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The New Questions and Answers Thread

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Wendy Wood
Site Admin

Joined: 26 May 2015
Posts: 146
Location: North-East England

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 2:21 pm    Post subject: The New Questions and Answers Thread Reply with quote

Due to the little accident we had with the database a while back the old Questions and Answers thread got a little broken, so here is a replacement one.

If you'd like to check the old thread for answers to your questions here is a link to the last page with actual posts.


1) What does this site do?
This site displays the latest comics available from a variety of sites along with the date and time of their last update.

We do this to enable internet geeks to keep up with their favourite webcomics quickly and easily, without having to check indivdual sites just to find updates. This is especially useful if you do not have a fast internet connection.

2) How does it work?
A perl script periodically checks the comic pages of the sites listed in our database to see if a new comic has been added. If this is the case then the last update time in the database is altered and the comic appears updated on the website.

3) What happened to the program?
The program was discontinued as it was not very stable and lacking time meant that no improvements were planned.

The program is currently being re-developed and will hopefully be released soon.

4) Will you list my comic?
Certainly, just use the suggest a comic page to add comics to the site.

5) What comics can't you check for updates?
In order to check a comic for updates there needs to be a single HTML page that shows the latest comic on that site. Currently we cannot checksites that primarily use flash as there is no way of determining when a comic has been updated.

6) How long does it take for a comic to be processed?
It may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before a comic is checked for updates, depending on how busy I am. Please bear in mind that I work through the list of requested comics in order so it may take a while before I get to your comic.

I generally process comics within a few days, but ocassionally work over powers me. If your comic hasn't been processed after a few days, please do not panic, I will get to it eventually.

7) What will you use my email address for?
Your email address is used as your account username, it will never be revealed to 3rd parties or displayed on this website. The only time your email address if ever used is when you enter it to log back into the system.

8 ) Comics keep appearing as unhidden, why?
Everytime a new comic is added to the site you as a user have set to preferences about it, i.e. you haven't selected it as hidden or as a favourite.

If you do not wish new comics to appear on list, please change the setting in your preferences, this will hide all new comics.

9) How do you decide what comics are related?
The decision on which related comics are displayed on the comic profile pages is quite a simple one.

The list is generated from the favourites kept in peoples profiles, we then remove any comics in your favourites or hidden lists to suggest new comics that you hopefully won't have seen before.

10) How does the ranking algorithm work?
The ranking algorithm works by considering the number of visits per update. We do this to ensure that popular comics that update infrequently get a fair ranking.

Certain other things are taken into consideration when doing comic rankings but we would prefer to keep those secret.

11) Some comics disappear from my unread comics list, why?
We're not quite sure why this is but if you click the 'mark all comics read' option it should fix this error for you

12) I keep trying to look at forum threads and being told there aren't any posts, what gives?
We had a catastrophic database problem a while back that caused a lot of old posts to disappear. This resulted in some threads that appear to have more posts than they do creating blank pages, resulting in threads that are really 3 pages long, but will tell you they're 7 pages long for example. Trying to read anything past page 3 will result in that error.

13) Can't you fix that?
Short of just deleting all the old threads? No.

Comic Status Explained
In total there are 6 different status values that a comic can have, below is the list:

* Pattern Not Matching
This shows a fault either with the pattern using to watch for updates or with the comic site itself.

Often this is caused when comics authors change the layout of their site or do something special for a one off guest strip. If the comic site is producing a irregular error message (such as a notice informing that the bandwidth limit has been exceeded) then this will also result in this status being shown.

* Could Not Connect to Site
Less serious than the above, this does exactly what it says on the tin: the crawler could not connect to the comic site to check for updates.

This could either be due to network problems or the web server that the comic site is hosted on, these problems normally clear up after a few days.

* Not Yet Processed
This means that the comic has been added to the site but the crawler does not yet check if for updates. This is because each comic has to have a manual entry to enable us to check for updates.

The comic will move from this status when a pattern is entered by someone on the admin team for this comic

* Not Checked For Updates
Quite simply we do not check this comic for updates. This can be for many reasons, maybe the comic has now finished or is incompatible with our crawler.

* Updates Processed Manually
A few select comics which cannot be processed by the crawler have their updates entered manually, usually by the comic owner. You have to be special to have this status assigned to your comic!

* Normal
The most common status (hopefully!), this means that everything is functioning as it should. On the last attempt the crawler managed to connect to the comic site and its pattern matched, this one is good.

Enid & Edd - a weekly webcomic about squirrels
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