Monthly Archives: July 2012

Spintax errors described more clearly

A small tweak has been made today to the validation routines to more clearly describe errors. In particular, spintax errors occur due to a group not being closed (usually because the text has been pasted in from an external application and it has been truncated to fit into the field), or nested spintax has been used which is not yet supported.

The error will tell you what field called the problem and what the problem was. We’ve also tweaked a few other errors around the site to make them a little clearer.

Job Submission Now Has Full Job (Spintax) Preview

Today we have implemented a subtle change to the way the that job submission works for all job types to include a full job preview (including resolved Spintax) for all submissions. On the job submission form, instead of having a direct submit button and a continue button you now have just a single ‘Preview & Submit’ button. Previously there was a preview option for Articles but now the preview is a mandatory step for all job types.

All validation – including spintax validation is done at this point. So as before, if there is something missing from the form, or a field entry is too short or invalid in some way you’ll get an error message but now your spintax will also be resolved and checked for errors at this point. This will prevent you from submitting a spintax job which has any errors in the input.

Previously, as long as the actual data was valid the job was accepted and the spinning of the job was done later on. If any errors were found (which we assumed would be very rare), the spinning is aborted and the field submitted as-is in plain text, which of course is not desired. We have found two cases that can produce errors through no fault of the member! Firstly, we have a maximum length for every field on the form and when pasting in text from another application that text will automatically be truncated to the correct length. If that truncation happens in the middle of a spintax group, it results in an error.

The second issue is that some members are using nested spintax in their jobs which is not yet supported. Due to the number of members that we have seen use this, it is obviously a desired feature so it is on the list to be implemented in the future but we do have some other higher priority features to implement first.

Back to the job submission… Once you hit the preview button without any errors you are shown a preview of your job. This will allow you to see if any text has been cut off and in the case of spintax jobs it will spin each field and randomly select one spun version to show you so you can see how it might read once submitted to external sites. From the preview page you can go back and continue editing the job or you can submit the finalised job.

Note that this change also affects job editing. So now, to edit a job you click on the details link from the job list as normal but from here you now have the preview button instead of the final submit. Now this is significant for existing members who have jobs in the system with problematic spintax – this will especially apply to anyone who has used nested spintax. Any edits to an existing job will of course go through the same validation routine as a new submission but this now includes the validation of the spintax which means it will ask you to correct the spintax before submitting the changes.

Please go through your existing incomplete spintax jobs and do this to ensure that there are no errors. The jobs will still be submitted without doing this but as previously mentioned, if errors are found the spinning is aborted and the original text containing the spintax is submitted – which is not what you want.

I hope you find the new preview functionality useful and enjoy the more robust spintax functionality!

Stay connected with us in your favorite flavor!