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What’s new: Event card variations and many small improvements

Without further ado, here are the changes from our last sprint 46.

Past, future and months on demand

One page to rule all events was not enough. Previously, we showed a summary of some events inside a past and upcoming section on one unified events page. As the number of events grew (yay!), this site became less usable.

Now we’ve split upcoming and past events. The latter contains an extensive archive of events and their coverage, the other one is your window into the future of awesome events to follow or attend.

We still believe that listing events by month or year is very useful, so we kept this features as the new Calendar view. We have many additional things planned here, but for now make sure we keep useful features.

Unclaimed Events got more colorful

When we launched Colloq, we spent quite some time in preparing events with all the content and ask their owners for approval. While a lot of events were super happy about this, we haven’t received any feedback from the others.

With the still relatively new introduced “unclaimed events” feature we addressed the issue of not having many events on our service. We now can create minimal records of events without publishing content that we have no copyright information about. With this change, we added many many events and our platform grew faster than ever before. While our users appreciate this feature a lot, we realized that these uncustomized events made our overview pages look quite boring repeatedly showing the same event card header background all over the place.

To improve the visual appearance of overview pages and events, we now display various different header images for events that didn’t upload a custom header image randomly.

Mockup with screenshot of the event overview page showing a variety of visually different background images for the event headers

The Little things that still take time

  • If you suggested an event to us, first of all: Thank you very much! Your support is very much appreciated by every one in our team. Next time you suggest something, you’ll really receive that notification email when the event was created that we promised you last time. Sorry for the unsent mails before we fixed this bug.
  • We also fixed an issue that resulted in a server error when you accessed the yearly event overview. Thanks to one of our awesome users who reported this!
  • We introduced a vertical-scroll bug on small screens with the new past and future event feature, and have fixed it shortly after.
  • Also reported from one of our users was that the Twitter images where always visible inside the coverage while the rest was blurred for non-paying users. This was a bug so from now on Twitter images are only available if someone (the user who views or the organizer of the event) pays for it.
  • The Call for Papers description did not convert Markdown to HTML. Consider it fixed.
  • We deploy a lot, and now receive notifications each time the master-branch was shipped successfully.
  • Anselm blogged about some details about our Call for Papers feature. Read it. Share it.
  • Some software dependencies needed updates, so we took care of them. This is a full stack job, did we mention that already?
  • Sharing no data with any third parties is key for us. How do you know the platform evolves without looking into the results of raw SQL queries? With this sprint we can take a look at our beautiful Grafana dashboard which displays event, user and subscription counts and a few other metrics as evolving graphs.
  • When we change our database structure, it is migrated automatically now. This eases database migrations a lot and makes changes much safer to deploy. If something unexpected should happen, the same feature allows us to roll back to a previous version easily as well.

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