Hey folks, thought it would be worthwhile to give an update or two on what’s gone on lately. The past month has seen us start to ramp back up on Wikijump development, adding over 5,000 new lines of code. Quite a lot of this has been work done on FTML, the new parsing and rendering engine to replace Wikidot’s way of handling things, and that piece is rapidly approaching 1.0 status. Simply put, this is the business of taking wiki markup like asterisks around a word and turning it into actual bold text. Of course, there’s a lot more than that to cover, particularly in Wikijump where there are so many Modules and fiddly bits of behavior that people have made use of. It’s really exciting to see that particular piece near completion as it has value independent of this project.
Other work done has been the removal of old code in favor of newer, more legible code that’s significantly easier to work with. Doing this part also puts us in a position to add new features much, much easier. One such feature is a centralized system for what I’m calling Interactions. This is things like watching a page (which has never really worked outside of RSS feeds in Wikidot) or blocking a user from PMing you, but also includes new concepts like following a user, selectively blocking a user from editing a specific page, and bookmarking pages. This work is preliminary but has a solid foundation and will be crucial to improving and modernizing the way the platform works. Right now I’m focusing on the ability to follow users and be notified when they post, which forces work on some other pieces like the actual notifications system itself.
Over the next week or so I expect to see that preliminary Interactions code hit the codebase proper, and to have a little work done on notifications. The current system is going to be pretty much entirely ripped out and replaced, there are a lot of things about it that are problematic, not the least of which is the business of every site action like an application request coming as a separate private message, with no way to get rid of all of them at once. As an SCP Wiki Admin, I’ve seen upwards of 200 application messages a day. So that’s over 10,000 messages a month, which is 10,000 different rows sitting in the database for each admin until they’re deleted, which for some folks is never. I don’t think there’s need for much more than a single “Hey, you’ve got pending applications” message per wiki. Also a new system allows for much easier handling of sending notifications via email than the concoction that’s currently in the code.