www.whyville.net Feb 28, 2003 Weekly Issue

What's New This Week!

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Many of you may have read last week's "What's New!" with not a small amount of consternation and surprise. A brand-new Whyville Times? What? Where?? Indeed, even as I write this editorial, the Times appears from the front page to be nothing but a scattered collection of poorly ordered (though well-written) articles. Where is this supposedly "incredible new layout", "fully-searchable archives", etc?

Well, as has happened too often in recent memory, the Times found itself reporting news well before the events actually come to pass. Excitable researchers? Perhaps.... Too many optimistic promises made by City Hall over tea and crumpets? Possibly....

In any case, it is my fondest hope that this week will see the revolution of the Times that I've been looking forward to for well over a year. Yes, folks, the new layout, database, and BBS structure you see slowly forming were designed in concept form back in January 2002. I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I am to finally bring these ideas to the electronic page!

Along with the new newspaper, we've also seen a metamorphosis in the Whyville chat servers. In one huge publish last week, city management gave us innumerable bug fixes and fundamental improvements... along with a slew of bugs and fundamental *changes*, not all approved of by the citizenry.

Gathered together over the past six months, the alterations represent a huge effort by city workers to speed up the site. Though the server crashed several times daily, City Hall hails the new system as a huge time saver and boon to citizens and workers alike. In the first day, over 40% more Whyvillians were able to log on to Whyville without seeing the dreaded Waiting Room.

New commands now give citizens surprising flexibility: instead of typing "smile Bigfoot" to throw a smiley at Bigfoot, you'll need to say "throw smile Bigfoot" or "throw smile N" where N is an angle, in degrees. See what else you can throw -- just be careful that you don't throw away your house!

The demo to the nutrition game has also leaked out into the public. Citizens seem to be eating everything from steak sandwiches to TV dinners, and yet not all the food items have been discovered! In this vein, City Hall will soon be announcing a contest -- folks who discover uneaten foods will earn their names on a special list accessible from the city announcements page. Keep reading the Times to learn more about this opportunity!

Just FYI, the nutrition game has not yet begun, so eating does not affect your health yet. In the meantime, you can eat all the chocolate candy bars and marshmallows you want... just be prepared for when the town nutritionist shows up and starts to cluck at your terrible eating habits!

One final note -- the Times staff is WAY behind on our mail right now, so this week's articles aren't exactly time-dependent. Hopefully this will be corrected next week. I want to warn you that at some point we may clear out our mailboxes. This would mean that any article submitted prior to a certain date will not be published, and authors will be encouraged to re-submit their works.

All for the betterment of Whyville,

Times Editor


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