to the latest release of Slashcode, 14.08, which contains the usual slew of bug fixes, site improvements, and plenty else. I know this is late, but we had to do a fair bit of regression testing to make sure the biggest part of the update, UTF-8 support, didn't cause any regressions. Here's the short list:
  • Full UTF-8 Support
  • Subscriptions - Revamped and almost ready to go live
  • Nexuses - Ready to go, still DEPWAIT wildcard SSL certificate
  • Removal of the most annoying aspects of the lameass filter
  • Two new themes, CSS fixes, and blockquote changes
  • Removal of journal themes (it was half broken, and interfered with the new theming engine)
  • Updated zoo, and topic logos, as well as touched up logo and favicon
  • Improvement some of the more stupid error messages
  • Backend upgrades and improvements performed during the weekend downtime
  • File upload support for admins (no more wiki abuse!)

All things considered, a pretty large update! I've got more to talk about, but check back past the break for that.

So, a long announced, and long-delayed feature, I want to offer a round of applause to TheMightyBuzzard, who did most of the grunt work; Bytram, who did most of the sanity checking; and paulej72, who lost his sanity in getting UTF-8 full-functional in Slashcode with a massive merge that caused my brain to melt the first time I looked at it. This was a massive amount of work, but the site should no longer have those long-frustrating issues where characters randomly show up, or get mutated after you click Preview or Submit, something that was true on the other site as well. As part of the work on this, Slashcode was modified to be native UTF-8 or in other words we're not dong any sort of conversion to HTML entities or such, and four-bit unicode characters are also working as expected (contrary to what was previously reported). As part of this update, most of the annoying aspects of the lameass filter got ripped out as they were incompatible with unicode support, and mostly served to piss people off vs. serving any using spam prevention method.

In other visible changes, we've updated most of the images, and artwork this goaround to be somewhat more consistent, and to make the site itself have a slightly cleaner look and feel. Thanks to rand, mrcoolbp, and paulej72 for their efforts in this department.

In other news, its been somewhat hectic since we completed our incorporation, and are now moving towards getting the site towards self-sufficiency. Due to various administrative hiccups, combined with what ultimately became an ill-timed vacation on my part, we've still got a few minor business hangups before we can accept income and revenue, but everything will be resolved by Friday. As I noted above, our subscription code required an unexpectedly large amount of effort to get functional again due to missing components (which was not evident until we tied it into PayPal), but I'm pleased to note that everything promised got implemented in this update, we're just doing a final smoke test and business 1-2 before pushing the button.

I'd like to offer an apology on behalf of the staff, simply on the long period of time it has taken us to get our act together. For those who haven't realized it, SN is now six months old, and while we have made tremendous progress, none of us are able to work on SN full-time. Unfortunately, that means some things do fall by the wayside such as the long promised, and under-delivered moderation rework. As always, we welcome anyone to come by and volunteer time and effort to the cause; you can find all of the staff on IRC, and anyone is welcome to attend both our staff meetings, and the board meetings (with the next one scheduled for August 20th, at 23:00 UTC) are open to all.

Looking ahead, we've still got a few major things that need be solved relatively soon. The migration from Apache 1.3 -> 2.x is still a high-priority item, one that I think I'll be able to dedicate the necessary time and effort in the next month, which will mostly complete our list of "things we need to fix from golive". Looking ahead, I'm slowly developing a list of longer term objectives to fulfill in Slashcode; in no particular order, or promise of delivery:
  • Subslash support (basically our version of subreddits)
  • More advanced filtering options for the main page for customization
  • Overhauling journals to be more usable as a blogging platform
  • Article rating system
  • Renaming slashcode
  • Revamped voting system
  • Bidrectional NNTP gateway
  • i10n and i18n of slashcode (a LOT of our userbase is international, and I won't mind working with someone who'd be interesting in SoylentNews in second language)
  • RSS Reader Functionality (have your favorite RSS/Atom feeds show up as part of "your" homepage)

As I've stressed before, time and again, this site exists for the community, so if you've got some ideas, post them below, and let us hear about it!

On the business side of things, I'm working on drafting a "longer-term" plan, hopefully ready to present something this week, or early next week, which lays down a specific "here's what we are going to do" plan, and then let you guys think it over, poke it with a stick, then call me an idiot, and have me do it again; as far as running a site, its been a pretty successful model thus far :-)

Expect one or two more "meta" posts in the next few days, and until then, let me know your thoughts below ~ NCommander

 
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  • (Score: 2) by cosurgi on Monday August 18 2014, @08:52PM

    by cosurgi (272) on Monday August 18 2014, @08:52PM (#82744) Journal
    ᚻᛖ ᚳᚹᚫᚦ ᚦᚫᛏ ᚻᛖ ᛒᚢᛞᛖ ᚩᚾ ᚦᚫᛗ ᛚᚪᚾᛞᛖ ᚾᚩᚱᚦᚹᛖᚪᚱᛞᚢᛗ ᚹᛁᚦ ᚦᚪ ᚹᛖᛥᚫ


    ┌─────┐    ∞     
    │a²+b³     ⎲     
    │─────  ≠  ⎳aⁱ-bⁱ
    ⎷  c      i=1    

    ∮ E⋅da = Q
    --
    #
    #\ @ ? [adom.de] Colonize Mars [kozicki.pl]
    #
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 2) by cosurgi on Monday August 18 2014, @09:00PM

    by cosurgi (272) on Monday August 18 2014, @09:00PM (#82749) Journal

      Excerpt from a poetry on The Romance of The Three Kingdoms (a Chinese
      classic 'San Gua'):

      [----------------------------|------------------------]
        ๏ แผ่นดินฮั่นเสื่อมโทรมแสนสังเวช  พระปกเกศกองบู๊กู้ขึ้นใหม่
      สิบสองกษัตริย์ก่อนหน้าแลถัดไป       สององค์ไซร้โง่เขลาเบาปัญญา
        ทรงนับถือขันทีเป็นที่พึ่ง           บ้านเมืองจึงวิปริตเป็นนักหนา
      โฮจิ๋นเรียกทัพทั่วหัวเมืองมา         หมายจะฆ่ามดชั่วตัวสำคัญ
        เหมือนขับไสไล่เสือจากเคหา      รับหมาป่าเข้ามาเลยอาสัญ
      ฝ่ายอ้องอุ้นยุแยกให้แตกกัน          ใช้สาวนั้นเป็นชนวนชื่นชวนใจ
        พลันลิฉุยกุยกีกลับก่อเหตุ          ช่างอาเพศจริงหนาฟ้าร้องไห้
      ต้องรบราฆ่าฟันจนบรรลัย           ฤๅหาใครค้ำชูกู้บรรลังก์ ฯ

      (The above is a two-column text. If combining characters are handled
      correctly, the lines of the second column should be aligned with the
      | character above.)

    Braille:

        ⡌⠁⠧⠑ ⠼⠁⠒ ⡍⠜⠇⠑⠹⠰⠎ ⡣⠕⠌

        ⡍⠜⠇⠑⠹ ⠺⠁⠎ ⠙⠑⠁⠙⠒ ⠞⠕ ⠃⠑⠛⠔ ⠺⠊⠹⠲ ⡹⠻⠑ ⠊⠎ ⠝⠕ ⠙⠳⠃⠞
        ⠱⠁⠞⠑⠧⠻ ⠁⠃⠳⠞ ⠹⠁⠞⠲ ⡹⠑ ⠗⠑⠛⠊⠌⠻ ⠕⠋ ⠙⠊⠎ ⠃⠥⠗⠊⠁⠇ ⠺⠁⠎
        ⠎⠊⠛⠝⠫ ⠃⠹ ⠹⠑ ⠊⠇⠻⠛⠹⠍⠁⠝⠂ ⠹⠑ ⠊⠇⠻⠅⠂ ⠹⠑ ⠥⠝⠙⠻⠞⠁⠅⠻⠂
        ⠁⠝⠙ ⠹⠑ ⠡⠊⠑⠋ ⠍⠳⠗⠝⠻⠲ ⡎⠊⠗⠕⠕⠛⠑ ⠎⠊⠛⠝⠫ ⠊⠞⠲ ⡁⠝⠙
        ⡎⠊⠗⠕⠕⠛⠑⠰⠎ ⠝⠁⠍⠑ ⠺⠁⠎ ⠛⠕⠕⠙ ⠥⠏⠕⠝ ⠰⡡⠁⠝⠛⠑⠂ ⠋⠕⠗ ⠁⠝⠹⠹⠔⠛ ⠙⠑
        ⠡⠕⠎⠑ ⠞⠕ ⠏⠥⠞ ⠙⠊⠎ ⠙⠁⠝⠙ ⠞⠕⠲

    Some math symbols:

    ≠ ≅ ≈ ≉ ∼ ≡ ≢ ≪ ≫ ≮ ≯ ≰ ≱ ∓ ± ∔ ∗ ° ∝ ∶ ∷ ∸ ∹ ∺ ∻ ∼ ∽ ∾ ∿

    ≔ ≕ ≖ ≗ ≘ ≙ ≚ ≛ ≜ ≝ ≞ ≟

    ⊕ ⊖ ⊗ ⊘ ⊙ ⊚ ⊛ ⊜ ⊝ ⊞ ⊟ ⊠

    source: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ [cam.ac.uk]
    and more precisely: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/examples/ [cam.ac.uk]

    NOTE: I had to use UTF-8 non breaking space: " " instead of space: " " in order to have spaces not merged.

    --
    #
    #\ @ ? [adom.de] Colonize Mars [kozicki.pl]
    #
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by frojack on Monday August 18 2014, @09:08PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 18 2014, @09:08PM (#82751) Journal

      Braille:
              ⡌⠁⠧⠑ ⠼⠁⠒ ⡍⠜⠇⠑⠹⠰⠎ ⡣⠕⠌
              ⡍⠜⠇⠑⠹ ⠺⠁⠎ ⠙⠑⠁⠙⠒ ⠞⠕ ⠃⠑⠛⠔ ⠺⠊⠹⠲ ⡹⠻⠑ ⠊⠎ ⠝⠕ ⠙⠳⠃⠞
              ⠱⠁⠞⠑⠧⠻ ⠁⠃⠳⠞ ⠹⠁⠞⠲ ⡹⠑ ⠗⠑⠛⠊⠌⠻ ⠕⠋ ⠙⠊⠎ ⠃⠥⠗⠊⠁⠇ ⠺⠁⠎

      Whatesay?, I can't feel a thing!

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18 2014, @09:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18 2014, @09:09PM (#82753)

        Excerpt from a poetry on The Romance of The Three Kingdoms (a Chinese
        classic 'San Gua'):

      Looks like Thai rather than chinese.

      • (Score: 2) by cosurgi on Monday August 18 2014, @09:21PM

        by cosurgi (272) on Monday August 18 2014, @09:21PM (#82761) Journal

        yeah. I didn't paste the first line, that said "Thai:"

        --
        #
        #\ @ ? [adom.de] Colonize Mars [kozicki.pl]
        #
    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Tuesday August 19 2014, @04:21AM

      by tftp (806) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @04:21AM (#82909) Homepage

      Работает, однако. Удивительное - рядом.

      • (Score: 1) by Refugee from beyond on Tuesday August 19 2014, @07:13AM

        by Refugee from beyond (2699) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @07:13AM (#82949)

        Дождались! 21 век прямо ☺

        --
        Instantly better soylentnews: replace background on article and comment titles with #973131.
  • (Score: 2) by Geotti on Monday August 18 2014, @10:55PM

    by Geotti (1146) on Monday August 18 2014, @10:55PM (#82808) Journal

    Σοπα, ρε! Δουλεύει και τα Ελληνικα! Nice!

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by mendax on Tuesday August 19 2014, @05:52AM

      by mendax (2840) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @05:52AM (#82932)

      It looks like Greek to me.

      --
      It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Monday August 18 2014, @11:55PM

    by Magic Oddball (3847) on Monday August 18 2014, @11:55PM (#82830) Journal

    I really wish the people behind Unicode would take pity on people's eyes and replace the runic characters with the ones created as standalone fonts, which tend to be much easier to read. It seems a little silly that they can't be bothered to do that, but found time to add a bunch of vertical emoticons that are easily made using existing standard characters.

    Also, I had no idea how incompatible proper futhark/futhorc letters were with the variant used in fantasy books/games until now. I wonder how the letters got to be so far out of whack?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by CRCulver on Tuesday August 19 2014, @09:10AM

      by CRCulver (4390) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @09:10AM (#82970) Homepage

      I really wish the people behind Unicode would take pity on people's eyes and replace the runic characters with the ones created as standalone fonts.

      Unicode doesn't describe how characters must look, that is left to the fonts. All it does is describe a series of abstract character positions. If you think the runes here look bad, that is not the fault of Unicode, but the fact of whatever font is being used to represent the abstract Unicode positions. There are a number of fonts that contain the Runic block of Unicode, so just find one that looks better and configure your browser to use that instead.