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December update
Liam Dawe commented on 7 December 2019 at 7:22 pm UTC

Hello everyone, Liam here again for another monthly update!

I hope you find these monthly updates interesting. They won't always be as long, sometimes there's just not much to say that hasn't been said in actual articles

Here's some things done since the previous November update:

Crowdfunding Page:

  • Overhauled developer tagging, it now allows for storing multiple as sometimes developers team up.
  • Developers names are now links to a list of all their games. This will work better as we build up our database more.


GOTY Awards

It's coming back! We haven't run a community-voted GOTY award since 2017 but it's going to return! The page has started to get fixed up and sometime soon feedback will be requested from the community on what categories we should go for. It was in a bit of rough shape since it hadn't been touched for so long, but now most of it is working again!

The way it ran before: Every registered GOL user got one vote per category. This year though, we're going to let people have two votes per category, so you can pick a favourite and runner-up.

The main thing is, it's still going to be for Native and supported Linux games. It just doesn't feel right to stick up AAA games for Steam Play where the developer doesn't give a hoot about Linux, on a Linux GOTY award.

We had a little chat about it in the GOL Discord, which reminded us just how important it is. Users get to see what's good, developers get a little extra thank you for the Linux support and some extra visibility for them and it's a bit of fun for all of us.

Security

Something I take very seriously, is the security of all GamingOnLinux users. So I did a bit of an overhaul to our Login security/authentication. It should now be far more robust against timing information leaks on the string comparison operation used in the database lookup.

Login cookies are also now given the "httponly" option, which can help to prevent any possible XSS theft. Login cookies were also overhauled.

Misc

  • Dark theme: Text colour too dark on some search fields - fixed!

  • Dark theme: Some buttons on the login page had no text - fixed!

  • Comments: They now automatically lock when you go to edit a comment, to prevent mods/admin accidentally overwriting your edit if you do it at the same time. Lock timer opens up after 5 minutes. Extremely rare, but it has happened, so this will help.

  • Same as above for Forum posts. While doing so, a bug was also found that did not notify new users/forced moderation queue users that they had a post in a topic in the moderation queue preventing them doing another. It will now tell them as it was supposed to.

  • Comments: If JavaScript is turned off/blocked, the BBCode bar is now hidden on the comments field since you can't use the buttons. Also adjusted the message to be clear commenting still works. Just a bit of helpful tidying for those who turn JS off.

  • Login: If you use the top right link in the navbar on GOL to login while on an article, it will now send you back to the article. Same behaviour as the comments section login form. Stops people getting lost.

  • Forum: I finally hooked up forum post replies to the GOL notification system.

  • Notification system: Fixed a bug where it gave no notifications if you had it turned off for comments but on for quotes/likes - woops.

  • Distros: Added MX Linux as an option for your profiles.

  • JS: Moved multiple JavaScript files around to improve page load times.

  • Cache: Realised we were not using a cache for .svg files, we now are, should also help improve page load times.

  • SQL: Optimized multiple SQL queries that were causing some slowness. The latest comments block for example, was ridiculously slow because MySQL can be pretty dumb sometimes - cut the lookup time for it from around 1 second to 0.005 seconds.

  • SQL: Upgraded the server MySQL to a much more modern version.

  • SQL: If GOL cannot connect to the MySQL server, it will now show a slightly prettier error page rather than dump people to a white page with "SQL ERROR".

  • Articles: Turns out browser spellcheckers in Firefox don't work unless you specifically tell them to in certain HTML input fields, I've now enabled this for article titles - hopefully less errors now <_<


Just be aware, I will be away from GOL on December 24/25 and again on December 31/January 1 for spending time with family. This month is always a bit quieter anyway. But in 2020 I shall be back and raring to go!

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 7 December 2019 at 7:31 pm UTC

Ehvis commented on 7 December 2019 at 9:38 pm UTC

Liam Dawehopefully less errors now <_<

That is somewhat hilarious.

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