Even though some considered Mark’s move to plead guilty to thought crimes in Canada questionable, fact is that the plea untied Mark from years of legal battle, and freed him to get quickly involved with Best Gore again.
Granted, he’s still in Canada where having opinions that don’t match those of the majority is a criminally prosecutable offence, but even though it’s not safe for him to start publishing again, the moment he returned from the court house on January 25, he immediately proceeded to work on fixing lasting issues with the site.
While you may not have noticed, it was January 25 when 3 months of ongoing performance issues with site being offline a lot, and barely loading when not, was put to an end. Basically, Mark returned from court and went straight on the computer to get shit sorted out. And did he ever.
With Mark now actively working in the background, we’ve also seen a whole lot of additional changes to the site. The most noticeable was the major upgrade to the design, which is now “responsive” – meaning it adapts to the platform and the size of the user’s screen. Some of the many issues the site was plagued with in Mark’s absence were caused by obsolete technologies used in the previous design, which allowed for exploitations of vulnerabilities and lead to the ongoing attacks against the site. New design, aside from being responsive, resolves these vulnerabilities.
Best Gore v3.0
Introduction of this new design launched the beginnings of Best Gore v3.0. A lot of work was put toward it to make it happen, but the ultimate test of usability had to be performed on the live site, so even though its first version was not met with great enthusiasm, once we had it on the live site we were able to pick out the weaknesses and address them. By now, what we liked about the old design was reintroduced, while what we didn’t was abandoned, so we have the best of both worlds.
We have however not stopped there, and continued working on Best Gore v3.0 to add features you’ve been asking for, while also working on providing new content every day.
No Longer Just a Blog
Fact of a matter is, Best Gore started as, and has always been a blog. Over the years, when various members asked such questions as whether it was possible to message another member privately, the default answer was that since Best Gore is just a blog, all it really offers are posts published by authors, and the ability for registered members to comment on each post. This remained the fact for 8 years, but when Mark returned to us and started actively working on upgrades to the site, he made it clear that it is his undisputed position that Best Gore has outgrown the “just a blog” phase.
Needless to say, adding social features to the site which has been designed to be a blog is a major undertaking, but once it was recognized that Best Gore is no longer just a blog, we’ve been actively moving in that direction.
Unfortunately, at that time we got also backstabbed by ProChan which resulted in all our videos being deleted, which forces us to resort to temporary measures to have some videos re-enabled, while excessive resources need to be assigned to seeking a permanent solution to the issue. Obviously, the deletion of more than 4,000 videos resulted in enormous amount of emails being sent to us asking why videos are not showing, which slows all progress on the website even more.
First Batch of Upgrades
Recently, we announced in the sidebar that the site will be taken offline for 2 hours to upgrade the database. We timed it for the historically slowest time of the day, even though for Mark it meant that he had to stay up until 4am because of his location. We got everything properly ready, so downtime eventually lasted less than 15 minutes. With it, we addressed several pressing issues with the obsolete tables in the database, which furthered hardened the website’s security and reliability.
At the same time, we introduced the first batch of social features, with the introduction of profile pages, and Twitter style bootstrapping.
Please keep in mind that this was another enormous task which will still require a lot of work to get properly running. For this reason, consider the profiles and all associated features already attempted an early Beta. A lot of work will still need to be done on them to get them right, but as was the case with the design, it is best tested on a live site, so we can evaluate in real time and in real use how it reacts.
Bootstrapping seems to work well, so it is possible to automatically link to the target profile by placing the @ sign in front of the username, however keep in mind that because Best Gore offers the possibility for members to choose their display name which can be different from the username, it is the username you have to referenced in order to get the correct link to the correct profile. Otherwise, if username doesn’t exist, no link will be created, and if it does, it will be, but it will link to a different profile. This is something many of you have already figured out and utilized very well. Glad to see we have so many savvy users on the site.
- Mark’s guilty plea allowed the site to quickly resolve underlying issues and introduce new features
- Best Gore is no longer just a blog
- Website’s design was upgraded to what’s known as “responsive design” which adopts to each user’s browser, whether on desktop or a mobile device
- New design removes security vulnerabilities of previous design and sets platform for the introduction of long asked for social features
- We have a lot of work ahead of us, but with Mark’s involvement, things are slowly but steadily moving in the right direction
What we have planned for the future is even better redesigned comment section to allow for the member’s ability to edit their own comments for a period of time after submission, to allow members to vote for quality comments and sort comments by most voted, to redesign profile pages, fix and improve activity streams, and hopefully later also introduce private messaging system. This, of course is not conclusive, so there is a whole lot more to look forward to.
An issue we are aware of that was created after the introduction of profile pages is that the ability to change the password within one’s profile clashes with our caching engine and fails. As a result, neither the old password, nor the new one will work after the attempt to change it there. However the blog’s core password reset feature still works, so passwords messed up through the use of profile’s password change feature can be reset there. We are hoping to find a solution to that soon.
BTW, we have also fine tuned Gnomes so there should be almost no disappearing comments anymore. However we will still be enforcing our comments policy published in the sidebar, to ensure the site remains uncluttered by childish bullshitry.
Stay tuned for more updates 🙂