Monday, March 27, 2006 1:08:43 PM
With today's Opera Community update, we have launched a feature we are fairly excited about: Watches.
Watches are an extension of the now-retired "news" feature. The news feature would notify you whenever someone commented in your blog or photo albums. Watches on the other hand, will allow you to have similar tracking in both your own and other users' blogs and photo albums.
Think of watches as a community-wide tracker of seen and unseen content.
Currently we have these five watches available:
- Watch a blog for new blog posts
- Watch a blog post for new comments
- Watch a user for new albums
- Watch an album for comments to one of its images
- Watch an image for new comments
The album watch takes precedence over the image watch (i.e., if you have a watch on an image, then later start watching the album the image is in, the image watch will be removed).
We plan to expand the watchable content to eventually cover most of the community (e.g., merge it with the subscription feature of the forums, add watches for new skins/widgets/wallpapers and comments for these).
Hopefully, you'll stop by the forum and tell us what's good and what's not good[/quote] about the new feature once you've tried it out.
Another nifty feature is the tag cloud for blogs. You can find it in your archive page and a smaller one in the blog sidebar. Depending on the amount of blog posts you've posted, and how good you've been at using tags consistently and often, the tag cloud can look everything from fantastic to downright boring
In any case it does however give a nice overview of often-used tags (in bold and large text), and lesser used tags. It only shows the 50 most used tags, so if you have used more than 50 different tags, the lesser-used won't show.
Apart from the Watch feature, I am very excited about our new one-column designs which Fred has made. I dig minimalistic interfaces, and thus the current blue-white I'm using suits me perfectly.
The designs are one-column designs, and slims down the page significantly.
The Front Page
You might also have noted that the front page is a bit different. We are now displaying blog posts which we think are cool there, along with news and happenings from the Community Blog.
Hopefully this will make for a more dynamic and alive front page.
I have finally taken it upon myself to fix the [code] tag, which has been broken for at least half a year. The code tag should now do what is expected: reproduce the tag content verbatim.
For too long, it hasn't, so I am expecting that a lot of workarounds people have spent time on figuring out will break---something I am truly sorry for. However it needed fixing.
As a part of a drive to make the Opera Community become more stable and enjoyable to use, we have behind the scenes totally rewamped our file upload systems. These include the photo album image uploads, file uploads, and skin/widget uploads. We have replaced a proprietary library with a widely-used standard library, making for more robust uploads. Hopefully this will relieve some of the issues people have had with image uploads, although I know it is not a silver bullet.
In the not too distant future we expect to have image uploads running on a dedicated box, where people can upload large ZIPs into an insertion queue. This way we should solve quite a lot of our current problems, and make the photo album service much more robust, efficient and user friendly.
In the coming weeks we will be working on optimising and stabilising our current hardware and software architectures, hoping to give you folks a better user experience around here.