Seeing your response to Inktober and registering our 300,000th member has filled us with determination! This is the biggest release since our launch, bringing several long-requested features, and a host of lesser tweaks and upgrades designed to improve your experience. Without further ado…
We've added per-watch and account-wide notification filters. Don't care about someone's streams? Like their art, hate their journals - or vice versa? Click "Watching" by their name and select appropriate options. If you really don't want to know, filter them site-wide, just like watches, comments or +favs.
Do you provide updates and offers through journals? Don't panic! Fans who're most receptive to such messages are least likely to disable them; and they'll still be on your user page. As for commissioners, they appreciate a personal touch – if you have something to tell them, a PM or email is best.
As for everyone else: before you enable site-wide filters, consider per-user filtering instead. You may find the ability to be selective rekindles your love of streams and journals!
You can now change your own username. BBCode/@ mentions will be automatically adjusted, and access to your old profile will be redirected; if another member requests your old name, we'll consider it, but only after a reasonable time. You'll show up under member search for your old names, and they'll be displayed on your user page for a configurable time. You can also choose to notify your watchers.
Staff renames are included, though we haven't notified your watchers. Were you missed? Let us know.
You can still send PMs with receipt disabled; a banner will prompt you to re-enable them if you want to get a reply. We plan to add the ability to restrict PMs to friends in a future release.
Performance and Infrastructure
This release focused on front-end performance: eliminating round-trips and useless fluff, while ensuring that what you do need reaches you as fast as possible… or before you ask for it! We also upgraded key content servers on the U.S. East Coast to reduce I/O load and latency, and cache more files.
* Added: We now prefetch screen files for multi-page/pooled submissions, and prerender the next page of paged lists/galleries and multi-page/pooled submissions (Chrome/Opera/IE11/Edge). 'Latest' is prerendered from the front page and notices. "Predict network actions"/"page prediction"/"prefetch" must be on, and it works best with pooled submissions (another reason to use "bulk-assign to pools").
* Reduced: ~15-20% less HTML served per page and ~5% saved by re-compressing site images. We eliminated unused script blocks, numerous comments, and unnecessary metadata and style tags. Common style/script files were merged and minified to speed delivery, especially outside Europe.
* Fixed: Browser caching of main-server content, including scripts/styles/images and private/hidden files/thumbnails. This speeds repeated access to such content, and decreases our main-server load… not that it was excessive, thanks to our cache network.
* Upgrade: Our Virginia cache now runs on SSD, reducing latency by ~80%. At peak this server handles over 100 requests a second – resulting in over 300 IOPS – and transfers over 100GB/day; not bad for 10¢/day! (We have a three-year contract, so we got the upgrade for free.)
* Upgrade: Our Quebec cache now has 1TB of disk space, up from 250GB; enough to cache every public file and thumbnail on Inkbunny. This virtually eliminates the 90ms hop across the Atlantic for other caches in the Americas. We filled up 50GB of that in just a week. Thanks again to Blu Paw Radio!
* Added: A Singapore cache to provide faster service to South East Asia. We'll deploy a VPS to serve originals to East Asia and Oceania in coming months. (We've also tested an ARM-based VPS.)
* Increase permitted number of open files on content caches to avoid delays during load. * Ensure best content server is selected if the user's ideal or preferred option is unavailable. * Don't serve the +fav/deletion scripts/variables to people who can't +fav or delete submissions/journals. * Disable queries for defunct sales and basket actions. * Precache +fav star flashing state. * Turn watching into an asynchronous action, and set the watch script to load asynchronously. * Move Piwik protocol-selection to PHP. * Limit member search to 50,000 results. (Problem? Search for 'ab', 'de'. Coders: use sitemaps.) * Optimized notification counts in notice emails. * Improve database logging and speed cleanup of temporary search results. * Be more selective about the columns returned for certain database queries. * Drop unused database index on submissions table. * Update main server kernel and RAID array firmware. * Improve performance of permissions checks during sites upgrades.
Style and Functionality
* Added: PNG and JPEG usericons, including alpha-blending. Also, resizing for all icon formats has been upgraded with unsharp filters and a linear colourspace, and we avoid JPG icon re-compression if within size limits. Lastly, the maximum icon file size has been raised to 300KB. (Upload now!)
* Changed: Drop-shadows now work via style tags, not background images. These conform to the shape of transparent/translucent images, and significantly improve the size and rendering/scrolling performance of pages with large numbers of thumbnails and user icons, but you need a modern browser (e.g. Chrome 18+, Firefox 35+, Safari 6+, Opera 16+ or Edge) to see them. IE is faster without them.
* Changed: "Members" now shows 250 most-watched members with uploads in the last month (vs. 100 and three months). This helps a wider variety of members who regularly share work on Inkbunny. Use other sites, but wish to reach our members? Try tools such as FA to IB and Art Gallery Manager.
* Removed: Options relating to the sales system, including Collections and the Bookshelf. We loved it, too; but for most it resulted in needless delay. Need to retrieve a prior purchase? File a support ticket.
* Changed: 'Logout' has been moved to the account menu to stop people clicking it by accident, especially on mobile devices. (Yes, we know mobile could be improved elsewhere. :-)
* Changed: Date/time is shown in a 24-hour format with timezone; e.g. "12th January 2015, 4:05pm" is now "12 Jan 2015 16:05 AEST", while recent relative times are like "2 hrs, 16 mins ago", providing such information in a compact, consistent format. (Configure your local timezone.)
* Added: Single-IPv6 support for the IP range feature. This is useful if you use ranges to restrict access, and have a fixed IPv6 address (perhaps via a tunnel broker). Support for IPv6 ranges will be added in a later revision. We encourage you to test your IPv6 connectivity; we're not "going IPv6-only", but your configuration must work "as web sites enable IPv6".
* Added: New site mascots by [name]Deruu[/name] and hybridkid. Hover over the mascot and click < > to see!
* Updated donation instructions; add Paym, TransferWise. * Streamline submission process, update bulk upload/file restriction instructions, and link to upload apps. * Remove alphabetical sort option for member lists; it remains the default when searching. Note: This has gone from watcher lists, too. We'll fix that. For now, change 'order=name'.Fixed in R75. * Increase font size of owner options and submission +fav bar; add staff/donor icons and gallery/PM links. * Invalid username mentions now just appear as plain text, not in red. * Added Telegram as a contact type, and updated contact detail and social network icons. * Removed outdated HTTPS status pictures from the login page and unused SSL description page. * Extend checkbox clickability to grey area on all-journal/shouts lists. * Use path-relative links on usernames for background credit in footer. * Center-align and condense footer text. Remove redundant RTA link. * Cut text instructing users to click for maximum size, redundant with tooltip. * Simplify login/create account workflow. * Standardize use of term "username" in UI. * Add Drawpile and YouTube Live as stream options. * Don't show page-count/curl for blocked submission placeholders. * Don't show your own user donation links to yourself. * Clear file picker when cancelling replacements on file editor page. * Increase visibility of upload progress meter. * Fix title on thumbnails showing updated ribbon and images with a larger version. * Add sanity checks for image resizing software and rework PNG re-compression process * Handle accessing the IP log of the guest user. * Move content delivery servers to Misc section of account settings. * Abbreviate allowed file types list and improve readability of restrictions.
These were mostly security upgrades, or things which didn't work quite right. They're fixed now!
* Fixed: Multiple timezone-related issues, especially switching to/from summer time. This was largely due to a mistake in selecting the data type used to store date/time values. The right time was stored, but the lack of a timezone when converted to a string caused several hard-to-track-down problems during the 'witching hour' - e.g. 'ever-new' streams. Should be better for next year!
* Changed: Views are now incremented on view, rather than on load, using the Page Visbility API. This prevents our preloader and search bots from increasing the view count, among other issues.
Whew! As always, if you notice anything amiss, please file a support ticket.
This will we brief, we promise…
* Added: No ads, intermissions, or sponsored surveys.