OMGN: Online Movies & Games Network

OMGN Release Notes: to 4.3.0

Gamer of Darqness; May. 1, 2011; By Robert F. Ludwick
Type: News
An avalanche of release information!

It's been awhile since I had a blog post regarding an OMGN site release. There've been several since 4.2.6, but they didn't really amount to much on the user end so I didn't bother to post release notes. But with version 4.3.0 going out today (yes, that's a minor version increase, not a micro!) I figured I should get everybody up to speed.

Note that everything I'm listing here has been released since 4.2.6. I'm not going to break it down to what released in,, etc. You just get it all in one big pile!

Performance Enhancements

We've released a bunch of different website performance enhancements over the last 3 months. Most of them have been more recent, however. These performance enhancements are all over the map to make the website load faster and operate better. Here's the key points:

  • Minified Javascript and CSS - These files have been compacted using industry-standard compressors that will cause their file sizes to be smaller, thus allowing you to download them quicker.
  • Better browser caching - Assuming your browser properly follows caching rules, we've added caching data for all static file types that we serve on the site. This will cause your browser to keep any local versions in place if you've downloaded the files recently, saving you the time of going out and getting the same content again. Note: you may want to force a refresh of OMGN if the display isn't quite right - browser caching is the reason why!
  • CSS Sprites - We've bundled together all of the smaller images on the site into a single sprite image that CSS manipulates to show you just the part of it that should appear at that part of the site. Our sharing icons in the header, for example, are now sprites. This means you only download one image from our server and then show part of it where need be. It's one bigger image, but you'll save quite a few requests to the server.
  • Small Javascript files to inline - We've typically put nearly all reusable Javascript into their own files, loaded on demand where need be. Some of these files had very small content inside, so we've gone ahead and put their contents into the HTML itself. This means each page load that uses the Javascripts converted will be slightly bigger instead of allowing you to use one cached smaller file, but this means you'll also be sending fewer requests to the server.

Smilies Support in Forum

Finally! We now have a Smilies button in the Forum, it's right next to the image button. You can use this to post Smilies! Just note that textual smilies like :) won't be automatically converted. Use the button!

Admin Billing Module & *Revenue Share For Blogging*

This module allows us (me, really) to properly upload revenue information for our ads, then calculates what all of the writers and copy editors are due for their work for the month. Payments will come quicker. Also...

It has support for our new payments for blogging! Make sure to read up about our blogging payments.

"Malformed" URL Support

URLs on OMGN don't have file extensions. You may have noticed this. They also don't have trailing slashes indicating directories. This is by design for many reasons. However, as a result of this design, one could not put a trailing slash on a valid URL and expect to get to the proper page. We've added special handling for scenarios like these, which should allow for fewer errors and headaches. Go ahead and try it by clicking this link. It'll reload this post, but if you look at the target URL, it has a trailing slash on it. It even has an index.html on there!


We've been slowly converting all of the content on OMGN to use the UTF-8 character set. If you don't know what character sets are, then you don't really need to worry. But if you care, now you know! We're UTF-8 across the board now on the site.

Code Documentation and Inspections

I use a wonderful tool called PhpStorm for my OMGN coding. It has support for inspections and code documentation. While this doesn't really impact OMGN users at all, it speeds up my development time and also helps me catch errors before they go out Live. I spent a significant amount of time adding a lot of code documentation and resolving inspections issues. There may be some small, marginal performance increases on the site as a result. However, the aim of all this work is so I can develop faster and more accurately. Not that I wasn't fast and accurate before... Anyway, thought you might be interested in this tidbit. Working with that system has given me plenty of bugs and feature requests to send along to JetBrains as well, anyway.


As always, we've had bugfixes go out from time to time. Since it's been three months since I posted release notes, we've accumulated quite a few, such as:

  • Switched the User Message alert to an overlay (this was a bugfix because it was an omission when we converted all of the alerts over)
  • A few pagination links weren't being generated properly
  • There was a double-horizontal separator on the site at one point...
  • Any position-based system, such as the Featured Content, wasn't properly recalculating positions in a sequential order
  • Forum thread block/delete when no visible posts remained was busted
  • The search form would record multiple searches when pagination was used
  • Some incorrect error messages were present
  • Deleting blog posts from Admin was broken
  • Some processes weren't properly checking if a blog post was visible before interacting with it
  • Tag links in articles weren't being properly escaped, causing the resulting search page to be unable to process the tag search
  • Mobile wasn't showing the "post edited by" text for the Forum properly

Wow, lots of stuff in the past three months. Hope you enjoy reading OMGN as much as we enjoy writing and working on it!

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