Challenge of the Week CCXXIV: Operation Ted Bundy
It's been a minute or two. Hard to believe that 2021 is about to be over!
We have a brand-new, in-house newsletter system that Z has been working on, in addition to a handful of new features. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, we are revamping our Challenge of the Week. Looking forward to reading what ensues:
You're a female mercenary paid to go back in time as a decoy to be Ted Bundy's first victim. Your job is to remove him, and return with his brain for study.
Beta Update 9/15/21
Greetings fellow Prosers,
A long awaited update on the beta site has finally arrived. It'll look familiar to those of you who've tried out the beta, but with a few highly-requested features.
We added the search function to the beta. You can find it at the bottom-left side of the navigation sidebar.
You can now edit and re-arrange chapters of your books. When editing a book, select "Chapters." Then you can click and drag to re-order them, or use the "Add Existing Post" or "Write a new Chapter" buttons to add other posts to your books.
Login with Twitter is now functioning properly on the beta.
Email notifications were disabled, then enabled, then disabled. They should be in working-order on the beta. We had to do a lot of work to prepare for our new newsletter system. The newsletters will resume regularly upon the full release of the beta.
Under the Hood
We completed the final slew of updates and changes needed in order to update the site, and... eventually... the app. These changes may result in some pages not being laid out correctly. We've done our best to manually test everything but if you encounter a bug, please don't hesitate to email us!
The update will be coming very soon to a Prose near you. We have no immediate plans to retire the old site, which will remain accessible at https://old.theprose.com. If there's anything else you'd like to see in the update, or any old functions that aren't supported or aren't working properly on the new site, please let us know. We want the update to be strictly an upgrade - i.e. there's nothing on the old site that can't be achieved or is in any way degraded on the new site.
If you haven't had a chance to check out the beta, please do so! You'll find the future at https://beta.theprose.com. Comment on this post or email us with any feedback, concerns, or suggestions.
Challenge of the Month XXVII
Why, hello there. It's been a minute or two.
We are making this announcement via Prose, versus the newsletter, due to a pending change in software. Hang tight for now. In the interim, and cutting to the chase, you may recall that last month's premium challenge prompted you to write an alliteration. The longest alliteration's author wins $50. Drumroll. Here are the editor's picks:
a day in the life, by CatLady1:
(MAG)PIE, by Mnezz:
An Acrostically Alliterative Abomination., by EstherFlowers1:
swan songs, by WhiteWolfe32:
Samson, by rlove327:
And the winner is...
...wait for it...
The Thalassic Thaumaturge: The Task To Trap Them., by CompassCreates:
We are about to message you requesting PayPal info to send your earnings.
In the meantime, this month, enjoy a $500 prize times existentialism:
Let's keep it a glorious week, everyone. Until next time,
Prose Beta Update 3/25/21
Another midnight beta update for you all. It's probably a mistake releasing code this fresh off the press, but we love you so we'll do it anyway.
Bug Fix: Email Notifications
Email notifications weren't working properly. You should now be receiving emails in response to comments, likes, messages, etc, as well as new sign up and password reset emails.
Bug Fix: Instant Notifications
There was a bug with Prose's instant functionality. You should have been receiving alerts in response to comments, likes, messages, and direct messages without having to refresh the page. But you weren't; because it was fucked. You should now receive instant alerts as intended.
Bug Fix: Spell Check
Apparently spell check wasn't working on the post editor. Yikes. Now it is; but if you're using Safari you may have to contend with the dreaded autocorrect. Godspeed.
New Feature: Comment Replies
Lengthy comment threads are difficult to keep track of, especially when there are multiple conversations happening in the same thread all at once. We added comment replies to remedy that issue. You can use the little reply icon next to the comment time indicator to reply to a comment. As a bonus, we also added insant commenting. There should be no need to refresh the page to see new incoming comments on a post that you're currently viewing.
Next up, we'll be addressing issues with Books. In particular, adding/editing chapters, which is not in a pretty place on the beta. It'll get a lot better soon.
Let us know what you think of these updates by commenting on this post or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you like 'em. If you haven't had a chance to try the beta and you're wondering what all the fuss is about, join us at beta.theprose.com.
Prose Beta Update 3/23/21
A quick midnight update has just landed! Here are the highlights.
Bug Fix: Messages
The messages page was showing some deleted/undeleted conversations, which was throwing things out of whack. This should now be fixed.
You should now be able to delete conversations on the messages page by hovering over the conversation you want to delete in your inbox.
Bug Fix: Challenge Submissions
The bug preventing new challenge submissions from being made has been fixed. Additionally, you should see proper error messages when trying to publish new posts.
A few other bugs were squashed as well, though they were more rare. Next up we'll be looking at book editing and adding/removing/reordering chapters of books.
If there's something you'd like to see on the beta site, be sure to let us know. And if you haven't had a chance to check it out, you'll find it at beta.theprose.com.
Prose Beta Update 3/22/21
Good afternoon Prosers,
Thank you all so much for helping us test out the new Prose Beta! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you’ll find it at beta.theprose.com.
Here are some updates we’ve made, based on your feedback.
Bug Fix: Blocked Users
Some folks noticed content appearing from users they had blocked/had blocked them. There was indeed a bug that has since been reconciled. You should no longer see any messages, notifications, or anything else from users you’ve blocked.
Navigation: Writing Desk
We received a number of questions about how to find your list of posts/challenges/books, including unpublished posts and books. The writing desk is still available on the new site, but it’s been condensed to a single page. That page is now accessible from the primary sidebar nav. We’re still iterating on the design of the writing desk, which is intended to be a one-stop-shop for editing and managing all the content you’ve created.
Design: Challenge Prompts
You can now hover over the challenge icon on a post to see the prompt.
We’ve received feedback that the new navigation sidebar is too bold/distracting. We agree! We’re still iterating on the navigation design. One of our objectives with the redesign is to provide consistency of navigation across the site. The idea of the new sidebar navigation is to surface all the commonly explored areas of Prose in one place, which is only one or two clicks away, and have sorting take place in another. Currently, that means navigation on the left, sorting on the top. The current (old) site uses a topbar nav, which drastically limits the number of navigation items it can easily surface. For a site like Prose, which allows you to explore posts, challenges, books, portals, and authors, this is a tough constraint. If we were to return to a topbar nav, we’d either have to place all the commonly visited surfaces of Prose inside of a “hamburger” menu, or we’d have to surface all those areas via a single “Explore” page. For the time being, we’ve reduced the font size slightly and reduced its overall width.
Bug Fix: iPhone Zoom
iPhones were zooming inputs (like comment fields) when those inputs were in focus. This zoom caused other UI elements of the site to be zoomed as well. We’ve bumped up the default font size by 1px to avoid this zoom.
Bug Fix: Collapsing Comment Tags
Comment tags weren’t being properly collapsed to read ”@Me @You and X others”.
That’s what we’ve done so far, with much more to come. We are actively listening to your feedback, and want to incorporate as much of it as possible. Please continue to comment and share your feedback here. Don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com. We read all our emails, but we can’t guarantee reading each and every post/comment made here on Prose.
Here are some of the things you’ve asked for.
Currently, there’s no way to delete direct message conversations on the beta site. We know, it’ll be added soon.
Search is missing on the new beta! Fear not, it’s coming.
Challenges page is “unrelentingly white”. We agree, we’ll figure out how to add a splash of color.
Bug: Can’t Enter Challenges
We’ve heard challenges can’t be entered on the beta. We’ll investigate that ASAP.
Some folks want to be able to see themselves when browsing the popular authors page. We here you, we all have a bit of narcissist in us.
We LOVE dark mode. It’ll make its way to Prose, eventually.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t take any inspiration from Twitter, especially for the sidebar navigation. We’re constantly looking at other sites to see how they solve some of the same challenges we face. We definitely want Prose to retain its character and charm. As such, we’ll definitely be iterating on the design (especially the navigation) in the weeks to come. However, we believe the heart and soul of Prose is not its design, but rather, its authors. It’s all of you who breathe life onto our pages.
Timing and the Old Site
Just so we’re all on the same page, we’ll leave the new site in beta (accessible at its own url) for as long as it takes to iron out all the bugs and address your concerns/feedback. We estimate that’ll take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. After that, we’ll make the new site the default site. But the old site will remain accessible at old.theprose.com for the foreseeable future. We can’t remove the old site until we’ve updated the iOS app as well. Spoiler alert: a new iOS app is on the horizon, as is a native Android app - hoorah!
We hope this provides some transparency as to what we’re currently working on, and plan to be working on. Please keep the feedback coming!
The Next Chapter
Greetings fellow readers and writers. It’s been some time since we last updated Prose. Today we’re excited to provide a peek behind the curtains and give you a glimpse of what we’ve been working on.
Over the years, as we’ve added features and functionality to Prose, the app and its codebase have become increasingly unwieldy. As such, we decided to reimagine and rebuild Prose from the ground up. It’s still the same site you know and love, insofar as a Toyota Camry is just as much a car as a Porsche 911.
We’ll have more exciting announcements in the weeks to come; but for now we hope you’ll give the new site a test drive and let us know what you think. You will find the next chapter at beta.theprose.com and we encourage you to share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bug Fix: Load Times
We found just one bug, a single, solitary line of code, responsible for slowing down just about everything on the site. A fix was administered that should drastically speed up Prose site-wide. Enjoy! :)
We’ve fixed a bunch of bugs and made a few other quality-of-life improvements. If any of these bugs don’t seem fixed, or you know of any others that remain unfixed, please let us know in the comments below.
Performance Improvement: Stream
Some optimizations have been made to improve the stream (home screen) loading time. In most cases, it was taking far too long to load posts from authors you follow.
UI Improvement: Message/Block Buttons
New message/block buttons have been added to user profiles. These buttons appear both on desktop and mobile versions of the website in the upper right, near the profile picture.
Improvement: Challenge Browsing
We removed the filter that, when browsing challenges, hid most challenges by authors you do not follow. You will now see all challenges when browsing. This is experimental. If it ends up swamping you with challenges, let us know and we'll revert the change.
Bug Fix: User Swapping
A bug that previously caused profile pictures, comments, posts, messages, and other things to appear as though they were created by the wrong user has been fixed. This bug was particularly common when posting new comments and sending new messages.
Bug Fix: Liking/Reposting
A bug preventing likes and reposts from registering properly has been fixed. This affected posts that were part of a concluded challenges. Affected posts have been modified to reflect the correct like/repost counts.
Bug Fix: Challenge Resolutions
A bug that prevented challenges from properly resolving upon reaching their deadline has been fixed. This prevented winners from being notified when their post was selected, and challenge creators from being notified when it was time to pick a winner. Both issues have been fixed.
Bug Fix: Usernames with Hyphens
Hyphens were never intended to be allowed in usernames. All usernames that previously included a hyphen have had that hyphen replaced with an underscore. New usernames will not allow hyphens.
Bug Fix: Autoscrolling in Messages
A bug that prevented the message window from scrolling to the bottom when opening a conversation has been fixed. The window should now properly scroll to the bottom of a conversation when a message window is opened.
Bug Fix: Attach Portal
The “Attach Portal” button is now properly greyed out when editing a post. In the future, we will likely allow for posts without portals to be retroactively added to a portal.
Happy New Year!
A couple quick updates to start off 2019.
Challenge of the Month
We're working our way through the entries for November and December's Challenge of the Month. Due to the holiday, giving every entry a fair read and determining a winner is taking a bit longer than anticipated. Keep an eye out for an winner announcement in the next couple of days, as well as January's prompt.
New Feature - Email Notifications
We've added email notifications. You'll now receive an email when somebody likes, reposts, or comments on one of your posts. You'll also receive a notification when somebody follows or messages you. If you don't want to receive email notifications, you can disable them here: https://theprose.com/settings/notifications. We're now working to restore functionality for mobile push notifications on iOS. Stay tuned!
We wish you all a fantastic 2019. Great things ahead.