Monthly Archives: November 2014

Update: Hidden askblogs, crouching breadcrumbs, and other things

Hiya! The Askblog List was just updated – here’s what’s new:

Hide this askblog

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You can now hide askblogs from the listings! This could be useful if you haven’t ‘officially’ launched an askblog, if you are going on a small hiatus, or if you’re in the process of retooling your askblog and you don’t want anyone stumbling in on it for the time being.

Breadcrumb bar

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Askblog vote pages now have a breadcrumb bar showing the categories and subcategories the askblog is listed under. This serves two purposes:

  • as a poke to explore more categories for people who came to your vote page via an external link, and
  • to act as a kind of universal ‘back’ button (because someone could have come from any of those categories, as your askblog will be listed in all of them.

Speed improvements

I’ve further improved the way Category pages get askblogs in subcategories of the current one, so the page should load faster than before, and a bunch of forms also went through some minor optimisations.

\’Bug fixes\’

Due to some recent sign-ups, I discovered two issues which together caused a slash build-up to occur when people added or edited askblogs with apostrophes in their text. One was caused by a deprecated feature our server provider enabled by default, and one (which occurred only if the form displayed an error) was caused by where a certain piece of code was placed. Both problems have been fixed, and affected askblogs have been corrected manually.

I’ve also fixed a bug where, if you delete your account, all your askblog links stay behind (code I forgot to update from the alpha before askblogs and users were linked up. ^^;) Thankfully no-one’s deleted their account so far, but if they choose to do so, now their askblog links get deleted too, without me having to do so manually.

Finally, I’ve fixed a bug where the Add Askblog page goes all wonky if you try to add an askblog with the same name or URL as an already existing one.

Behind the scenes

The admin Askblog Moderation tool now lists usernames beside askblogs in the main view, and an admin/moderator can now opt to send an email explaining the reason for an askblog-related moderator action.

A new section has been created in the admin control panel for viewing votes for the last day and their IP addresses, with the option to delete individual votes, all votes from a certain IP address, and all votes from the last day for a certain blog.

Finally, there are now tools for manually resetting both the daily vote records and the monthly vote counter (again, a lot easier than diving into the database just to truncate the tables.)

Cheers, and happy holidays!

–Mark Kéy-Balchin


Changelog for 23rd Nov 2014 update:

[+] New feature: Hide askblog from list
[+] New navigational breadcrumb bars on vote pages
[*] Category pages and forms now only load specific columns when needed, which should speed up loading of those pages.
[*] Moved sanitation of form inputs for database so they only execute where and when they are needed.
[*] Delete Account page now also deletes askblog records associated with the account.
[-] Disabled magic quotes ‘feature’ in PHP
[-] Fixed bug where the wrong variable was used for checking if the askblog URL was already in the database on the Add Askblog page.

Admin tools

[+] New Manage Votes section allows for the viewing of recent votes with their IP addresses, and the ability to remove specific votes, all votes from a blog made within the last day, and all votes from a certain IP address made in the last day.
[+] Added ‘reset daily vote records’ and ‘reset monthly vote count’ tools.
[+] Admins/moderators can now specify a reason for a change to the details of an askblog, which will be sent to the user’s email address.
[*] Usernames are now shown alongside askblog entries in the Manage Askblogs section.