Lobsters has had a busy week of code to announce.
I’ve long thought that the conversations are the best part of the Lobsters community. I hope this helps grow good discussions. To avoid this also helping flame wars grow, though, the replies page does not include replies or replies to comments with negative scores (less than 1% of comments in the last 90 days).
I know many folks currently watch the thread page (for example) that’s linked from the “Comments Posted” number on their profile to see new replies to their comments. If this rolls out smoothly, in a week or so I’ll change that link to be a page of just the user’s comments, not thread, and remove the “Your Threads” link in the header. This will make actually reading someone’s comments a lot easier; it’s often hard to find them in the tree of replies.
Related to comments, there will be less comment deletion when users become inactive by deactivating or being banned. Previously all of their comments were deleted; in the future only their comments with negative scores are. (To be explicit: I did not retroactively undelete any comments from inactive users, this is only a future change.) This is like how inactive users’ stories are not deleted because that would take down any community discussion. This change preserves more discussion for the community, which can otherwise turn into swiss cheese as users leave. To balance the user privacy against the community good, though, deactivating users can now choose to disown their comments. Doing so will change the author on their comments to @inactive-user.
Next up is a much smaller feature: hat doffing, for hats that no longer apply. The first use was @jcs stepping down from being sysop, second was @zg changing employers. A doffed hat is still displayed on old comments and on profiles, but can’t be used on new comments. There’s no UI for this, please just message me if you no longer need a hat.
Under the covers, I finished some flaky deployment automation, knocked ~45% off deployment time, and fixed some logging. My thanks to @jstoja for his ansible advice. This is not exciting user-level stuff, but having deployment and backups runing smoothly has freed up time and attention for these other features and bugfixes.
And speaking of bugfixes, let me call out some recent contributions:
And thanks also to all the folks who’ve made suggestions in issues and pull requests or talked through feature design in chat.