Piperka blog

Discover mode

I've added a new site feature that should make browsing new web comics easier. Discover mode is a way to use Piperka Reader to view comics, one by one. It's got the same archive controls as Reader does but also a button to move over to the next comic in the queue. It's more convenient than clicking the info pages open from the listing and then clicking to see the comic on them.

I haven't wanted to add links to the comic sites to the listings itself, since I've felt that I should give some idea of what the content is like before exposing users to it. It's hard to add anything more to the listing views without cramping the layout. To avoid seeing too much of tab A into slot B action unwittingly, I've added the option (by default, enabled) to mask comics that have been tagged as NSFW in the discover mode.

Though many sites use techniques like X-Frame-Options or Content-Security-Policy to block embedding their sites with iframes, making this feature less useful than what it would be. In my opinion, those flags should be overrideable in the browser. They're just as much an anti-feature as auto-playing videos. I may end up writing a browser extension if I'd want to go further with doing Reader-like things.

Discover mode is also available for viewing recommendations. Go check the recommend page to view that queue.

I've simplified tag usage, with regards to flagging comics as NSFW. I've used to use a bunch of tags that would make them show up as NSFW, but I reduced that to only using advisory::nsfw for that. I've also looked through all the comics flagged with old::adult and added NSFW for all of them that seemed to warrant it.

Teksti's had a slow start. I had added a few initial entries that I follow myself, and a few based on requests. I suppose I could've inserted a few dozen based on some sites ranking them but I decided against it. I was thinking of putting Google's ads on it, but they aren't accepting new sites, citing the COVID pandemic as a reason. Go figure. As I laid out in my last post, I've added SSO so that you don't need to log in to both of them separately. I was thinking of merging the per user update lists of both sites to one page but I used a simple message that the other site has updates, instead. I could pretty well leverage the existing push feature for that.

Other updates last month include some work on the crawler. I've set it to try to audit long silent comics by running the parser to some existing page from the middle of their archive and to try to match the next page result with that's on the database. Another bug fixed just last evening was with redirects and accented characters. Tumblr has been a source of frustration for a couple of evenings. If you'd like to have my advice, don't use them for hosting comics. They have a wonky idea of what a permanent archive page is and to top it, they seem to silently lose pages. They just vanish from their archive view and the page navigation links on the individual pages start leading to pages that result in 404 errors. Even Tapas.io is more pleasant to handle nowadays.

If I go silent for multiple months, it might be because I got annoyed enough at nuisances like that to launch my own web comic hosting site, if only to get people to use Tumblr less. Or it might be because I'd've started with a new job. Which I may, in fact, be doing in the nearby future. Though I can't say that I've been maximally productive with Piperka's development even now. Even though Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead may be a bit too realistic, currently.

Fri, 01 May 2020 07:41:47 UTC