State of (Spring 2016)

Hello again, everyone!

Again, it's been quite a while since I last wrote anything, so here's a quick update about the current state of the web-site.

Over the last year or so, I've been fully focused on my Master's Thesis, and have therefore had very little time to spend on this web-site. To be exact, almost all of the time spent on (an afternoon or two per month - the site works mostly automatically) was spent on maintenance fixes, mostly when AniDB or MAL changed something and broke web-site functionality.

I have recently finished my thesis, and as such I've started (slowly) working on this website again. In particular, I had been notified of a couple of annoying bugs (e.g., the actual calendar view ignores daylight savings) which I had been unable to fix as they're dependent on the way the web-site is structured.

You see, due to this web-site running on a relatively weak dedicated server (which I also use for other things), I took a very cache-heavy approach, which complicated the design considerably. In particular, due to an initial goal of mine to support browsers without javascript enabled (and as such all of the work has to be done on the server-side), I had to use quite a few "hacks" during the implementation to avoid caching hundreds of copies of the same thing. These "hacks" ended up causing me quite a few issues later on, and are still causing them right now. They also made it basically impossible to support basic features (requested by many people) such as changing the order of shows on the calendar view to alphabetical, hiding special episodes of specific anime only, etc.

With all this in mind, I've decided to drop my "Javascript not required" rule, and am currently rewriting most of the web-site features in Javascript. This allows me to keep my "high-cache" requirement without even half of the complexity of the current implementation. Most of the ground-work is already done, and all I'm doing right now is adapting the remaining pages and features to work with the new structure (e.g., selecting episodes as watched; filtering anime; etc).

I'm also taking my time with these changes, making sure everything works correctly, and adding extra simple-to-implement features which have been requested quite a few times (e.g., "order calendar view alphabetically", "hide all specials"; "hide all specials for anime XYZ"; "agenda view"; "anime search by name/tag", etc). As a side-effect, a new HTTP/JSON API will also be released which is much more capable than the existing one, as it'll be used by the web-site itself for most of its Javascript functionality.

Again, remember that this web-site is simply a hobby of mine, and as such I have no idea when I'll be finished with this update. Maybe in 1 month, or maybe in 6 months. My point is, this web-site has not been abandoned, and there is quite a large update incoming. In the meantime, I'll continue to work on critical bug-fixes for the current version, however it is likely that complex non-critical bug-fixes (i.e., daylight savings not working correctly) will have to wait until the update.

This is all for now. Hopefully this update will be ready sooner rather than later. As always, if you find bugs, or have any suggestions, send me an e-mail at contact.

Happy anime watching!