We just launched the third major release of the Adocasts site! We consider our major releases to be when almost everything on the site is redone, ie: rewrites or redesigns. Along with this release, we’ve launched several new features and new perks for Adocasts Plus subscribers, so we wanted to take some time to walk through what’s changed and what’s new.
We’re still rolling with the same tech stack we have been, except all our dependencies are back up-to-date! Yes, that means we’re rocking AdonisJS 6!
Backend Framework AdonisJS
Template Engine EdgeJS
Testing Framework Japa
Fragment Navigation Unpoly
Client Reactivity AlpineJS
CSS Framework Tailwind CSS
If you’re here, you’ve probably already noticed one of the obvious changes; that almost everything across the site has gotten a redesign, bar some of our more minor pages. When we began porting the Adocasts site over to AdonisJS 6, we decided to go ahead and reimplement our EdgeJS pages and components and figured we might as well take the opportunity to change up the design while we were at it.
For this redesign, we’re leaning into a space-based theme to go with our comet-like logo icon. We’re also introducing a friendly robot mascot you’ll be able to find in various places around the site.
The Content Page
Most notable in our redesign is probably our content page!
You can now easily jump to the previous or next lesson in a series via buttons under the video
We’re importing our VTT subtitles and parsing them as a transcript which you can show, when available, via the transcript button. This will be supported on our newer lessons.
Our series list now shows your lesson progression, though it may be a little hard to see in the above screenshot
Here’s a look at our new transcript functionality. It’ll stay up-to-date with the video as it plays.
Lessons with written content have also gotten a redesign, giving the content a lot more room to breathe. We’ve also moved the mini-player underneath the series list, giving our content space to be centered.
In addition to our redesign, we also have several new features, some of which are specific perks for Adocasts Plus subscribers!
We’re introducing a new social/discussion forum, we’re calling The Feed. You can share projects and ideas, discuss issues, and otherwise treat it like a social platform.
We’ve received several requests for Adocasts to have its own Discord server, however, we don’t want to compete in any way with the AdonisJS Discord. Plus, we’d prefer to keep everything on our site as that…
It helps keep discussions searchable via search engines for those outside the Adocasts/AdonisJS ecosystem searching for help.
Allows us to directly provide additional features to our subscribers
Enables future expansion into additional features on the site
A sub-feature to The Feed is that you can now mention other Adocasts users within your feed discussions and comments, using
@username. This will…
Add a notification for the mentioned user
If the mentioned user has it enabled, they’ll receive an email letting them know they’ve been mentioned.
You can disable the ability to be mentioned and/or disable the ability to be notified via email within your user settings.
We’ve long had the ability to add series and lessons to your watchlist, however now when new lessons are published to the series you’re watching you’ll receive an email notification.
We’ve added an hourly cron job that checks for newly published content. If new content is found a mapping will be built matching users to content by their watchlist. That mapping will be used to send out an email listicle of the new content to the applicable users.
You can disable these emails at any time within your notification settings.
Adocasts Plus New Features
We’ve also added several new features specific to Adocasts Plus subscribers!
We’re ditching Google Adsense and providing our advertisement space to Adocasts Plus subscribers as a new subscription perk.
We’ll support both leaderboard (728px by 90px) and medium rectangle (300px by 250px) ad sizes. You can specify a start date, end date, link, image, and alt text for your ad. To ensure ads are current, any one ad can run for a maximum of six months. After which, they can be re-run if desired.
These can be easily managed within our new Ad Portal.
To ensure equal opportunity when displaying ads, ad space is pulled at random from a pool of users with active advertisements. Then, an ad is pulled for the randomly selected user. Meaning, that users with three or more active ads have the same chance of being pulled for display as those only having one ad.
For these ads, we’ll track
In the future, we’ll add a few simple reports so that you can see week over week, month over month, etc impressions and clicks.
Additional New Adocasts Plus Features
You can now upload images directly into your comments and feed discussions.
Unrestricted comment and feed discussion length, the standard length for those not subscribed to Adocasts Plus is 500 characters.
Priority pull when listing feed discussions outside of The Feed itself. This occurs on listicle pages like lessons, blogs, snippets, etc. It also occurs on a topic’s show page for discussions tied to the viewed topic.
I know when we released our last update we mentioned achievements and experience points were coming. Those features are still on the planning board but didn’t fit into this release.
If you have any other suggestions for additional features, please let us know! 😊