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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 mendax on Tuesday August 19 2014, @06:22AM

    by mendax (2840) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @06:22AM (#82939)

    Yay! So, let us pray:

    Πάτερ ἡμῶν, ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς•
    ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου,
    ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου,,
    γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
    Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον.
    Καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν,
    ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφίεμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν.
    Καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν,
    ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

    Оче наш, кој си на небесата,
    да се свети името Твое;
    да дојде царството Твое;
    да биде волјата Твоја
    како на небото, така и на земјата.
    Лебот наш насушен дај ни го денес,
    и прости ни ги долговите наши,
    како што им ги проштаваме и ние на нашите должници.
    И не воведувај нѐ во искушение
    но избави нѐ од лукавиот.

    Отче наш, Иже еси на небесех!
    Да святится имя Твое,
    да приидет Царствие Твое,
    да будет воля Твоя,
    яко на небеси и на земли.
    Хлеб наш насущный даждь нам днесь;
    и остави нам долги наша,
    якоже и мы оставляем должником нашим;
    и не введи нас во искушение,
    но избави нас от лукаваго.

    Оч͠е нашь ижє ѥси на н͠бсєхъ . да с͠титьсѧ имѧ
    твоѥ да придєть ц͠рствиѥ твоѥ · да бѫдєть воля
    твоя · яка на н͠бси и на земли хлѣбъ нашь насѫщьиыи ·
    даждь намъ дьньсь · и остави намъ · длъгы
    нашѧ · яко и мы оставляємъ длъжникомъ нашимъ
    и нє въвєди насъ въ напасть · иъ избави ны отъ
    нєприязни [яко твоѥ ѥсть ц͠рствиѥ
    и сила и слава въ вѣкы]

    אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָׁמַיִם יִתְקַדֵשׁ שִׁמךָ:
    תָּבא מַלְכוּתֶךָ יֵעָשֶׂה רְצוֹנְךָ בָּאָרֶץ כַּאֲשֶר נַעֲשָׂה בַשָמַיִם:
    תֶן לָנוּ הַיּוֹם לֶחֶם חֻקֵּנוּ:
    וּסְלַח לָנוּ אֶת אַשְׁמָתֵנוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר סלְחִים אַנַחְנוּ לַאֲשֶׁר אָשְׁמוּ לָנוּ:
    וְאַל-תְּבִיאֵנוּ לִידֵי מַסָּה כִי אִם-הַצִילֵנוּ מִן-הָרָע:
    כִּי לְךָ הַמַּמְלָכָה וְהַגְּבוּרָה וְהַתִפְאֶרֶת לְעוֹלְמֵי עוֹלָמִים אָמֵן:

    أبانا الذي في السّماوات
    ليتقدَّسِ اسمُك
    ليأتِ ملكوتُك
    لتكُنْ مشيئتُكَ
    كما في السَّماءِ كذلكَ على الأرض
    خبزَنَا الجوهريَّ أعطِنا اليوم
    واترُكْ لنا ما علينا
    كما نتركُ نحنُ لِمَنْ لنا عليه
    ولا تُدخِلْنا في تجربة
    لكن نجِّنا مِن الشرير
    آمين

    Apparently it's not quite so international given that the orientation for the last two are still left-to-right, but I like the UTF-8 support!

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Tuesday August 19 2014, @07:56AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday August 19 2014, @07:56AM (#82959) Homepage Journal

    I *think* (don't quote me on this) we filter out the RTL/LTR markers because we don't have method of detecting them in the comment; TMB/Paul, can you guys weigh in?

    Right-to-left is a bit tricky, since if we allow users to manually input the unicode marks for the, we have to catch and check for them, then make sure they're properly closed. Perhaps a pseudo tag like the URL one is needed to handle this edge case. I'd love to make Slashcode fully usable for non-English audiences; and help build an international network, but as they say, one step at a time.

    Getting this to work well was a massive pain in the ass.

    --
    Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by mendax on Tuesday August 19 2014, @09:02AM

      by mendax (2840) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @09:02AM (#82967)

      Uh... I was just pointing it out. :-} Unless, for example, the Syrian Electronic Army or Al Qaeda want to use this current version of Slashcode for their own nefarious purposes and use Arabic or some other right-left script, it's probably not necessary. What I posted could have been worse. I could have posted a text layed out using the boustrophedon [wikipedia.org] method. That would have been fun. Not only would the character flow been bi-directional, the letters moving from right to left would have been reversed. That would have been fun. But Unicode doesn't support that so it doesn't matter. ;-)

      Anyway, I am grateful for this change. It will make it easier for me to format my submissions in the future. Thank you.

      --
      It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday August 19 2014, @09:52AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday August 19 2014, @09:52AM (#82985) Homepage Journal

        Its a sad but true reality that most sites don't support even the slimmest of internationalization; I'd like to at least get us to the point that someone could reasonable use Slashcode for a non-English site and aside from translating the templates, have it "just work"

        --
        Still always moving
  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday August 19 2014, @02:41PM

    This behavior came stock with slash code. RTL marks and RTL overrides are specifically blacklisted in the database along with zero-width joiners. I left it in so that people wouldn't be rtl-ing or zero-width-joiner-ing malicious addresses that would look entirely legit to the community. That said, they're reenabled as of now unless/until they start getting abused.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.