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Welcome to RiotACT 3.5

By Kramer - 29 September 2009 37

It’s been 18 months since our last update, and RiotACT may look pretty similar this morning, but over night we loaded a whole bunch of new updates and improvements. For the moment you can meander around the revamped site and find all of the new features, although we’ve released some of the new stuff just to Premium Members. If you’re not the exploring type, the revised site documentation will be released shortly.

As with all large infrastructure projects in Canberra such as the GDE, the Canberra Hospital “implosion”, and the “architectually significant” Cameron Offices, we expect there will be one or two residual bugs in the system. So if you come across anything, please submit a comment with the details under this post. If for some reason you are unable to post a comment, then please flick me an email via .

The new site does have a revised login, so you might need to purge your old cookies for RiotACT and log in again. Otherwise, have fun!

[originally posted – 04:44 Sept 27, 2009]

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37 Responses to
Welcome to RiotACT 3.5
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astrojax 3:43 pm 30 Sep 09

ya go away and have a son for a minute and come back to more rioting newness – haven’t explored much yet, but will…

Kramer 9:40 pm 29 Sep 09

The quote / blockquote display has been sorted. Might also have a look at left justified comment & post text rather than the full.

The comments disabled is funny bug we are seeing on some posts. We very, very rarely lock down comments on a post, so it just depends how long it takes for one of the editors to notice and fix it. Anyway, should have it sorted soon!

As for the stars and ratings, we have been toying with the idea of just a thumbs up, thumbs down scoring system – which would address the negative scoring and rating weighting issues.

Thanks all for your positive comments and feedback!
Keep coming with the bugs…(and yes, there are more that I am still working on)

Inappropriate 4:05 pm 29 Sep 09

Can we have comments text be left-aligned and not justified? Justified text is harder to read.

Dante 3:56 pm 29 Sep 09

I’ve noticed an article posted today with comments disabled… was this a new feature?

Or was it functionality carried over from the old site and hardly used?

I’ve liked that all stories are up for comment in the past, it would be a shame to lose the ‘right of response’ this site offers if this option is made available to posters, rather than being an admin function of the Riot team.

Skidbladnir 1:53 pm 29 Sep 09

+1 / -1 works for voting too.
Still make it Bayesian weighted though, since you want a believable rating system that avoids having a new article with 1 vote immediately escalated to first place, as its rating would then be 1.00.
Bayesian rated, its starting rating with a single positive vote would be a little bit higher than the average rating of all items.

The more votes an article has, the more your audience can trust the rating. If it has only few votes, each vote, positive or negative, will only have little power to influence the rating away from the average rating of articles.

As in:

Front Page Article Rating =
(Average_article_votes_quantity + This_article_votes_quantity)

Average_article_votes_quantity: The average number of votes of all items that have votes_quantity != 0
Average_article_votes_quality: The average rating of each item (of those that have votes_quantity != 0)
This_article_votes_quantity: number of votes for this item
This_article_votes_quality: the rating of this item

Avg_article_votes_quantity is an auto-adapting weight. The higher its value, the more votes it takes to influence the Bayesian rating system.
ie: If people are keen on voting on articles, the more people who use the voting function, the harder it becomes to out-game it.
If you really wanted to, you could finetune by setting an upper limit on it to make it easier to game or to prevent some potential super-article from overbalancing the rest of the voting system.

If you introduce a time factor so that nothing stays on the frontpage forever, too.

caf 1:16 pm 29 Sep 09

On the star ratings, this is a great article on why star ratings end up being useless.

To be of any use, the tag cloud should probably only look at posts from the last N months, rather than forever. Election08 is still right up there but it’s hardly the topic of the moment.

Hank 1:12 pm 29 Sep 09

i like it, well done

Madman 12:00 pm 29 Sep 09

Nice work!

Skidbladnir 11:31 am 29 Sep 09

PPS: Some features I like, huzzah for the codemonkey. Get that man\woman a pint, stat!

Bayesian weighted voting would be a nice fix on an ongoing broken feature, though.
(or you end up with one five-star vote outweighing 100 four star votes, which is bad)

Skidbladnir 11:00 am 29 Sep 09

One lingering feature I dislike is that the minimum number of votesy ou can give something is one.
So an unrated article is penalised for being unrated, while a crap article that people want to vote down gets raised above minimum.

And previewing on multi-page threads is a broken feature, at least under IE (here at the office).

PS: I hate Gravatar.

Gungahlin Al 10:45 am 29 Sep 09

Author names on featured posts: big plus!
Lots of pluses.
I’m dubious about the value of tag clouds though.

Lilli 9:14 am 29 Sep 09

I like it! Much more web 2.0, especially with the tag cloud and much easier navigation. I also may be wrong, but it seems some colours have been tweaked ever so slightly – either way I think it’s a step in the right direction.

Enjoying the updates – well done RA, I’m looking forward to future updates. If these start coming out regularly I may even consider a paid membership! This release really modernises the website. Hopefully it will attract more visitors!

Granny 9:13 am 29 Sep 09

The site looks fantastic!

GnT 9:11 pm 28 Sep 09

Swaggie – Head to It takes a few seconds to register and then upload your avatar pic. The avatars on Gravatar can be used by numerous websites and forums.

Swaggie 6:38 pm 28 Sep 09

and at the risk of sounding really stupid what’s the procedure to add a small pic instead of having the riot act logo by my posts?

Grrrr 4:05 pm 28 Sep 09

Right-justified (Right-align) on quoted text is ugly and hard to read. What’s wrong with quoting using the usual indented plus either left or fully-justified? Or perhaps box it up BB style..

Thoroughly Smashed 3:12 pm 28 Sep 09

Jazz said :

An unfortunate necessity of crap coding by Microsoft and the fact that most people still use IE. It has a buffer limit that was being challenged by many of our longer discussions that meant some people couldnt read/comment on them.

Ahh, that is unfortunate. Lucky I didn’t claim that “computers can handle it these days”…

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