News Archive

  • 14 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 · 2,978 views
  • 42 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.

    245 comments · 4,432 views
  • 43 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 · 3,418 views
  • 43 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 · 12,218 views
  • 44 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 · 2,966 views
  • 67 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 · 5,762 views
  • 71 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 · 5,324 views
  • 72 weeks
    Fimfiction 4.0

    It’s been a very very long time coming, but we’ve finally updated the site again. this is by far the biggest update we have ever done. There is a cavalcade of new features but the biggest changes are under the hood and affect how easy it is to extend the site and performance. A change log of everything I can remember can be found below.

    There are bound to be unforeseen bugs. If you come across anything major please let us know in the comments (or preferably in the #site-help-and-dev discord channel).

    Miscellaneous / Site Wide

    • Dropped support entirely for pre-IE11
    • Updated inline searching across the site to order much better. Eg. Typing "Ra" into the tag selector actually shows Rainbow Dash first. On shorter lists like bookshelves, we use a different algorithm that lets you type things like "ril" and it’ll prioritise a shelf called "read it Later".

    Read More

    1,363 comments · 19,806 views
  • 72 weeks
    💩

    So, emojis are now supported all over the site. Go have fun and stuff.

    oh god what have we done

    192 comments · 4,613 views
  • 82 weeks
    TLS for all users

    We have implemented TLS site-wide as an unconditional redirect. (http -> https) This improves security site-wide for all users, and shouldn't have any negative effects, performance or otherwise.

    90 comments · 3,757 views
Jul
16th
2018

Site Update » Recent Changelog · 10:07am July 16th

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
  • Changed image upload cropper to start at 100% crop and added background to make it clearer cropping is a function
  • Fully rewrote HTML to BBCode converter so it is far more resilient than ever and better understands margins and paragraphs
  • Performance improvements due to client-side rendering of mobile navigation drawer
  • Image load reduction due to lazy loading of images in group/watching modules on user page
  • Added login form to frontpage
  • Inline of editing of user bios on user pages
  • Ability to post a new version of a blog directly from a blog edit page (ok, I built this specifically for making episode posts...)
  • Minor bug fixes
Report knighty · 3,602 views ·
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Comments ( 114 )

I like that Twitter function. Any chance we'll see something similar for Facebook?

knighty
Site Owner

4901880
I actually built that last night before finding out Facebook have totally killed the ability for apps to post to your wall, so it's now impossible to do such a thing.

4901881
Curses. I love sharing fanfiction with my friends outside the site occasionally and that would've made it so much easier.

Well, thanks for the attempt!

knighty
Site Owner

4901882
If you're talking about sharing random stories you want to on the site, that is possible still via share buttons but I consider them to be highly tacky and offer nothing over just copying the page url and pasting it into a wall post.

What does the Twitter linking function actually do? Going to the link above, I just see a "Link Twitter" button (and a "Link Patreon" one). If I click it, what happens?

knighty
Site Owner

4901884
The bullet point right below says

  • Added account deletion page

So, what happens to comments made by deleted accounts? Do they get deleted along with the account and become indistinguishable from normal deleted comments, or will they display <deleted account> where the username was?

AZUR3 #8 · July 16th · · ·

Might I make a suggestion maybe find a way to make the menu on mobile a little less bothersome, it's kinda annoying that a slight movement from the left activates it, and sometimes it won't collapse unless I refresh the page. again I don't know if that's a mobile issue or if it's a common thing with pc users.

knighty
Site Owner

4901886
They are fully nuked. No reference remains

4901885
Ah, so just a reading fail on my part. Oops! Thanks.

knighty
Site Owner

4901896
There's also a userpage module for it I forgot to mention.

Marmo #12 · July 16th · · ·

thanks for maintaining the site. You rock. Hope the fandom thrives til 2050 :3

4901888
Okay, got it.

Thanks, Knighty!

Awesomesauce Knighty!

There's not a single change here that I don't like, much unlike some other sites I won't mention *caugh*DeviantART*caugh*. Thanks for the update, Special Knighty

Nice work.

Performance improvements due to client-side rendering of mobile navigation drawer

This pleases me greatly. Firefox for Android always had problems with it, but it works beautifully now.

Deleting your account is PERMANENT. There's no going back. All your stories, blog posts, comments, etc will be gone for good. This includes any groups you have created too. Make sure you are 100% certain before filling out this deletion request.

Deletion requests have a minimum waiting period of 24 hours during which time you can change your mind if you wish to. You will be emailed at xxx@xxx.xxx when your account is deleted.

So, summing this up, this means that your account isn't automatically deleted if you click on "Delete Account", but that a staff member has to look into it and manually greenlight the deletion of your account.
Considering how it would affect a lot of users on the site here if a well-known author just decides to make a run and take everything with them, especially if said author has created a popular group with thousands of active users in it or has written one of the most famous MLP: FiM fics (let's say as possible worst case scenarios that the creator of the Writer's Group or the author of "Fallout: Equestria" would randomly decide to have their accounts deleted for some reason), is there a chance that, upon reviewing the request, staff will deny deletion?

Will every deletion just be granted to the author or does the staff decide on a case by case basis if the deletion is granted, to prevent stories, groups, ect., that are of high historic interest for the fandom, from getting nuked out of existence and to ensure preservation of them?

Cool beans my dude. Have you Devs ever considered the ability to upvote chapters of a story, rather than just the story as a whole?? I think it would be good feedback for the writer, and it would give people who may not like commenting a further way to show they enjoyed a new chapter.

Estee #22 · July 16th · · ·

Added account deletion page

...oh, so that's why two hundred people were asking for my password.

4901926
I don't think that means it isn't automatic. Just that it isn't instantaneous. Like starting a countdown timer, and once it runs out, boom. Plus I wouldn't be surprised if they ran the risk of violating some privacy laws or some other sort of trouble if they could arbitrarily decided to honor some deletion requests but not others.

Thanks for all you do, knighty.

knighty
Site Owner

4901938
Actually it is manual. I have reservations about making such an action automated for a variety of reasons. It's really just a formal method of requesting deletion which I've handled via email / pm requests before.

Don't forget the changes to the feed! I saw you removed that slider you don't like.

Also i hadn't realised I had so many other sessions (10)... :applejackconfused:

4901938

I hope not. If it's automatic, then 50% of fandom history could be purged from existence by simply clicking a button.

Plus I wouldn't be surprised if they ran the risk of violating some privacy laws or some other sort of trouble if they could arbitrarily decided to honor some deletion requests but not others.

And not giving users the ability to delete their accounts at all, just banning them if they request that, would be less of a privacy issue then? That's something that worked here ever since FIMFiction.net was founded, so I have my doubts any law is getting violated here.

And I'm not saying that it has to be denied to users to remove their personally identifiable information from the site, but that exceptions should be made to ensure important stuff is saved. Say, if KKat would decide to delete his account and take "Fallout: Equestria" with him (unlikely, but I'm going worst case scenario here) or that the owner of the Writer's group would do the same, the staff could allow them to delete their accounts, yes, but do something with the fic/group that lets them stay here on FIMFiction.net in a functionable way, so that users can still read and comment on the fic and still actively participate in the Writer's group.
Just imagine one of the most popular pony fics suddenly being gone or the entire Writer's group with all its threads and all its member count suddenly nuked, because the founder of it (who might not even be active on the site anymore, but decides to nuke his account for that very reason, because he thinks it's just useless baggage now) deleted his account to move on, not caring about his legacy and that he would ruin one of the most important and vital parts of the community by doing that.

For cases like this, there should be a solution to save those things. But I also understand that it's probably impossible for the staff to go through everything an author has uploaded or created to decide if it should get nuked or not.
Besides, how can you make that decision anyway? Every story is in some way important and so are groups. An "All or Nothing" account deletion feature is too risky.
Stories and groups should be excluded from an account deletion, for both fandom history sake and to not rob the community off of an important gathering place here.

The best solution to give users the chance to delete their personal information from the site, without letting the fandom as a whole suffer from that, would be to somehow detach stories and groups from an account on the back-end of the site.
In a way that obviously still allows authors and group founders to edit them ect., but automatically excludes them from an account deletion and moves them to a place where they can still be read/operated after the account is gone.
The impact on the community by deleting everything that is attached to a deleted account would be too much if something of high significance gets nuked that way.

Nice! Keep rocking!

4901940
So the actual deletion process is the same as it has been, just requesting is different?

knighty
Site Owner

4901954
The same as we've had for...a year or so now yeah. Old process had no proper ability to verify the user with a password so it wasn't as secure and required more effort on my part to do that verification.

I like these, but what about new pone emojis? There are so many new expressions and characters.

4901955
Maybe a good Patreon perk could be better security options and/or account backup? Some of the other comments made me think of that, and a paid user could offset the costs. Can't put too much thought into it right now 'cause I'm at work. :twilightsmile:

knighty
Site Owner

4901966
Better security options like what? We already have 2FA, HSTS SSL and more transit security than you'll find on most sites.

Goddamn, knighty. You and the rest of the staff here are more than we deserve.

Thanks for all you and the other staff do man. You're the best.

Thank you so much for these. The site works much better than ever before.

Also, watch out with that avatar. You might cause some heart failure from that Flutter-cuteness xD

4901959
Seconding new pone emojis

4901943
Turns out it isn't automatic, so good to know. Guess that isn't really too surprising - I've been trying to switch my email over to a new domain lately and it's annoying that there are still some sites out there (and fairly large ones at that) where you basically have to create a whole new account to do so, and some of those have manual requests for getting rid of the old one. It just didn't sound like it was manual from the bit you quoted there.

As for the privacy thing, account banning and deletion seem very different. Banning would basically be disabling with no desire for data removal. Deletion is just that, and you can run afoul of laws in some jurisdictions if you don't delete a user's data when requested (certainly there are exceptions - especially things like banks / financial services, healthcare, and of course the government itself). That said, I do agree it would be good to have a way for a user requesting account deletion to be able to indicate things they're OK with leaving up. But it would HAVE to be up to the user. As you say, how would the site admins (or anyone else) pick and choose what to keep (which, sorry, I thought was what you were advocating)? Maybe have a way for an author to reassign ownership of a story or group to another user, or maybe make them "site owned" in some way. Could still be a bit tricky, as I would expect most authors would want to retain their rights to their works. And if they decide in the future to modify or delete the work, you'd need some way to be able to positively identify them when they come back so someone couldn't pretend to be kkat or whoever and get everything wiped.

That reassignment could be a handy feature in general I would think - like on a collaborative story if the author who's account it's owned by doesn't want to be a part of the project anymore, they could just turn it over to one of the others. Or maybe they already can (automatically - I'm guessing it can probably be done manually on request)? I'm not an author so I don't know what features are here for author use.

I'm a developer myself, and maybe a bit more paranoid than most about running into legal issues like that. I'm in the US, and I hear just enough about the EU privacy laws and such to make me glad I'm not a dev over there. And especially post-Brexit I have no idea what knighty faces in this regard in the UK. :twilightsheepish:

nice tho one thing that sorta irks me is the constant cookie thing that pops up every time i visit the site. (even if there is one click on accept its gone for the time being)

anyway to make it not to pop up whenever one visits the site after one logs off on pc, mobile devices etc after the first time you accept?

knighty
Site Owner

4901992
Unless you're wiping your cookies/local storage, logging out won't forget that preference. You probably have an extension or something clearing them.

Thank you knighty/Xaquseg/others. Awesome stuff!

Thank you Knighty. This will make things easier for so many authors.

4901969
I'm no expert and was leaving technical security to your imagination. Maybe two step logins, but idk if that should be a paid feature. If you can't think of anything resource heavy that could apply on a per user basis, I certainly won't. :twilightsheepish:

The other part I was talking about is better described as better account recovery. No matter how technically secure you make data transmissions and the site itself, you can't prevent human error and client side vulnerabilities. So, if someone successfully impersonates a user and has their account deleted, then could you undo that? If I pay to have the data archived for X number of months (or longer than usual), that would make recovery easier and is a marketable service.

I have no idea how practical that would be for this site, but I'm sure some people would be interested. Personally, I have no stories posted and no blogs, so the only thing I could protect are my comments. But, someone with lots of stories and blogs or more paranoia might bite.

It's just a suggestion. I would have brought it up on Discord for discussion, but I'd probably forget by the time I got home. :facehoof:

hmm odd since the devices i use allows cookies (Wii U and PS Vita) and if there was something that cleared the cookies then it should revert the site to default state like not being logged in, dark mode not enabled etc every time i visit the site but these thing doesnt revert.

not using extensions either.
oh on other sites i visit there is no problem

well its only a click and its gone for the time being when reading

knighty
Site Owner

4902025
Deleting an account requires you enter your password. If somebody has your password you're in a world of hurt no matter what. Most deletion on Fimfiction is soft deletion whereby it can be recovered easily. Full account deletes are hard deletes though, they entirely delete the data and it is not recoverable.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "2 step logins"

4901989

As you say, how would the site admins (or anyone else) pick and choose what to keep (which, sorry, I thought was what you were advocating)?

No. As I said, how would you decide such a thing? What is important and what not? Everything holds memories and values. Even a story with only 500 views from an author with very little popularity can have a plot that blows you away or is just memorable for a certain reason. If that would not be kept around with the argument that it has very little views anyway, something beautiful would be lost.
You can't make such a decision. There are too many variables there and it's very subjective in the end. It would come down to the mods leaving up what's to their own taste, since they have no other way of determining what should stay, and the rest would be gone, no matter how great it is. That would be a bad thing. Not to mention that mods probably don't have time to go through dozens of story submissions of one author who wants to have his account deleted.
No, there's no way to make a proper decision there. So, what it really should come down to, is, that all stories and groups by an author/user stay on the site by default if an account gets deleted.

Could still be a bit tricky, as I would expect most authors would want to retain their rights to their works.

It's a matter of author interest vs. public interest, really. Authors who write a story here and get fans with that, they leave a mark on people. And the number of people affected by a deletion of the stories they love and have grown attached to, is far higher than the number of people who get affected if the story stays up without the author's consent, which is only one person, the author themselves. So it should be pretty clear what decision to make there.
Normally, I'm not too keen on the democratic approach when it's about important decisions that have significant, lasting effects, but here it's a pretty clear case. FIMFiction.net should adopt a new policy that, while you still own the rights on your story regarding authorship and getting credited, by publishing stories here, you agree that they become a part of the site and the community, and will therefore stay here as long as the site exists for archival and preservation purposes.
Same goes for groups, because they have become gathering places for people and because they have been opened for all of the community, not for the founder's personal entertainment.

And if they decide in the future to modify or delete the work, you'd need some way to be able to positively identify them when they come back so someone couldn't pretend to be kkat or whoever and get everything wiped.

One word can be crossed out here, because if they could randomly come back and delete their stories after they have been moved to the archive place, it would come down to the same. Besides, if their account is gone for good and only their stories remain here, they won't be able to edit them anymore anyway, because they aren't linked to an account anymore, so that's a moot point.
Authors who voluntarily decide to nuke their account will need to be aware of that they give up any ability to edit their stories here on FIMFiction.net. It's a serious decision with consequences to delete your account, so if they don't think about that carefully, then it's their problem for making a rushed decision.
Which, in turn, is good, because it would discourage authors from nuking all they have built up and they would think three times about doing that if it means that their stories are permanently sealed in an archive on the site where they can't edit them anymore.
If it encourages them to rather only selectively delete stuff they are worried about from their account, instead of nuking it altogether, then that's definitely a good thing.
And if they really went for deleting it and change their mind one day, wanting to start out anew here, then they can make a new account and bring the stories they want to continue or rewrite back on that , starting to get new followers and such again, and make clear in the description of a story that the archived one is an outdated version from a past account. Only saving your stories here on FIMFiction.net, without a local copy on your computer, isn't a good idea anyway.

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