The first new feature of the year is update watch. I've added a checkbox on the updates page and clicking it will set the page to automatically wait for updates. In practical terms, it'll wait for a signal from the hourly update run which will trigger it to reload the updates list. It'll even add an exclamation mark to the favicon to show if any new comics had been added to the list.
This feature went live a week ago already. I didn't announce it right away and I haven't checked from the server logs whether any of you noticed it yet. Looks like it's worked well so far. At least for me. With this, you won't need to hit F5 anymore.
I'm still mulling over the watcher's UX. When it's enabled, it gives no indication about what it does unless it finds updates. It does show an error message if it fails to re-establish connection and reconnects get a message as does the actual moment of downloading a refreshed list. A possible future feature would be to (optionally!) push desktop notifications about updates.
Other than the update watch, I've been working on the moderator interface. I'm storing past entries in a history table now and next up is some sanity checking for moderated content. As it is now, moderators can inject any content as comic descriptions and I'd rather safe guard that it's at least valid HTML.
Editing comic entries and moderating change requests just is something I've wanted to delegate to other people. I'd rather focus my limited time on things that'd demand a bit more than just basic HTML knowledge. "Other people" has been a few local friends so far but that hasn't really worked out anymore. I can't blame them since they've been volunteering for the task in the first place and I'm grateful that they've been at it for so long.
I'm calling for new moderators at this time. You'd get access to the moderator queue and get direct access to edit comic's info pages. Archive and crawler maintenance are still limited to just my own account. The interface for those is in a lot better shape than what it used to be but there's still a few quirks to its use and I think it's still better to keep it more restricted.
If you're a long time user who'd like to help me with this then drop me a message. Or even a fresher one but I'm more comfortable to give edit privileges to a name I recognize. I'll still want to add a few more checks to the moderator interface first but I hope to have a few names to hand roles to in a week or two. I'm hoping to get to hand off editing comics' info pages and not have to think about them much. Piperka's not about comic reviews and I'm not going to try to cater to anything like that but it would do to have a few words on the site about what a comic is about. I don't have much in the line of moderatorial guidelines. I've pretty much just held a policy of rewriting a comic's description if it's using first person nouns. It's fine for a comic's own site but that same text won't suit Piperka.
Speaking of communication, Piperka has an IRC channel on OFTC. Feel free to drop by on the webchat and join #piperka to say hi. I've been idling on the channel for a long while but I don't think I've actually advertised that fact anywhere. No wonder it's just me there.
I took a break from Piperka and wrote a patch for Heist during Xmas. Though it is still tangentially related to Piperka. I'm not about to explain what a monad transformer is on Piperka's blog.