Lately, we've been spending some time improving the dot and implementing new features. While our efforts are far from over, we thought we'd announce a few of the things we've done so far. Dre has finally implemented one of the most requested features of the dot: You can now receive timely email notification of dot-headlines, or, depending on your preference, you can receive the full text of the dot-stories. As if that wasn't enough, I went ahead and implemented Flat Forty. Flat Forty can be thought of as a poor man's flat mode with a twist: You can now view the 40 most recent stories and comments globally. While mostly useful as an administrative trollbuster, we think you might enjoy it too. We hope to optimize Flat Forty eventually so that we can provide an efficient timely dynamic generation of the page. Read on for some dot fixes...
I've spent a few hours trying to optimize some of my less smart dot code. In particular, I've optimized the Past Articles box on the right of the main page. In the process, I've shaved off 1 or 2 seconds in the dot response time as well as changed the format of the box to display the 14 most recent articles that are not posted on the main page.
Related to this code, our All Articles feature has been optimized. Although still slow, it's now much faster than before. In the speed improvement department, we have also switched to static hosting for much of our static content. Our images are now mostly served off of a static webserver, and we have a few tools in place for automatically providing dot content in a static format (as we did for Flat Forty). More behind the scenes backend improvement is going on.
Finally, I've been working on rewriting the dot code to generate validated HTML. As a first step, I hacked a basic template that tries to set the basic dot format -- you can see for yourself that it validates! The fixes will eventually percolate throughout the whole site.
You can expect more features and fixes in the short term. Top of my head and top of my list: (1) Provide HTML format support for comments, (2) Add no-comments and flat modes for article reading, (3) More speed improvements, ...