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Lunaescence Revamp 2012

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Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 9:33 am

So like I said in my news post: it's past due for me to totally revamp this website. I've talked about it for some time, but now it's something I can't keep putting off.

The archive is not closing! Everything stays open during this process. I'll have my new code someplace totally separate from this site until it's close to being ready.

EDIT: Due to issues that are making me move up the schedule quite a bit, I'm going to have to cut a few corners. Easiest cut is going to be the skins, since they don't make the site functional. The website will start out with just two skins for the time being. Once the rewrite is finished, I'll announce a contest for our resident artists and web designers to create new skins for the site including ones for their favorite fandoms.

I'd like to see more skins too, but for the moment I can't fit them into my time-table easily. Let's try to focus on functionality first and then move onward to aesthetics.


So, what I need from all of you is some ideas. I know what I want to change, but what would all of you like to see?

1.) What's the most annoying things about the way Luna works? (I mean the program; the actual website. Not the queue or anything like that.) What's the most painful or tedious?

2.) "Sally, it would be really cool if you could make the site do _________."

3.) What would you hate to see added? What would you miss if I didn't include?

4.) I will be adding mobile support. If you have one, what mobile device are you using? (iPhone? iPad? Kindle? Etc)

5.) Any suggestions?

I can't guarantee I'll be able to add everything this round, but I'll try!

Also related: Help us update our links!
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 9:56 am

What's coming
(In no particular order for the moment because I'm lazy.)
  • All kinds of changes to help our awesome mods! (Discussed with them separately)
  • Full mobile support
  • Downloading stories to read on an eReader. (pdf, mobi, or epub formats)
  • Enhanced author profiles
  • Subscribe to story updates
  • Short URLs to stories and author profiles
  • Enhanced reviews, review response emails
  • Private messaging system
  • Upload stories in .doc, .rtf, .odt, .html, and .txt
  • Rich text editor on the story entry box on all text boxes
  • Cover images for stories
  • One login for forums and website
  • Bring back polls, featured author, and author of the moment widgets.
  • Allow for random slideshows featuring story covers
  • More support for the actual art of writing, such as virtual workshops and community events
  • General functional improvements for series, challenges, and stories
  • Better security measures to thwart hackers / spammers
  • Button to take you to the most recent chapter in a story
  • New story alerts should take you to the most recent chapter in the story
  • Enhancing the beta reader queue and beta reader functionality -- What I'd like to do is have it so there's no more deleting stories that aren't up to par. Instead, they wind up the beta reader queue for cleanup.
  • Generate disclaimer templates -- Fanfiction is technically illegal under the copyright laws. However, with the proper disclaimer, fanfics can possibly be defined under Fair Use. I want to see if I can have the archive auto-generate disclaimer templates for authors. I'm already calling a few bluffs. Let's make sure we're less appealing of a target.
  • Add option to block or ignore users -- YAY for any and all drama control I can muster! The more my Ban-hammer stays in the closet, the better.
  • Author blogs / journals -- Provide either option to make them here or link out to an external blog
  • Report reviews, comments, and other postings as harassment / abuse
There is a pleasure, sure, In being mad, which none but madmen know! ~ John Dryden
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 9:57 am

Been spending the week laying out my plan for getting this done.

Phase 1: Core
Begin developing the website core. These are features that apply to everything on the site, including the author profiles, reporting systems, search, messaging systems, security, file handling, etc. :welder:

Phase 2: Forums
I want the forums and website to have one, unified login and be almost completely merged into the website.

During this time, I'll also place a call out to begin populating our new dictionary, writing guides, and other informational sections.

Phase 3: Story Handling
This is going to be the section I'm going to have to build from scratch. Stories, reviews, challenges -- everything from scratch.

Phase 4: Beta Readers
[strike]Depending on what we decide to go with, this could be just a simple directory of beta readers. The beta reader profiles will be installed with core as a separate tab or area in author/user profiles. If we go for something more ambitious, I'm not sure how long this might take.[/strike] Due to time constraints, Beta Readers will have to stay the same as it is... just a nice directory of people willing to beta read.

Phase 5: Skinning
Like Kerrigan Sheehan said here, I have quite a few planned. I'm already playing with a few ideas.

My top priority with these is using modern usability guidelines, make this as streamlined as possible. Also, everything is going to be what design professionals call "responsive design" -- that means the design automatically adjusts depending on what people are using to view the site. Columns fold under the main content, the menu scrunches up into a mobile-friendly menu, text sizes adjust until the website looks great on a phone. I also want the site function flawlessly for screen readers and for people who are color blind or have limited vision.

Kerrigan already wrote up a great explanation for my whys for the minimalist skins based on what the mods and I discussed between ourselves. The fandom skins are going to be where the "pop" will be.

For fandoms, I'm already planning:
Shinigami Blue -- Bleach -- I'm probably going to have to redo this one, it's older and does a few things I would never do today. I can also blend and do much cooler things with graphics.
Name TBA -- The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings -- Umm, not a clue yet for what I'll do. I might try another map-based layout like I did for my ancient Harry Potter Marauder's Map eFiction skin.

From there, I'll probably tackle the Top 10s or open it up for artists and designers to take a crack at their favorite fandom.

Phase 6: Testing
I'll invite all of you to come in and try to break things. I'll be standing at the door handing out hard-hats and safety goggles. :happydance:

Phase 7: Transfer
Everything begins transferring to the new site. :doit:

Phase 8: Launch
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 10:02 am

Reserved for screenshots and mockups
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Kerrigan Sheehan » June 14th, 2012, 11:49 am

It would be really cool if people could download completed stories in PDF EPUB and MOBI format for ereaders. I've had someone mention that it takes quite a while to download and convert stories. Also...my husband uses Android and is seriously considering a Kindle. He'd probably love to be able to read things while he's on watch.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 12:53 pm

Kerrigan Sheehan wrote:It would be really cool if people could download completed stories in PDF EPUB and MOBI format for ereaders. I've had someone mention that it takes quite a while to download and convert stories. Also...my husband uses Android and is seriously considering a Kindle. He'd probably love to be able to read things while he's on watch.

It should be fairly painless to add this feature. The first step to actually converting them is already done (convert to html / xml), so the final steps to ereader formats aren't far. I'll look into this! Great idea!
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Believer » June 14th, 2012, 2:43 pm

I love the idea to download entire stories, i think that'd be really neat.

I'd personally LOVE to be able to get alerts for when an author responds to a review and possibly even to be able to have a feature that shows you what your old reviews were, or the stories you've reviewed.
Also, I think it'd be nice to be able to put a story on Update Alert without having to favourite it, and vise versa.

I use a Blackberry
Last edited by Believer on June 14th, 2012, 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby DragonSilk » June 14th, 2012, 3:04 pm

I think it might be nice if we had some sort of PM system?
Sometimes I want to contact someone, but I'm always too hesitant to actually email them. I think it's a little easier to talk to people on the site itself than it is to actually message them outside of the site.

I also like the idea of some sort of alert system? I know we can get emails letting us know that our favorites have been updated, but I don't like the idea of adding something to my favorites just for the updates. I'd like to be able to subscribe to the things that I'm reading and then save my favorites for things that I really like.

I'll keep the first question in mind while I'm using the site, but nothing immediately pops into my head. As far as phones, I use an android. (The site actually works okay with it. :D I just have to zoom in.)
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby ctrlaltdie » June 14th, 2012, 5:26 pm

agreed that i would adore alerts for when authors reply to my reviews. c:
i read all the time on my iPhone, and tbh.. the site as it is now is fine for me. the only problem i have is how small the links are. but that's easily fixed when i zoom in.
i would love a PMing system, too. just please don't ever get rid of reviewing and letting authors reply to the review.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby PromisesToKeep » June 14th, 2012, 5:43 pm

1) I think the only thing that is usually a problem is when you want to skip chapters (like you come back for an update) and end up getting logged out, which hampers your ability to review when the review box thinks you're spam. It's not so bad when it's only a few chapters, but when the story is hundreds of chapters in, it just takes the energy out of it to keep clicking 'next' over and over. ^^U But, that might just be my connection...? Other than that, the site works well as is, I think. ^^

2) I def agree with adding Review Reply Alerts, if it's possible! That would be such a relief!

3) ...I haven't a clue about what I would hate to be added... maybe ads? But those are sometimes necessary so I could deal :P Um... I'll come to edit this part when I've got a clue.

EDIT: If Rich Text gets added, would that negate the html codes?

4) I use an HTC Freestyle, which sometimes doesn't like to let me read on here. ^^U

5) Is it possible to add a function that can remove you from someone's favorites list? Or be able to block certain users? I find that just blocking people and ignoring is a better way to avoid drama, which apparently likes to run rampant when we don't notice. ^^U

QUESTION: What does it mean to be able to download complete stories? Like someone else's story? 0.0 I just haven't heard of this so I'm a bit confused. ^^U
Last edited by PromisesToKeep on June 14th, 2012, 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Penguiduck » June 14th, 2012, 5:45 pm

Sally, you are amazing. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. All us Luna users really appreciate the effort you put into the site.

I like everything mentioned so far, including the alert system (distinguishing follows from favorites) and the PM system.

Something that I'd love to see would be a sort of journal for the authors to which readers could subscribe and get updates. Sometimes stuff happens in my life that I want to share (something exciting, maybe something tragic, etc.) and while putting it in the profile works, I don't think readers frequent it regularly (and it's not as organized as I'd like it to be). Besides, if an emergency comes up, I'd like everyone following my works to know what's going on. Of course, this would be totally optional -- readers can choose to opt-in or out of receiving author updates, so they only get these updates from authors they really care about. If the PM system mentioned above is incorporated, it could be as easy as PMing readers who have opted-in to updates.

To answer your question, I use my ipod for mobile stuff. :3

I will be adding things as I think of them.

Thank you again for everything, Sally!
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 5:58 pm

PromisesToKeep wrote:QUESTION: What does it mean to be able to download complete stories? Like someone else's story? 0.0 I just haven't heard of this so I'm a bit confused. ^^U
That's mainly for people who have eReaders like the Kindle, Nook, iPad, or one of the eReading programs on their phone. That would allow them to download someone's story onto their eReader so they can read the story offline. What I'll probably do is have it an option for authors on a per-story basis, so no one is forced into doing it.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Kerrigan Sheehan » June 14th, 2012, 6:04 pm

It would also be really nice to have a way for users to flag comments for harassment. (At the very least...in a way so that only moderators can see who did the flagging.) It would make it easier for people to report harassment and easier and quicker for us to respond. It would also probably help to cut down on some of the drama.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Rei » June 14th, 2012, 6:05 pm

So far the list of coming features blows me out of the water. I LOVE what is to come!

Here's a few things that come to mind, just want to know if they would be easily included. :)

- Rich Text editor for author responses. (I'm horrible about forgetting to use break tags in responses which leads to a big wall of text at times.)
- Possibility for user-created skins? I love the skins we have, but it would be very cool if we could create our own and submit them to the site. I know you're very busy with everything so I'm not sure how exactly this would work out, but I thought I would still throw it out there. c:
- To stem from Penguiduck's idea for the journal for authors, would it be possible to somehow link a current blog so that it would show up through this journal link? Kind of like if you have tabs and the author has a journal already existing on say Blogspot, they can just link it to that and it would just show the updates the posted on this blog? (I'm sorry if that sounds confusing, I haven't touched any coding besides simple HTML in so long its shameful. ;A; )

Other than that I can't think of anything I've really had a problem with.

For the mobile question, I use my ipod and my Nook Tablet to surf Luna from time to time.


Edit:
What about flagging stories and even users? I know the mods do sweeps to keep unwanted things out but it might help them a little if users that notice something they may have missed can send in a report. Reports could consist of:
User Reports:
-Offensive username
-Harassment (for instance one user is harassing another through the new PM system. Could also just have a report option on the PM.)

More if I can think of anything...

Story Reports:
-Something that absolutely isn't allowed through the guidelines of the site. IE: Harry Potter smut stories, fanfiction about books or characters authors specifically requested not to be written about.
-Story in the wrong category (where mods can either fix it for the author or send them a pm/email letting them know it needs to be changed)

And someone recently brought up the topic of stories by validated authors that had very noticeable errors in them, things that--if the author had not been already validated--the story would not have been allowed to be posted for. Would it be possible to report those as well? It would help the mods keeping up with them since it would be difficult for them to do a site sweep.

The only problem I can see with any of those kinds of reports would be someone abusing it. But it would be nice to see who is sending in the report (and only allow signed in users to send said reports) so that if abuse does occur, the mods can quickly end it.
Last edited by Rei on June 14th, 2012, 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lunaescence Revamp 2012

Postby Sally » June 14th, 2012, 6:05 pm

Kerrigan Sheehan wrote:It would also be really nice to have a way for users to flag comments for harassment. (At the very least...in a way so that only moderators can see who did the flagging.) It would make it easier for people to report harassment and easier and quicker for us to respond. It would also probably help to cut down on some of the drama.
I like! :heart:

Great ideas, everyone! Keep them coming!
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