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December 2018 Report

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December 2018 Report

Hi all,
Time for another report from your friendly neighborhood 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 is a non-exhaustive, automatically generated list, and does not contain code changes that have not yet been deployed to the main website, nor does it list code changes that are outside the scope of the main website.

Here are some highlights:

  1. News Page Revamp and Style updates (more below)
  2. Allow specifying a preferred first poster when submitting an ACC challenge
  3. A lot of minor bug fixes and misc changes
James Entar:
      Fix competition participation filter
      Permission updates - M:RGT, P:MAA
      Allow GamingActivities with base_value of 0
      Change hardcoded Gray and Dark Jedi references to Force Disciple
      Make vendetta lockdown configurable through config file instead of hardcoding values
      Add link to Factions to navigation menu
      Update Telegram join links
      Convert styles/templates to use bootstrap 4
      New layout for news page
      Make bin system for competitions a configurable option rather than hardcoding it to a set of competition IDs
      Add Splash Collective Gold as a permanent skin option
      Switch error reporting to Sentry
      Show server time on news page
      Order-specific title display names
      Fix competition relevance filter showing results from other houses in the same clan
      Fix inventory sorting inconsistencies
      Implement request from Bubba
      Add history/event filter for Seals
      Check for additional conditions to require MAA award review when closing competitions
      Add passed marks to SA department course lists
      Add bracket helpers for SA markdown course
      Add warning to activity assessment when showing data from old site
      Sort awards in cluster digest e-mail
      Extended PvP/PvE metrics for FIST staff
      Fix being able to extend the time limit on already timed out battles without actually reopening them
      Show YouTube embeds in competition previews
      Hide item histories on container items
      Fix decommissioning slotted items or items that have items slotted resulting in inaccessible items
      Make ACC aware of word count caps
      Better distinguish PCs from NPCs in hybrid factions
      Gray out already selected feats on CS feat selection modal
      Add option to specify first poster on ACC battle
      Show item description on item administration pages
      Fix P:FIST permissions
      Fix Server Time display not taking local timezones into account
      Fix incorrect avatar caching
      Fix being unable to post news
      Fix award stats page throwing a 500 error
      Tune error logging/alerting to be less spammy
      Fix CS aspects showing wrong description
      Fix competition participation tracker throwing errors if no vendetta competition is active
      Fix position dropdown in GFX request form passing wrong value
      Style sheet and news page tweaks
      Fix editing news
      Fix pinned news misalignment
      Some CSS fixes
      Fix competition early close check being a bit overeager
      Fix responsive tables (again)

News Page and Styling Updates

As you have no doubt noticed if you are reading this, we have made some significant changes to the visual style and interface of the Brotherhood Website. Our ultimate goal with this update is to both update to a more modern set of fonts and styles, but also to push a more modular frontpage. Long-term, will allow us to further customize the front page of the site to be a more appealing landing site for current and potential members alike.

As part of this update, we have updated the underlaying libraries that power the styling of the website (for the initiated - we've switched from Bootstrap version 3 to version 4), which essentially meant that we've had to audit and update every single template file in the site's codebase. While this allowed us to go through every page and ensure consistency between pages (e.g. breadcrumbs everywhere, consistent pagination elements, etc.), due to the sheer volume of changes it is inevitable that some bugs and glitches slipped through. We are already aware of some small bugs that have snuck in, and have already resolved a bunch, but please do not hesitate to report any bugs you find.

The updated news page adds a couple of features that aid in ensuring news items and reports optimally reach their intended audience.

  • News authors now have the ability to specify the intended audience of their news item or report through a dropdown on the administration interface. Depending on the type of news post, and the author's unit and position, this can vary between showing the item to everyone, limiting it to logged in users only, or showing it only to the news item author's clan, house, or battle team
  • Dark Council members have the ability to temporarily 'pin' a news item to the top of the news page. Doing so will ensure the item always stays visible, and will visually distinguish the item from the other news items. This is meant for special events such as vendetta's and celebration events, important events such as the appointment of a new Grand Master, or the Grand Master's yearly address to the membership
  • News items are accompanied by an image related to the news item. While the initial set of images consists of unit and position logo's, it will be possible to have images dedicated to a Great Jedi War, upcoming movies, games, you name it. The list of available news images is governed by the Herald and Deputy Grand Master.
  • The abstract (summary) of a news item can now be customized by its author and can be used to better describe to users what a news item is about. While leaving the 'abstract' field empty when writing a news post will still fall back to the 'old' way of taking the first couple sentences from the full post, we're discouraging using this, as it'll lead to a blob of words that's a lot less appealing than a custom written summary.
  • News item's context units and positions are more prominently shown, to make it easier to distinguish between various items
  • Mobile first design, to ensure the site is easy to use on mobile, tablet, and desktop alike.

We are working closely with the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Herald to make final adjustments, so expect additional changes in the coming weeks as the interface is further refined.

On the Horizon

This section provides some sneak previews of upcoming site changes and the larger things on the Seneschal Office's todo-list in various stages of completion, in no particular order.

  1. GMRG Leaderboard Changes
    Implement updates to the formula used to calculate GMRG points for the leaderboard .
  2. The big "When we get to it" list
    Random small or less small things the Seneschal office tackles when they have spare time. Feel free to mail/message me with any suggestions for this list.

    • Fix various bugs/glitches introduced by the CSS updates
    • Another round of (server-side) library/framework updates
    • Frontend JavaScript rework
    • Avatars for NPCs and Alts
    • Various quality-of-life improvements for the Telegram FIST-bot
    • Move processing logic of various requests that tend to time out to the background processing queue (closing competitions with a lot of participants, generating MavStatistics™, etc.)
  3. Distant Future
    Assorted items that are being considered for implementation in the future. These likely require input from other offices before development can start

    • "Easy-start" Character Sheet generator for first-time users. This should allow generating a CS based on a set of templates after answering a few simple questions. Users can then use the generated sheet as-is, or open it in the regular editor and go from there.
    • "I don't know which Competition Archetype to pick" wizard
    • Recruitment Incentive System
    • Re-work the way Paths and Orders work
    • New Trophies, and possibly adding additional credit rewards to existing Trophies
    • Promotion Points™
  4. Random Bug fixes and Things That Come Up™
    A wild Dark Council member appeared. It uses Feature Request!
    [FIGHT][ITEM][PKMN][RUN]

Closing

As always, lots of fixes and additions, and even more interesting things to come. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to e-mail me, Telegram me, or throw in a comment.

James L. Entar
Seneschal of the Brotherhood

Great work on the site!

You are the man!

The site is looking fantastic. I still remember the site from 2003, haha. Looking forward to some of the items on the "When we get to it" list!

Great update on changes and all the good work you do.

Input_value Site_Appreciation =< 3

Bah. Basic HTML works best :p

You're the man, and you know it. Remind me to buy you more beer sometime. Also looking forward to the RIS and the RePO. WOO!

The changes look really nice, I look forward to what is coming!

nicely done

It looks great! Gotta get used to the changes, but it already feels awesome. Yay shiny new stuff!

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