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Community Update

We're almost there - you can probably expect the next update to be the downtime announcement. But first, a few things to go over.

Blocking Returns

You might remember me saying a few CUs ago that blocking would be temporarily removed in the update - this is no longer the case! It's been redesigned and reimplemented to be simpler and more managable. Rather than trying to make it state of the art, I decided a simpler system that does what you need it to most - stop people contacting you - and divert the effort in making it foolproof towards making it harder for you to see content you don't want to see. I feel like this fits better with what blocking is - a nuclear option - and that tag blocking etc can be improved further to deal with just not wanting to see certain content, so that's what my effort will be going towards going forward.

Existing blocks still need to be cleared out due to the nature of the changes, but once they're re-added you won't need to add them again. There's no need to do this until the update hits.

Art Discovery and UI

If you've looked at the site, you'll have figured out by now that I'm crap at UI design. Art Discovery is implemented in the update but looks very boring. I'm aware of this and a UI update is planned to coincide with - or be released before - the app, since having them be at least vaguely thematically similar is probably a good idea. Also, nobody could agree how the Discovery pages should look, so that played a part too.

To help with that, I'm planning a workshop on the UI and Art systems soon - feel free to drop by and give me your thoughts on both of them. This'll get a dedicated post after the update hits with more info and times.

New Help Site

I've been working on setting up a dedicated, proper help site for the rewrite.

I won't link it just get, but if you guys could comment on this with aspects of the site you find confusing - or found confusing as a new user - that'd be extremely helpful! I'll make sure to write an article on the topic ready for the release.

Release Schedule

There's 29 issues left on the "essentials" list, and I closed another 14 today. That means we're talking a matter of days now. I have my Red Team doing their thing already (for those who aren't computer people - this basically means hackers for hire doing a quick security sweep and letting me know of any security issues I missed) while I finish up.

The plan is a staggered release - most of the update will release in a few days, with extra features rolling out piecemeal over the following days/weeks. This is mostly due to the scale of the rewrite and new features - I actually counted earlier, and only 17 lines of code remain from the current build of Waterfall, out of a few hundred thousand (more in the rewrite!). That's as close to a total rewrite as you can get. It also means that, almost certainly, some bugs are going to be introduced because of how much has changed. So, the bigger features get held back a bit so that while I try and fix those bugs, there's fewer moving parts - less new weird stuff that could be affecting things so I can squash them better. Not terribly ideal, but that's the trade-off for being a team of one.

Anyway, we're very close now. I'll finish up and run a few test converts on the dev server to make sure things run smoothly, and then give you all at least 12 hours warning about the downtime.

Assuming nothing terrible happens, next CU will be the downtime announcement.