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Release 0.4.0 -- ALPHA
querki
jducoeur wrote in querki_project
Okay, time for me to stop making excuses and just open the doors. This morning's release is officially being declared Alpha. There are still scads of bugs, misfeatures and UI flaws, but I'm using it more and more myself, and I think we're now at the point where it would be useful to get more eyes on it.


There have been several fixes since RC3:

IE9 Improvements: Kate pointed out that the new Pick List functions don't work for her, so I went in under the hood using IE10's IE9 mode, and found a critical problem. It turns out that you are not allowed to put a form element inside of a p element, which had simply never occurred to me as a limitation. I get the impression that that is technically never legal in HTML, but becomes a severe problem in IE9 (and probably earlier), because Internet Explorer (in Microsoft's Infinite Wisdom) *rewrites* the HTML arbitrarily so that it becomes legal. But of course, that breaks the form.

This was actually a complicated problem for me, because of the wikitext layer. Double-spacing automatically becomes a p tag in Markdown (which QText is based on), so you wind up with a lot of paragraphs silently in your output. I *could* probably change things so that this doesn't happen for forms, but when I really examined this in the code, I found scads of tricky edge cases.

The actual fix was dramatic conceptually, but may not actually affect anybody in practice: I've eliminated paragraphs in the displayed HTML, in favor of div's. When you double-space in QText, you will now get a div with class="para". The look and feel *should* be roughly the same as an ordinary p tag; please tell me if you find problem cases. This makes the forms legal, and stops IE from mucking with them. And since p is really mostly a special case of div at this point anyway, I don't think it should break anything.

Fixed attachments: that is to say, photos. Anybody looking at the Wedding Space last week would have found that the photos and other images (including the background) weren't loading. This was just a dumb oversight on my part a week or two ago, a side-effect of the changes in Space ownership.

(Basically, Spaces were originally owned by a User. The problem is, the *path* of the Space is derived from an *Identity* -- so the path potentially leaked information about the User/Identity relationship, which isn't kosher. I'm making a sincere effort to build the system so that you can have multiple distinct Identities in Querki, which aren't visible to anyone else. So I rewrote the internals a couple of weeks ago, to make Spaces always owned by an Identity instead, and missed a dependency from the picture-display code. There will be long-term ramifications for Space ownership in the long run, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

Profiles, and Change Password: I realized, a couple of weeks ago, that the master admin account (which had, of course, been created back in the dawn of time) still had a craptastic password. That's clearly unacceptable if the system is going live, and needed to be changed. I considered simply going into the DB and changing it by hand (the way I did things when I first built the accounts table), but it would be a hassle to do the hash-encoding manually. And besides, that's cheating.

So instead, I blew in the first draft of the Profile page. From the upper-right menu, there is now a "Your Profile" link. Choosing that brings you to a page that shows a little basic information about your account (not very much yet) -- but most importantly, allows you to change your password. Nothing terribly interesting or esoteric about it, just one of those routine functions that every system needs to have.

That's now available for use when needed. (But there is not, as of yet, a "recover my lost password" feature, so please try not to lose it.) And the master admin account now has an appropriately high-strength password, so I can sleep a bit better at night.


And with that, I think I'm officially out of excuses for delaying. Alpha is now open. The system works on an invitation basis -- as previously mentioned, anybody can invite anybody to share in their Spaces, and I will gradually upgrade invitees to full status. If you are itching to jump right into trying it out, tell me, and I'll send you an invitation in due course.

Next up: write a freaking Tutorial. The system is decently easy to use (I think), but it'll be helpful to have a really concise intro. Also, there are some critical scalability enhancements needed ASAP, before we have more than a few people using it. And in general, I finally get to start playing with the million stacked-up stories in the to-do list...
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Thanks! At this point, the main holdup is a draft TOS -- I'm reluctant to give full access to anybody except family and very close friends until I have a mechanism for that in place. But that should get done in the next week or two...

I think divs are a good way to go. Preferred in some cases. I'd defer to CSS and DOM experts, but I can see some advantages.

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