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Celebrating 20 years of Flayrah with faceted search

Edited by dronon
Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (7 votes)
Flayrah logo by darkdoomer

Flayrah is 20 years old as of January 2021! In that time we've published 5,000 stories, 181 polls and 5,200 Newsbytes.

To celebrate, and to aid readers, we've added a feature that wasn't ready in 2009, when Flayrah was rebuiltfaceted search!

You can narrow down to Pokémon reviews, work of the Furtean Times/WikiFur News era, Flayrah retrospectives, Fred Patten's 18 stories mentioning the word 'anthropomorphic' in September 2012, or fox stories by crossaffliction and his mild-mannered doppelgänger.

Links to begin a guided search based on date, author or tags lie within story page footers, with mobile updates for these and the front page.

Features such as an Illustrated Chronology of Furry Fandom, Seymour Eaton's "The Roosevelt Bears", Turkmenistan - The Land of Horse Heaven and Foreign Furry Novels also have refreshed images and links, in memory of the aforementioned contributor and fan historian Fred Patten.

Flayrah is up for an Ursa Major for Best Magazine. We'd like to win; if you think our efforts in 2020 deserve it, please vote for Flayrah today!


Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Some may be thinking "after a decade, isn't it time for another rebuild? Isn't it bad to use old code for so long?"

In reality, Flayrah and its server are regularly updated. Even now, there's support for our version of the site framework, Drupal, thanks to its broad, institution-heavy user base. It can run on more modern versions of PHP – without using any new features - and uses the latest MariaDB, the database that does legwork for search features like the one mentioned here.

At some point that version's security support will end, and we'll have to move on. But it'll be a couple more years yet. Much has changed in web development since 2009; upgrading will be a hassle – and I have other sites to care for (one of which kicked off this round of updates, after I saw Yerf's low-res thumbnails on mobile, and extended the fix to contributor icons) – so I'd want it to last for a while.

As mentioned on Twitter, our best bet for a more modern framework that lasts beyond 2023 is Drupal 10, with CKEditor 5; they plan for June 2022, but they're still pinning down the details. It may be well into 2023 before modules needed to duplicate existing functionality are ready.

There's still room for little tweaks behind the scenes. Long comment chains load faster now that user and profile data is retrieved once per page. Contributor lists and taglines now merge usernames that duplicate usernames in various ways – freeing up space to credit editors.

It'd be possible to add improved group features, with spaces for contributors or editors, as that has an upgrade path; but it's unclear what problem it'd solve (editing collaboration?), and seems overkill compared to simpler solutions. Using time to tag feed items may be more useful.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Happy 20th birthday, Flayrah.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Thanks, Oh No— Thohnks.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

You're Wohnkome.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (5 votes)

20 years of furry crap. Screw me sideways!

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.