chainBB beta update - new forums + claiming rewards + post previews

The last week has been a busy one, but I've been listening to feedback and have a few of the most requested features live on chainBB.

As always, the beta is available here:

Not sure what chainBB is? Here's a few posts to get you started:

New forums

Earlier in the week, if you're a chainBB user, you probably noticed the homepage fill up with a ton of new forums. I sifted through all of the suggestions for forums and created as many parent forums and sub-forums as I could fit, and I think it turned out pretty well.

There's a broad set of topics now listed on the homepage. More suggestions have been made since then, and I'm considering those and figuring out the best placement for them as well.

Keep the suggestions coming (as the sidebar suggests), I've been reading the posts and taking notes :)

New Menu Bar

A few days ago I updated the menu bar to start containing the information about the user who is logged in. The goal is for this tiny menu to be very functional on both Desktop and Mobile browsers, which is why it's so compact for the time being.

The menu bar has the following items:

  • The link, which brings you to the homepage no matter where you are.
  • The "gift" icon appears when you have pending rewards, and won't be there if you don't. More on this below.
  • Your user avatar, which if clicked on, drops down to a navigation for quick links regarding your account.
  • A checkmark to let you know you have connected to the blockchain.

Claiming Rewards

You can now claim your post and curation rewards directly through chainBB (with your posting key)!

Every minute or so chainBB will now scan your profile to determine if you have pending rewards. If it's found, the small "gift" icon (as shown above) will appear. If you hover over this gift, it will display the rewards you have available to claim, and gives you a nice big button to lay claim to them.

One click and done.

While I still don't have anywhere to display your account balances, being able to claim them as you're surfing the forums is a nice step forward.

Accessing your Account

Next to the rewards indicator, there's a display that shows your user avatar. Clicking on this will give you a link to view your profile as well as a button to sign out with.

These controls used to be over on the left hand column, which has now been removed, and will free up some space for a new navigation which I'm currently working on.

If you are not logged in, the space where your avatar would be is now the "Sign in" button, which works just like the previous iteration and pops up prompting you to get started.

Post Preview Mode

Previewing posts has been requested more than any other specific feature to date. Now there's a purple button on the area you create posts that you can click for a preview.

I choose to do this slightly differently than, and not show a live rendering of your post as you're working on it. The reasoning behind this is that I didn't quite know exactly where to put it, and honestly I'm not sure it's really needed. Clicking the preview button will open a popup window showing you the actual rendering of the post as it would appear on chainBB.

For example:

NOTE! To exit the preview mode, there's an "X" in the upper right, OR you can click any of the darkened area to exit, OR you can hit ESCAPE on your keyboard :)

New servers on the way!

I have spent the last 24 hours working on building a new server for the chainBB beta. I'm anticipating switching over to it within the next 24-48 hours.

If you've run into one of those yellow warning messages at the top stating "chainBB is out of sync", that's because we've seen a tremendous surge in steem activity lately, and the public servers Steemit Inc offers have been swamped. I've noticed this happen multiple times over the last week and it really causes some problems when posts don't show up for 10 minutes or so.

So to prevent this from happening again, I just leased a new dedicated server (~1TB SSD storage + 32cores + 96gb RAM) that will serve as the new chainBB API + steemd host. It's processing the blockchain as we speak and building all of the forum indexes, and once finished, I'll begin the migration.

There might be a bit of downtime during this migration as DNS switches over. I'll try to do this in the middle of the night (late night US time, super early EU time) to impact as few people as possible.

The best part about this is that the rewards chainBB has earned are funding this new server :)

More new features on the way

I've got a number of features I'm testing locally right now, a few of which I'm incredibly excited about. I've got a few other projects that need attention today, and I'll be taking the first few days off at the beginning of the next week, so expect another update in about a weeks time!

Thank you

A big thank you to all the users who are using the forums, providing feedback, and helping me track down bugs. An even bigger thank you to all of you that have been helping spread the word about the platform! chainBB over the last few days represent 1% of all posts happening on the Steem blockchain! That's an incredible milestone and we couldn't have done it without everyone chipping in and participating.

Update - server migration is complete for the APIs. The initial load still is slow (if it's your first time), but page loads should be lightning fast now.

$ 2640.498 SBD