Last Friday, another OpenStudy release went out with some improvements and changes. I wanted to mention three in particular.
Borderlicious Viewers and Chatters
I posted about our new avatar decorations last week. People who were viewing a question, however, did not have any avatar decorations; nor were avatars in chat properly rewarded for the awesomeness of their posters. We fixed that right up, so now the small avatars that indicate who is viewing/replying to a question and the ones next to chat messages get the right border color, just like reply avatars:
\cancel and \bcancel in the Equation Editor
The OpenStudy equation editor supports a lot more functions than just the one that it has buttons for. Indeed, thanks to the MathJax technology that it is based on, it supports a full range of LaTeX math typesetting. However, there are a few gaps from specialized packages. Last week, we implemented two macros that had been requested, \cancel and \bcancel. These are used to indicate that two parts of an equation are being ‘cancelled out’ during a calculation. \cancel goes bottom-left to top-right, while \bcancel goes top-left to bottom-right. You can use them like this:
We’ve been thinking about ways to bring people who help each other closer on OpenStudy for some time now. There are a bunch of ideas that we have brewing and churning away, but we’re so excited that want to get them into your hands as soon as we can finish them. The first step is to give some love to fans. When we introduced medals, the concept of fans, which is the oldest concept on OpenStudy next to questions and chat, kind of fell by the wayside. You can become a fan of any user who is particularly helpful or fun or whose chats you enjoy. Any user, basically, that you like. You can become a fan either by hovering over their avatar and clicking ‘Become a Fan’ or by going to their profile and doing the same thing:
The first improvement we’re adding to fans is to give special attention to situations where you are a fan of someone and they are also a fan of you. These people are what we call ‘Mutual Fans’. For now, the special treatment is that your mutual fans appear separately in your online users list, so that you can know when they are online. When mutual fans are on, you get an extra section at the top of the list just for them:
We hope this will let you develop some closer ties with those people. But don’t worry! We aren’t finished giving fans (or mutual fans) attention. There’s more to come in the near future.
In the meantime, let us know how you like these new features in the comments, or by posting in the OpenStudy Feedback group at http://openstudy.com/groups/OpenStudy+Feedback . If you have ideas as to how we can improve the social ties on OpenStudy, or how we can improve anything else, feel free to post them in the same group, or in our UserVoice, which you can always get to by clicking the red Feedback button on the left of all OpenStudy pages.