DEVELOPER DIARY: New Network Code (and more)

Hey dudes -- its been a minute, so I thought I'd drop a quick note as to what I've been up to over the past few weeks. 
  

Friends and Activity:

We decided to re-work the friend code (its been a little unstable anyway) - so that users no longer have to 'friend' another user (which is a circular relationship) --- instead, we have decided to simplify the process so that you can simply 'follow' the users (and content objects -- more on that later) you're interested in -- much like you can w/ Twitter. 
 
In doing that - we decided to fix activity ---- so now, not only will users have their own activity feed (but you will now get an activity feed based on all of the users you follow as well -- we used to have this feature, but since the site has gotten so large, the solution we had in place did not scale appropriately).   Activity will also now float appropriately on content objects - so if someone adds new trivia associated to Mario, Mario's activity feed will reflect this.
  

Next Steps:

In the following iteration, you should be able to follow any content object on the site and your 'followed objects' feed will include stuff activity generated by users you are following as well as objects you are interested in.  
 
So you could follow the Street Fighter IV page receive activity when new images are added, a user blogs about it, or a new topic is created relating to it. 
 
Anyway, that's what I've been up to -- and I'll be on it for a bit more till its good and solid. Be good team.
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DEVELOPER DIARY: New List Tools

Exciting news, we just deployed some new list code this afternoon and added some huge new enhancements to our List system.
 
Creating a list:
We added a bunch of new tools to help you create and manage your lists - you can check them out if you hit this url: 
http://www.giantbomb.com/list/create/

Adding Lists To Your Blogs and Forum Posts:
The big bummer w/ lists before was that you created them and that was it. Cool if you want to manage collection, but not very social, and definitely not very easy for other people to see and talk about. So we decided to throw it into the boards via our editor. Now, all of your lists are available to embed into a Blog or Forum Post using the 'Insert' dropdown in the editor.

 The My Lists Drop Down Will Let You Add Your Lists to Blogs / Forums

Ordering Your Lists: 
Probably the most requested feature by users --- and actually not to difficult to implement. You can now order your lists in 'edit mode' by either clicking the Up/Down arrows next to each list item or by using the number field in between the arrows. Oh, and when you add new items to your list, they now get appended to the bottom as opposed to injected at the top.

 Sorting and Ordering Your Lists Has Never Been Easier

 
Comments and Recommendations:
We also added stats to your lists, so you can track how well each of them is received. You'll be able to track your most commented on lists, lists w/ the most user recommendations, etc. from your new list dashboard in your profile.

 
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DEVELOPER DIARY: PM - Go To Last Message Link

Hey guys, 
 
Deployed code this morning that lets you jump to the last message in a PM thread from your inbox. This works similarly to the forums - to enable you to quickly get to the last message in long PM threads that span multiple pages. 

A Pending Message in My Inbox
Note the new ">" arrow at the end of the subject line - clicking this will take you to the most recent message in the thread regardless of what page its on. Hopefully this will help you chatty kathy's out there. Enjoy.
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DEVELOPER DIARY: New PM Tools

Hey guys, 
 
Just deployed some new code this morning that should make interfacing with your PM Inbox a little more enjoyable / efficient. I just added: 
 

  • The ability to 'Star' threads from within the message detail page.
  • The ability to mark messages as either 'Read/Unread' in both your inbox as well as from your message detail page.
  • Previous and Next links to navigate between messages from the message detail page. 
 
Let me know if you guys see any bugs - thx. 
The Message Detail Page
 
The PM Inbox
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DEVELOPER DIARY: Wiki Points Attached to Submissions

Just made a tweak to wiki system so that each submission to stores the points assigned to the user on the actual submission. So now when you view a wiki revision history page - you can clearly see who made each submission and how many points they were awarded.

Note that this is only applicable to new submissions made after this change.
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DEVELOPER DIARY: Wiki Revision History Tool

Just launched our new Wiki Revision History and Wiki Rollback (beta) Tools.

Wiki Revision History Tool
The Revision History Tool, as you might imagine, gives users the ability to view a list of every single submission made on any given wiki page on the site. From here, users can see, who made each submission, if it was a 'Live Push' or if it was moderated, what fields were edited and any comments made at the time of the submission. Once the you select two submissions to 'diff', you will see a side by side comparison of the two submissions (w/ the left side being the older submission and the right side displaying 'what changed' between that submission and the newer submission.

To view the submission history of a wiki page, click the 'VIEW WIKI HISTORY' link in the object's title bar.

This will present you with a list of changes (ordered by descending id) of which you can 'diff'.
Select two submissions to 'diff' and click the 'View Changes' button in the upper right hand corner of the page to view what was changed between these two submissions. Note that we currently do not have i2i (Game to Location, Character to Character, Concept to Character, etc.) diffing functionality yet.
You will then be presented with a page showing the 'diffs' between the two submissions (show above).

Hopefully this will be a useful tool for the mods - so that they can see the change history on any given object - and its also kind of interesting from any end user perspective as well.

As always, this is a BETA release of the feature -- so please reply w/ any bugs/issues you find - thx :)
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DEVELOPER DIARY: Dupe Wiki Page Deletes Coming....

Hey dudes - this post is mostly geared towards our wiki mods, but should be a heads up for anyone who comes across duplicate wiki content on the site.


Andy and I just finished adding wiki delete functionality to our local development versions of the site - so wiki mods (and staff) now have the functionality to delete pages via wikid (our wiki management system).

Points of note:
  • Users will not have points deducted from their wiki totals because a duplicate page has been deleted.
  • Mods, if you find it necessary to move images, forum topics, etc. to another object (like from the 'dupe' paged to the 'real' page) - go ahead and do so BEFORE you delete the page from the site - because once you do that, you will not be able to get to any sub-pages of the deleted content.
  • Mods, these deletes DO NOT go through moderation. They take place right away - so please be careful with what you are deleting.
  • As a safeguard, we will only provide the Delete Object button on pages where the 'Importance' of the object is over a certain threshold. If you need to delete content that does not give you the Delete Object button, contact a staff member and provide the URL of the page you need deleted.

So the code is working, and we're writing some tests for it right now - if all goes well, we will probably deploy this on Monday.
14 Comments

DEVELOPER DIARY: Start A New Topic (The Tool)

Ok duders,

Dave's been wanting me to implement this for awhile now --- and I finally got around to doing it today (as step 1 in my attempt to get some nice topic moval (sp) tools in place for the mods (yay!))....

And its a really simple tool -- just had to take a little bit of time to tweak our auto-completer to accept a new argument that would allow us to limit its result set to a single item.

Anyway, now when you go to start a new topic on the site (from the forums home page), you click the new 'Specific Page' link to search for and attach to whatever forum you want to on the site (instead of just the default ones listed in the dropdown):



now becomes:

If you see any bugs with this -- or with the auto-completer anywhere else on the site -- please let me know. Thanks guys - enjoys!
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DEVELOPER DIARY: New Activity Feed (twitter is back...)

Just deployed the old (well, the new old) activity feed -- and made a few tweaks to the performance of the templates.

You will notice a slight clash in styles --- as older activity was generated using the old templates and newer activity is now being generated using the newer templates.

Let me know if you guys see any issues - thx.
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DEVELOPER DIARY: Performance Tweaks

In order to deal with the upcoming mayhem that is E3 (and due to the fact that we've been seeing much more downtime on the site than any of us would prefer) - we have been working hard to improve performance across the entire site.

We just pushed out new code this afternoon that should improve performance on your profile pages as well as your pm inbox.

Unfortunately, we had to roll back to the older version of the profile activity feed templates, so if you can deal with it for a bit that would be great. We'll be having the new style back in a bit.

Thanks for all of your support guys! Here's to an awesome week of gaming news next week :)

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