Xaquseg 608 followers

Xaquseg is the system administrator for FIMFiction, as well as various misc. development, especially related to security. Non-technical problems are probably best asked to other staff members.

News Archive

  • 4 weeks
    Downtime & Server Move

    Hi all. Firstly, apologies for the extended period of unexpected downtime. Obviously any kind of downtime is non ideal, but unexpected is more annoying all around.

    On Friday morning (GMT) we experienced a hardware failure on our database server. To our knowledge there is no data loss of any kind. We have fairly regular backups hosted off-site, regardless. The exact cause isn't entirely clear at this time, but instead of wrestling with trying to get the hardware sorted (it was a dedicated server) we decided that this was a good opportunity to make a server move we've been planning for a long time over to Digital Ocean.

    Read More

    235 comments · 10,691 views
  • 81 weeks
    BBCode updates

    Performance improvements

    Over the last few days I've been working on improving the performance of the BBCode parser. I've managed to implement a few major optimizations, reducing the run time in common cases to around 1/4th to 1/20th compared to the older version. This has reduced total server-side render times on some of the more complicated test pages I've been using to around 50ms–70ms, which should be a noticeable improvement.

    New features

    Opacity

    Read More

    49 comments · 3,533 views
  • 104 weeks
    Recent Changelog

    We've done various unannounced changes of the past few weeks so I thought I'd group up the things we've done so you guys know what's changed.

    • Added account linking page for Patreon / Twitter
    • Added ability to cross post stories, blogs and bookshelf additions to Twitter
    • Added twitter userpage module
    • Added account deletion page
    • Reorganised user toolbar dropdown to better fit more items
    • Added session management page to see logins and active sessions on your account
    • Added new articles system and moved some existing ones into it
    • Redesigned PM page a bit to be cleaner
    • Increased font size in major places across the site to improve readability
    • New cookie consent controls for EU users and updated privacy policy
    • Recommended groups list on groups page - WIP
    • Tooltips in many locations around the site with helpful tips

    Read More

    114 comments · 4,895 views
  • 104 weeks
    Help Articles

    Something I've worked on the last couple of days is adding the ability for us to add arbitrary "articles" to the site which we can use for various things. Sort of an extension on the manual articles we've added in the past like the bbcode page, writing guide, etc.

    So far I've added 3 guides:

    I'd love to know if you guys have any idea for articles that would have helped you out when starting out or anything else that comes to mind.

    65 comments · 4,193 views
  • 132 weeks
    Night Mode

    I've been working on it for ages but only really got the impetus to finish all of it off over the last few days. In the "settings" dropdown at the top on desktop, or the bottom of the slide out bar on mobile you'll find a toggle for night mode. Enjoy!

    Oh, and although I've tried to cover everything there is a 100% chance I've missed styling some things so apologies in advance for any funky pages.

    246 comments · 5,247 views
  • 133 weeks
    Additional Search Update

    Hey folks,

    Over the last few days I've added a few things to the new search system. A lot of people were unhappy with not being able to filter various things as quickly as they used to be able to. To that end, I've added a little filter dropdown to the right of the search box which effectively contains everything the old sidebar used to. It even has some niceties like quick word count filters and a highly rated filter.

    Read More

    132 comments · 4,182 views
  • 134 weeks
    December 2017 Update

    Hey guys, got a whole bunch of updates for you today.

    Tags

    This is a small but important step on our way to the tagging system I envision. The existing way we handled things like characters and genres has all been merged into a single tagging system. That won't result in much difference for you viewing and using the site but it makes it a lot easier to add new tags especially.

    We now have a couple of new tag types: series and warnings.

    The series tag is for identifying what series (franchise) your fanfiction contains. I've added a whole ton of various TV shows, movies, comics, books and games but clearly we will have to add a ton more in the coming future. Stories must also contain one of the four MLP tags which are FIM, EqG, Movie and Comic, as this is a pony fanfic site after all. Feel free to bug me on Discord if you have a requirement for a series to be added.

    Read More

    630 comments · 13,001 views
  • 134 weeks
    Math BBCode tag

    I've added [math] and [mathblock] BBCode tags, which can be used to display formatted math. We've had a few requests for this, particularly for group forum threads and blog posts. Most math-related TeX syntax is supported. (We are currently using MathJax to handle the layout.)

    The documentation from the BBCode guide is repeated below for your convenience.

    Read More

    84 comments · 3,560 views
  • 157 weeks
    Fimfiction API

    If you're not a developer you can probably ignore this post.

    It's been like 6 years, but hey, things take time. The API is currently very WIP still but it's ready for people to get working on in our development chat room.

    API documentation can be found at https://www.fimfiction.net/developers/api/v2/docs and you should join the Discord Chat and PM me to add you to the private API channel and I can help you get started. The functionality is very limited right now but I'm dedicating all my time to it at the moment and would love to have people add their input to the process.

    60 comments · 6,293 views
  • 161 weeks
    New BBCode Tags

    Hey guys,

    One of the features in this new update was reader-side paragraph formatting. This helps improve consistency for readers across the site, especially for those of us who can’t stand reading indented text on a computer screen.

    However, one thing that wasn’t accounted for was the legitimate need for specific indenting of passages and for certain blocks of text to have no paragraph formatting. Some examples would be lyrics and poetry.

    Taking this into account, we have come up with a couple of new tags that remedy this situation which are documented below (copied directly from the bbcode guide)


    [indent] Indent

    The indent tag can be used to, unsurprisingly, indent portions of your text.

    [indent]The indent tag can be used to, unsurprisingly, indent portions of your text.[/indent]

    It also support levels of indenting

    Read More

    168 comments · 5,710 views
Dec
20th
2015

Site Update » Minor rule clarifications and additions · 6:23am Dec 20th, 2015

A few minor adjustments and additions have been made to the general rules.

• No spam. This includes chain letters, referral links, posting the same thing many times in different places, and anything that involves, or encourages other users to, repost identical or similar content. This excludes posting information about your new story in groups that explicitly allow it.
• Following an excessive number of users is not allowed, nor is any behavior that rewards users for following you. Following is for users to use because they want to see updates in their feed, not as a reward or otherwise.
• Illegal content is not allowed. This includes links to unofficial uploads of episodes or other copyrighted material.
• Signatures at the bottom of your post are unnecessary and make the page harder to navigate, especially on mobile. Please refrain from using them, if you have any information you want everyone to have access to, place it on your profile page instead.
• Intentionally exploiting the site is grounds for a ban, please report any found exploits with reproduction steps to admin@fimfiction.net immediately.
• We reserve the right to remove or restrict content for other reasons, at the discretion of site staff. This may include banning users in more extreme cases.

Please note the final rule here has been in effect pretty much forever, and is primarily intended for when people try to exploit rule loopholes or otherwise cause trouble. Additionally, there are two lines added about group folder additions:

• Do not add stories to group folders unless they meet the criteria for the folder, as set by the group.
• Intentionally adding stories to folders they obviously do not meet the criteria for will be treated as spam.

These are to clarify that going around and spamming group folders is against site rules in addition to violating rules the group itself might've set.

Edit: As this somehow failed to make it into the rules before "You may not sell access to unpublished stories or chapters.". Fimfiction is intended as a free host of Fanfiction for MLP:FiM fans, not a place for you to sell things. There are also major legal issues with selling Fanfiction, which are beyond the scope of this post.

Report Xaquseg · 9,309 views ·
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 346 )
Comment posted by Meeester deleted Dec 20th, 2015

Feel free to ask if you guys have any questions/concerns/stuff about the rules. We're here for you.

3630746
I know, right?

I'm going back to AOL D<

The only one that bothers me is the one about excessive followers. Does having friends that ALSO like your stories and blogs go against anything?

THE CLARIFICATIONS WILL LAST FOREVER!!! (Seriously, though, thanks.)

To clarify a bit more - is thanking users for following you (e.g. by PM or posting on their userpage) still legal? I'm guessing you're talking about something else, but I just want to be sure.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3630758 Excessive is going to need to be very large here, we're talking hundreds, not just a few.

3630758

The rule is generally more for the sort of people who are following like THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of users. Usually because a lot of people are polite and will follow back, so people who are willing to spam out follows can accumulate like hundreds of followers pretty easily. It shouldn't really affect anyone who's legitimately just following people they like.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3630759
Not with a generic message, but if you have a specific reason to send it (notable author you like, friend, whatever) it's probably fine. We ask you refrain from "canned message" behaviors to things like users following, however, as it mostly ends up amounting to noise.

Er... forgive me if this is a stupid question; but, does the first rule (the 'posting the same thing many times in different places' part specifically) extend to posting your story in multiple groups? Or even in multiple folders in a group? I've honestly never been clear what the rule is on that in general.

3630749

Signatures at the bottom of your post are unnecessary and make the page harder to navigate, especially on mobile. Please refrain from using them, if you have any information you want everyone to have access to, place it on your profile page instead.

I don't think I understand the context here. Could you clarify?

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3630764
This is referring to text-based posts primarily. Adding your story to multiple group folders is fine as long as you're actually following whatever guidelines the group set for adding stories. This is also the answer to the multiple-folder question: it's up to the group.

3630762 Hmm... Looking at some people's userpages, I can see your point...

Okay then; no more generic messages for follows or favs, at least from me.

3630764

This excludes posting information about your new story in groups that explicitly allow it.

You can post deets and stuff regarding your story in multiple different groups, assuming they allow it. "Spam" in that sense is really stuff more like someone doing a brony fundraiser and suddenly every group is filled with someone copy-pasting information on how everyone needs to go fund it.

3630765

Some people like to close out literally all of their comments with a signature at the end, like

-Obselescence

and sometimes they go even further and come up with these really extravagantly weird ways to close out every single comment they make. It gets sort of annoying and clogs up mobile, so we'd appreciate it if people don't do that. It's generally not that hard to tell that you're the person who made your own comment, so you don't need to sign it in at the bottom.

Something simple and I know it isn't something that seems to fall under the rules. By asking for something not to be posted in multiple places, exactly or similarly, what about when authors thank new followers or viewers who favorite their stories? Sorry for sounding like nitpicking but I tend to take rules a little too serious sometimes and I'm not expecting a reply other than considering the post silly. Lawyer uncle brings out the side of me who likes to close loopholes. Also, what is considered "excessive" in regards to following people? Don't hate me for this, pretty please.

Edit: Seems people beat me to them, oh well.

3630765

I think this is referring to a practice where you have at the bottom of every post you do you have a saying, video, picture etc that you have automatically in your post even if your post was "nice story". I imagine that on a mobile phone this could cause significantly longer load times and pictures/videos can sometimes change how the site is being viewed in a phone. Just my thought.

Confused about what you mean by exploiting the site. I'm not immediately clear on what the hell you could do to exploit the site o.O

3630758
3630760 Yeah, Xaq is talking about people like "The Follower" who listed his goal as "following everyone on fimfiction."

He's banned, IIRC.

3630776 "Exploiting" means, basically, hacking into the site. It's a computer security term. What they're saying is a fairly standard practice: If you do it by accident, let them know at once so they can patch the hole; if you do it on purpose, you're banned.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3630776
In theory nothing, but if someone were to find an exploit to do something unintended, this makes it clear that doing it intentionally is against the rules and you are expected to report it.

Thanks for the rules. :)

These rules are gonna help A LOT! I for one have seen people do all of these and am very glad something will be done about it, thank you for always improving FiMfiction. :twilightsmile:

Does accidental multi-posting of a comment due to a buggy connection count as spam? That's been an issue for me several times, and I don't want to get in trouble for something beyond my control.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3630788 No, that's not spamming.

3630772

"Spam" in that sense is really stuff more like someone doing a brony fundraiser and suddenly every group is filled with someone copy-pasting information on how everyone needs to go fund it.

I never post these kinds of things in groups, but is it alright if we do them in our blogs? I've posted blogs asking for help for others (and reposted others' blogs who have done the same), and in some cases it's because of the generosity of the Brony community that some of these fundraisers meet their goals.

Following an excessive number of users is not allowed

What constitutes as excessive? Not asking for me, because I only follow when I really like at least two stories someone wrote, but for the sake of curiosity. Being curious just to be curious, shocking, I know.

This post has triggered me.
I honestly wanna see if this "No Spam" thing is actually gonna go through this time, I see it every fucking day on this site people asking others to follow them on various places. In fact there's one in my feed right now that's been up for around 20 minutes.
I don't really care since I usually ignore them, I do care however about the fact that this site has nowhere near enough staff to keep a constant eye out for this though.

I think it should count as spam if you post the same story to five different folders in the same group, I'm tired of getting 7 updates on my feed only for it to be the same person adding the same damn story to the same damn group. It's annoying.

3630792 Agreed, "excessive following" seems a bit too vague to be used as a rule for which the punishment results in banning.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3630800 Ideally this will be handled via reports (if we haven't noticed it) or, if it's spamming within groups, the group administrators should take care of those if we haven't. Like most things in the site, community help is always welcome.

3630802 I can see how that's irritating, but some groups want stories posted in all the folders where they'd fit. Take a look at this group's folder hierarchy. Suppose you wrote a crossover fic where Twilight is an alicorn, she gets exiled, and she goes insane but still gets into a romantic relationship - there're already five folders where it'd fit.

I approve of the current newly-amended rules on this point.

3630789
Okay, thanks for the clarification.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3630806, 3630792 I'm going to direct you gentlemen to 3630761.

Additionally, it should be clear by now that not all infractions result in an automatic ban.

3630779 That... isn't accurate.

Edit: Well okay it is kinda but it's a hypersimplification and almost certainly not what Xaq was referring to.


3630780 So it's a hypothetical. Okay then.

3630814 Oh? I did simplify it - I thought you didn't know what it meant and were asking for a rough definition? Sorry for the misinterpretation.

Edit in response to your edit: Simplification, right. But I thought that was what Xaq was referring to?

3630816 Hacking a website isn't a rules violation. It is almost always a crime.

It is much more likely that Xaq was using it in the sense the MMORPG administrators use it to refer to people backdooring around the rules. Not vandalizing or stealing.

3630813 This example number should be adapted into the actual rule as a firm number of when people start getting looked into.

One should not need to seek out an obscure blog post to know whether or not following the authors of all 10 stories on the front page that they liked every few hours is likely to get them banned.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3630819
Exploits can exist that aren't technically "hacking". It could be as simple as some unusual sequence of button presses lets you view something you're not supposed to, or edit something you're not supposed to be able to, or similar. This is often not enough to fall under the related criminal laws, but would qualify under this rule. Additionally, generally those criminal laws don't apply to someone accidentally stumbling upon a way to do something like that, they deal with looking for them intentionally and then abusing them instead of reporting them.

The rule is partially there just to make it clear that there is contact information around for someone to report such a thing.

Aw, man, I liked thanking folks for choosing to spend their time reading my stuff by dropping a quick message on their user page, :fluttershysad:

... Eh, who am I kidding; that was kind of turning into a massive time-sink anyway. Now I don't have to feel bad about stopping, :scootangel:

I have a quick question regarding the signatures. My account is also used by my editor s we leave a signature at the end of our comments so the Author knows which one of us left it. Its just a short thing with only our pen name Should we stop doing that? I'd prefer not to be banned seeing as how I just opened this account last week so Its not really a problem to stop. We just do it to avoid confusion.

3630761 I will never understand the mindset of people who follow back when followed. Actually, that is a lie, I do understand why, but I just can never see myself doing said thing. So I guess I logically understand, but morally it feels dirty to me.

How similar does content have to be? Every so often, there's something going around blogs that's more or less a prompt for content. For example, a list of questions about your headcanon. Each user posting their response has generated their own content to do so, but it's entirely possible that this could fill up someone's feed with responses to the same thing. I think this should be acceptable as the meat of the content is different for each post.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3630831
This is probably fine if done using the comments of the post in question, as those comments are directly related to responding to the content of the blog post, which is pretty much the point of comments. Similarly, this is probably OK if contained to a single group thread, as long as the group permits such a thread.

Reposting that content elsewhere is likely a violation of the spam rules, however.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3630820

One should not need to seek out an obscure blog post to know whether or not following the authors of all 10 stories on the front page that they liked every few hours is likely to get them banned.

I'm afraid I don't follow your logic. It's a fairly standard practice in site-rules all across the web that if there's a specific action that merits a specific result every single time, it would be stated in the rules. (ie "If you do X, we will do Y to you.") If it's not stated in such specific words, it's a natural and accurate understanding that infractions usually will result in notification of the misconduct in question along with a warning with followup steps if the person that broke the rule does not stop breaking them.

Also, this is a clarification of rules, which is already been implemented in the rules page, so you needn't fear hunting down blogs for information.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3630827 If you look in the rules page, under Registration and Account Security, the first item there says:

You must not share your password or let anyone else use your account.

So I'm afraid your editors should make their own accounts.

3630776
An example of something (that I am pretty certain the site admins would have already accounted for) would be to us a SQL injection in one of the field boxes with specific attempts to compromise the site. Like, say, when some knob (<--- this guy) forgets to make sure his search bar on his site uses the php mysql escape functions and some ass searches for

"boobs"); drop * ;

or the like (not the actual command, as I haven't used SQL in a long time), which would effectively be a command:

find * in XTABLE where yfield = "boobs"); drop * ; ") ;

The underlined bit being the injected SQL code, which would (if the code were correct) delete every table on the site. That SQL is nonsense, but the correct SQL could potentially do that, depending on the security and user set up behind the scenes. Which is why it is considered an exploit.

That's a pretty rookie mistake to have, and I highly doubt Knighty or Xaquseg haven't already accounted for that in every damn text box on this site… but yeah, exploits would be specific things like that.

3630772 I usually end my first comment on a chapter with an encouragement line:

Keep going! ;)

But not in any other comment (such as responses). I'm assuming that kind of "signature" is still ok?
Actually, in some cases I don't put it in specifically until I at least don't dislike the fic, but I don't want to nitpick.

3630827
It's probably better if you do your editing/collaborating offsite. Try Google Docs.

So the only person who ive ever seen sign his name on here, Skeeter, is now banned from doing so because reasons.

Ok.

nor is any behavior that rewards users for following you

Such as seeing new stories


Also the mobile site totally broken and almost unusable its way easier to navigate on thw desktop site on a phone.

3630841 Can we have some sort of feature similar to Facebook's "Page" system then? Where multiple people can share something similar to a standard user account to contribute to a shared collective of content production?

I believe there are likely several groups of users who have their own personal accounts and then share an account on which they publish the stories they work together on.


3630838

Following an excessive number of users is not allowed, nor is any behavior that rewards users for following you. Following is for users to use because they want to see updates in their feed, not as a reward or otherwise.

And where exactly is the following clarification displayed outside of this thread?:

The rule is generally more for the sort of people who are following like THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of users. Usually because a lot of people are polite and will follow back, so people who are willing to spam out follows can accumulate like hundreds of followers pretty easily. It shouldn't really affect anyone who's legitimately just following people they like.

3630875>>3630841
Actually all I have to do is hand them my laptop seeing as how my editor lives with me. But yeah I already let them know if they want to read pony and comment and all that jazz to get their own account. They will no longer be interacting with other users using the account I set up.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!