Archive Binge Compatibility

Due to some awesome word of mouth, Archive Binge has grown a lot despite being in Alpha. Through the growth, there have been a number of comics added that, for some reason or another, AB isn’t quite compatible with (yet!), either through the crawler or the reader. If you’re looking to add your comics, here’s some quick tips on making your site as compatible as possible:

The Crawler/Submission

The crawler currently works by identifying a unique tag on the “next page” link in your comic navigation, and then repeatedly following that link through the entire comic to find all of the pages. If there’s no unique marker on the link, it has a lot of trouble finding the next page amoung all the other links on the site.

To make it work as smoothly as possible, try adding a rel=”next” to the “next page” link in your comic’s navigation. It looks like this:

<a href="http://www.galebound.com/comics/2556203/092/" rel="next"><img src="/next.png" alt="Next" /></a>

If that still doesn’t work*, you can also try adding a bit of code in your comic’s header, showing what the link to the next page is:

<link rel="next" href="http://www.yourcomic.com/link/to/next/" />

Smack Jeeves

On the Edit Template: Comic Page HTML editor, add this to the top:

<link rel="next" href="{NAV_NEXT}" />

Note: Technically this is incorrect usage of the <link> tag but…it works for our purposes.

Comic Fury

Add this to the <head> section of Overall in the HTML editor:

<link rel="next" href="[v:nextcomic]" />

Doing this will not only make your comic more compatible with the crawler; it may also speed up your comic’s loading time in some browsers.

If you have any trouble adding your comic to the website, whether or not you try this method, please let me know and I can see about getting your comic added. I’m currently working on revising the crawler so it will work more reliably on more websites, even if there’s no unique identifier to look for.

* There are instances where it doesn’t work even if you have a unique marker on the link. Usually it’s the presence of a dropbox listing links to pages that does this. If this happens, try adding a <link rel…> higher up on the page or contact me.

The Reader

The most common issue on the reader is this:

A blank white screen.

This is usually caused by the webcomic’s server preventing the comic from being embedded in an iframe. This is a completely valid security practice and I won’t recommend disabling it entirely, but it does cause some trouble for Readers like Archive Binge’s. Fortunately, there’s a way to allow Archive Binge without disabling the setting entirely. The method depends on the server type you’re hosting with:

Apache (with mod_headers enabled)

Add this line to your .htaccess file:

Header set Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors http://archivebinge.com"

If you’re not sure how to edit your .htaccess file, please check with your web host. It will likely be a hidden file in your website’s directory.

nginx

Add this line to your site’s configuration:

add_header Content-Security-Policy "frame-ancestors http://archivebinge.com"

IIS

In your site configuration, in the <customHeaders> section, add:

<add name="Content-Security-Policy" value="frame-ancestors http://archivebinge.com" />

x-frame-options

If you have access to edit your x-frame-options directly, try setting it to this:

Header set X-Frame-Options "ALLOW-FROM http://archivebinge.com"

If none of these options work or result in errors, please check with your webhost’s support department and they may be able to assist you. Alternatively, I can switch your comic to use the Webtoons-style bookmarking system in which your comic isn’t loaded in an iframe, but the reader can manually mark their place as they read (For example: https://archivebinge.com/comic/140). If you would like me to switch your comic to the Webtoons system, please let me know!

Hope this helps and, as always, please let me know if you run into any trouble or have any suggestions or feedback for the site. Read on!

Reference: https://ole.michelsen.dk/blog/secure-your-website-with-content-security-policy.html

Development Update #1

Hey, just a short update regarding the progress made:

  • Increment crawler now works. It’s likely still a little shaky, but if you have a comic that you think will require the incrementer and it’s not working, please shoot me an email.
    • Existing comics that should have been using the incrementer or the standard crawler have been switched appropriately. There’s a few comics still using the manual crawler, but unfortunately their websites are so malformed crawling may not be possible
    • On that note, I intend to write up a short “best practices” article soon for increasing the odds of the crawl working
  • Reader Updates
    • Added ‘close frame’ button
    • Added text indicating what page you’re on out of how many total
    • Added ability to subscribe (and therefore bookmark) from the Reader
    • Fixed the issue where the Reader was cutting off the bottom of pages
  • Remember Me should actually work now
  • Lots and lots of bug fixes

In short, it’s been a busy week!

With the increment crawler in place and working, I’m going to ease up on the crawler work for a little bit to continue working on quality-of-life improvements on the site. As always, if you run into any bugs or issues or weirdness, please let me know!

Alpha Launch

Res here! This morning I finished everything necessary to reach the “Minimum Viable Product” stage of Archive Binge.  Is it feature complete? Eh, not quite. Going forward, however, the bulk of the work is behind the scenes (e.g. making the submission process more streamlined and fixing the crawler) or some quality of life improvements (e.g. unbreaking the “Remember Me” thing) so for the purposes of answering the question “can it be used?” the answer is “yes”.

If you’re new here (which I imagine you are, considering this is a brand new site), go ahead and create an account. Once you do, you may add, subscribe, edit, and read the comics listed here. Any comics read via the site will be bookmarked so you can pick up where you left off.

For site news and help, you can keep follow updates on the rest of the features in the Trello linked above, or reach me for support if you run into trouble (links on the Contact page).

Go read some webcomics!