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Recent Ramblings from XOWComics.com
July 9th, 2015

The heat of summer is well upon the northern hemishpere and we are gearing up for a unique calendar quarter here. We are looking forward to physically moving our headquarters at the end of this quarter, moving our offices into a new building. Of course, this has not slowed us down during the previous three months and have plenty of additions planned for the site before our move at the end of September.

Looking through the Version History for the second calendar quarter of the year, we seemed to have three main additions in the site that occupied the majority of our development time: Issue Assets, Searching, and Reprints.

Early in the quarter we introduced Issue Assets on the Issue Detail pages. Issue Assets are high resolution scans of the indicia and statements of ownership for individual publications. In under three months there are already over 25,000 images in the site for Issue Assets (thank you editors)! With the ready availability of these images directly on the Issue Detail pages, entering and confirming much of the data in the site is greatly streamlined.

The search options within the site have been expanded significantly. The number of options available for what exactly to search for within the site has been more than tripled. All of the previous options and flexibility have been maintained; added has been the ability in the interface to be more specific about exactly what data within the site to search. All of the new options are available in an expanded rollover menu in the main navigation bar, organized hierarchically just like the data within the site. With all of the new search options, you can now search, for instance, specifically by UPC (barcode), Series within specific Publishers, etc. All of the searches support also the options for limiting search results by years (see the Search Help page). The search capabilities within the site were already unparallelled for online comic book sites. The new search capabilities moves the XOWComics.com site even further ahead of anything else available.

Towards the end of the last calendar quarter we added Reprint information into the site. Data for where Issues and Content Items are reprinting to/from is now displayed directly on the Issue Detail pages. All of the reprint data is fully linked so you can quickly and easily navigate between reprint data, even showing Publisher, title, and date information with every single reprint known. Obviously, more and more reprint data is added every day, so watch as this new data within the site grows in the future.

The quarter was finished with our normal "full update" of the codebase used in the site. Part of this final update for the quarter was the addition of a full set of editor tools for Reprints. Privileges to Edit Issues makes available all of the Reprint editor tools. The tools are complete upon this initial launching of new features, allowing for the creation, deletion, and editing of all Reprint information within the site. The interface for all of these tools will be very familiar for existing volunteer editors, simple and easy to use, as you have already come to expect from XOWComics.com.

For the third calendar quarter we are hoping to start with another full import of information from our external data vendors. Between this and squashing any potential bugs found in the site, July should be somewhat pedestrian for us, allowing us to make final plans for the relocation of our offices in September.

We also hope to finally get out an update to the XOWComics.com Toolbar and XOWComics.com Search tools. These have been in need of an update for some time now, obviously. Our feature tracking notes show plenty of refinements, tweaks, and improvements that will be probably be addressed during the end of summer.

Your feedback is most welcome on what you would like to see in the site and how the current functionality is working (or not working) for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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