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July 2020 Update
Liam Dawe 18 Jul, 2020
Hello everyone, Liam here with another monthly update for you! Time to go over some bits done over the last month. This was originally posted first on Patreon.

Things have been a lot slower than usual (outside of normal articles), since the world has been pretty much on fire for months and we've had to do home-schooling of the little one. So juggling it all is difficult some days, I've been close to burn out here and there so I'm trying to slow down and breaaaaathe.

Here's what's been done recently:

Emoji/Smilies

During June a new Emoji picker was put online for comments/forum posts. Instead of that ridiculous long list that went off your screen, it's now a sane multi-column layout that looks much nicer. It's also now powered by our SQL DB, which means adding a new Emoji to our list super quick and easy. We may in future add special Emoji just for supporters...

Article tag searching

On the Search Page, if you use the tag picker box and only pick a single tag to view, it will now give you the nice friendly URL.

Clicking a single tag inside an article (see the tag list at the bottom of an article) always gave you a friendly URL like:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/category/Action

However if you then used the tag search box on that page and only picked a single one, it would do something like this:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/index.php?module=articles&view=multiple&catid%5B%5D=160&type=any

Now it won't and give you the nicer URL for single tags. The advantage is obviously it's easier to share, clearer and the single-tag page has the RSS feed icon :).
Just part of our work to ensure finding and sharing stuff is as easy and clear as possible.

Featured Articles

Sometimes we think an article or game is worth promoting a bit longer, so we give it a special banner right at the top of the home page. The uploader on that was re-written to support WebP for smaller file sizes. Thankfully, Apple have also decided to be sane and finally support WebP in Safari 14 so eventually we can remove the JPG fallback on it too.

PC Info

When adding your PC Info to your profiles, EndeavourOS is now an option because a whole one person asked. Don't say I never give you anything ;)

Also retired the Wine/SteamPlay questions, being based on time didn't really work with the way the survey runs. May do new questions another time that make more sense.


AppDB/GamesDB

These are the pages linked at the bottom of articles and eventually we will open up the database fully with comments, guides, user reviews, playability reports of native and Proton and so on. All of it will be open source and easily accessible, as usual from us.

- Game pages now have an automatic SteamDB and PCGamingWiki link, as long as we have their SteamID. See Factorio as an example. Part of a wider plan to have our pages be as useful as possible.

- We also now support going to pages based on the Steam ID. Like this for XCOM 2 as an example: https://www.gamingonlinux.com/itemdb/steamid/268500

- Game pages now have RSS feeds for related articles! Check out that fancy RSS icon on the page for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for example. In the "GOL Articles" box, look for the RSS icon to the right :). Just yet another way for you to keep up to date with the games you like, when we cover them.

As a reminder: you can even get a JSON readout of each item simply by adding ?json to the end like so. This is being done primarily to help anyone who wants to scrape our DB or hook something up to it somewhere.

I'm quite excited about eventually having it all properly public and advertised properly from the home page but there's still a lot of work to be done on the DB. Work on it will properly pick back up in September! Until then it's just little bits here and there to make me feel productive... :)

Readability/CSS Updates

Adjusted the Bold text style for the dark theme, to help readability. Because of the dark colours, the bold text which mostly affects comments and forum posts didn't stand out like it did on the light theme. It's now just a couple levels lighter.

We're also now supplying our own font, Open Sans, so everyone sees the same.

The HTML5 audio tag CSS also had a small tweak to ensure it stays within the article container on small screen sizes to prevent annoying horizontal scrolling.

Interviews

We're also continuing to go through our hit-list of people to bug for interviews!

These things take time though as some are just too busy, some say okay and then go silent (hi Valve) and some don't reply at all. There's more to come though for sure, with some already secured and waiting!

Missed our recent few chats with devs? Follow the Interview tag!

End notes

- Our dedicated page listing Linux games that had a crowdfunding campaign has expanded! There's now a lot more projects on there.

- Articles done since last monthly update on June 6: 255

Thank you again for all your incredible and vital support, as we've now been online for 11 years. I can't tell you how amazing this is. Thank you! Here's to another great many years of service to the Linux gaming community, however that evolves over time.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 18 July 2020 at 1:54 pm UTC
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