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Brent P. Newhall

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I'm a 21st Century Renaissance Man.

In the world of Hai:
I'm trying to get email and SMS notifications working, but I've run into an unexpected problem: my ISP is flagging them as spam and not letting me send them. Even when I just send one.

Looks like I'll have to sign up for a professional email service that won't have these problems. Annoying, but at least I'm getting closer!

Photo by epSos .de
In the world of Hai:
You can now schedule events within Hai (check out the left sidebar). At the time of the event, a Google Hangout button will appear on the event, and everyone on the event will be included in the Hangout when you click the Hangout button.

Events work similarly to rooms: they can be invite-only, public/private (not visible on the web), and/or hidden (not listed within Hai).

Dates/times will be automatically converted into your local timezone.

Please test this out! As a solo developer, there was only so many ways I could test this myself, so there may be unexpected bugs.

Oh, while I was at it, I also fixed the tab order, so when you compose a post, pressing tab now goes to the World text box, then to the Post button, then to the Discard button. So when you're done writing, you can just hit tab-tab-space to post.

Photo source:
In the world of Hai:
A few quick fixes today, thanks to suggestions from @Alan:

  1. The "Leave Room" button on rooms has been moved to the upper-right corner of the page, where folks are less likely to click it accidentally.
  2. In the compose pane, the Public, Comments, and Editable checkboxes should now stay with their labels if they have to wrap down to the next line.

There was also a bug causing @'s to display incorrectly in preview (they worked fine when posted); I've fixed that as well.
In the world of Hai:
OK, @ replies should work now, with a new format: You have to surround the name with @ and @, instead of using the old @"Name" format. The version with the quotes caused parsing errors a lot, and the new format is a little quicker to type. The documentation's already been updated.

So, to ping someone, type @ followed by their name, and end it with another @.

Also, you can now drag-and-drop images into room descriptions when creating them. Enjoy!

Photo credit:
In the world of Hai:
As several others noted, comment functions weren't showing up. Turns out there was an update to the PHP on the site that I wasn't aware of, and that changed the behavior of a particular logical test in the code. Comments are working now.

Very sorry about that problem! Social networks aren't nearly as much fun if you can't have conversations in them....
In the world of Hai:
You can now upload PDFs by dragging-and-dropping them onto the compose pane. The PDF will embed itself in the post, and below it will be an "Open" link that will open the PDF in a separate window.

I'm planning an update that will only embed small to medium size PDFs; large ones will just display a clickable icon (ideally, a thumbnail of the first page).

I fixed a rendering error on the front page that caused things to go out of whack. It has to do with the @ reply system. Unfortunately, @ replies don't work at the moment until I can dig into the problem. For those curious: I was using a simple algorithm to match @ symbols, which meant that if a post contained, say, 2 email addresses, the text between the two @s was rendering as an @ reply. Should be pretty easy to fix, though.
In the world of Hai:
Thanks to suggestions by Andrew Shields and @"SinbadEV" I've decided to add 2 new features in the future:

  1. Drag-and-drop PDFs onto a post and it'll work just like an image. It will auto-upload and display a preview. When posted, you'll be able to click on the PDF and scroll through it within the browser.
  2. Event scheduling, similar to

I also want to add https at some point, but that'll cost some money.

Are those posts or comments only? And is there a hashtag you want us to use for feedback?
Posts and comments will function identically.

Ideally, include feedback in the "Hai" World, or mention me using the standard @" format.
Pinging @"twwombat" for those characters, please. :-)

Sickness and work of all stripes has delayed me somewhat. I have 3 left to type in, then I'll share the whole shebang and start working up the subsector.
In the world of Hai:
Hi, all! A bunch of changes today.

  • I fixed a bug that was, er, preventing people from posting publicly. Sorry about that!
  • To mention somebody, start and end the person's name with @ symbols instead of using @"Name". The mention will now be a link to that person's profile, too.
  • When you upload an image, as soon as it's done the progress bar will now disappear and the image will appear in the preview.
  • In rooms, I fixed the message displayed below the compose box about where the post will appear.
  • When creating an account, the suggested password phrases are now closer to a sensible phrase.
  • I clarified the language on the search page and cleaned up the popup when hovering over a user's name.
Hey... been bugged by this one for a while but figured you would get around to it... would it be possible to change the widths/heights of things so there isn't so much "pop" when you mouse over them? (for example:, have the div with class "author" always be 160px wide by 130px tall so it doesn't jump up from 144px by 82px and move everything when you mouse over it.)
Ah, right! Thanks for reminding me. I can't control height because that depends on browser zooming, but I've just changed the width so it doesn't pop left and right, which makes the experience much smoother.

That's been in the back of my mind for weeks. Thanks!
Thanks for adding me!

I'm cool with just about any style for play-by-post, and I'm leaning towards exploration/trading for this game.

Feel free to create any character you want for me. I'll roll with it.

Thanks for the invite! I too prefer exploration. I am happy with a pre-gen of just about any sort but I will peruse the rules tonight.
In the world of Hai:
Thanks to @"AVacc" for pointing out a bug in rooms that made text disappear while you were typing a comment. I've fixed that (it was an issue with the code that shows new posts as they come in).

I've also added user search to the search page as a separate field. Type part of a user's visible name in the user search field to find him or her. You can also add any found users to Teams (or Wave or block those users) right from the search results.

In addition, each user's profile page now includes basic controls for adding that user to Teams, Waving, and blocking. Those controls appear at the top of the page.
In the world of Hai:
Added some login features today.

  • When logging in, you can now click a checkbox to remain logged in for 30 days. This will set a cookie in your browser. Logging out clears the cookie.
  • There's now a separate Create Account page. The previous system, where people entered a username and password in the login fields, just confused people. This page also displays random words you can use as a seed for a long password.
  • I've changed the password policy to require 10-character passwords and only one special character, digit, or upper-case letter. This only applies to new passwords from now on, so you don't have to change your password if it's less than 10 characters.

I've also noticed some weird behavior around Waves that I'm looking into. Some Waves showed up for me briefly on the wrong pages, and it looks like there was a blank Wave created. Seems to be working okay now based on my simple tests, but let me know if you're having any problems.

Photo by JD Hancock
More features today:

  • Very long posts are now shortened, with the addition of a Read more link to expand the post to its full size. This is for those situations when someone, say, pastes a chapter of a book into a post.
  • Moderators of Rooms can now make a post "sticky" by clicking the Sticky link at the bottom of a post. Stickied posts always appear at the top of the room. This lets you create introductory posts with rules of behavior and such.
  • When you compose a post, it looks more like a regular post (your avatar and name are displayed next to it, and the buttons are aligned towards the top of the compose window instead of the middle). This is part of an overall UI move to make posts look and work more like threaded conversation messages a la Google Wave. I hope to make composing and editing posts much simpler, almost like editing a document.
  • A few bug fixes when loading more posts.

Photo by Moyan Brenn
In the world of Hai:
You can now private message anyone on Hai with "Waves." Hover your mouse over their profile picture and click the Wave link to write a new private message to that person. They'll get a Ping about it. The new Waves page on the navbar will show you all your Waves, which will also be shown in your Teams and Everything streams.

I've also moved the Everything link on the navbar down towards the bottom, to sort those links from more personal at the top to more general at the bottom. I'm still not completely happy with the organization over there, but that feels more logical for now.

How do you think the navbar should be organized?

Photo by Matthias Ripp
In the world of Hai:
Another quick update: mobile now looks and works much better. I had trouble with the mobile-specific CSS a while ago, and I've now fixed it so that should work pretty well on a given phone or tablet. Fonts are reasonable sizes and all that.
In the world of Hai:
A feature and a bug fix today!

  • Search now looks for each word you type instead of the whole phrase. So, if you search for yamaha speaker it will search for posts and comments containing yamaha and containing speaker, instead of posts that only contain the exact phrase yamaha speaker. Search also supports negation (search for posts that don't contain a word), and quoted phrases (so you can search for doctor who ). It's all documented on the search page.
  • I've fixed the Load More Posts button at the bottom of pages, so it loads posts correctly no matter how many there are. I've tested this for several pages of results and it looks like it works perfectly; no missing posts on the boundary between pages or anything.

Photo: "Sky Search" by Patrick Emerson
In the world of Hai:
Several cool features today:

  • You can now block users by hovering over their profile picture and clicking the Block link. You'll get a verification popup. You can see everyone you've blocked on your account page and unblock people from there.
  • Worlds and Rooms now have human-readable URLs, like
  • Posts now have a Comments checkbox that's checked by default. Uncheck it, and comments are not allowed on the post.
  • When you create your account, you are now directed to your account page so you can set your visible name, profile picture, etc.

Next: Better search, and improving the Load More Posts button so it works consistently (right now, I think it only works for the second page of results).

Photo by Mark Rowland
@"Michael" Man, that's a good question. :-) For me it'd be T├ękumel.
In the world of Hai:
Doing a lot of boring behind-the-scenes lately. I plan to move on to more exciting stuff now that I've done this:

  • You can now import an account from an XML file that you've exported. your account page contains an Export Your Account button which will export all your account info, posts, comments, images, and videos as an XML file. And now it has an Import Your Account button which will take that XML file and import it into your account. So, if you ever want to leave Hai, you can take your account with you, and can always plug all that back into Hai later. Comments will even re-appear on the posts to which they were assigned.
  • You can now add a security question and answer to your account. You can then answer that question to reset your password, even if your email/phone are out of date.
  • I also fixed a bug that caused comment history to appear in the main lists. Comment history now only appears if you view a post on its own.

Next: blocking users, human-readable URLs for worlds and rooms (such as, and better search (right now it just searches for the whole phrase you typed, instead of splitting it into words).

Photo by Kevin Dooley
In the world of Hai:
A few more additions today as I was playing around:

Hai now stores and displays a history of comments. Click on a post's timestamp in the upper-left corner of the post to view all previous edits to the post and its comments.

As @"Marcus" suggested, I've improved the die roller so you can optionally see each die roll. If you add "p" to the end of any dice notation, it'll print the rolls. Example:

17 (rolled 6,5,6 on 3d6p)

I've also planned out how to handle account import, and I'm noodling with a feature that will take a movie or book title and automatically italicize it and link to its IMDb or Amazon entry.

Photo by Tiffa Day
24 (rolled 2,10,5,4,1,2 on 5d10ep)

In the world of Hai:
A few little things today.

You can export your account as an XML file. Just go to your account page and click the Export Your Account button near the bottom of the page.

This XML document is human-readable, so you can skim through it and pull out whatever you'd like. It includes your account information, posts, comments, images, and videos.

I'm working on an account import feature, too, but that'll take a little longer. The important thing is that you can get all your data out of Hai.

If you edit a post that someone else wrote, you can no longer change the Public or Editable checkboxes on that post. You can change the World, though, since the author may not have associated it correctly.

Next up: Account import and keeping a history of comments.
In the world of Hai:
An important if rarely needed feature today: you can now delete your account. Go to your account page and click the Delete account button. You'll get a confirmation page explaining what it does before it deletes anything. :-)

This will delete all your posts, comments, images, and videos, and will remove you from any Rooms you joined. And, of course, it'll delete all your account information, including your profile image.

The only thing it can't remove are edits you made to posts that other people marked as editable.

I wrote this feature now because I want people to feel safe in using Hai. I want them to know that if they want to remove all their content from Hai, the site will actually and completely delete their account. It doesn't wait around for some unknown time like on Facebook, nor will Hai only delete some of your information. It'll be all gone.

Next: exporting (and importing!) all your data, so you can move on and keep whatever you wrote.
In the world of Hai:
Hey, see that little search box in the left-hand sidebar? You can search posts and comments now!

I've also re-added the link to recover your password to the login box.

I spent a couple hours today trying to get Facebook/Twitter cross-posting to work, but I'm, errr, not quite there yet. I think I'm going to move on to account deletion and exporting/importing your account.

(Image source)
In the world of Hai:
Hai has a die roller now. Check out the formatting page for the notation. It's basically [ ROLL ] 1d6 [ /ROLL ] or [ ROLL 1d6 ] (without the spaces).

It supports XdY, XdF (Fudge/Fate dice), and Xd% (percentile). And you can add/subtract bonuses (XdY+Z), so all of these are valid:

4d8e (8's "explode" and are rolled again)
I am 54 (1d%) thrilled.
Odd... it acts like it's going to work and then doesn't... posts only maybe?
Whoops! Indeed. Should be fixed now: 81 (1d%)

(Try editing your comment and it should take.)
Incidentally, all edits to a post are recorded, and I've made a note to do the same for all comments. So you'll be able to go back and look at any posts or comments to ensure someone didn't alter the roll's result.
What happens if I try to edit a post with a roll-that-has-already-been-rolled? 0 (42dF)

Oh, nifty...

13 (2d6)

OK, Honour system then :P

Also, suspicious of that zero...

-2 (42dF)-3 (42dF)-8 (42dF)1 (42dF)

Ah, case sensitive Fs

0 (1df)0 (1df)

I don't know.

0 (dF)0 (df)-1 (1dF)0 (1df)
Well, as I wrote above, I will be recording all changes to comments and will display them as well.

But also, yeah, to an extent there's only so much you can do to stop cheating.
54 (5d10e)

Hmmm ... is there ay way to add an option to show the specific die rolls as well? It would be nice to know what the values of each die was.
Certainly possible! I'll add that to the feature list.
In the world of Hai:
A bunch more changes today.

  • You can now choose which of your subscribed Worlds and Rooms are listed publicly on your profile page. Whatever you type in your About box appears on your profile page, too. This lets you show other people your interests.
  • Rooms auto-update as new posts arrive. So rooms now work very much like chatrooms.
  • When editing a post, the World field now persists (you had to manually re-type it every time you edited before).
  • I've fixed an issue which confused invite-only with password-protected when joining a Room.
  • I fixed a bug on the hasthag page that was causing an error message to appear.