forum New: Autosaving, custom link fields, and a huge back-end update
Started by @andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin
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@andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

Hey all! Been a while since I've had an update since I've been working on a huge backend rework the last month or so. These are mostly changes that've been necessary to implement a lot of the most-requested feedback I've gotten in the past year-ish. Tonight's release finally sees it done and I can finally get back to the fun stuff!

You can read the full list of what's new in the blog post, but here's a quick list for the forum friends:

  • All worldbuilding pages (characters, locations, items, etc) now autosave your changes. As always, all previous changes are also autosaved to each pages' changelog.

  • You can now customize what pages your link fields link to (including multiple types per link!). You can also create new link fields. Just head on over to any page's template editor and edit the link fields like you would any other field.

  • Mentioning another page in a text field (e.g. typing @ and selecting another page) will now automatically create a link on the mentioned page also.

  • The linking interface has been improved. You don't need to create multiple links and tag each page in a separate dropdown now; you have a singular dropdown per link that you can check as many or as few pages as you'd like.

  • Page changelogs now also include changes to linked pages, universe changes, and changes to tags.

  • The dashboard has been redesigned.

  • Worldbuilding pages (and their editing forms) have all been redesigned. The lists of your pages (e.g. clicking Characters or Locations in the sidebar) have also been condensed a bit to show more of your pages without needing to scroll. I also have a list alternative to the current card view as a to-do item soon. :)

  • A lot of the site, including the dashboard and notebook pages, has been optimized for faster page times and/or smaller page download sizes.

  • A ton of javascript bugs have been fixed and the total download size for all the site javascript has been reduced by around half.b

As always, please do let me know if you see anything odd with this new update. It's quite large on the back-end but should open up a lot more freedom to do more updates coming soon!

Happy worldbuilding!

@Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

Thanks Andrew! The new looks and bolder text field titles will take some getting used to but I’m glad our @ can show up in references now!

I do have one complaint though, when we go in to view our pages there is no edit button within the page, we have to go back out and find the page and go into edit mode from there. Idk if there’s a reason for that or there could be an edit button in the pages and I just haven’t noticed it yet but other then that I like the new update.

@tomat brightness_7

I think I've checked all the new features already, but there's a thing that doesn't suit me. when I want to link a page in a link field, the pages that show up aren't in alphabetical order. I kinda miss this system, because now I have to scroll and check all the pages in search of a particular one. but still, I like the update and I think it's a big improvement!

truePT

Great update as always, the autosave option is really good, no more work lost by mistake :) Thanks andrew!
Was just wondering if its possible to make the area of write when we are editing a page bigger in width like before? when writing big pages of information, its a bit harder to keep track of everything
And when select a relation on fields pre determined like magical abilitie, family relations… maybe a way to write the name of what we are looking to relate or like @tomat were saying a way to role in alphabetical order

@andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

@andrew It keeps saying that some of my characters have been "recently updated" when they haven't; is that something about the update, a glitch, or just random?

I've got a super-long-running migration that's converting all of the old links into the new style, which is probably marking pages as updated (now that links are included in changelogs). This is a one-time thing (although it's taking much longer than expected) that's probably to blame here. Sorry about that!

the pages that show up aren't in alphabetical order. I kinda miss this system, because now I have to scroll and check all the pages in search of a particular one. but still, I like the update and I think it's a big improvement!

This is good feedback. Some kind of combobox would be cool (where you could type and/or select a page from the dropdown), but I'll at least get the results sorted alphabetically in tonight's release. :)

Was just wondering if its possible to make the area of write when we are editing a page bigger in width like before? when writing big pages of information, its a bit harder to keep track of everything

I think I can get something like this working soon! Not sure if it'll be a way to structure the page in the old way or expand the box or something else, but it'd be nice to have a few options; I know the current three-column layout isn't perfect especially on smaller and/or zoomed-in screens, so that's definitely something to improve!

@Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

Now that the pages auto-save any changes we make, if we make a change to a character for example and we want to revert it to how it was before we changed it, do we just go to the change log and copy and paste it back? Because there’s been a few instances in the past when I deleted a lot of work and couldn’t rewrite it and the only way I got it back was refreshing the page without saving

@andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

if we make a change to a character for example and we want to revert it to how it was before we changed it, do we just go to the change log and copy and paste it back?

Yeah, this is probably the best way. All changes should be included in the changelog page now, so you should always be able to copy-paste from there. Eventually I'd like to add some kind of rollback feature to the changelog to revert all changes back to a given point, but that's a bit more complicated so I want to make sure I get it done right!

@halfging3r crazy worldbuilder

Okay, I really love the redesign. I just have a couple small things. One, there is no longer an obvious way to exit editing mode. You can do this with the "view this __" option, but it's not immediately obvious. It might be a good idea to consider moving that button to the top of the list/page and changing the background color of it so that it's more visible to people. Two, when viewing a page, being able to just click a button at the top of the screen to go back to the list of pages of that type was very convenient. It might be nice to get that back at some point.

Again, thank you so much! The other changes are great!

@Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

Do the links work in alphabetical order now too? I just tried to link characters in chronological order and found they’re in alphabetical, it’s not a problem for me though. I found it actually works better that way.

@ZoeVictoria

There seems to be a problem with timelines. they don’t seem to auto save I made one and though it appears in my browser history it doesn’t appear in the timeline list.

@andrew health_and_safety flash_onAdmin

One, there is no longer an obvious way to exit editing mode. You can do this with the "view this __" option, but it's not immediately obvious. It might be a good idea to consider moving that button to the top of the list/page and changing the background color of it so that it's more visible to people.

You can also exit editing mode / view the page by clicking the page's name at the top of the page, but I agree this isn't very obvious. I'll add something to make it a bit more obvious how to jump back into view mode.

Two, when viewing a page, being able to just click a button at the top of the screen to go back to the list of pages of that type was very convenient. It might be nice to get that back at some point.

For sure! I didn't realize this had disappeared, but it'll definitely find its way back to the page. :)

Do the links work in alphabetical order now too? I just tried to link characters in chronological order and found they’re in alphabetical, it’s not a problem for me though. I found it actually works better that way.

Yeah, now that the dropdowns are ordered alphabetically, browsers also sort the selected options alphabetically before sending that data over to autosave, which means they'll save (and therefore show up to view) alphabetically, also. I should be able to eventually let you rearrange them into whatever order you want, but it'll probably take a bit of fiddling with how each browser processes dropdown data, so I don't think that'll be done any time soon.

There seems to be a problem with timelines. they don’t seem to auto save I made one and though it appears in my browser history it doesn’t appear in the timeline list.

Ah, looks like there is indeed a bug in creating timelines in that they aren't automatically added to the universe you're focused on (like all other pages should be). If you filter your timelines by "All universes" in either the dropdown above the list of timelines or in the sidebar (or click this magic link), you should be able to see all your timelines. From there, you should be able to add it to the universe you want manually, which'll get it showing up in your timeline list as expected when focused on that universe. I'll get that bug fixed up ASAP and try to get it in tonight's release. I'll also look into autosaving to make sure it's working as expected.


Thanks for the feedback, everyone! It's a rather large rewrite that I'm glad has gone mostly-smoothly, but I appreciate everyone pointing out the rough edges. I'll be smoothing those out before moving onto the next big highly-requested features, so thank you for your patience!