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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

Moderator Contact?

Geek of Ages

Something went wrong with the posting of the latest chapter (29) of my story The Runaway. I am not in a position to re-post; how do I get ahold of a moderator to potentially fix it?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Geek of Ages

Top of the main site, there is a menu point 'Webmaster'. You can reach the administrator by sending a message and he always reacts very fast.

Ernest Bywater

use the webmaster link in the top right corner of most of the site webpages

REP

Geek of Ages,

Your situation seems very odd to me. Since you are in a position that allows you to post to the Forum, I would say you should be able to repost the story.

As EB and Robberhands said, the Webmaster link is always an option for contacting the moderators. If that isn't appropriate, perhaps further information would be needed to provide an answer to your problem.

Replies:   Geek of Ages
Geek of Ages

@REP

I'm currently only on mobile

Replies:   REP
REP

@Geek of Ages

I am not aware of the capabilities of mobile, so I assume you are saying that mobile doesn't allow you to post stories.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@REP

He might just not have a copy of the chapter in question on his mobile device.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater

I've just sent Lazeez a message to look at this thread. He may contact you via the SoL message system, so watch you Home Page for a new message from him.

Depending on what the posting error was, Lazeez may be able to fix the problem from the file you lodged, or he may not. In the past I've had some errors where he was able to repost the story from the submitted file to fix up a problem, but there have also been issues where the lodged file was corrupted, as well.

FYI. The Webmaster link used to be an email link, but now it uses the SoL Message system.

Geek of Ages

Some of it is that on mobile, I have a slew of symbols in the upper-right, and I'm not actually sure what they all are—just that one of them is "log out", but I'm not sure which one.

Some of it is that I'm only getting short bursts of time to address things.

Thanks for calling attention, Ernest. Of course this sort of thing happens when I'm otherwise indisposed. Murphy's Law and all that.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Geek of Ages

Some of it is that on mobile, I have a slew of symbols in the upper-right, and I'm not actually sure what they all are—just that one of them is "log out", but I'm not sure which one.


The arrow up is the log out. The question mark is the help page, the circle with cross in it is the preferences and the heart is the webmaster link.

I saw this thread in the morning and looked at the chapter in question. I saw the marker at the end and removed it. Anything else about the file that needs fixing?

Replies:   Geek of Ages  Capt. Zapp
Geek of Ages

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Looks fine to me now (aside from typos I'll fix when I get a chance). Thanks for helping out, and sorry to cause so much trouble.

Capt. Zapp
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


Anything else about the file that needs fixing?


I noticed 2 instances where the _text_ was not converted to italics in the original posting. Haven't looked to see if they are fixed.

ETA - They're corrected.

REP

@AmigaClone

He might just not have a copy of the chapter in question on his mobile device.


I would be surprised if he did.

My initial assumption was his file was on his computer and he was having a problem that prevented him from accessing the file. But with his computer 'down', I couldn't see how he could post to the Forum because I didn't think of him using a mobile device.

Frankly, I don't see why fixing a story/chapter is so critical that he would need to have a moderator expend their time fixing a problem; rather than waiting a few hours to get to the computer on which the story resides and reposting the story/chapter.

Dominions Son

@REP

rather than waiting a few hours to get to the computer


Why the assumption it would only be a few hours? He could be out of town on business or vacation and it could be days before he could get back to his home computer.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Frankly, I don't see why fixing a story/chapter is so critical that he would need to have a moderator expend their time fixing a problem; rather than waiting a few hours to get to the computer on which the story resides and reposting the story/chapter.


Wasn't he the person who posted about their PC going off line and not being available for several days for some reason. If that was the case, or he was away for work and didn't have the computer with the story files, then it would be days before he could fix the issue himself.

REP

He could be out of town on business or vacation and it could be days before he could get back to his home computer.


True, but is fixing a post really that critical?

Ernest Bywater

@REP

True, but is fixing a post really that critical?


for some people, yes - I know when a story post of mine gets mangled in the SoL Wizard I can expect a swag of emails telling me the post is messed up. The quicker a fix, the less emails from upset readers.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

That sounds like a justification for a 'preview' facility.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

That sounds like a justification for a 'preview' facility.


There is one, but even then there's a risk of something going wrong during the processing by the Wizard software. I've had files get mangled despite them being properly coded and displaying properly in the previewer. I sometimes think I may be the Wizard's beta tester for Lazeez, because I use just about every type of extra text display option he allows, and if there's any issue with the Wizard's code you can be sure one of my posts will be the first to find it.

http://storiesonline.net/author/formatPreviewer.php

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Thank you. You learn something new every day.

Does it show SOL's page breaks? I dislike it when there's a break in the middle of a sentence.

AJ

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@awnlee jawking

Does it show SOL's page breaks? I dislike it when there's a break in the middle of a sentence.


There should never be a break in the middle of a sentence. If that ever happen (sometime after a repost), you should report it so that we can trigger the scanner and update the break point.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thank you.

I'll report it if I see it again in the future.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Does it show SOL's page breaks? I dislike it when there's a break in the middle of a sentence.


No, it doesn't. But you can usually work that out by the character count which is, from memory, 12,000 including text, punctuation, spaces, and code. So if you use html and a line reads as below as proper code without the extra spaces I put in to stop nit running, you have 41 characters for three words of text due to all the code.

< p > < i > < b > Note: < / b > Italics message < / i > < / p >

What makes it hard for many people is if you lodge a text document the html code is added by the system, and thus the actual character count will go up without you being aware of it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

But you can usually work that out by the character count which is, from memory, 12,000 including text, punctuation, spaces, and code.


It's 55K characters.

From the posting guide on the author page:

Due to various technical reasons, we try to keep the length of each file served from the site below 55,000 characters (approximately 12,000 words). Any story or chapter longer than 55,000 characters will be served in pages on the site, just like in a book.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Dominions Son

It's 55K characters.


Due to the change from straight quotes to curly ones, I changed the limit from 55,000 bytes max chunk size to 58,000 bytes.

However since we use UTF8, which uses up to 3 bytes for English, character count, which includes html codes, isn't something you can easily rely on. So you can't control exactly where your text is split. Sometime you do a character/word count in your word processor and you would get something like 40,000 characters, but when you look at the actual file size you'll find it different (always equal or higher) because of some characters using more than one byte for encoding.

So for example if you produce a chapter or story that is 56,000 characters, not including any particular formatting, it might end up split if you have a lot of dialogue as each curly quote, m-dash, etc..., use three bytes. If you have a lot of italicizing or bolding, that will add to the file's size.

A 55,000 characters file shouldn't get split in general, but you never know. So a 57 KB file might result in two 30KB pages. Pages range from 29KB to 58KB in size.

However, the system is not dumb and blindly splits at equal chunk size regardless of where it splits.

The way it works is that it looks for a paragraph break after the chunk size in bytes. So a file of 60,000 bytes should get split at 30,000 bytes. But if 30,000 bytes happen to be at the beginning of an overly long paragraph, the first page might end up being 31,000 or more characters.

But it should never ever split in the middle of a sentence or word. When that happens it means there was an error that resulted in faulty chunking and you should report it to me for fixing.

Replies:   Dominions Son  madnige
Dominions Son

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

However since we use UTF8, which uses up to 3 bytes for English, character count, which includes html codes, isn't something you can easily rely on.


But it's still going to be way bigger than EB's 12K characters.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

It's 55K characters.


Sorry, you're right - I tend to think of it as the 12,000 words limit the 55,000 characters usually comes out to. I use a personal limit being 10,000 words.

That'll teach for going from memory instead of checking the website again.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I tend to think of it as the 12,000 words limit


The problem is that your post above said 12K characters, not 12K words. If you had said 12K words, I wouldn't have commented on it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

The problem is that your post above said 12K characters, not 12K words. If you had said 12K words, I wouldn't have commented on it.


i realised that, and my mistake, which is why I apologised for the error and then explained why it occurred.

Geek of Ages

@REP

I'd rather not get reams of mail alerting me to the problem for the week and a half before I get back to my laptop (which is in perfect working condition, but halfway across the country). Especially when the error is easily fixable by a webmaster.

madnige

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

But it should never ever split in the middle of a sentence or word. When that happens it means there was an error that resulted in faulty chunking and you should report it to me for fixing.


I've certainly seen this reading some older stories - do you want to be informed of such occurrences seen in the future so they can be fixed?

The way it works is that it looks for a paragraph break after the chunk size in bytes. So a file of 60,000 bytes should get split at 30,000 bytes. But if 30,000 bytes happen to be at the beginning of an overly long paragraph, the first page might end up being 31,000 or more characters.


Surely it would be better to look for the last paragraph break before the chunk size - depending on how the code is written, this could be as simple as noting the position of each paragraph break as it is found, then using this as the break point (and "I've processed to here" pointer) when the chunk size is reached (effectively backtracking to the most recently seen paragraph break). If the last paragraph was particularly long, so that the next chunk is in danger of being too long, re-apply the splitting decision/algorithm to the remainder of the text - the worst case then is that you get an extra page, rather than potentially a messed up posting because the text overflowed a buffer or field.

Ernest Bywater

@madnige

I've certainly seen this reading some older stories - do you want to be informed of such occurrences seen in the future so they can be fixed?


Yes, report them - he said that in the last paragraph of his post.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@madnige

I've certainly seen this reading some older stories - do you want to be informed of such occurrences seen in the future so they can be fixed?


Yes, always.

Surely it would be better to look for the last paragraph break before the chunk size


Not really. PHP has a find string function with an optional starting point. So I can say find '< /p>' starting from character 30000 or something like that and it returns its location in the file.

The way it works now in pseudo-code:

0 - max chunk size = 58000
1 - if file size > max chunk size then divide file size by max chunk size to count chunks
2 - divide file size by count of chunks found to get the actual size of the chunks
3 - find paragraph break after the end of each chunk
4 - Save break positions with file record in database

so for a file of 200000 bytes.

round up(200,000 / 58,000) = 4
200,000/4 = 50,000
find paragraph breaks after 50,000, after 100,000 and after 150,000
save as [50029,100145,150039] (values found)
Page 1 from 0 to 50029
page 2 from 50030 to 100145
page 3 from 100146 to 150039
page 4 from 150040 to end

Baltimore Rogers

Last night I had the same problem as Jay had at the start of the thread. I previewed the chapter many times before first posting. The actual posted text (v 1.00) was missing my teaser at the end.

Before reposting I previewed the text at least twice. The reposted text (v 1.10) went up nearly immediately but was missing about one third of the chapter (at the end), and, of course, that pesky troublemaking teaser.

Before re-reposting, I previewed the text AGAIN. 8 hours after reposting, my update request is still in the submission queue.

A little over one hour after my re-repost I sent out an admin request. I got no response, much less a rapid one, and 6-7 hours after that request the chapter is still broken.

Help!

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