Xaquseg 711 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

  • 192 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

    236 comments · 15,250 views
  • 270 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 · 4,823 views
  • 292 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 · 5,952 views
  • 293 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 · 5,131 views
  • 321 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 · 6,705 views
  • 322 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 · 5,230 views
  • 322 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 · 13,725 views
  • 322 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 · 4,349 views
  • 345 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 · 7,301 views
  • 350 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 · 6,348 views
Feb
13th
2016

Site Update » New tag information page · 12:35am Feb 13th, 2016

I have added a tag information page (also accessible in the FAQ dropdown) which provides guidelines for what the various rating and category tags should be used for. Please note that this is not intended to change how these tags are used, this is just documented already-enforced rules.

This should help answer questions like "does my story need to be tagged mature?", explain how teen+sex works, etc. Users have been requesting more details about what each tag is intended for for a while now, this finally provides that information in a (hopefully) easy to understand way.

I would also like to remind everyone that if you encounter a story with mature content that is not marked mature, you should report it. This is always a rules violation, and is enforced strictly. We want to make sure that users that have mature filtered out are not exposed to such content.

Report Xaquseg · 3,415 views ·
Comments ( 82 )
Meeester
Moderator

Is Freeze Tag's rules in there? Eldorado cheats so hard.

Please do report stories that have incorrect ratings or are missing gore/sex. If we aren't informed of an issue or mistake, deciding to ignore it and not report it is very inconvenient for everyone.

Excellent.

Now...can you guys add a new tag?

I'm thinking "Bro".

Oh, excellent! This is something that I am very glad to see added.

Long overdue, but a nice surprise even so. :twilightsmile:

I'm not completely sure this actually makes things clearer to me, tbh.

For example, what exactly constitutes a 'highly charged sexual situation'? Or a 'lightly charged sexual situation'? I was just reading a story today that involved Applejack and Rainbow Dash kissing--is this a lightly charged sexual situation? should it be rated Teen-sex, rather than (I think) just teen? It strikes me as somewhat... weird to think of kissing as 'sexual' in the way it's defined here.

Another, more concrete, example is probably Chengar Qordath's Life and Times of a Winning Pony fic, with relation to the gore tag. The story doesn't have it, but at one point it does get fairly gorey, yet, at the same time, it doesn't seem very gorey to me at all--but I grew up on novel series like Animorphs and Harry Potter which get 'gore'y at times as well.

Maybe examples in other media would be helpful?

The description for tragedy could be stronger imho. I've seen some stories tagged as such simply because the ending was somewhat sad.

I don't suppose anyone would be willing to code in separate filters for mature-sex and mature-gore?? People who have the mature filter switched on for the reason of filtering out clop will also inadvertently filter out non-clop mature stories they might enjoy.

People have been asking for separate mature tags for years. An "Erotica" tag and filter would be very helpful.

Regarding the tags themselves... yes, it's been discussed to death. Mostly because of the highly subjective nature of it all. The M boundary seems to have quite a few number of factors, including severity as well as frequency of explicit content. Drawing a line somewhere would be quite difficult.

Also, there's the fact that in literature, there is much less risk of accidental exposure than there is with movies. A child can walk in during a sex scene in a movie and get exposed inappropriately, but you can leave a clop story open on your browser and a six year old is not even going to be able to read it much less be affected by those words. Frequency also plays a big part, since a rather long story can be tame for several chapters and then have some explicit content. Usually, people know more or less what they are getting into when sitting down to read a story. The idea of having to filter mature content implies an almost MPAA level of protection which is more appropriate for visual media than literary. Someone reading an M rated gory story needs to put active effort into that reading.

Interesting though, and thanks for making an information page to help people understand the purpose of the tags!!! I just still think it's a somewhat broken system as it currently exists, mostly because of the single filter. When I consider the purpose behind someone using such a filter, I think of it in terms of a reader wanting to prevent certain content from showing up in searches. Not that the content is dangerous per se. So the best option would be for the default to be "unfiltered" for new accounts as well as anonymous readings, and then when someone flips the filter on, certain stories don't show up based on the filter(s) they have selected. :twilightsmile:

May I suggest that the 2nd Person category has a note that not all stories written from a second person perspective count?

Also:

Stories that focus on action or taking undertaking risk to achieve the character’s goal.

I think there's an extra word in the Adventure definition.
Edit: Fixed already, it seems.

Thank you. Thank you so much for this. I can't tell you how many discussions I've had about the tags because people were confused about what each meant (especially Random, whose definition according to mods has appeared to change over the years). And I love how the tags are all marked whenever mentioned. However...

AU is not, however, appropriate for cases where MLP:FiM has no significant impact on the story. When all characters are stripped of their defining features and replaced with fundamentally different traits and characterization, any and all relevance to MLP:FiM is discarded.

Isn't this kinda against the rules in the first place? Like, that rule that fics must be related to Friendship is Magic? I mean, you strip out all the relevancy and what's left that's related to the show/movies? Or is this just saying that's it's not considered AU, regardless of whether it breaks the rules or not? Ooh, wait, is this saying that AU isn't an excuse to break the rule? 'Cause I could see people trying that.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3750652
It's saying AU is not an excuse to break the rules.

This makes things easier to understand, and also helps writers figure out if the tags they put on their stories are appropriate or not. This good, this is really really good. :pinkiehappy:

I'm just waiting to see the new character tags that was said to come out a long time ago. I want to have my EQG stories be tagged with EQG characters

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3750648
The tags update and improved global filters will eventually allow this.

To clarify: the ability to filter out just mature-sex and similar, likely through some splitting up of various tags. We will never make the default "show mature content", for a bunch of reasons I'm not going to get into details on here.

3750650
Err... what?

How would you write a story from a second person perspective in such a way that it doesn't count as "2nd Person"?

Yo, how do I stop this from showing up on my feed? I've turned off site posts and blocked you. But it still shows up.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3750693 Okay. He's a site administrator making a site administration update. It's not optional.

3750683

The tags update and improved global filters will eventually allow this.

Seriously?!! :rainbowkiss: :heart: That's awesome!

So, how will that work? Basically like the current system except with more options? See, the main concern is that people generally associate M with clop, right? So folks who don't like clop will often just skip over all M stories regardless of whether there's a sex tag or not, since the filter doesn't discriminate. Very curious what you folks have planned for this.

I'm really glad you've done this. This should really help clarify what is allowed or not allowed with certain tags. I always found Sex and Gore tags with the Teen and Mature ratings to be very confusing before this update.

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3750723
That bug has been quite difficult to track down unfortunately. It'll get fixed... but I have to figure out what conditions cause it first.

Talking about tags - Will the 'wiki-like' character tag pages be implemented? (http://www.fimfiction.net/tag/rarity)

Knighty mentioned those some time ago.

3750731
Need a gender bender category, so many fics in this genre.

Yes.

Very yes.

But where are the new character tags?

Xaquseg
Server Administrator

3750759
I ran into some implementation problems and have unfortunately not had time to work on resolving them. Hopefully soon, I should have more time to work on Fimfiction fairly soon.

3750762
Noice.

Perhaps it's a bit late, but could you add a Princesses tag? I reckon it'd be pretty useful, what with the plethora of OC x Alicorn-Tetrarchy shipfics that I'm certain are abound here.

Comment posted by Trick Question deleted Feb 13th, 2016

3750634
Kissing, of the sort you might see in a Disney movie, would not require the tag. Kissing, with a detailed description of the interplay of tongues, probably would.

3750691
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-person_narrative
This discussion came up when they first added the tag. In short, second person is a narrative voice, and by no means implies that the story is a reader-insert. The reader-inserts are what the tag is aimed at.

Edit: I still think it makes more sense to just call the tag Reader-Insert, so as not to confuse the (admittedly few) people who actually know what the term ‘second person’ means.

The gore tag, when used with a teen rating, is used as a warning that the story contains (generally somewhat vague) descriptions of violence, bloodshed, or injuries. We will generally allow a decent bit of violence here, but if a ton of people are dying or you’re describing gruesome injuries, you’ll need to move it to mature.

This is the reason I had to bump my fic, The Price of Love from Teen to Mature. I kinda got discriptive with a few of the scenes. Especially Fleetfoot's execution.

Thank you for making this page. I can see it being quite helpful if I have questions of which tags to use for my future stories.

Wanderer D
Moderator

3750770 Or... you can use a tag in addition to others... or you are using it wrong. Gratuitous self-promoting aside, it's not that the tags are wrong. A "sad" fic with only that tag on it should indicate the definition we are using. However, stories can have several strengths that don't fall into a single easy category.

Romance

The romance tag is used for love stories of some sort, where the focus is on the growth of a loving relationship between characters.

I would go with "romantic" instead of "loving" here.

Also, a huge fraction of pornographic stories are labelled "romance" but are, in fact, porn, not romances (or even romantic porn). Would it be possible to get a separate pornography tag as a genre tag?

Wanderer D
Moderator

3750864 I debated on defining "Romance" as the more classical definition of the genre... but it would have confused the hell out of people.

"Wait... you mean romance doesn't just mean it's about cuddling and kissing and falling in love?"

3750871
Wait. . . you mean romance doesn't just mean it has those languages descended from Latin?

Wanderer D
Moderator

3750890 This guy gets it!

3750909
Loquerisne Latīnē?

3750699 Sweet thanks for clearing that up.

3750871
"A species of fictitious writing, originally composed in meter in the Romance dialects, and afterward in prose, such as the tales of the court of Arthur, and of Amadis of Gaul; hence, any fictitious and wonderful tale; a sort of novel, especially one which treats of surprising adventures usually befalling a hero or a heroine; a tale of extravagant adventures, of love, and the like."

Thanks, I've been wondering what the Drama tag specifically meant. So, none of my stories qualify, got it.

I'm a bit confused by what this means. Does this mean that any story that doesn't have the right tag will be removed? Or just mature stories?

The page does not seem to be readable on mobile (at least without rotating the screen).

Meeester
Moderator

3750960

Please note that this is not intended to change how these tags are used, this is just documented already-enforced rules.

Just like nearly every other site post about rule clarifications, we are not changing what it is we're doing with reports, rules, and stories; we are simply giving more information for everyone else to use themselves. We very rarely make retroactive changes to longstanding rules.

This information serves only as a clarification for anyone confused by the list of categories and ratings, something that comes up very often as a question from users to staff or in groups throughout the site.

While I have no intention of writing descriptions of sexual organs, orgasms, or the act of procreation. I figure humorous references to aphrodisiacs, nudity, phallic shaped objects, toys, chains, and whips, is well within teen guidelines. Based entirely on weird science and the scatological series of epic, date, vampire, and whatever starving parody films. Although I could be wrong...

Meeester
Moderator

3751027
There are occasional Mature stories that do not involve sex outright, but spend the entire story talking about or experimenting with the characters' sexuality and endless references to relevant content such as sexual aids, toys, etc. The sort of stuff that you don't see until late-night TV or on STARS and HBO for good reason.

Human: The characters are humans, or a human character is involved that is not because of a crossover or Equestria Girls.

If I'm understanding this correctly, this isn't how I've seen the Human tag used. Take one of my favorite HiE fics, My Little Balladeer. It's a crossover with Manly Wade Wellman's "Silver John" series, in which Wellman's (human) protagonist John is summoned to Equestria as a human. Does that mean this fic doesn't get the Human tag, just because John comes from a crossover with another author's work instead of being an OC? That doesn't seem to make sense.

3751053 , I completely get your point. And thank you for it. But 3751027 has a small point too - the show itself has a couple of humorous references to nudity :ajsmug: ...

And also, thank you, 3750683 , for continuing to filter out Mature by default. I've got the filter off about half the time, but new users should have to make a choice to see them.

Are you ever going to give Blossomforth a tag?

Wanderer D
Moderator

3751093 If it's a crossover, then it's the tag being misused.

3751093 If it's a crossover character or setting featured in the story, even if the character(s) is human, then it gets the Crossover tag and not the Human tag.

I would argue that Crossover and Human are incompatible in stories, you can't have both in a story, it doesn't work at all.

It's why displaced was such a failure even before the first story featuring it was made, incompatible tags.

Adventure and Slice of Life don't work together.

Comedy and Sad don't work together.

I believe Human and Crossover don't work together as well, and should be made clear as such.

3750871
3750954
I can already imagine the rejection PMs. "Misuse of tag: Not written in romantic dialect."

And then the author arguing that half or more of the words in their story are romantic thanks to 1066 and all that. Thanks, France!

Of course, there's the more modern definition of "romance" as "romantic drama".

Login or register to comment