Site updates, and directory editors

By James Cridland
Posted 12 July 2017, 12.54am edt

This thread contains code updates for this website and recent releases. normally sees a code release every few days, with some periods of intense coding.

This thread is also here for our directory editors, an excellent bunch of volunteers who keep the data updated.


1 year, 5 months ago

We've switched from Cloudflare to Amazon Cloudfront today for our CDN (which includes the main

We've also made some small changes for logged-in users with respect to caching, which has enhanced security and should also enhance user experience when logging in for the first time.

1 year, 5 months ago

Edits of the broadcastURI for some countries are now locked to superusers only, to ensure client data is uncompromised. I'm the only superuser, in case you were wondering.

1 year, 3 months ago

An amount of stylesheet changes and tweaks. Font sizes are now more consistent, underlines have been removed from links (and all links placed in bold) for a clearer look and because it is no longer 2003, and some letter-spacing has been tweaked. Additionally, line-spacing has been corrected in some views, notably the people pages. This is a work in progress. There may be some inconsistencies between pages for users who are not logged-in: we're not rebuilding caches for this work, but all caches will empty in 7 days. (Logged-in users bypass our cache for all HTML pages).

We're now augmenting our jobs with some posts directly from media company websites. After a short period of automation - which wasn't a good plan - these positions are now manually included only if relevant to our audience. Also, jobs pages are now more correctly marked-up with schema.

Third party news now automatically forwards through after a branding page which also collects statistics for our daily email. No more ugly landing pages with "Read this story". You're welcome.

Earlier, as you may have experienced, we significantly improved page response times. In June, pages took around 850ms to load; we've been under 250ms for the whole of August, and sub-200ms since August 9th.

Editorially, the radio directory now includes all major radio stations in French-speaking Belgium, and many larger stations in France and Monaco. Improved navigation is now in place from media titles to country-specific indexes.

1 year, 3 months ago

Search results are upgraded to avoid repeat results, particularly with place names.

The CSS styles no longer include comments nor white space, reducing the page weight (we include our CSS in every pageload of AMP pages). That should result in faster pageload.

Photographs in articles have always been accompanied with a credit; they now have a credit in the image itself (more visible on hover). Facebook is also being supplied with ALT text for images in article pages.

Today's Australian metropolitan radio survey figures are ingested.

1 year, 3 months ago

UK: Bauer City 3's - I'll go and merge these back into The Hits.

Aus: I'm going to work on the listening figures shortly to allow stations to be in more than one area (particularly useful for Brisbane/Gold Coast). That will enable us to merge Talking Lifestyle together as one, which is the policy here (split news/ads, but otherwise no bespoke content).

1 year, 3 months ago

This is a place where directory editors can have a chat. Very aware that there are quite a few folks doing some great work as directory editors, and it would be useful to have a place where we can chat.

1 year, 3 months ago

Noticed that new Facebook pages aren't adding themselves to pages successfully, despite the API stating otherwise.

1 year, 3 months ago

Yes, I've spotted that, Jake. Let me see what I can do, though I'm going to be super busy over the next few weeks. (Gives me something to clear my head though)

1 year, 3 months ago

Quick update on Facebook. The SDK I use to get data from Facebook was deprecated in, um, 2015. Looks like bits have now stopped working - it returns the page ID, but nothing more; so the script doesn't know what to do and silently fails.

So, I need to get the new Facebook SDK installed, but annoyingly that's a number of breaking changes to how the SDK works. It needs a little more time than a snatched ten minutes in a Sydney coffee shop. I hope to get that sorted shortly.

What's a little strange is that the old code partially works on the Facebook update script, which I don't quite understand - but in any case, it's clearly time to update.

1 year, 3 months ago

Our privacy policy changed slightly today - we're now using AMP ID, which allows us to know that the same person saw the first page (which may have been served by Google) and the second page (which we'll serve). No big deal, but we need to tell visitors, so we've done that there.

1 year, 2 months ago

Facebook should now work again - both from the URL-added new titles, and from the edit pages. I've also updated API calls from the cron job that keeps this stuff updated.

1 year, 2 months ago

Until James says otherwise, can I suggest we don't authorise any edits from Duncan Williams. Seems to be a fantasist.

1 year, 2 months ago

A short reboot earlier, to move to a few bits of updated server architecture (which should be faster still). Also, the Australian GFK figures for survey 6 are now ingested; and selected Belgian radio stations now have complete FM broadcast data and links to (broadcastURI edits are now blocked for Belgian stations due to client data requirements).

1 year, 2 months ago

The Facebook updater had failed, resulting in a few services (news tweets and the Twitter checking system) also not firing. I've fixed that.

1 year, 2 months ago

New feature! You can now edit people's existing job titles. Hopefully the UX is clear that this is for editing and not creating/deleting. Also - I've fixed the bug where anything after a comma in a job title was ignored.

Plus, if you edit someone, and someone else comes along later and edits them, you'll get an email. (We do this for media titles, but not people).

Bug fix: the "more people on" (which is actually geographically targeted, with different people shown for different editions) is now de-duplicated.

1 year, 2 months ago

Great addition James - have cleaned up the page for John Laws, who was a few decades early for what used to be listed as KIIS 1065 (but was actually its pre-cursor, 2UW).

One thing is that it doesn't seem to interact with the group: tags properly - for example, Lui Zacher, who has finished up as Group Content Director for the Mixx FM stations. From my observations: 1) There's no way within /stations pages to add a finishing date; and 2) through profiles, these listings cannot be manually edited (as seen through the Yumi Stynes page, which now has a series of 'Mix 102.3' listings).

Apologies for breaking things/giving you more things to work on!

1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks, Jake - yes, the handling of groups isn't perfect. Let me work on that.

Added today: a new platform, TV Player in the UK to the broadcastURI schema.
Also, media titles added through the "via URL" method, the default, will now crop logos that have a white or transparent background. Media titles added through the "via name" method no longer checks Freebase, given Google closed it down three years ago.

1 year, 1 month ago

Added: music, for Australian and Irish radio stations. Here's Australia's 2day and Ireland's 8radio. Hurray! Data!

1 year, 1 month ago

Would it be possible to merge these stations into The Hits;

1 year, 1 month ago

Could Smooth Christmas also be deleted.

1 year, 1 month ago

Hey, Graeme! Done the easy one - deleted Smooth Christmas.

Next - to work out how to merge The Hits stations together. A naive thought that this would be simply putting in "old names" isn't quite true, since I also need to work out how the broadcastURIs work otherwise I break Radioplayer. Um...

1 year, 1 month ago

James, a simple request, can Franceinfo TV be moved to the TV section please?

1 year, 1 month ago

Where stations use more than one PI code on the same FM frequency (notable for Vivacité in Belgium), these FM frequencies are no longer duplicated on listen pages. Also, some display bug fixes for Belgian stations, including ensuring they are correctly identified as FM and DAB.

1 year, 1 month ago

I've now merged the Bauer City 3 stations back into The Hits. (For Radiofeeds I've simply deleted the extra feeds, which I hope was the correct thing to do).

1 year ago

TuneIn "follow" buttons are broken, so I've removed those. Changed wording to "favourites" rather than "followers". On the listen pages, changed the TuneIn URL to point to an https instead of http player, and worked out how to make it auto-start.

1 year ago

One pick up regarding RAJAR figures: as per, the total survey population decreases from 53 million in June 2014 to just 53 thousand in September 2014: about 1000th the size of June's figures

1 year ago

Great catch, Jake. Thanks. I've fixed that - it was an error affecting all UK stations.

1 year ago

Two more things - NTS Albury & Wodonga can be deleted, as it no longer exists.

Should the page for the former 3NE/2QN parent company also be deleted, as it is in effect defunct following the purchase of the four stations by ACE Radio in November?

12 months ago

A codefix this morning, fixing a potential XSS security risk with our search system. I'm grateful to @login_denied who responsibly reported this issue. While there was a potential risk to data, there's nothing to suggest anyone used this exploit for bad things (and there's a limit to what bad things could occur: notably, we don't hold any credit card information or similar).

I've taken the opportunity to log every user out as a precaution.

11 months, 3 weeks ago

A few bugfixes with the dreadfully-broken subscription script. More bugfixes to come with that, I suspect. I've also had to make a few amendments to the login scripts on all platforms after a few issues came to light after logging everyone off. Note to self: don't log everyone off.

Also, removing those broken images in the approval queue.

11 months ago

Some behind-the-scenes work tidying up broadcastURIs for the UK. This has a small knock-on effect of no "listen" buttons for Radioplayer UK, which I'll reinstate shortly. It removes two database calls from all media directory pages, thus speeding them up quite nicely.

11 months ago

James, somewhat of an open question for you regarding the ownership of media titles - specifically, joint ventures.

In Australia, there's cases such as TDT, the Tasmanian Channel 9 affiliate that is owned both by Southern Cross Austereo and WIN Corp - one handling advertising, the other playout. The same goes for DDT Darwin and IDQ Mount Isa/CDT Central Australia (Network Ten), and MDV Mildura and WDT Western Australia (Channel 9). There's a few on the radio front too, mainly co-owned by Grant Broadcasters and Capital Radio Network.

None of the aforementioned television services are listed in at present: how do you think these could be best listed?

11 months ago

Joint owners, that's an interesting one.

I think we should list them, but not to list an owner for now - the system can't deal with a joint owner like that. We might want to add to the "abstract" details of the ownership?

11 months ago

Shall do. The only alternative I could think of is to list the company providing the playout as the "owner", and the company handling advertising as "national sales", though I do think clarifying the joint-venture status in the abstract is probably needed either way.

11 months ago

Yeah - absolutely, list the advertising sales contact as that, but I wouldn't list "owner" as anything with these...

10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi James, Could you deleted JACK fm Hampshire and JACK 2 Hampshire please.

10 months, 2 weeks ago

Looks like Kids FM has quietly shut down. Seems SCA have given up most of their regional 'narrowcast' licenses, with the exception of The Range in Toowoomba, which will most likely be replaced by a simulcast of the new Triple M Country DAB+ service launching tonight.

While I'm looking at things to be deleted, this entry I made in error at some point. Whoops.

10 months, 2 weeks ago

Removed both of those. That was a strange decision!

10 months, 2 weeks ago

Some small changes today.

  • It's no longer possible to become a "pro" member, and the "Pro" badges, annoying text under the ads, and other elements have all been removed. 22 pro members have expired, but I've mailed them telling them they have unlimited pro in future.

  • Adverts have changed size on some screen sizes, as an experiment. The ones on the front page are bloody massive, and I suspect I might do some more work on those.

  • Over the next few weeks, I plan to refresh the look and feel of the website; you'll probably see quite a changes during this time. Particularly, more space and no more silly right-hand column.

I'm also going to remove the discussions section (nobody uses it any more). This page will continue, being deep-linked, but there'll be no navigation to other sections.

10 months, 1 week ago

After one question too many about "how can I edit this?" I've amended the message given when you hit the "Edit this" button to explain how it all works, instead of one sentence telling you to go and log in.

10 months ago

Another error on my part - should be an organisation, rather than a radio station.

9 months, 4 weeks ago

would you believe it, I've done it again.
Time to get my eyes checked!

9 months, 2 weeks ago

Today for some reason the website saw vastly increased CPU usage at 8.15pm GMT. This appears to have confused the webserver enough to stop responding: I kicked it at 10.20pm and it's all working fine.

Also yesterday instead of seeing incoming traffic of about two megabytes a second, we saw 229 MB, at 10.45am GMT. There shouldn't be any reason for that, either, and that's a little confusing. I'll monitor that, too.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

News redirect pages should now be rather faster, as they're now being correctly cached by Amazon Cloudfront.

8 months, 1 week ago

Updated all Facebook API calls to use v2.12. No breakages are suspected, but who knows.

Also, added details on the login page of exactly what we grab from Facebook when a user logs in. Probably important here.

6 months ago

Fixed a regression with the contact-us form (which is increasingly being spammed).

5 months, 3 weeks ago

Updated all Facebook API calls to v3. They've told us we can't take gender of users, so I've removed that from the login process.

3 weeks, 3 days ago

Removed links to Issuu, a digital magazine service, from our directory. The URL call to their servers no longer works.

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