Akkarin

Third-Party Services

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Over the course of this week I've turned my attention to the Paid Services section. A stagnant, undervalued area of the forums that has been the basis for concern throughout rAthena's history. To say this area has undergone an overhaul is an understatement.

Third-Party Services

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The first thing on the list was to change the name to something more appropriate. Members offering their services are indeed third-party, so the name choice was a natural selection.

Next, we needed somewhere to put the new service entries. Using a sub-forum for things like this was always a terrible idea, but never-mind. I created an IP.Pages databases to contain the services - this was the easy part.

The hard part was making it all look snazzy. The default template files for IP.Pages are awful to say the least, so I based these templates off IPS's own version of this. It took the better part of a day to get it all looking cohesive in design, but it was well worth the time spent.

The Service template itself also took some time to get right, but I think most of you will agree it looks pretty good!

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The "Available" and "Not available" status switches easily let other members know if a service is willing to take on more clients. This seemed to be a much better way of portraying availability than seeing "[unavailable]" in the topic title.

The Available Services pills make it easier to search for third-parties offering a particular service, so the string of services at the top of the main page will filter out the services who don't offer what you're looking for.

Th Contact Me button is a URL controlled by the service owner. It defaults to a link to PM them (providing they add their member id) but this could lead to various locations such as Facebook, their website, etc.

The next thing i had to think hard about were public responses to these services. Paid Services were only supposed to have replies that contained a review, so I went with a review system:

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Users can select upto 5 stars (which show on the main service listing page) and can leave a comment. For now, these reviews must be approved by a moderator before the review content is visible. 

The last thing that needed working out were the guidelines for having a service listed. The old and rather stale Paid Services rules were.. unfair. After speaking with Aleos and getting some feedback from the Staff, I believe we've now got a firm method of approval! Point Scoring. Similar to how Maxmind determines a fraudulent transaction, we'll use this method to determine the outcome of a submitted service:

  • Age of account [5]
    • Less than 6 months, 1 point
    • More than 6 months, 5 points
  • Posts on forum [5]
    • Less than 50 posts, 1 point
    • Between 51 and 200 posts, 3 points
    • More than 200 posts, 5 points
  • Activity on github [10]
    • Issue Reporting
      • Reported 3 or fewer issues, 1 point
      • Reported more than 3 issues, 5 points
    • Pull Requests
      • 2 or fewer merged PRs, 1 point
      • More than 2 merged PRs, 5 points
  • Uploaded Files [5]
    • Less than 5, 1 point
    • Equal to or more than 5, 5 points
  • Previous warnings [5]
    • No warnings, 5 points

Maximum points available: 30, must reach 20 points to be approved.

This matrix ensures that members who submit a service that are unable to contribute to the repos directly still have the opportunity to have their service listed.

None of the currently approved Paid Services will be migrated automatically - everyone must go through the same process now. The old Paid Services section is now locked and will vanish next Sunday (19th Feb). When submitting, if your service is approved you should receive a forum notification (if you have them enabled), but if your service is not approved you'll receive a PM from myself giving you pointers on how to reach 20 points.

A link has been placed into the "Community" drop-down in the main navigation bar.

I look forward to this area becoming busy again!

If you encounter any issues, please report them directly to me as soon as possible.

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What about signature and avatar? I'm going to assume you mean links and advertising images - the rules on advertising haven't changed.

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I think it's better to see who is really available or not and choose the good guy, I missed this topic before see the paid service was removed so i'm working on my points =D

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