Seneschal Report - January 2016


Seneschal Report - January 2016

In which James talks about recent changes to the site, copy/pastes a change-log, and talks about upcoming coding-related things on the horizon.

Hi all, It's that time again! About 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:

  1. Recruitment Links
  2. Parts of the Competition Overhaul. More to come, but he following items have already been deployed:
    1. Front-end redesign
    2. Gaming Competitions now have a specific front-end layout that makes it easier to view submitted activites
    3. A new Timed Competition archetype that disallows unsubscribing from competitions to prevent resetting timers on timed (trivia-type) competitions. Splitting this out into its own archetype also meant we could safely enable unsubscription functionality on all other archetypes.
    4. Overhaul of the grading/placement assigning interface. It should now be more intuitive and more responsive
    5. Gaming Competitions have received their own special tailored administration interface, allowing organizers to specify which submitted activities/matches should be taken into account by the automatic score calculation. This allows excluding matches/activities in platforms that are not supported by the competition.
    6. Probably more changes that I forgot to mention:)
  3. Various other fixes and tweaks
James Entar:
      Disable SA reminders for December Trivia Exam
      Permissions change
      Minor SA fixes
      Recruitment Links
      Add campaign tracker to RSS feeds
      Updating name filter for Ep7
      Small bugfix; disable manual and screenshot gaming scoring methods
      Update Competition Creation Interface
      Competition index page overhaul
      Reverse finished competitions sorting
      Fix unavailable robe combination bug; other minor tweaks
      Fix minor item aspect bug
      Disable some leftover manual admin stuff from site beta :)
      Take Ep7 countdown off the sidebar
      Competition front-end updates
      Add cluster/crescents filter to events overview
      Temporarily grant Species perms to Herald staff
      Misc fixes; misc tweaks; update Philosophy Degree Requirements
      iCal export for competitions
      Remove some remaining countdown stuff
      Disable redirect from Prestige ranking to Trophies ranking
      Update stats page
      Fix ACC Open Challenges
      Allow hiding heading on rolling news banners
      Cherry-pick GamingCompetition activity wording change
      SM:HM permissions
      Partial refactoring of competition management interface
      Slight layout tweak to participatants listing
      Prevent assigning placements to organizers; reenable adding participants on regular comps
      Remove legacy Order Restriction bypass for Elders
      Library updates
      Fix bug that caused 500 error when submitting item aspect with errors
      Update HMStaff Kallisto rules
      Upstream library updates
      Update GamingCompetition-specific administration section; add feature to contact subscribers
      Fix a regression introduced by updated libraries that prevented character sheets from being saved
      Update blacklist; exclude bouncing e-mails from rogues newsletter

Kalen Aquillarum:
      update ACC Ladder/bracket display library

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.

  1. Possessions (status: Waiting on data entry and testing)
    The coding for phase 1 through phase 3 of Possessions has been completed and deployed to the site, and the focus has now shifted to creating items, item aspects, and making sure these are entered into the site (Evant is making good progress, probably more on that from him soon!). We're also tweaking the existing code when we come across issues. Once all items are in the system, and the coding has been properly and thorougly tested, implementation of the next phase (consisting of the load-out management interface) will begin.
  2. Competitions Overhaul (status: In Progress)
    An effort to expand the number of competition archetypes available, and to give each archetype a specifically tailored administration interface, if applicable. Think word-count entry for Fiction Competitions, resulting in automated CI requests, an interface for Gaming Competitions that allows organizers to exclude matches/activities from the automated score calculation, and splitting out the timed/trivia competition type into its own archetype allowing the other archetypes to have an 'unsubscribe' button. Parts of this have been completed (also see the Deployed Code Changes section above). I'm currently working on cleaning up the competition submission/approval interface, which in turn will make it easier to add additional steps to this process, for example a step where VOICE staff members can approve organizer-specified word counts for Fiction-related competitions for automagic Cluster of Ice processing. I'm also considering adding additional functionality to Container competitions to 'import' participants from their sub-competitions, and perhaps even calculate (configurable) scores and placements based on placements in these sub-competitions.
  3. TG-o-Matic and Gaming Submission Overhaul (status: Upcoming)
    Creation of a Telegram-based Gaming matchmaking bot. I'm also looking into changing gaming submissions to make it so a competition can be assigned to the submission for each specific participant instead of for the submission as a whole, but this requires a number of gotchas to be solved first to prevent abuse and foul play.
  4. Random Bugfixes and Things That Come Up™
    A wild Dark Council member appeared. It uses Feature Request! [FIGHT][ITEM][PKMN][RUN]

Ask the Seneschal

Andrelious asks: #askthescl Could the competition system one day include its own mechanism for making pairings for knockout competitions?
That's certainly a possibility. The overhaul that's currently being performed has made extending functionality to the competition system by introducing new archetypes a lot easier.

Wally asks: #askthescl, -

Turel asks: #askthescl, Is there any way Clusters of Ice can be automated in that the competition organizer is prompted to enter the word counts as part of closing the comp out and it goes into an approval queue similar to the Fist staff and CFs/CEs?
Absolutely, and pretty soon too. This specific feature is actually what prompted the competition code overhaul I keep talking about in the first place, as I had to change around a bunch of code to allow extensions to the system like these.

Andrelious asks: #asktheSCL Any word on getting FIST-o-matic to work in TG?
Yes, this is on our to-do list, though we haven't started working on it yet. It will probably be combined with an overhaul of gaming submissions so competitions will be tied to individual participants instead of the entire gaming submission, though we might need to pull some tricks there to prevent abuse.

Braecen asks: #asktheSCL You often work on things that have to be done as the SCL. What things are you working on to because you want to work on them? I enjoyed coding Trophies :)

Pel asks: #askthescl As I just mentioned, there should be an "asterisk" for those who were Absent for a time on the "Last promotion" date
I guess I could add a disclaimer notice if the member hasn't visited the site for half that time or something along those lines, but anyone visiting a dossier could see that from the DJB history tab as well :)

Vyr asks: #askthescl When is dbb0t becoming sentient?
Are you sure you're using the correct tense there? :P

Celahir asks: #askthescl What's the skill level expected in programming/RoR you expect from your magistrates?
I mainly ask that they provide regular (coding related) contributions to Brotherhood, for example (but not limited to) coding on the main site or a sub-site such as the Wiki. This doesn't necessarily need to be RoR, but can be CSS, front-end (JS), or something similar as well, as long as they are able to contribute :) Sildrin for example did an amazing job with the recent Rogues Newsletter design.

Atra asks: #askthescl Is there a preferred format of bug reporting that you'd like members to use when encountering issues with the site?
Preferably reported by e-mail, stating (exactly) what you were doing (so I can try and reproduce the issue), what happened (which error message, etc), and what you had expected to happen instead.

Malik asks: #askthescl when will you convert the DB site into whatever you get when you use a WYSIWYG program?
Next April? :P

Goat asks: You releasing the newsletter anywhere for others to see? I was Rogue yesterday and loved it, would be cool for others to take a peek, mail to friends too maybe as a recruitment version or something


Again, lots of fixes and additions to the site, and even more interesting things 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

<3 you James! We appreciate all your hard work.

I like what I see. I am glad to see we are moving from IRC to TG for gaming, and it excited me to see another update on Possessions however little. Cheers

James we love you so much. No matter how much we say it we can't express our gratitude enough

*runs off to think of more work for James to do *

Excellent work man, it's hard to imagine where the DJB would be without you (and other Senechals)

James - crushing it! :D

James <3 Looking forward to the competitions overhaul.

James <3

Wally asks: #askthescl, -



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