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Is it just me, or are story postings significantly slower?

Crumbly Writer

With the recent SOL upgrades to the new server, I'd hoped to see improvements, and while the site does seem faster, it seems like story postings now take notably longer. At first I thought it was the new scifistories site, but it seems to apply across the board, as chapters which used to post quickly can now take all day.

Is this a system problem, are the administrators overwhelmed, or has Lazeez switched from on-demand posting to once-a-day postings?

Has anyone else noticed this, or am I just having a bad few days?

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I noticed the moderator work was a bit slower just before and after the move due to Lazeez, the main moderator, being extremely busy with preparing for the move and fixing code issues after the move. Also, I took up a lot of his time while he talked me through, and debugged me, in sporting out a way to get the results out of the SoL submission wizard I like by using only html code. That needed a change to the wizard's code to allow for the font = color command to let it accept the colours of blue, red, and green the system already uses. I apologize if it impacted anyone else, but it means things no go faster with less work for both the moderators and myself.

Also, we're in the US summer, which is, traditionally, a slow posting period due to authors spending more time outside with family and friends than inside writing.

edit to add: My understanding was the moderator processing cycle was twice a day (about 12 hours apart) for SoL and once a day for FS, but never saw that in writing, just worked it out from watching when submission got processed.

Crumbly Writer

It's also likely that, since it's just starting, that scifistories isn't getting the same recognition and attention that the other sites do. Today's postings (to FS and SOL) seemed to take longer than usual, so I suspected a trend that might not be there.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


so I suspected a trend that might not be there.


You can put a large part the issue down to me. I had a close look at what is accepted in the way of HTML tags by the submission wizard, and compared it to what the tagged text codes allows, (edit add) and I use.

italic < i >

bold < b >

bold-italic < b >< i >

emphasize < em >

strong < strong >

superscript < sup >

blockquote < blockquote >

horizontal rules < hr >

H3, H4 and H5 header tags < h3 > < h4 > < h5 >

The tagged text allows a few extra things like the use of the font colours of red, blue, and green, it also lists, paragraph commands with alignments, and the br command for a single line feed, so I asked if they could be added to the approved list. He responded that the system does recognise the < b r>, < p >, < / p >, < p align = " center " > commands already, they're just not listed on the formatting instruction page. Also, the commands < font color = " xxx" > are accepted by the wizard as long as the xxx is either red, blue, or green - not a hexdecimal code or any other colour.

Since I no longer use the blockquote command at SoL, due to the way it's now processed by the wizard not suiting how I want it to look, I change that code in the tagged text to be in blue italics. By changing the blockquote to be blue italics in html and swapping my h1, h2, h3 headings to be h3, h4, h5 my cleaned up html code will be properly processed by the wizard, since it accepts everything else I use.

So I submitted a revised No Names - No Pack Drill using only html code, but it caused a major problem with the wizard. First it discovered an issue in the code for converting the font colour, then it crashed due to me having some errors in the code (faulty tags). That delayed everything for over 24 hours while Lazeez corrected the code for handling the font colour.

In the end, sorting out the changes I wanted, the code, and my mistakes the whole submission queue got held up for almost two days due to me. Thus you can blame me and not Lazeez. However, the end result is I can now prepare a file for posting much faster in the html code, and the wizard can process it faster with less work by the moderator, now. It also adds a new capability to the accepted html code. Not sure if, or when. Lazeez will be updating the page with the list of acceptable html code.

edit to add: The only tagged text command I use now is when re-posting a multi-chapter story I add in the partition command of { p }Chapter xx to indicate where the SoL posting chapter changes are.

The the above have now been tested and work.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

Is this a system problem, are the administrators overwhelmed, or has Lazeez switched from on-demand posting to once-a-day postings?


I'm a busy man that has to earn a living :)

Although, I didn't think things were so slow. Vixen's laptop was acting up for a while.

We're processing them as usual. I delayed few things on ScifiStories on purpose because they wouldn't show up as updates if I processed them when they were submitted. If you submit a story today and you submit an update right after it's posted, if the update is processed right away it doesn't get listed in the updates page.

But let me assure you, things are now running just like before, but on bigger servers.

@Ernest Bywater

No, the work done on the wizard and the posting scripts didn't delay posts in the queue.

Replies:   graybyrd  Ernest Bywater
graybyrd

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Postings to the new SciFi site go up as quickly as SOL or FS, no problems. I haven't noticed any delays anywhere in the system.

As far as coding issues, I prefer the simplicity of the "markdown" (nnn.md.txt) submission, and the results (with attention to a short-lived glitch) have been quite good. I do enjoy all the improvements Lazeez has made to give the site appearance so much more flexibility.

WLC is become an author's showcase forum, I believe.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@graybyrd


As far as coding issues, I prefer the simplicity of the "markdown" (nnn.md.txt) submission, and the results (with attention to a short-lived glitch) have been quite good. I do enjoy all the improvements Lazeez has made to give the site appearance so much more flexibility.


Since I post to several sites, including my own website and publish using ePubs (which also use html commands) I prefer the html submissions since it makes everything easier to manage (one central source instead of several).

I also utilize the { p } command to help Lazeez, working with html instead of a new source I don't use anywhere else is advantageous, plus WORD and OpenOffice automatically convert to html, while markdown generally has to be coded by hand, which again takes more time.

Ernest, we should talk about your workaround for the < blockquote > and using < h3 > and < h4 > as substitutes for < h1 > and < h2 >, as that might be a better way for me to go.

For those of you not so anal about their submission formatting, please kindly ignore the ravings of the rest of us. :)

@Lazeez

I delayed few things on ScifiStories on purpose because they wouldn't show up as updates if I processed them when they were submitted. If you submit a story today and you submit an update right after it's posted, if the update is processed right away it doesn't get listed in the updates page.

I can appreciate that, and it's useful to know. What it means is that I can't expect to submit stories mid-day (as I tried to do when moving my older stories from one site to the other).

I'm also not trying to overly increase your workload, just understand what's involved so I'll better understand when and how to make submissions (generally, each site has their own unspoken rules which have to be parsed out over time).

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


No, the work done on the wizard and the posting scripts didn't delay posts in the queue.


Well, it delayed the story I had in the queue, which is what I based my comments on.

edit to add: understandable and mostly my fault.

docholladay

As a reader I have noticed there are many times when new stories and/or updates slow down. On the other end of that scale are the times there are a ton of new stories and updates almost constantly. Usually the appearance of stories both new stories and updates (serial chapter postings) have an even flow. Some of that is seasonal however.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I'll admit, in order to get the maximum number of downloads, I'll stay up until 12:30 (after Lazeez heads home), so my posts are at the front of the list the next morning when he gets started again. Last night, I was exhausted (still recovering from my new pacemaker) so I crashed and posted the story to be posted automatically. Guess what, it didn't show up! (If I post the story at 12:30 a.m., the story will appear around 8. If I post it at 8:30 or 9, it won't show up until 4 in the afternoon!).

Since my readers expect me to post on a particular night each week, I prefer having my stories easily accessible on that day, rather than being shuffled off the 'recent updates' list. But that explains my confusion, made worse by the one-day delay on the new scifistories site.

There's a whole science to when and what days to post. Luckily, few can be bothered worrying about such trivia. 'D

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Yesterday my latest contribution appeared virtually instantaneously.

I think it's interesting to note my humble offering has accumulated a complete set of scores in a total of only 26 votes :)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I think it's interesting to note my humble offering has accumulated a complete set of scores in a total of only 26 votes :)

I think it's interesting that scifistories has NO 'top rated stories' yet, as none have gotten enough votes to earn any scores.

REP

@awnlee jawking

Read your post, so I read the story. Don't know why it is rated so low, I thought it was good. Must be a lot of Anglophiles in your audience.

awnlee jawking

@REP

Thank you for the kind words.

I assume all the 1 votes (the mode) are from Americans. Based on the stories I've read here, they hold the British Royal Family in far greater esteem than most Brits.

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

Isn't it always that way. We crucify our President (i.e. our royalty) and pay homage to yours. Of course, I doubt the people of any country care for our President regardless of who is living in the White House. Just the way the cookie crumbles.

Replies:   sejintenej
REP

If I understand what you said in this thread, you changed your writing style on the advice of your editor. Then things started going wrong. If that is correct, then maybe you should consider returning to your original writing style or a slightly modified version. The second thing I would do is give the editor's advice more consideration before trying to integrate it into a style that works for you.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej
Updated:

@REP


REP
@awnlee jawking
Read your post, so I read the story. Don't know why it is rated so low, I thought it was good. Must be a lot of Anglophiles in your audience.


I also read and enjoyed it despite my leanings. Good but there have been better:

Female voice: "Clip, clop, clip, clop, Anne; Don't ride your horse at the tea table, dear. Philip; would you like a bit of the other?"

Male voice replies "er, um, not just now dear"

(I wonder if that diatribe ever got outside the UK or whether it would work in the US of A)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
sejintenej

@REP

I doubt the people of any country care for our President regardless of who is living in the White House. Just the way the cookie crumbles.

You have had one or two good ones I could name: they are all dead

awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

Good but there have been better


That's for sure. 'In your face' humour isn't one of my strengths.

I've just discovered the 'royalty' tag. I'll add it to the story. I'd be interested to know just how many stories use it, if a premier member wouldn't mind obliging.

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

've just discovered the 'royalty' tag. I'll add it to the story. I'd be interested to know just how many stories use it, if a premier member wouldn't mind obliging.


I got 35 on a category search.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

I got 35 on a category search.


Thank you, kind sir. That's more than I expected because I expected other authors to be as unobservant as myself.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I'd be interested to know just how many stories use it,


Using tags is very helpful when looking for a story, however, not all tags have been around since SoL started. Thus, you usually only see some tags on stories written since the tag was introduced or where the author noted the new tag and went in to adjust the entry to include the new tag.

In short, don't assume any one tag is on every story that should have it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Cold Creek doesn't use it for the Defenceman series.

AJ

Replies:   Grant  Ernest Bywater
Grant

@awnlee jawking

Cold Creek doesn't use it for the Defenceman series.

Royalty is unlikely to be a squick for someone (if it is then nothing you do will be right with someone that disturbed), and in his stories it was just a minor part & not the main core or theme of the story.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@REP

A little background: I'd originally gone with a professional editor to learn how to self edit. However, after ripping the heart out of the book (making it no longer sound like my book), she'd only cut 20% of the overall text, whereas many authors here claim to regularly cut 30% or more on their first pass over any given chapter.

It was then I decided that, if I wanted shorter books, I needed to write shorter books upfront, rather than books which were so packed with information you couldn't cut anything.

I then reduced the plot complication which often upset whole segments of my reading population (like women who wouldn't touch my "Great Death" series), and dramatically reduced my chapter lengths from 4000 to 10,000 words to 1,500 to 4,000 words.

The books are much easier to read, and the story gets started faster. What's more, I'm getting great responses/reviews, however the scores remain low, so it's entirely possible many like the story, while another contingent are scoring it low because it's not as dense, but until they start complaining, I'll never know why they dislike it.

As I said, I used to purposely complicate my plots to make them more compelling, but eventually discovered it tended to scare many general readers off. Unfortunately for that idea, my books generally don't appeal to a general reading market in the first place.

@awnlee

That's more than I expected because I expected other authors to be as unobservant as myself.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Lazeez keeps adding new tags, but doesn't always announce it unless it's an entire new category, so it's not uncommon to uncover new ones when launching a new story.

awnlee jawking

@Grant

Good point. From recent discussions here it seems conservatism is the name of the game when using story codes, and only major themes and potential squicks should be identified.

Purely from the boggle of mind angle, I wonder who might find royalty a squick?

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Cold Creek doesn't use it for the Defenceman series.


It's not a significant part of most of the story, although I suppose he should use it in the later part.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I'd be interested to know just how many stories use it


The majority of the Clan Amir stories revolve around members of a royal family, but in most of the stories the royal connection is a minor thing, at best, thus only the stories where it's a major aspect of the story do I tag it as royalty. You need to assess the relevance of any tag to the story.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I wonder who might find royalty a squick?


Bolsheviks, Communists, and French revolutionaries.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Purely from the boggle of mind angle, I wonder who might find royalty a squick?


The founders of the United States absolutely detested royalty and nobility.

US Constitution:

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.


There are still a few Americans who hold strong anti-royal sentiments.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

How many US founders read SOL nowadays? :)

I guess your second point eliminates the possibility of, "Arise, Sir Barack!"

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

I guess your second point eliminates the possibility of, "Arise, Sir Barack!"


Nope.

1. That was still part of the first point.
2. He could accept a knighthood after he leaves office provided he doesn't end up with some other government job somewhere.

How many US founders read SOL nowadays? :)


None, but you seem to have missed my real second point which was there are areas in the US where that anti-royal sentiment still persists.

sejintenej

@Dominions Son


Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

Just a thought about Obama whose family origins were in Kenya under British rule. Some British titles are handed down from father to son and some were given to Commonwealth citizens. If Barack had inherited one such title could he have been in any US government position let alone President? Note that he would not have accepted the title AFTER holding an office.....

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

If Barack had inherited one such title could he have been in any US government position let alone President?


If he legally inherited a title of nobility first, that would not disqualify him from the Presidency. On the other hand, he could not accept such an inheritance while serving as President.

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