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I added some smarter caching to the front page, which should make it load noticeably faster (and help ease the load on the database, which should improve responsiveness of the whole site).
Also, we're rebuilding the search index as a stopgap measure to fix some of our more pressing search issues until we can get Solr working. There are a total of about 87,000 items to index, and from the look of it, it's going to take around half a day, assuming that all of the items take the same amount of time as the first thousand or so (which they probably won't, but it's all I have to go on). I believe I've managed to find and fix the problem that was causing new items not to be indexed, and I've also added some code to forcibly index art tags (which seem to have been indexed inconsistently until now).
I'll post an update when it's done. Until then, searches might not turn up many results.
Edit: At the time of this edit, it's a bit less than half way done, so it's going to have to run over night. I'll check back in the morning. In the meantime, I apologize for any performance issues.
I've made a couple of minor changes to the way art tagging works:
- Spaces are now treated as breaks between tags, so you no longer have to separate them with commas.
- Hashtags (#) are filtered out automatically.
At the moment, there are in excess of 11,500 different tags. Of these, just about half are used exactly once, and about 800 aren't being used at all (most likely because they were attached to spammy art). To really fix OGA's tagging system, we need to do a lot more:
- Find all of the misspelled tags and replace them with their correct spellings (this could be at least partially automated, although the replacements would have to be reviewed before they are applied).
- Set up term hierarchies, for example: tree -> maple, so that if you search for "tree", you'll get things tagged "maple". This is actually an interesting example, because even though all trees are plants and it would be intuitive to put "plant" one level above that in the hierarchy, when most people search for the word "plant", they probably mean to exclude trees. In other words, the hierarchies need to be built with what people want to search for in mind, as opposed to technical correctness.
- Merge certain tags that mean exactly the same thing (such as "16x16", and "16 x 16").
- Create synonym links between tags for cases where the meaning is slightly different, and then weight the synonyms lower than the literal term in the search results. For instance, if a user searches for "tree", it would make sense to give them results tagged "trees", and vice-versa.
- Create a user tagging system that would allow users to tag submissions, and then upvote or downvote tags that other users have added.
- Create an admin interface so that new tags can be curated as they are added. Particularly if users are allowed to tag art that's not created by them, we'll have to keep an eye out for misuse of the tagging system (tags that comment about the quality of the art rather than the content). Since we already have a user reputation system in the form of points, perhaps we could award user tagging access to people who have reached a certain point theshold.
- Create a better tagging widget with type ahead find that shows tag hierarchies and related items, which will encourage people to assign their art to existing tags.
- Build a "popular tags" view.
I don't want to consider any of these items to be official TODOs just yet. I'd be interested in hearing comments and suggestions from the community about how to proceed on this.
If you have comments, please post them on this forum thread.
Ages ago, I added a button that allowed people to mark users as friends. It didn't do a whole lot up until now.
Now, you can see your list of friends and the list of people who have friended you on the Friends and Followers tabs on your user profile, respectively. There's also a new block on the home page that shows the latest art by your friends. You can click on the block title to expand it into a full page view.
Note: Friend lists are currently public. If this is a major issue for anyone, please let me know.
Just so people are aware, I moved the Private Message links from the content block in the upper left to a link on the right side of the header, per Surt's suggestion.
The web server was down for some hours today. Didn't discover it until a few minutes ago. We're working on figuring out why it happened. It's almost certainly due to a configuration issue of some kind since we've updated pretty much everything.