We've now hit two of these progress report posts, that means it's officially a recurring feature! There's actually a lot to talk about, so let's get right into it.
In this post:
- openMSX 19.1 released!
- Site submission record broken for the second year in a row!!
- New staff role: Senior Moderator!!!
- Dream Team Contest 11!!!!
- TASVideos' 20th anniversary!!!!!
- Addressing the recent username changes!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!
We normally announce emulator releases in separate news posts, but given that there are so many other things to talk about, I felt that having two news posts coming one after another would split the attention too much between them.
openMSX 19.1 has been released! This is a further bug fix release coming hot off the heels of openMSX 19.0, which was also a large bug fix release, but it was also one that we kinda sorta forgot to announce. Haha, oops, whoops, sorry! Furthermore, the site has been updated to account for changes made to the OMR input file format in recent versions.
openMSX site: https://openmsx.org
19.1 download: https://github.com/openMSX/openMSX/releases/tag/RELEASE_19_1
Let's start with the fun and exciting site stuff, of which there is plenty!
On November 20th, 2022, TASVideos officially broke its almost 19 year old record for most submissions received in a year,
surpassing the 540 submissions we received in 2004, when submissions first opened. We went on to receive almost 100 more submissions over the rest of 2022, bringing the new record to 639 going into 2023. I'm proud to announce that we have broken the submission record for the second year in a row by receiving our 640th submission! There's a bit of a twist to this, though: Technically, two runs broke the record!
We've started getting into the habit of deleting duplicate submissions, and with this year having had an unprecedented submission volume, that means there were more chances for things to go weird with accidental duplicates. 10 submissions were deleted this way, meaning that there is both a technical record breaker that counts these deleted submissions and an on-paper record breaker that doesn't. I think it's fair to showcase both!
Counting the 10 deleted submissions toward the total, the record breaker is:
#8562: EZGames69 & Randomno's Flash SHIFT in 02:45.92
Not counting the 10 deleted submissions, the record breaker according to the submissions list is:
#8572: LogansGamingRoom's NES The Void in 04:00.17
What makes this even more impressive is that we're still only in August. There's a very good chance we'll hit 900 submissions by the end of the year, which is absolutely insane given that we generally averaged around 300-400 most years. We literally couldn't have done this without you all. That... That's kinda how a user submission system works. Would be hard to break a user submission record without users. I'm being flippant as a bit, this really is amazing and I'm so proud of this community for contributing so much this year. Thank you all!
We've expanded our Senior Staff team with a new role and a person to fill said new role!
Prior to today, overseeing moderation has fallen entirely on the administration team, which has had mixed results depending on which admin is overseeing it. Let's just say certain Samsaras aren't particularly great at it. As the site grows, our need for moderation grows as well, both in terms of actual moderator activity and actual moderator... having. Actually having moderators. With the Admins having so many other duties, it made sense to provide a new role that serves as the official head of moderation.
has been with the site almost since the beginning and has served wonderfully as a Moderator since he was brought on. His active, balanced and level-headed approach to moderation combined with his seniority made him the perfect choice to fill the new Senior Moderator role! Congratulations, moozooh, and welcome to the administrative side!
Show your love to moozooh by being fine and upstanding members of the community. The best way to appreciate a Moderator is to not make them work.
Like a bolt from the blue, it's time for Dream Team Contest 11!
I've never been good at rhymes.
For those of you who are unaware, the Dream Team Contest is a group TASing competition
held whenever people feel like hosting one. Teams of TASers sign up and tackle a mystery game, aiming to make the best TAS of it within a certain time period. The contest is open to everyone, regardless of skill level, so if you've been wanting to get into TASing but felt overwhelmed doing it on your own, I'd highly recommend signing up, joining a team, and learning live!
Signups close on September 16th, 2023, at 23:59 UTC, so you still have a little under two weeks to join!
Finally, the craziest news of all in my opinion: It's
Sonic's 30th anniversary
TASVideos' 20th anniversary... very soon! The site was founded in December 2003
, and we want to celebrate 20 years of providing the best in tool-assisted speedruns and also Short Order
. We've got a couple ideas in mind, but we'd love to hear what you think we should do as well! Fun events, site history things,
re-adding spaces to usernames
, there's a lot of things we could do for this.
Apologies for this section being so short. I'll give further updates once we actually start having some set, public plans.
Alright, moving from fun and exciting news into one last thing that is less fun and exciting: We've removed spaces from everyone's usernames. Those who were affected by this change were informed through site PM, but there wasn't a formal site announcement until now, so I wanted to bring attention to it, explain why it happened, and most importantly apologize for the sudden nature of it.
To put it simply, supporting spaces in usernames severely complicates the site code. The main complication is that we identify users in URLs with their usernames, a holdover from the old site that needed to be kept when making the new site so data could be migrated over properly. This presented a lot of problems, both visible and invisible. The most visible complication is simply how URLs are parsed: If you're linking to a user's profile or Homepage on Discord, for example, the link just breaks if the username has a space in it. If this doesn't sound so bad... Well, by itself, it isn't horrible, admittedly. Annoying as hell, but something that could reasonably be dealt with. The real problem comes from the maintenance and all of the less visible and much worse issues that needed to be found and fixed as soon as possible. One notable issue involved having a space at the end of a username
. Such a profile was extremely difficult to get to from the site if there was a matching username without the space, as you would always be sent to that profile instead of the profile with the space. In other words, you could've not only impersonated a user, but explicitly pinned horrible behavior on them because your spaced profile would have led to their real profile. This particular bug also would've made ban evasion easier, as you could just drop a space down after any username and made it more cumbersome to access your actual profile. This actually did nearly let a ban evader go free, which is how the bug was caught in the first place. Thankfully, because of the changes, this is no longer possible.
To put it even more simply, the laissez-faire attitude of the old site made feature parity and maintenance on the new site a hell of a lot more stressful, so if you had a spaced username and are lamenting its loss, blame the old site for not caring whether or not it was possible in the first place.
Removing support for spaces was something we had intended to do for a while, though I will fully admit we dropped the ball on announcing it ahead of time, and we apologize for that. For anyone who was affected by the spaces-to-underscores replacement and would like to change their username to account for it, send me a PM on the site with the name you want and I'll get it done.
Also, I'd like to state that it's not impossible for us to re-implement support in the future. Maintaining what we had was messy enough as it was and made dev work harder, and dropping support means cleaner code and more efficiency right now, but that doesn't mean we don't support the idea at all. That being said, a cleaner implementation is not something the current dev team will be focusing on any time soon. At the risk of unintentionally sounding like I'm saying "hey jerkweeds, if you're gonna complain, do it yourself", remember that TASVideos is open source now
. We're open to contributions and definitely open to expanding the dev team, so feel free to jump in!
Quick and minor final note: The login system shouldn't technically be affected by the space-to-underscore replacement, i.e affected users should still be able to log in with the space version of their username, though of course it won't work anywhere outside of that.
Well, that was a lot of news! I'll try not to let things pile up so much for the next site progress report, it just so happened to be that a lot of little-but-newsworthy things happened all around the same time. Tune in next time for more news, including things I don't know about yet because I can't predict the future!