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Shrike Alvaron
10-02-2012, 03:28 AM
Let me just start by saying when it comes to art, Weasyl is very good so far. The layout's clean, tags are easy to work with and so on. Unfortunately, when trying to upload some of my stories yesterday this was not the case for writing, at least submitting it.

The first big suggestion I have for writing is that formats other than .txt should be able to be uploaded directly. Few writers actually write stories in Notepad, meaning most of us have our stories in .doc, .docx, and .odt. Being able to upload those directly would be awesome, but failing that .rtf at least is a must so that some way to upload text with formatting is available. Currently, the only way to submit stories with formatting is through the compose function which I never could get to work due to bugs that will be posted once the site's back up and I can play with it some more. Even if it did work this presents a few issues. Namely, when you copy text from a word processor that uses line breaks between paragraphs instead of line spacing, line spacing is added to the text automatically that results in essentially a triple line break between paragraphs. I can take a picture and add it here when the site's up! So I either have to go through and delete the line breaks, or paste the story in Notepad, then copy/paste that into the compositor, then go through and manually reformat everything. Since some of my stories rely on italics to offset mental communication from verbal, that would be a pain in those instances. I do expect the line break problem is just a nature of word processors and web forms though, I have that issue on every site I've been to... Still, allowing direct .rtf uploads if not the Word and OpenDocument formats would be very helpful for writers

My next suggestion has to do with how submissions are displayed. On the front page, browse, search, user pages... Everywhere on the site submissions are only displayed with their thumbnail, unlike other sites where the title and username of the submitter is displayed as well. This does give it a nice clean look but it's a major issue when it comes to writing and indeed multimedia icons that use the default thumbnail (speaking of which, multimedia should really have a different default thumbnail to differentiate it). With the lack of titles, hover text, and the generic default thumbnails it is impossible to know anything about a literary or multimedia submission other than by actually opening it. From a usability standpoint this is completely unacceptable, but there are several ways it could be remedied. The easiest would probably just be to add hover text that shows the submission title and author when you hover over a thumbnail, but this has the downside in that you can only see the information of one submission at a time. A great way it could be handled would be to get rid of the current default thumbnail all together and replace it with a dynamically generated one that has the title and author in the thumbnail itself. This would not only make it easy to see what a writing submission is at first glance, it would also prevent them all from blending together with the default icon. A dynamic thumbnail would of course require more work to code, but not only would it be very convenient and useful for us writers, it would also make the site look better when a bunch of writing submissions are shown all at once on the front page!

Lastly, it's not actually a literary suggestion but one that I have to mention all the same. As it is, when you receive submissions or characters in your inbox they're listed on the same screen, but to actually remove them from the inbox you have to go to a second screen inside that first one, clicking on the button to modify submissions or characters. You have to do that even when you only have one or the other in the inbox, adding a pointless second click just to clear it out. Removing the need for those second screens and allowing us to check items and remove them from the first page of the inbox would be very helpful and remove the annoyance of that second click.

Okay, that's all my suggestions for now. When the site gets back up I'll see to the bug posting!

Taw
10-02-2012, 04:27 AM
Thanks for the suggestions so far!

I believe there are some encoding issues currently being ironed out, and in the past we did talk about support for literary documents in alternative formats. (I believe we may try and parse documents in other formats and output them to html - but I'm not quite certain on that!)

As for you second suggestion - Aden is currently working on a hover for the thumbnails, though it will be one at a time, as you mentioned you'd like to move away from and such.

I do like the sound of a dynamic thumbnail though, however I'm sure that'd require some discussion in our tech department, and would have to be something to look into once we're not working to squash so many bugs!

As for the last suggestion - It's been looked at, and will probably be coded differently in the future when the coders for the main site have more time to work on it, I think it's sitting as a low priority thing to fix right now.

Sorry for the short responses to your lengthy and helpful ones; I'd write more but I'm just a wee bat! @_@; (Also sleep is slowly calling for me~)

The feedback is appreciated and I'll point the necessary folks over here when I can for ya!