Claire, Temaris and I are all away at the Peg3 con this weekend, so there may be some delays in validating.
Posted by: Alyse on 25 Jan 2008 8:13 am(24 Comments)
Explaining the rules through interpretive dance!
Act One, Scene One

A solitary figure slumps desolately over a keyboard, lit with a single spotlight to enhance the ambiance of isolation. The only sound to be heard is an eerie 'tap tap tap'

Author: Please R&R!
Archivist: *sighs*
Archivist: *sends a nicely worded 'please read the rules' mail*
Archivist: *edits story to remove rule breaking and validates*

Act One, Scene Two

Author: Give me feedback or I won't write more!
Archivist: O.o
Archivist: *sends politely worded 'no' letter pointing to the rules and possibly pointing out that this is why we have the rule in the first place*
Archivist: *deletes* *deletes* *deletes*

*clash of dramatic cymbals*

*fade to black...*

The moral of the story: Don't make us into Cybermen, boys and girls.
Posted by: Alyse on 20 Nov 2007 9:37 pm(36 Comments)
Stories losing paragraph breaks.
Authors: It's been brought to my attention that at least one of the older stories on the site has lost its paragraph breaks for some reason. I'm not clear why this is - because when I reviewed the story content box in the edit function, all of the necessary breaks were still there even though the story was displaying as a large block of text on the story page - but copying and pasting the text back into the box again from your original file and then saving it fixes the issue.

I'm really sorry this has happened, but please check your stories to make sure that this is an isolated error. As I said, I'm not sure why this has happened so I can't say that it won't happen again. I'm assuming that it's something that happened during the upgrade and just hasn't been spotted until now, but don't quote me on that.

Readers: This is an issue with the site, not the author. I would therefore appreciate it if you could stay polite when pointing out the issue to the author rather than accusing her of being ignorant. The site does have some minimum quality standards in place, and if the author really hadn't known that you needed to both break up chunks of text to make them readable online and that you had to start a new paragraph whenever someone new speaks, the story wouldn't have been added to the archive in the first place.

Thank you.
Posted by: Alyse on 21 Oct 2007 7:21 pm(29 Comments)
Winter. It's a time for...

The SGA Santa is now open for sign-ups. It's a fic only exchange, open to writers of all genres (het, slash, gen, threesomes and moresomes, bitextual - you name it, someone will request it ::g::).

You don't have to have a livejournal to participate, and you can sign up without an LJ here.

And if that's not enough, there's also the Czech is in the Male Zelenka Slash Thing-a-thon. Because I am shameless. Open to writers and fan artists, it's a Zelenka slash only challenge (as the name suggests), but it will be running for a little longer than the Santa, just so you can get that out of the way first.

Like I said, shameless ::g::
Posted by: Alyse on 18 Oct 2007 7:44 pm(22 Comments)
Normal service resumes...
The mutiny has been averted and now the only shipping going on doesn't have sails.

We hope you had fun and thank you for playing along. And remember, if you're still feeling piratically inclined we have two new skins for you to enjoy.
Posted by: Alyse on 20 Sep 2007 6:35 pm(24 Comments)
Avast me hearties!
It be talk like a pirate day t'morrow, an' I be wishin' ye all the best of plunderin' and lootin'. In honour o' the occasion, I'll be drawin' yer attention to a few new licks o' paint we be givin' this ol' ship o' ours. Ye may ha'e seen 'em already, on account of me changin' the default style o' the site to 'surprise me!' in true Pirate stealthy fashion (or be that the accursed Ninjas?). There be a Teyla one - an' a fine pirate she makes too, hidin' stealthily amongst the other skins to catch ye by surprise - an' a couple o' lighter ones for ye not so inclined to heavy seas - minimalist and elegance2.

We tried our hand at pressgangin' those landlubbers McKay and Sheppard into joinin' our fine piratical crew, but they turned out to be not so nautical in nature - or p'rhaps that was me piloting skills being lackin'. Ne'er fear, though. They'll be back shortly, wi' the other skins that be sailing back into port on the 20th of this fair month. We will also be keepin' the two pirate skins - Teyla and Ronon - around for a bit, so if ye still feel like sailin' wi' those skins, ye'll be able to.

I be headed to me hammock shortly, ready to steer me ship into treacherous waters on the morrow an' doin' me own plunderin' - or bein' plundered, dependin' on how ye view the world o' work - so I'll no be checkin' the site until t'morrow eve, but ha'e fun and remember to be takin' what you can and givin' somethin' back!
Posted by: Al the Blackhearted on 18 Sep 2007 8:02 pm(22 Comments)
We be stagin' a mutiny, me hearties, an' takin' o'er the good ship Wraithbait, in order to plunder, pillage and raise a glass o' grog or two t'wards International Talk Like A Pirate Day on 19th September.

If'n ye not be piratical inclined, we be sailin' back into friendly waters in se'endays or so, so make sure yer powder is dry and yer rum is wet, and ride out the storm 'til then.

Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!
Posted by: Blackhearted Al on 11 Sep 2007 7:58 pm(25 Comments)
New Category - Lorne/McKay
We now have enough stories with that pairing to justify it having a category all to itself.

So I made one.

I've also moved the stories I could find with that pairing, i.e. those that were obvious, but if I've missed yours, please feel free to move it from the Lorne/other or McKay/other categories across to the new category.
Posted by: Alyse on 13 Aug 2007 10:56 pm(31 Comments)
Character Bashing
Will the near airing of Season 4 and surrounding hot tempers, I think it's a good opportunity to remind people that the site actually has a 'no character bashing' rule (Rule number 7 in The Rules).

We intend the site to be a safe place for all fans, regardless of their favourite character. We enforce this rule for all characters, from Sheppard through to Caldwell, from Weir through to Kavanagh.

This doesn't mean that you can't write stories where characters do suspect things - that's happened in canon after all. All that we ask is that you stick to characterisation as shown on the show, and that if characters act out of character, then you explain this in the context of your story. An example of this would be Season 2, (Critical Mass or Conversion). See what they did there? The whole 'there is a reason' thing? *is deliberately non-spoilery*

This also doesn't mean that stories written for certain communities won't be accepted. We look at stories, not any surrounding controversy. For example, in the past we have accepted stories that were written for 'kill a certain character' communities because in our opinion the story didn't character bash, regardless of the community for which it was written or which character was killed off.

Our rules are not in any way, shape or form intended to stifle your creativity as authors. You are perfectly entitled to write whatever stories you wish to write, whether they are character bashing or not.

And we're perfectly entitled not to archive them.
Posted by: Alyse on 10 Aug 2007 5:03 pm(22 Comments)
We have mentioned several times that, following the upgrade of the site, challenges were going to be handled differently. Rather than being a rather cobbled together solution involving posting challenges as stories, there is now a dedicated challenges module. This means that challenges don't show up in the rss feed any longer and you can now link stories written in response to the challenge to the challenge itself.

We also said that after a little while to give people time to repost their old challenges to the new area, we'd delete the old challenges category. That day has come today.

If you hadn't got around to reposting your old challenges, they're gone, I'm afraid, but you can still post them - or any new challenges - under challenges.

Posted by: Alyse on 04 Aug 2007 8:48 pm(23 Comments)
Bandwidth warning
The site may disappear at the end of this month. The upgrade is a little more bandwidth intensive and we are getting more visitors than usual, so I'd already paid for extra bandwidth.

That's not the problem.

The problem is Yahoo's search engine robot - Yahoo Slurp - which since the middle of this month has managed to gobble up more than a fifth of the site's total monthly available bandwidth - 10gb in the last two weeks.

A search on google shows that I'm not alone in having this problem. I tried slowing the robot down using the robot.txt file, but apparently it didn't work well enough. As a result, I've banned it from the sites I run entirely.

This problem will result in two things:

- we may run out of bandwidth this month, which means that the sites may go offline for a few hours (maybe as many as 24 hours) at the end of the month. As I've said, I've already arranged and paid for extra bandwidth this month, and set that up going forward so that we have a comfortable margin (or would without Yahoo). But I'm not going to pour more money into the sites for this month for one day so that Yahoo can just gobble it up. Asswipes.

- Yahoo will no longer be permitted to index this site, which means that new stories will no longer show up on that search engine. I suggest that anyone who uses search engines switches to using one that's a hell of a lot better designed and isn't having its robots banned left, right and centre as it takes sites down and eats up bandwidth and CPU cycles.

Yes, I'm a little annoyed, as you can tell.
Posted by: Alyse on 29 Jun 2007 12:51 pm(33 Comments)
Header Categories
Just a reminder that stories should not be added to the header categories. These are categories that are designed to hold subcategories, not stories.

These categories are: Ship Pairings; Slash Pairings; Threesomes and Moresomes; and Crossovers.

In other words, stories should still be added to the pairing categories. This has not changed. It's just that now you can add stories to more than one pairing category.

So, for example, if you have a story that is a slash crossover, featuring McKay/Sheppard, you can put it in McKay/Sheppard and Crossovers - Slash Pairings. You should not be putting it in the main Slash Pairings and the Main Crossover categories as well.

Thank you.
Posted by: Alyse on 05 May 2007 2:48 pm(22 Comments)
Site Downtime
As you may have noticed, the site has been down for roughly 48 hours.

We realised on Monday night that the eFiction upgrade script had removed all but the first character, genre and warning attached to a story from every story on the site. This meant that if you had John Sheppard, Rodney McKay and Teyla Emmagan attached to your story, which was angst, humour and hurt comfort, and warned for adult themes and may squick, you were left with a story about John Sheppard, angst and adult themes. This does not affect stories added to the site after the upgrade.

We've spent the last couple of days reimporting that data from a previous, pre-update backup of the site's database, as well as resolving other issues from the upgrade, for example replacing category specific characters with sitewide characters (i.e. there are no longer fifty listings of the same character if you choose to browse characters).

We haven't been able to recover all of the data, but we've recovered most of it. However, the problem still affects stories added to the site between 23 March and 28 April 2007.

If you added a story between these two dates, please check and make sure that you're happy with the meta data (i.e. that it's showing all of the characters, genres and warnings you attached). If not, please edit the story to add this information again.

Thank you.

I've also updated the Change Documentation to reflect this issue. This document is now split into three sections:

- changes to the way the site operates

- known issues

- resolved issues.

We'll keep that updated as we identify new issues or resolve them, so please check to make sure that we don't already know about it before reporting any issues.

Thank you.
Posted by: Alyse on 03 May 2007 8:38 pm(21 Comments)
Change documentation/List of Known Errors
You should now be able to contact the admins through their user profiles as I've figured out the problem. What was turned on by default in the old version of eFiction is turned off in the latest version.

It's now turned back on again, so you can contact us with any issues as well as leaving comments on this post. Be aware, however, that we don't receive notifications for comments to news items, so if you comment after we stop checking back, we won't know about it.

I'd like to repeat Tem's thanks to aithine. She delved into the depths of eFiction code and fixed a lot of the bugs that were there, as well as making sure we didn't lose some of the things we thought were important in eFiction 1.1 but apparently weren't considered important by the current eFiction development team. She also made the whole upgrade process a heck of a lot easier, and considering how much I was tearing my hair out Friday and Saturday, that says a lot :)

That being said, I realise that some things are very new and a little confusing, and other things are cropping up as we move to a fully functioning site rather than the static test sites we've been using, so I've put together a little Change Document that combines both. Please refer to it if you have any questions on how you handle things now, or if you think there's a bug. We may already know about it.

The document is here, and I'll add to it as things crop up or other things occur to me.

Thank you for your patience.
Posted by: Alyse on 29 Apr 2007 2:25 pm(31 Comments)
Wraithbait 2.0 is live!
Thank you for your patience while we upgraded! Alyse has completed the upgrade to Wraithbait, and while we know there are a few issues to tweak, the functionality is all there, new and improved.

Firstly, we owe a HUGE debt of thanks to Aithine who went way, way above and beyond any call of duty, and basically rewrote portions of the software so we could upgrade and not lose our hair doing it.

Alyse too, who spent huge amount of time on tweaking the code and the skins - and then spent last night and today sweating over a hot computer.

There are a number of changes -- which you are welcome to poke around and discover! Feel free to sign up, sign in, and play! (Note from Alyse: don't break it!)

FYI: a quick look at the four biggest changes.

First, there is a new and improved search facility! Yay!

Series and challenges are now handled differently. Please bear in mind that because of the new way Wraithbait handles series and chapters within stories, links to particular chapters will no longer work. Links to a story as a whole should be fine.

You can now have more than one author on a story as long as each author has an account on Wraithbait -- no more creating a new 'x-and-y' account!

Lastly, you can now submit stories in more than one category -- if your story is both Sheppard/McKay and Zelenka/Grodin you formerly had to pick one of the two and submit the story as a whole under Multiple Relationships. Now you can simply submit it under each relationship category. Additionally, the category formerly known as Cross-genre, for stories containing both slash and het relationships, is now known as Bitextual.
Posted by: Temaris on 28 Apr 2007 9:25 pm(23 Comments)
Story submissions are now turned off
As the title says. This means you will no longer see 'add a new story' or 'edit/delete stories' under your account until we turn them back on again.

If you do see these options, you're one of our automatically validated authors (your stories bypass the queue). Please do not submit stories until we say that the upgrade is complete. At best, you could lose your story. At worst, you could screw up the upgrade.

Thank you.
Posted by: Alyse on 26 Apr 2007 7:09 am(28 Comments)
At last! The movie you've all been waiting for...
Site upgrade. This weekend.

Story submissions will close on Thursday, 26th April. Queue will be cleared and come Sunday, I'll have gone insane. Er.

There are still some things to work out, which need to be done while it's live, so please bear with us until we've sorted them all out. If anything does go funky, by all means mail us but remember, we'll be elbows deep in coding so please adjust your tone accordingly.

Good: Hey, guys. Not sure if you're aware of this yet, but I noticed X on this page and Y on that page.

Bad: OMG! The site is totally broken in an unspecified way and you have ruined my fannish experience!

One will get you cookies. The other will get you killed.

I'll leave you to guess which.
Posted by: Alyse on 24 Apr 2007 8:48 pm(26 Comments)
Upgrading the site
As some of you will already know, we're currently very busy on working on upgrading the site to the most recent version of the software we use. There will be some changes in the way things are done around here, and there are some things that we need to iron out before we can proceed, which is why we're busy testing everything at the moment.

The biggest things that will affect most users are:

- challenges. These will now have their own module rather than the current situation, where they are treated as a story category. This means that it's going to be easier to link challenges and their responses. You will also not be able to leave 'reviews' on challenges

- the way that stories are linked in a series. Currently, sequels are submitted as additional chapters but there will be a 'series' function on the new archive, so that you can choose to link stories - both by you and by your co-authors - as series. When you create a series, you'll also be able to set it so that it's 'closed' (only you can submit stories to it) or 'open' (anyone can come and play)

- there are options in place to prevent spam reviews and accounts. I will turn anonymous reviewing back on, and you will therefore be able to leave reviews once you have verified that you are a real person and not a bot.

While we're going through this transition period, there are a few things we're going to do:

- we've turned off submissions for challenges. Any challenges that have already been submitted will have to be deleted and reposted in the right place, so now that we've decided to grasp the nettle, there's no point in creating more work for anyone :)

- if you want to post stories that are sequels, I'd suggest doing it the current way (i.e. additional chapters) or hold off for a week or so. We might not be quite so hot on enforcing that rule at the moment, but remember that it's to your benefit to link your stories so that readers can follow them easily or they might wander off and read something else instead.

- we'll announce the upgrade before it happens and shut the site down to new submissions to make sure things go right. We'll have to back up the current site in case they don't, so they'll be off for a couple of days. If you are on automatically validated status, please do not try and submit stories during this time. I'd rather not have to go through and change the settings on all validated authors' accounts to make sure that you can't submit, but if you do try and submit during the process you could mess everything up. Or lose your story.

I think that's everything, but please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, although as I said we're pretty swamped at the moment so it might take a while to respond. I'd appreciate it if people didn't contact us with routine queries until the whole thing is done and dusted. Thank you.

In the meantime, please bear with us during any teething problems.
Posted by: Alyse on 01 Apr 2007 6:35 pm(28 Comments)
Yes, this is me being bitchy
Dear fandom

Here's a radical idea for you. If you feel the need to leave a review containing the text in the subject line to this post, don't.

I could go on about how our site has a no flames policy and add yet more stuff about how we have a validation queue in place for the majority of the authors, so the admins decide what does and does not hit the site. I could also point out that everyone has the right to participate in fandom in a form that they are comfortable with, whether that is writing, issuing challenges or being one of those kind souls who tries to leave kind words on everything that they read, but frankly it's become perfectly obvious that I'm merely wasting my bandwidth.

So instead I'm going to turn off anonymous reviews.

Congratulations. You've just managed to screw it up for the 95% of anonymous reviewers who don't get their jollies by pissing all over someone else's fandom joy.
Posted by: Alyse on 30 Mar 2007 3:57 pm(36 Comments)
Delays in validating
We're down two archivists at the moment and both Leah and I seem to be swamped with other things. We'll validate stories as soon as we can, but please bear with us until Tem and Claire manage to get back online in a week or so.

Thank you for your patience.
Posted by: Alyse on 19 Feb 2007 8:22 pm(23 Comments)