WillowDarkling

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  1. Haha
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from BronxWench in Introducing characters   
    Sorry, but I’m definitely stealing that for my storyverse!   that’s just hilarious! 
  2. Haha
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from BronxWench in Introducing characters   
    Sorry, but I’m definitely stealing that for my storyverse!   that’s just hilarious! 
  3. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from InvidiaRed in New? Introduce Yourself!   
    *hides on top of the wardrobe, ready to pounce*
  4. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Desiderius Price in Tag list?   
    I bookmarked it ages ago, refer to it from time to time, cause it’s handy!
  5. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from Desiderius Price in Tag list?   
    Thank you for that, Desi. I was looking for that post. 
  6. Haha
    WillowDarkling reacted to GeorgeGlass in HP/LM mpreg   
    Dang. this thread has more spam than a Hawaiian 7-Eleven.
  7. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from JayDee in HP/LM mpreg   
    Thank you for that, @BronxWench 
  8. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from JayDee in HP/LM mpreg   
    Thank you for that, @BronxWench 
  9. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to BronxWench in HP/LM mpreg   
    I’m locking this thread due to a flurry of spam posts, 16 of them to be precise.
  10. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Desiderius Price in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    I initially misread that (or at least I hope) of 100 hours/week.  I’m lucky to be in a gig where overtime is frowned upon and requires prior approval/justification; this lends itself to be very friendly to writing and other hobbies. 
    And, as an aside, you might enjoy:
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/01/microsoft-pimps-it-old-school-with-a-pricey-text-adventure-game/
  11. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Desiderius Price in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    I’ve never had a good knack for making decent “ballpark” estimates except in the simplest of cases.  And in this case, I don’t know the state of the current codebase, the state of the database, which features would actually be desired, or the modifications/rewrites needed to make that happen, so any estimate aside from “possibly major” is deceptive IMO.  
  12. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to BronxWench in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    I’m not even remotely qualified to comment on what it would take to modify the current code, although I suspect it would be a major undertaking. My usefulness comes when it’s time to beta-test the updates, since I know what will work, and what will create issues for our members based on the troubleshooting inquiries I get.
  13. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Thundercloud in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    As a reference at my job I am currently bringing in a new programmer in one of the projects. I expect him to spend 100 hours before he get proficient enough with the codebase to make design choice on his own. Until then I devote hours each week just to answer questions and say yes/no to ideas. It takes serious effort to vet a new programmer for serious work.
  14. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Desiderius Price in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    If we did this properly, then we’d need to
    Collect requirements/desires as we examine the codebase.  Review the existing codebase, figuring out what we want to change Determine if an overhaul vs rewrite is more appropriate, with long term maintainability and reliability and performance in mind.  Create a rough conceptual design Setup source control and a prototype-dev-beta server (maybe even a task-issue-manager/bugzilla), Iterate with some sort of sprint style, where we’d prototype/refine, and have a predefined target for switching the website over (upon approval from the mods/admin). A key question would be whether to combine databases, such that a story could be cross-listed, BUT also maintain backward compatibility with existing URLs.   Categories would remain, but could be implemented as, the original poster mentioned, tags, or another mechanism.
  15. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Thundercloud in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    As a professional programmer I would say that it close to impossible to say how much effort a new feature would take without looking at the actual codebase. You can make an effort to stay current with the latest tech so that it is easy to do overhauls, but that require continuous development and the typical case is thatthe effort to do a overhaul depends a lot on details of the codebase. AFF runs on PHP and I think it is fairly certain that it is more of the fix-things-when-they-break kind of site than a site that play catch up with latest technology.
    The top priorities from me to overhaul would be:
    Adding more allowed bytes to the disclaimer field and the description fields so authors can write something more than the required sentences would be great. There is bound to be authors that decide against using AFF because the limits of bytes that is very annoying. The limits presented look like reasonable limits back in the days when screens/webbrowsers could not show as much text. In a modern webbrowser that can show a lot more text the limits does not make sense anymore. More allowed bytes for the tags field might be worth to consider so the authors can get the option not use the hard-to-understand acronyms if they don’t want to. The sidebar that the Guest complain is empty space has a lot uses when logged in onthe author page. When just browsing stories it is empty...why not duplicate the search control there when it is not used for the author components? If it has the option to remember search terms the user like it would save a lot of clicks when searching for interesting materials. Possibly it could work as a filter so the user can remove stories with unwanted tags on permanent basis without having to do a search click on each visit to AFF When reading a story the left sidebar could offer quick links to other works by the same author Password limitations and implementation updated forthe modern age. Fixing the bug that means I don’t get messages when reviews are posted on my stories would be great….at least for me. :-) I am not saying the above is reasonable to implement since I don’t know the state of the codebase, but it sounds to me like much more useful improvements than the proposal from the guest.
  16. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to BronxWench in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    We have 23 separate databases. There is no way, at present, to have a franchise tag option that would search across the databases. The search function only works within the database you are visiting, otherwise known as the subdomain. So, if you are looking in the Anime subdomain, and search for Harry Potter, you will not get any results. That’s because Harry Potter has its own subdomain, or database. Similarly, searching in Anime for Inuyasha won’t return anything UNLESS the story in question is a crossover with the primary setting in Death Note. Crossovers are placed in the subdomain/subcategory where the story is primarily set. If Naruto visits Hogwarts, and all the content revolves around Hogwarts, the story does not belong in the Naruto subdomain. Rather, it is placed in Harry Potter, in the Crossovers subcategory.
    Users have no ability to create subcategories, which helps avoid the issue of misspelled categories appearing alongside correctly spelled categories. We would not allow users to create tags for any reference table, either. AO3 is a prime example of what happens when you let people loose with tags. We have a dropdown table of content tags, which can be added at the time a story is published. Thereafter, users have the ability to add tags manually via the Control Panel in their profile.
    Disclaimers… we actually have an excellent FAQ on the topic, but I’ll provide examples of what we look for in a disclaimer.
    Single Fandom:  I do not own Harry Potter and I make no profit/money from this story. (Optional: I do not make any profit/money from this story.)
    Crossover:  I do not own Harry Potter, Twilight, or Naruto and I make no profit/money from this story. (Optional: I do not make any profit/money from this story.)
    Work in the public domain:  This is a work of fiction based on Bram Stoker’s’s Dracula. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is unintentional.
    Original fiction:  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, in unintentional. (Optional: All rights are reserved by the author, and unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.)
    Original Poetry: This is a work of poetry. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, in unintentional. (Optional: All rights are reserved by the author, and unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.)
    Original nonfiction: This is a work of non-fiction. Where possible, permission has been obtained from all persons named in this story.  
    Celebrity fiction:  This is a work of fiction. I do not know or own Asuka or Alexa Bliss or Mickie James. I make no profit/money from this story. (Optional: I do not make any profit/money from this story.)
    As you can see, there isn’t really a single format that will work for every situation.
    I scan the content tags in the summary page, actually. It’s sort of like browsing bookshelves in a bookstore for me.  It’s also easier than having to input a lengthy list of tags to filter out, since in a single-database scenario, I’d wind up having to filter in the one fandom I do want to read at the moment, and THEN filter out all the content I don’t want to see, and finally skim past the stories I’ve already read which pop up in the results, since filtering by date might mean I’d miss an update I might not have seen.
    Or, when I think about it and have time, I just add a story to my Currently Reading portion of my profile, so I can find it quickly.
  17. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to BronxWench in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    Hi,
    Let me start by thanking you for a very thoughtful post. You’ve put a good bit of time into this, and it’s appreciated.
    I’m not a coder, so I can’t respond to the Prettier and Easier suggestions, although I will admit that I miss the left side navigation bar, which was sacrificed in favor of making the site easier for mobile device users. I’m an unrepentant PC user, and don’t read or write on my phone, so the mobile-user adaptations did little for me. I’m also hugely fond of dark mode options myself, but again, since I’m not a coder, I have no idea how easily that could be implemented. I do know our site code is largely proprietary, and that does make certain options available on commercial packages harder to implement.
    I am, however, qualified to comment on the Quality Control issues as the lead Archive Moderator. We are governed, in our moderation, by the owner’s decisions as to what is or is not allowed. Sadly, the wall-of-text submissions fall under the owner’s no-censorship guidelines for the staff, so as much as I’d love to reject those, I’m not able to. The same applies to story titles. We’re not permitted to exercise quality control on those, either, although I sigh deeply every time I see a title that’s nothing more than a sentence. I’m a slave to my own prejudices, I’m sure, but titles have an accepted format in my ever so humble opinion, which includes capital letters for more than the first word.
    Tags and disclaimers are something we do strive to enforce. Every new story and update is reviewed, and we require tags for content as defined in our Story Codes list. If tags aren’t included as needed, we will warn the author via email about the missing tags, hide the story if it’s not corrected within the stated time period, and eventually, if the tags still aren’t added, we do delete the story. The same applies to disclaimers, the most common Terms of Service violation. We leave a review board message, email the author upon hiding the story, and we will indeed delete a story that doesn’t have a proper disclaimer. I find some authors don’t even bother to put a story in the proper subcategory, so an auto-generated disclaimer function would still not be a perfect solution. On a personal level, I don’t mind a slightly creative disclaimer, but I appreciate your call for a consistent format. It would certainly make moderating that area easier.
    The Hall of Shame was established to highlight not bad content, but to showcase people who have outright plagiarized stories for the most part. We do think those plagiarists need to be called out, if only to alert authors whose stories might have been stolen, and who were unaware of the theft of their intellectual property. It’s not meant to be a bullying tactic. We are one of the only fiction archives in my experience to actually take action when we are alerted to an instance of plagiarism. We have a zero tolerance policy for theft. What we do not so, however, is publicly call out the many people who troll other authors, who flame other members, or who behave in a manner generally unbecoming. Those discussions take place well behind the scenes, as is appropriate.
    I’m always very happy when someone takes the time to let us know what can be made better when it comes to AFF. I’ve been moderating here for over ten years now, so I can safely say I love this site, and think of it as my virtual family. I’d love to see some of the changes you’ve outlined be implemented, in all honesty. So again, thank you for a very well written post, and for taking the time to let us know what you think about AFF.
  18. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to JayDee in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    Publicly shaming plagiarism isn’t needed it just feels really good.
  19. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to BronxWench in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    I love the idea of franchise tags, but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to implement those due to the physical structure of the archive. It’s actually 23 separate databases. Each subdomain is a unique entity. When I’m moderating in a subdomain, I can (and do) move stories to the correct subcategory. I’m not able to move stories from one subdomain to another. We also have a clear rule about not allowing authors to crosspost stories in multiple subdomains, unless the crosspost is a translation. That rule was implemented to conserve bandwidth.
    We do actually have a separate subdomain for non-English stories, and that tends to eliminate the issue of English speakers being confronted by stories in another language, and vice versa.  If you want stories in another language, we have subcategories there for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and the catch-all Misc subcategory. There are further divisions within those subcategories for the more popular fandoms as well as for original works.
    Disclaimers will always be an issue, I fear. We have certain subdomains and subcategories with unique disclaimer requirements. Original works require a much different disclaimer than a fan fiction would, and the disclaimer will also differ for original works of non-fiction. Fan fiction involving celebrities is another unique circumstance, as is fan fiction based on titles in the public domain. There really is no single template that would cover every situation. Now, if we were able to apply the franchise tags concept to the individual databases, that might help, but in the case of the Celebrity subdomain, it would require adding a separate database to cover the names of every possible famous person who might conceivably generate a story. That’s a great deal more bandwidth that would be expended, as opposed to saved, and would require constant tag wrangling as celebrities under 18 came of age (we do not ever allow real-person fiction involving anyone under 18), or new bands/wrestlers/actors/Youtube personalities became popular.
    I fear we’ll have to agree to disagree about the Hall of Shame. We don’t expect users to check there all the time to see if their stories were stolen. Far from it, actually. AFF believes fan fiction authors, who write for nothing more than reviews and the joy of writing, deserve some advocacy, much like any published author whose agent, publisher, and lawyer would be quick to pursue anyone plagiarizing the author. What we want is to make public the pen names of the plagiarists. If every fiction archive were to maintain a list of verified plagiarists, it would be far easier to remove stolen works, especially across platforms. And believe me, we do verify any alleged plagiarism before we act. Plagiarism is a serious offense in any form in which it occurs.
  20. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Desiderius Price in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    Sure we do, same reason we used to need hangings to be done in front of the courthouse in the public square… “deterrence”
  21. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to BronxWench in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    I actually am following what you’re saying. The only and only copy of the story cannot be found in Anime, Books, AND Celebrity as your scenario states. It can be found in exactly ONE of those subdomains/discrete databases. We do not allow a story to be posted in three subdomains, which is what would have to happen to make your scenario work. I’ll also point out that, due to the sheer volume of content, Harry Potter has its own subdomain, and does not get included in Books.
    Creating all those input lists is also a great deal of work, and would require continuous updating as new fandoms emerge, new celebrities become of interest, and new pairings catch the attention of authors. And yes, pairings are of paramount importance in certain fandoms, based on the flame wars that can erupt if a story appears in the wrong pairing category. And I will continue to beg to differ on the validity of a single disclaimer format. Fandom-based stories require a far different disclaimer than Original works, which should have something akin to what you see at the beginning of a published novel. Original works CAN be written for profit, do NOT require and copyright demurral, and must clearly state that they are a work of fiction, whereas a fandom-based work must clearly state that the author does not own the copyright of the fandom, and therefore cannot make any profit from the work. Celebrity fiction must clearly state that the work is fiction, that the author does not KNOW the celebrity or celebrities, who must be named in the disclaimer, and that no profit is made. Stories based on titles in the public domain must use the name of the book in the disclaimer, but otherwise use the same disclaimer as Original fiction. There is no one-size-fits-all disclaimer for all of AFF.  
    I don’t have enough staff to preview stories before they are posted. So, in essence, under the scenario you’ve proposed, stories will appear based on tags that have to be continuously moderated to answer calls for new fandoms, in subdomains multiple times since I am assuming the Franchise tag(s) would replace the existing choice of subdomain and subcategory, and we still have to review the story after it’s published for content tags, which are of more importance to me than the disclaimer, to be honest. The author will get sued for copyright infringement. I get the hysterical emails from readers who are blindsided by untagged content that they would have preferred not to encounter.
    As a personal illustration, I do not read for pleasure stories tagged with Minor1, Scat, WS, FF, or ABDL. As a moderator, I am required to review those stories, but when I read for my own enjoyment, I will skip anything with those tags. I also avoid certain subdomains altogether, either because I have no interest in the fandom or, in the case of Celebrity Fiction, I find the entire genre unpleasant since I tend to think about the families and friends of the real persons being depicted, and it quite puts me off. (My apologies to the authors who write for Celebrity, but I’ve never been reticent about my distaste for real person fiction.)
    We would need to rewrite the entire code, or purchase a prewritten package to set up what you’re suggesting, and I don’t see that happening in the near future, if ever. Would I like to work with a more up to date archive? Absolutely. I’d be lying if I said things were perfect. But I’m not capable of writing the code we would need, and I don’t have the wherewithal to purchase it for the site as a donation. Trust me, if I could buy a package, I would. It would be lovely to have the ability to have the updates written for us as the software evolves. I do think, despite our limitations, we are still a viable site. All things considered, we’re nearly 20 years old, which is quite an achievement for a fiction archive.
  22. Like
    WillowDarkling reacted to Desiderius Price in This Site Desperately Needs An Overhaul   
    I’ll disagree to the auto-fill disclaimer too.  Simply because the authors should THINK about it, that it’s fanfiction (or not), and what the copyright position is in their work.  (Not sure if the field enforces a minimum length, but it ought to… say, at least 16 characters?)
    Second, I concur some distinction on the tags would be nice, whether the tag is considered more of a warning (ie scat CYA) vs an advertisement (ie exhibition tag due to persistent nudity).  Custom tags would be nice, from an author’s POV.  However, it’s also a bit frustrating on AO3 to know if I’ve got *EVERY* applicable tag for my story, so I clicked the “author chooses not to use tags” and proceeded to tag the heck out of it, along with “maybe I missed some?”.
    Databases – combining them might be advantageous, along with a single (new) URL; though you’d have to preserve old URLs for a while, if not forever.  If combined, then it’s resolve the category issue for crossovers, letting them show up under both, without having duplicates in the database.
    Other improvements could also be had, but even switching to another software (commercial or otherwise) requires having people & time to execute it.  Volunteering?
  23. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from Desiderius Price in Loser by SweetSurrender   
    Since it bears repeating, as is stated at the top of this forum: 
    Any and all further requests for or offers of copies of this story, or any other story that has been taken down for any reason, will be deleted on sight. 
    Also, since this is an original work of fiction and is therefore the sole property of the original author, any further requests or offers of copies could possibly result in further actions taken by the staff. 
    Willow Darkling, forum moderator. 
  24. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from Desiderius Price in Loser by SweetSurrender   
    Since it bears repeating, as is stated at the top of this forum: 
    Any and all further requests for or offers of copies of this story, or any other story that has been taken down for any reason, will be deleted on sight. 
    Also, since this is an original work of fiction and is therefore the sole property of the original author, any further requests or offers of copies could possibly result in further actions taken by the staff. 
    Willow Darkling, forum moderator. 
  25. Like
    WillowDarkling got a reaction from Desiderius Price in Loser by SweetSurrender   
    Since it bears repeating, as is stated at the top of this forum: 
    Any and all further requests for or offers of copies of this story, or any other story that has been taken down for any reason, will be deleted on sight. 
    Also, since this is an original work of fiction and is therefore the sole property of the original author, any further requests or offers of copies could possibly result in further actions taken by the staff. 
    Willow Darkling, forum moderator.