[01 Jul - 25 Jan] - 'What's up?' (Update 11)
Happy to report that this is the last post for this portion of the work on the site. All of the remaining pressing repairs / adjustments have been resolved. There are 2 minor adjustments on HOLD for the moment because they require a lot of time to sort out.
As mentioned last time, it's been so long to get to this point because of our time constraints brought on by our personal offline life that has been quite the ride in the last near two years now (ongoing immigration bureaucracy fiasco, kids, health, etc).
Now we're looking forward to move on to our planned developments (new features/improvements) for you. Unfortunately, we're unsure about when we will start to have the free time that we need to begin this work. However, we can assure you there's nothing more we'd like to be doing! All of the time is our preference. So, as soon as we'll be able to get back to it, you can trust without a doubt that we will!
Thanks for your understanding. Hope you're all doing well. Be back in a bit...
05 Dec | Update 10
We're having to take many breaks (ie offline life still invading) in between what we've been trying to complete for the last few months now. That's why this part is taking way more time than usual to complete.
We're pretty sure we have accomplished the fix on 19 Nov, for the random logouts. However, before declaring it FIXED on the list, we still have some verifications to do first. And it requires time. But as soon as we'll have some that frees up, we'll be concluding this part, and then finally, be able to start on the site's developments we've been looking forward to get to for you.
In the meantime, if you'd like to give us feedback about how your logins are going lately (are you still getting randomly logged out of your account?), that'd be very useful information for us to have to complete our checks.
Many thanks. Hope you're all doing well. Be back in a bit...
20 Nov | Update 9
In the last couple weeks, we've resumed our efforts at improving our server's performance, and we're now monitoring the changes we've made to be sure it's resolved anything conclusively.
So far, so good - it's looking very much like we have. We'll know for sure in a few more days of monitoring. Will be letting you know soon!
01 Oct | Update 8
As mentioned in my last update, we're busy with offline life lately. However, we still carry on in the background as much as our time permits. This is what's been done since last update :
> Furthered our efforts to make our server's performance better
by tweaking our settings and code, and monitoring the results ;
> Completed the work in the 'words' files of our site (Remove unused
variables; Spelling corrections; Rewording, removal, additions, etc) ;
> Website maintenance | Added an account notice on My Page for
suspended accounts indicating the account is suspended ;
> Server performance | Removed unneeded records in our database ;
> Made a decision concerning the Applaud button issue concerning older
versions of Chrome on phones.
In the last while, we've been working on making our server's performance better. What we've done so far shows notable improvements, but the random login session cutouts, although significantly diminished, are still occurring. So, for the coming weeks, we'll carry on focusing on this part.
Also, after much consideration, we decided that we won't be fixing the Applaud button/Chrome browser issue that a few members experienced on their phones.
The reason for that is because it wouldn't be a good use of our small resources to try and cater for older browser versions, especially since the issue isn't one that affects a wide number of people on the site. Had we a big team, with a lot of time, we would work out the code to make older versions of Chrome work. But it's a little too much for us in the current circumstances. We're sorry about that, and we hope for your understanding.
Explanation of the issue :
- Applaud button on phones with older versions of Chrome doesn't appear to respond to the button press.
- "Thanks!" response doesn't show instantly as it should.
- Applauds are being recorded even though the user has no clear indication their applaud was recorded.
To avoid experiencing this issue, we recommend that you update your phone's Chrome version to the newest version.
That's it for now. Hope you're all doing well!
Be back in a bit...
Mini update in the comment section below.
09 Sep | Update 6
Here's what's been done and what's happened since last update:
> Resolved a PayPal account settings issue (setup).
> Finalized the Nominate your pick for Ed Choice by compiling all the
nominations, and between the volunteers, we selected 6 for the Home
page as usual. The rest are listed in the Result post for all to discover and
> Furthered our efforts to make our server's performance better by
tweaking our settings and our code.
> Resolved another PayPal issue (setup).
Lately been really involved with the new PayPal 'system' on PoetBay that we implemented on the site at the beginning of August because it was used recently, and it brought to our attention a few minor setup issues PayPal's testing environment (sandbox) didn't bring up. So we spent time resolving them.
The first issue was due to a PayPal account setting that somehow got unset. We think that when we created our PayPal account, the account was set on standby before verification of our documents of proof and identity, and when they verified and approved our account, it must have reset options in our settings. So unexpected. So we set the affected option back again, and it's resolved now.
The second issue was about our email confirmation of payment being sent twice (instead of once), and the second email was missing the member's name and some of the transaction details. So we spent time figuring out what happened exactly, and we believe we got to the bottom of the issue because it hasn't happened again since our adjustments.
Despite having had these little hickups with our new setup, they didn't prevent the payment coming through, or the member's account being automatically updated. So our system is in good working order.
The hickup about the email confirmation appears resolved. We'll still be keeping an eye on it to be absolutely sure. We're really sorry for this situation, and for any inconvenience.
On other things for the site, also been really involved in looking into what causes our resources from being overloaded at times. Implemented further methods, and tweaked some settings, to ameliorate our server's performance. As always, whenever these kinds of things are done, we have to take time to monitor the result to be absolutely sure it's ameliorated anything. So, we're keeping an eye on this as well.
On a more personal side of things, my husband and I have offline life things starting to come alive again (after being stalled so long...), and requiring our time. So we need to take care of that for a while.
Hope everyone is doing well! We'll be back in a bit...
19 Aug | Update 5
At some point, I'll actually get around to that "vacation" I keep harping on about as I have in the last few weeks. I sort of am, really, 'cause I've not been working in the code all too much. But here's what I've done since last update:
> Gathered up our new team of volunteers and set up a calendar of our
> Updated the Editors' page as well as the Editorial Team's presentation.
> Updated the FAQ to add entries on how to change your account's author
name and how to report copyright issues.
The setting up of our team went well, except for Google Calendar being a little finnicky because of the bad implementation decisions that were obviously made with this program (personal techie gripe). However, I was able to resolve the problem, and we're all set up and ready to begin.
We have Bibek who volunteered to be an assistant Editor -yay- With his background in literature, he will be able to contribute very interesting topics for everyone in our community who is as passionate about the writing arts and poetry.
And we have 2 additional volunteer members who help out to select the Editors' Choice. Between the 3 of us, alternating, we feel that will help to keep our choices more varied. On a more personal note, it'll be tremendously helpful for me while I get back to the code which is something that requires a lot of time.
Then, after our ducks were all in a row, I made the updates on the site at the Editors' page and the Editorial Team's page to include the new information about our team of volunteers. I can't begin to express how grateful I am for their generous offer of assistance! I've been repeatedly saying thank you for days now...
So, a really good week. Things are coming together very nicely. I'll be able to get back to the code soon. But, now, I really do need that vacation... I'll do my best to actually get on with it ;) Hope you're all doing well!
Be back in a bit...
02 Aug | Update 4
I'm still sort of on "vacation" at the moment, but as always, I nonetheless take time in between to do a few bits to carry on with the work. Here's what I've managed to do since my last update:
> Resumed the work in the 'words' files of our site (almost finished) ;
> Fixed a few bugs in the Exhibitions (with hubby), and redesigned
the function a little to make it more user-friendly and cleaner ;
> Fixed a bug in My account for trial members ;
> Brushed up the critique Pool comment/ratings section ;
> Started developing ideas, rearranging and redesigning some of the
menus on the site (a brush up - I'll be posting a Community Poll about the
changes to get your feedback first before going ahead with them) ;
> And finally, we got word that the password reminder email wasn't
being sent out, so we fixed that as well.
On the admin side of things, I also carried on with a few more of the steps we need to do to transfer PoetBay's accounts (PayPal account and buttons; webhost). So, the new PoetBay-dedicated PayPal account, as well as the new buttons, have been created, and we spent a little over a week on testing the whole system to make sure it all works. And it does -yay- Last night we made the switch over, and our new payment system is currently all set up. We'll of course be monitoring to make sure all is as it should be, but so far, it looks good. Now, the only account left to transfer is the webhosting service. Almost done.
On the new buttons... In the interests of saving on costs, our new buttons' currency is no longer the Swedish krona (SEK). We chose the Euro (€) because that is the currency our webhosting company operates with, and it'll make it easier for us to pay their monthly fee without incurring conversion fees on top of the transaction fees we pay.
Things are moving on, and all of these 'setting up' steps will all be over soon. And as I've mentioned previously, we'll be able to move on to the more interesting parts of making PoetBay better for you, by looking into what you would like on the site as a member. Seeing as the repair part is nearly completed (3 items left over), improvements of current features and creation of new ones are next.
That's about it for now. Hope you're all doing well!
Be back in a bit...
16 Jul | Update 3
Last week, I was hoping to carry on with the work I've been doing, but quickly realized I'm too tired to concentrate properly. So, I decided to pace it down and take a needed break. No worries, all is well, just a little low on energy at the moment. I'll get back to it in a few weeks when I'm more rested.
Be back in a bit...
Mini update in the comment section below.
04 Jul | Update 2 - Explanations on the updates
This week I did the following:
> Monitored our server
> Carried on our intensive spring cleaning in our file systems ;)
> Updated the Editorial Team's extra presentation page to present PoetBay's
> Updated the Help section on our site (FAQ, Editors, Contact us,
Privacy, Report, Terms, About)
> Updated the support page to obtain a Supporter account (modified
the layout and presentation)
> Updated the Terms of membership (rewording [Persona feature],
& a few minor additions [Cookies advisory, Censorship, Self-promotion,
> Implemented additional functions for the Editorial Team's account
> Made the (challenge) Themes on PoetBay a general basic feature of
the site for ALL members
I have a few more files for all the words that appear on PoetBay to go through, which is what I'll continue to do this week. I should be able to complete this part very shortly.
So, there are many parts of the words you see on PoetBay which have either been reworded, removed, or added. I hope with these updates that you'll find the site neater and better presented.
In the Terms, I reworded the Persona feature a little bit to make it clearer. I also added an advisory about our cookie usage (ie our cookies are not ones which track our users), added a mention about Self-promotion (not an issue now, but a while ago, it was), added a mention about Solicitation of money from our members on the site, and how it's strictly forbidden to engage in that kind of activity on our site (thankfully, a rare occurrence on our site! but to be able to handle such situations promptly, this rule in our Terms will be helpful). And finally, in the Censorship section, I added a mention about situations when a member isn't explicitly breaching the Terms as concerns negatively targeting another member of the site, but it being obvious it's happening (also a rare thing here). The community's comfort in the context will prevail in our decision to intervene or not.
Also, I only realized while working in the code these past few weeks that the (challenge) Themes were set as a Supporter account feature. That wasn't right... we want everyone to be able to start Writing challenges! So I've made it a general site feature for everyone.
That's it for now. Be back in a bit...
Since we're in a new chapter, of sorts, in our work, I thought it'd be best to start a new post.
After the new code was uploaded to the site a little over a week ago, we also made a few adjustments on the server, and proceeded to monitor the results during the week. No issues were reported by you, or found. So it's all looking good. Still need more time of monitoring to be absolutely sure. The login session cut outs (getting logged out) seem to have diminished a little, but they're not resolved yet. We'll keep looking for the right solution.
But in the background, we were able to see an instant effect of our new code whereby it notably improved a couple problems we were having. It's all a little too technical to explain, but briefly, one of them was internet robots being too active. So, one of the solutions was to update the security puzzles placed to forms (ex.: squiggly letters (old), "I'm not a robot" checkbox (new)). It appears very effective so far, so that's also very encouraging.
In between monitoring, I proceeded with the finalization work I've been doing in tidying up the code files, the file system itself, as well as tidying up and normalizing the tables in the database. That's also coming along really well. It's a bit long 'cause I'm also working on all of the words/ explanations/ information/ directives which appear on the site. I'm making additions, and removing or rewording certain parts. Also, came across a few minor bugs while I was doing my work, and those are resolved too. Been very busy :)
So, that's about it for now. It's going well, we're progressing, and we're keeping an eye on things.
Be back in a bit...
Words by Editorial Team
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Written on 2020-09-09 at 15:40
Tags Community  Tech  Update
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