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January 2020 update
Liam Dawe 22 Jan

Note: This was first posted on Patreon.

Welcome to another monthly status update for GamingOnLinux, Liam here to run over what's been going on and what's planned. This post is a bit delayed, because I constantly found something I reaaallly needed to do. Feature creep is real :D

It's been a very busy time behind the scenes, as you're about to see...

Articles

~255 articles live since the last monthly update

Redesigned the tags display inside articles for both games and genres, the big blue boxes are okay on the home page but inside articles too big and distracting. It's now a smaller friendlier list.

Linking into the above, a suggest tag feature has been added to articles. So you can now suggest genres for an article to have tagged with a dedicated feature. The ability to suggest a game tag is coming soon too!

Tags on the home page/search now correctly show Early Access/Steam Play first as they were supposed to - had to use some more modern SQL to get it right.

When you click an article tag and get a list of other articles, there's now an actual RSS icon for the per-category RSS feed support I added a while back. Just to make it a lot clearer that we have that feature! So if you only want an RSS feed of New Release, Editorial, Steam Play or whatever - you can.

Notifications

The in-website notifications system (replies, quotes, likes) had some behind the scenes upgrades, making it easier to maintain and expand.

Linking into the above, approvals from the mod queue should now respect your settings properly. So if you change your notifications to only notify you when you're quoted, it shouldn't notify you of a reply to an article when we approve from the mod queue.

Article Search

Turns out, if you were searching for articles using the tag system, the row counting MySQL was broken if you picked two tags and asked to view articles with both tags. So if you picked Open Source and Game Engine (like this, it would only return one page. This has been fixed, pagination now shows. Happy searching!

Fixed article tags with spaces in their name not showing any results. With that, I've made it so spaces are replaced with an underscore now in the URL, just to make it look a bit better.

Games Database (it's sort of live/new and very rough W.I.P!)

The featured items shown are manually set by us, different on each refresh to hopefully highlight some cool Linux games.

Actually rolled out a combined Games Database list. Here you can view ALL games in our DB and use the filters to look for free/open source games :) (eventually this will replace the free games page since it has a dedicated filter)

Thanks to the overhauled developer tagging done for the crowdfunding page, we can now list a porting studio as well as the game developer on our dedicated game pages. Here's an example showing Feral Interactive and Creative Assembly.

Added the search box to the top of game/item pages, as see in the example link above.

Added screenshots to game pages, as seen in the example linked above.

Added trailer support to game pages. It will use an existing uploaded screenshot as the thumbnail or a youtube logo if no others up. It's smart about it though, it ensures the screenshot it uses for the thumbnail is not the one that will show up next to it.

Added a search page for viewing all articles tagged for a game. Like this one for Rocket League. You can access it for each game in our database with the "View all tagged articles." link under the "GOL Articles" heading box if there's at least 5 articles tagged for it.

The developer/publisher link was made into a "friendly url" like this one for Feral to then see all games tagged by them.

On the Crowdfunding Page, at least 100 of them now have the developer/publisher attached to them. Be sure to keep submitting any we're missing from it that were successfully funded - it's the biggest list of Linux crowdfunded projects on the net!

Eventually it's going to allow comments on pages, perhaps guides, ratings and so on. I'm trying to think of it like a centralised repository of Linux games, software and information.

Over the years far too many Linux sites and databases have vanished as their owners just gave up like LGDB.org, linuxgames.com, Happy Penguin and multiple more. How long before others like ProtonDB disappear too? Hopefully by now we've proven we will not just vanish.

GOL is entirely open source and so to prevent the information being lost forever, so is our Games Database. I will provide regular monthly-ish dumps of the database tables needed, once it's fixed up some more to be actually properly useful. All of which is synced to the GitLab and mirrored to GitHub.

Wouldn't be much trouble to implement some sort of API if people ever wanted to hook into it too. Depends what people want as it expands in terms of games and details listed on game pages.

Since it's all integrated with the website, only one account across GOL comments, forum posts and the Games/Apps DB is needed.

Other stuff done since the last update:

The fun little "Cake Day" icon for users to celebrate 1,2,3 etc years on GOL was updated. Apparently the original code might not have taken leap years into account, it's now using PHP's more modern DATETIME diff for the calculation.

Updated the PHP Patreon API, should be smoother for those of you using it to manually update your Patreon status (link here.

Started moving over comments/forum posts to Markdown from BBCode because BBCode is terrible and it's about time. Currently only URLs have been changed to markdown, the rest to follow. Have to do it bit by bit to ensure no big mess-up with all the existing content.

Paid for more RAM to get added to the GOL server to stop it freaking out when we get a traffic spike. We kept hitting a wall and it caused the MySQL server to die. Thanks to supporters this is possible! It's a small extra fee per month, but worth it.

We're now tracking total user count each day, on a fancy chart you can see on our Website Stats page.

The livestream block was updated, it now lists up to 3 community submitted livestreams instead of one - with some updates to save space. If there's more than 3 submitted, the link will say so to make people aware there's more on the full page.


Sorry for no News Punch podcast lately, truthfully doing both a video (with trailers and all the editing involved) plus audio was too much work on top of everything else. Considering just doing it as audio-only, would anyone want it without the video? Let me know.

What else? Oh, I did another small bit on the Linux For Everyone podcast for Episode 20.

I've been a bit sick lately, and still am, so sorry if things are a bit slow over the next week.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 22 January 2020 at 8:12 pm UTC

Salvatos 22 Jan

Lots of little changes adding up nicely :)

Quoting: Liam DaweStarted moving over comments/forum posts to Markdown from BBCode because BBCode is terrible
[mood=drama]*Cries in BBCode*[/mood]

razing32 23 Jan

Get well soon Liam
Got the flu over here as well
And i would be ok with an audio only news punch as long as it does the job

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