Greetings all! I'll have sporadic IRC activity for the next week. I'll be reachable by email and other methods as usual, but I will only be available on IRC for a couple hours on some nights. ~Mav
Hey Everyone, I wanted to send out a quick note to make a clarification on DJB communication platforms. We have our beloved email, we have our wonderful and stable undernet mIRC channels, and we have the new'ish world of WhatsApp. WhatsApp is...
I wanted to send out a quick note to make a clarification on DJB communication platforms. We have our beloved email, we have our wonderful and stable undernet mIRC channels, and we have the new'ish world of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is a phenomenal program that has streamlined communication between leaders and members of our club. But, WhatsApp is also tied to a phone number. Some members and some leaders are going to be uncomfortable providing their phone number to "magical" internet friends. I also know that many members are uncomfortable sharing their number with underage members. Because of this, WhatsApp cannot be a mandatory requirement for positions or usage within our club. Please ensure you comply with this quasi-directive. Thanks!
Brethren, Aabsdu has been serving his one-year term as Left Hand of Justice for over a year. My thanks to Aabs for his service. It is, however, time to pick his replacement. Applications for LHoJ are being accepted. The Left Hand of Justice is...
Aabsdu has been serving his one-year term as Left Hand of Justice for over a year. My thanks to Aabs for his service. It is, however, time to pick his replacement.
Applications for LHoJ are being accepted.
The Left Hand of Justice is generally considered the public defender of the DB. He serves as defense counsel and ensures that members have proper knowledge of their rights. He works with the Right Hand of Justice to gain a full discovery of evidence and helps establish a case in defense of the accused.
The person that takes over as LHoJ at this point is going to be heavily involved in efforts to amend the Covenant and other policies.
In your application, aside from the usual details, please give some insight as to why you would be a good defense counsel, and any preliminary thoughts that you may have on solidifying the rights of the accused in the Covenant. You are going to help me make sure that there is no inJSTice in the DB.
Having passed both CoJ SA courses is a big plus, but may not be a necessity.
Applications are due to me by 10:00 EST on March 2.
Thank you, Jac
Hello everyone! I can't let my fellow Councillors have all the fun so here is a mini Herald report. Today I'd like to showcase the top winning GFX entries from GJWXI round 1 and 2 and also start up constructive discussion regarding the...
Hello everyone! I can't let my fellow Councillors have all the fun so here is a mini Herald report. Today I'd like to showcase the top winning GFX entries from GJWXI round 1 and 2 and also start up constructive discussion regarding the competitions.
We had a lot of great entries and I think it directly correlates to having 10 placements per round, which gave everyone a much bigger opportunity to place. It may also correlate to how the events were presented, with 1 digital and 1 traditional. Obviously I have no scientific data to back this up, but the quality of the entries cannot be denied! I did hear both complaints and compliments from both sides of the fence, enough to balance it out, honestly. In no way will we ever make a perfect competition for everyone. But someone once likened it to a Poetry competition for Fiction. It is still a valid platform under the Voice. Last war we actually had both at the same time if I recall correctly. But for this war it was decided not to overload everyone, so we scrapped the idea of two GFX per round among other things.
None of the decisions are done lightly and the DC makes every attempt to do what is best for every event. Details are hashed out as a group, something that I love about working with my fellow DCers.
I am not beyond feedback though. Some of the best ideas can come from constructive feedback. Because this post will eventually be buried I have put together an informal poll and discussion thread where everyone can add their thoughts. I'd rather the news comments go towards the winning entries I'm posting below. Positive or constructive comments, I should say. They are not being displayed for negativity and I reserve the right to close it should it turn into something of that nature.
If there's enough interest we can make a separate Discourse forum thread so everyone can post up their winning or non-winning entries if they wish. Also, don't forget to upload yours to Deviantart! Some have already been linked to the DB DA gallery, feel free to submit yours. If you can't submit it, let us know and we can do it for you.
Now, on with the show!
Round 1: Digital
1st: Baxir (formerly known as Orv)
Round 2: Traditional
1st: Xia Long
Sticks and stones
Stick figures can be basic drawings and sometimes they can be novae-worthy works of art. Anyone remember Ben's Multimedia? I wish I had a link but it was an epic piece that incorporated dancing stick figures. The point is, don't sell yourself short. Oftentimes life drawings start as stick figures. In art school we didn't start with drawing blobs, it was about structure and building off of that. There are many good drawing tutorials on the web, many with videos too, and I encourange anyone interested to check some out. "Stick" with it and you can only get better!
There were quite a few humorous entries for the war. One that showed Muz using an expletive and going home was pretty accurate! This is a comic by Invictus. Take it for what it is.. humor! :P
That's all for now, please remember to be respectful in the comments. Thanks to V'yr and Orv for the new banner and header!
In which James talks about recent changes to the site, copy/pastes a change-log, answers some questions, and talks about some nifty tool or website. Hi all, It's that time again! Time for another report from your friendly neighbourhood...
In which James talks about recent changes to the site, copy/pastes a change-log, answers some questions, and talks about some nifty tool or website.
Hi all, It's that time again! Time for another report from your friendly neighbourhood Seneschal with the latest ins and outs related to the site.
Deployed Code Changes
Below is a list of most of the code check-ins done to the site since my last report. This isn't an exhaustive list, and does not contain code changes that have not yet been deployed to the main website. To summarise, here's the TLDR:
- Upstream library updates
- Performance improvements for the news page to make it snappier
- Updates to transfers and the join assignment to account for the clannification™
- Updates to competition code to account for several GJW rules
- Deletion of exams in progress
- PvP formula changes
- Lots of small fixes and tweaks
[James Entar] Don't use the same cache fragment for collapsed and expanded news items [James Entar] Fix RSS caching [James Entar] Fix typo [James Entar] Cache fragments on news index page [James Entar] House -> Clan on welcome mail; update backend CoJ stuff [James Entar] Update HRLD staff permissions [James Entar] Update leaderboard code [James Entar] Don't error out admin interface when viewing ancient news items with a nonexisting position [James Entar] Sort ranks in position administration form [James Entar] House Leadership -> Clan Leadership [James Entar] Disable 'people can't promote above their own rank' rule [James Entar] Kallisto: Add Arconae to Arcona mailing list candidates [James Entar] SA: Allow deleting exams in progress [James Entar] Stopgap fix for ActiveSupport threading issue [James Entar] Rework transfers and join rotation to reflect clanning; update introductory texts to match join assignment [James Entar] Change some navbar links [James Entar] New RO CI calculation; Fiction Activity bugfixes [James Entar] Re-enable FIST/MAA staff access [James Entar] Update text on varioius request forms [James Entar] Sort Competition Award Levels in competition form [James Entar] Small comp form adjustments; Remove min score requirement from ACC Qualification; enable join overview for rest of CoreDC members [James Entar] Update some text on the competition request form [James Entar] Trigger score recalculation when scoring method is set to unweighted pvp score [James Entar] Update external libraries [James Entar] Auto-sync Discourse Moderators [James Entar] Fix a rare bug in the join mailer [James Entar] Log less stuff in production [James Entar] Fix bug in pending gaming competition display [James Entar] Allow competitions to award double CFs; calculate all places for GamingComps [James Entar] Add spambot IP to blacklist [James Entar] Make PvP scores for running competitions publicly visible [James Entar] Merge ToI PoC; fix dev theme switcher [James Entar] Show object IDs on PvP/PvE details [James Entar] Fix GamingCompetitions only auto-calculating first 5 places [James Entar] Attempt to stop vendetta listing from randomly switching member order [James Entar] Some UX tweaks [James Entar] Engage Vendetta lockdown for competition and gaming admin [James Entar] Fix some stuff related to Dev VM [James Entar] Allow entry of competition placements up to 10th place [James Entar] Ruby <2.2 compat [James Entar] Allow adjusting PVP scoring formula platform weight [James Entar] Fix friendly IDs [James Entar] Solve some deprecation warnings [James Entar] Upgrade to Rails 4.2; might break stuff. Retire some themes [James Entar] More style overrides [James Entar] Tweak some colors (thanks Vosh/Nameless) [James Entar] Bump up SA similarity threshold [James Entar] (Hopefully) unbork checkboxes
Seneschal's Nifty Tricks
- Are you a fan of Markdown and need to give a presentation? Look no further, Remark is here!
- And especially for Orv, I'd like to highlight this Markdown editor ;)
On the Horizon
This section provides some sneak previews of upcoming site changes and the larger things on my todo-list in various stages of completion.
- Test of Lore Revamp
An ongoing project to replace the Test of Lore with something less... wall-of-texty.
Work towards achievements by doing things (or not doing things) on the site. This is low-priority project at the moment, but I will expect to pick it up again in the near future.
Progressing slowly but steadily. Expect Phase 2 of the phased rollout to drop in the near future.
- Clan Alignments and Path Changes
I'm not entirely sure yet what's going to happen here, but it will surely have coding-related consequences :)
- Random Bugfixes and Things That Come Up™
A wild Dark Council member appeared. It uses Feature Request!
So, lots of fixes and additions to the site, and even more to come. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to either e-mail me or throw in a comment.
James L. Entar
Seneschal of the Brotherhood
Members of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood - Thank you to Grand Master Pravus for my nomination to the position of Justicar, to the Electorate for the quick confirmation, and for all of the kind words that I have received. It is a pleasure to be serving...
Members of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood -
Thank you to Grand Master Pravus for my nomination to the position of Justicar, to the Electorate for the quick confirmation, and for all of the kind words that I have received. It is a pleasure to be serving again on the Dark Council and to be in a position that I have long hoped to hold.
This report is intended to give you a quick overview of my positions and intentions as I take the mantle of Justicar, much of which was provided to the Electorate prior to my confirmation.
To begin with, my thanks go out to Taigikori for his service as Justicar. He has faced some heavy challenges, many of which left him in untenable situations. Nevertheless, he served as an excellent Justicar and I am happy to count him among my friends. To the extent that I make any changes to the judicial system, operate differently, or take different priorities, it is not meant to be a statement against him or any prior Justicar. It is simply that I am a different person with different ways, and the changeover of positions always brings a time to reset and regroup.
The ongoing importance of the Dark Covenant to this club gives me great joy; its enactment is the one accomplishment in my term as Grand Master that I am justifiably proud of. Though I am often credited with being its author, the reality is that the development of the Covenant was a club-wide effort involving input from dozens of people over the course of a year. That is why the document has held up over the past decade; it encapsulates this club in its entirety. And through a similar effort of many, the Covenant will stay strong.
That is to say, there are changes that are needed to bring the Covenant current to the times, to fix some weak points, and to strengthen the document as a whole. I have been part of, or have led, nearly every effort to amend the Covenant, and I intend to lead the next stage of its ongoing development. We will endeavor to work through many changes, at the forefront being the defined role of the Star Chamber, structural changes to bring the Covenant in line with the recent houseless Clan announcement, and some long-needed judicial process amendments. My hope is that my seven years experience as an attorney will help me fix the drafting errors left by my first-year-law-student self so long ago.
Turning to the judicial process, I will strive as Justicar to hold true to the following principal: I will be proactive, fair, impartial, quick, reliable, and consistent. The entire Chamber will operate in this manner; I intend to use the Hands to the fullest extent possible.
Perhaps the most important role I will play is in the proactive effort to avoid the need for any justice system. A Justicar need not be waiting in the wings for a call to service. I will be active in my role, working to ensure that our systems operate smoothly, but also that members are properly educated in our ways. I will work to solve problems before the need for a Chamber action arises, and will work to mediate disputes between members.
Fairness, consistency, speed and reliability all run hand-in-hand. Our system at present moves at a glacial speed due to many restrictions imposed upon it. That is not fair to those that are in the process and simply want a resolution one way or another. Fairness requires that we look to the particular facts of the case, including mitigating facts, but consistency is also required so that one member is not unduly punished in ways that have not been used in the past. Speed and reliability will factor in all places; I will be available. And I will ensure that the Chamber of Justice operates impartially. There are instances in which members of the Chamber should recuse themselves, and I aim to define those circumstances and make sure the process will work through those times.
Many of you are not familiar with my work; it has been nearly a decade since I departed the Iron Throne. Since that time, I have been a constant adviser to the Grand Masters and an active clan member and competitor. I am glad now for this change to a position and public role. I will strive to make sure the club hears from me in earnest, as I am a true believer that the more visible a leader is, the better his ability to lead.
I look forward to all there is to do as Justicar. And we have a lot to do. There is a caseload waiting for me to administer and many policies and projects to revisit. You will be hearing from me again soon.
Thank you again to Pravus, the Clans and the Dark Council. I am grateful for this opportunity.
All, Mav and I have selected A'lora Kituri as the First Consul of Clan Odan Urr. Please take the time to congratulate and wish A'lora good luck.
DB, Grand Master Cotelin has been confirmed through a Dark Council vote to serve as our next Justicar. Please take the time to congratulate him.
Howie's been bugging me about this forever :P The exact requirements for advancing within the Shadow Academy Society have been kept secret since it launched, though members pretty quickly managed to figure out most of them. Today, I'm...
Howie's been bugging me about this forever :P The exact requirements for advancing within the Shadow Academy Society have been kept secret since it launched, though members pretty quickly managed to figure out most of them. Today, I'm pulling back the curtain:
Rank 1: 1 Credit, members only need to take one course (other than the Test of Lore) to be considered part of the Society
Rank 2: 10 Credits
Rank 3: 25 Credits
Rank 4: 45 Credits and one Dark Maven Degree
Rank 5: 75 Credits and one Dark Savant Degree
Rank 6: 120 Credits and two Dark Savant Degrees
Rank 7: Rank 6 and three Dark Savant Degrees
Rank 8: Rank 7 /w average 90% course score (1 Sage = 88%, 2 Sage = 86%, 3+ Sage = 84%)
Rank 9: Rank 7 /w average 95% course score (1 Sage = 93%, 2 Sage = 91%, 3+ Sage = 89%)
Rank 10: Rank 7 /w average 99% course score (1 Sage = 97%, 2 Sage = 95%, 3+ Sage = 93%)
Rank 11: Rank 10 and every non-service / programming degree, below Sage level
Rank 12: Rank 11 and one Sage and average 99% course score
So there you have it! What's confused most people, I think, is course average modifier for ranks 7-10. So, basically, the secret is to get 100% on every exam. :p The wiki appears to be down right now, but it will be updated to reflect the exact requirements when it comes back up.
To be clear, I am working on changes to the SA Society rank progression, with the goals of allowing most members to reach rank 6 with some dedication and making more use of ranks 7-10, which are largely bypassed under the current system. I'll keep you all updated!
Greetings all, This is going to be a long report. I have a lot to say, new policies to report, GJW Heroes to crown, and a Magistrate spot to open up. Read on at your own risk. ;) An Introduction. Again. It has been nearly an entire decade since I...
This is going to be a long report. I have a lot to say, new policies to report, GJW Heroes to crown, and a Magistrate spot to open up. Read on at your own risk. ;)
An Introduction. Again.
It has been nearly an entire decade since I last made a post as DGM, and in that time the Brotherhood has changed considerably, but so have I. Many of you have known me since before then, when I was Jac's DGM, but there have been a whole lot of new faces join the club in the last decade and many of you I have only recently met, so I wanted to open my first report with a bit of an introduction. I was active during the split with the EH, and when Jac took over for Firefox, he appointed me his DGM. I have been active in just about every position within a House, Clan, and many on the Dark Council. Real life struck, though, and I left the position of DGM. I returned to the club a bit more than two years ago, where I helped Shadow propose the Character Sheet system, then oversaw its implementation as CM, moving up to Voice once Pravus took DGM. I helped a bit with the last GJW, and here I am.
In the real world, I'm a PhD Candidate in Biology at a univeristy in Massachusetts. I teach, I research, and I try to spend a lot of time outside - difficult due to the recent blizzards. But most relevant to all of you, I love Star Wars, and I love the Brotherhood. I've been a member of this club for 17 years, and I have built friendships that have lasted more than half my lifetime. This is more than just some online club to me: this is a labor of love. I love bringing new and exciting features to the great people here, and I work tirelessly to see my ideas - and those of others - become reality. The shared universe we have all built here, and the tools we now have to enjoy it, are a testament to how creative and resourceful we all are. It is my goal to continue to build on what we now have, to prepare this club for the future, and to give you guys the best experience I am capable of.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more new projects and proposals for member input and consumption. For now, I'd like to get into what is really important: Honoring our Heroes from the last War!
Heroes of the Great Jedi War
Many members fought long and hard through the Great Jedi War. Twenty three different members earned Gold Novae. Ultimately, though, three stood above the rest, and now we recognize them for their efforts.
Dralin Fortea of Clan Plagueis is the Third Hero of the Eleventh Great Jedi War,
Baxir Vol of Clan Arcona is the Second Hero of the Eleventh Great Jedi War,
Halcyon Rokir Taldrya of Clan Taldryan is the First Hero of the Eleventh Great Jedi War.
Congratulations to all three of you, and to all of our members that fought so hard through this War and the last two years of Vendettas! Our Title earners will have their Titles added shortly.
A Note On The Hero Titles
The organizers of the Great Jedi War decided to go with the traditional Olympic Medal format for Hero titles, with ties being broken by additional placement slots (e.g. Baxir had a GN and SN, just as Dralin did... but he had a 5th and 6th placement, while Dralin had only a 5th). We considered using total points, but because we had not previously announced that we would use such a measure for Hero status, we decided it would be inappropriate for us to switch without an announcement and period of discussion. We will look into other possibilities for Hero titles in the future!
New Policies for Clans and Houses
The Dark Council and Consuls have completed a review period for proposed Policies for Clans and Houses. Below are new policies for our units. These policies will shortly be updated to the apropriate places on the Wiki, either by my soon-to-be Staff, or the MAA, as apropriate.
- All Clans have a Consul, Proconsul, and Rollmaster. If a Consul will not be filling one of these slots, he or she should explain why to the MAA/DGM/GM.
- Clans may select a single Clan name to award to members at their discretion; see the Wiki for additional information on Clan Titles under the Titles article.
- New Clan Names for a unit (that is, an entirely new name) must be approved by the MAA/DGM/GM. This does NOT refer to members being given the name, but entirely new names.
- Any House added to a Clan will have at least a Quaestor. The Clan in question may choose not to utilize the Aedile position, and especially for small Clans, this is encouraged.
- Clans may have up to three Battleteams, plus an additional one per House. Battleteams may be aligned to the House level, or to the Clan level.
- Clan Titles and slots in the Round Robin Join Rotation are based on Clan status and are never decreased by probationary status of a Clan in regards to House number/total membership in the Clan as mentioned below.
- Clans may apply for houses to the GM, DGM, and MAA if they feel the activity is sufficient, and if membership totals are such that the additional leadership slot from the Quaestor position will be useful.
- House applications must include the name of the House, potential leadership of the House (at least the Quaestor), and how the House will improve membership experience in the Clan.
- Clans with thirty five members or more are heavily encouraged to have one house. No Clan below thirty members may add a house. Clans with a house will enter a probationary period of six months if the Clan drops below 25 members. If a Clan has below 25 members at the end of a 6 month probationary period, the House will be dissolved.
- Clans with fifty or more members are heavily encouraged to have two houses. No Clan below forty members may add a second house. Clans with two houses will enter a probationary period of six months if the Clan drops below 35 members. If a Clan has below 35 members at the end of this 6 month probationary period, one House will be dissolved of the Clan leadership's choosing.
- In addition to raw membership numbers, the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master will assess an application for an additional House, as well as Clans on probation status, based on leadership potential and participation metrics. For leadership potential, the goal of any new House should not be to draw leaders from any other unit; to that end, the Clan must demonstrate, in its House application, it has sufficient leadership pool to operate another House. The Grand Master will also use participation-based metrics to assess whether to accept applications for a House, and will also use these metrics when evaluating whether or not to dissolve a House from a Clan on probationary status. These metrics will include, but are not limited to, number of unit-level competitions members are participating in, Vendetta participation, activity outside of competitions (e.g. Clusters of Fire and Ice), and Brotherhood-wide competition participation outside of Vendettas
These policies were crafted to avoid Probation as seeming punitive. The need to reduce House number in struggling Clans is NOT to punish these Clans, but to avoid unfilled and unneeded Leadership positions on Rosters. We also will be flexible in the future, and re-evaluate these policies as time goes on.
A Call For a Magistrate
I mentioned policy above, and one of my first goals will be to look over our existing policies, everywhere from nepotism to Council staff members, and update them as necessary and to make them more transparent and more accessible. This includes updating and moving policies, where needed, to the Wiki. To that end, I am in need of a Magistrate. I take my staff positions very seriously, and I expect any applicant to the position to be willing to put their full effort towards this spot. I've had a lot of questions about my staff already, but I only plan on opening up a single Magistrate spot right now. My Magistrates will have very specific project foci, and the first is this: I need someone to assist me in evaluating and updating the Policies as documented across the site, and making sure that we have the most updated policies on the Wiki and easily accessible for the membership. I'll be looking for someone with the following criteria:
- Knowledge of the club enough to know our current policies, or most of them, and where to find them.
- Knowledge of how to use the Wiki well.
- Enough time to devote up to several hours a week to working on various aspects of what this project may entail.
- Less than 24 hour turnaround time on all emails, even if just to let me know you're working on something.
- Not in any other Magistrate or Praetor position.
If you think you can fit these requirements, toss me an email. Include an example of your Wiki work, and anything else you think makes you a good candidate for my first M spot.
That's it for now! If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave them below. Special thanks to Baxir for the awesome rolling news Header he just made me on short notice. :)
- Lots of new stuff coming!
- Halc First Hero, Baxir Second Hero, Dralin Third Hero
- New Clan Policies Here!
- First M Spot Open For Apps