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Dev Blog: Shareable Bookmarks – Alliance Bookmarks and More!

November 23, 2019

If you’d like to discuss this devblog, head on over to the comments thread on the official forums.

Greetings Capsuleers,

Today’s devblog is brought to you by an entreaty in the form of a bottle of vodka from Fanfest 2013, 248 million points in space, and one Capsuleer whose goal, it seems, is to carefully pinpoint every square meter of New Eden.

As was announced at EVE North, then confirmed at EVE Vegas, a new version of the location system – and an answer to the call to implement “alliance bookmarks” – will be released in the form of Shareable Bookmarks. This is a feature that has been referred to under many different names over time, including ACL Bookmarks and Alliance Bookmarks. The request was for a form of shared locations that addressed the need for alliance bookmarks, but the desire was to take it a step further and also improve the quality of space life for non-alliance type groups. So, in addition to customizable access lists that will allow the sharing of locations across alliances, coalitions, fleets, and friend groups, the UI used to create and access saved locations has also been tidied up. This redesign will make saved locations easier to organize and remove clutter from the space scene.

Speaking of clutter, it’s time to tidy up, location pack rats! As it turns out, there are several hundred of you who really enjoy indexing every nook and cranny of space. At present, there are approximately 102 Capsuleers who have over 20,000 saved locations, 12 of you with over 50,000, and one particularly adept stellar cartographer with 355,374 saved locations. In the new system, this will prove a somewhat daunting visual stimulus in the “People & Places – Locations” window. In other words, you special 115 Capsuleers are in for a much rougher transition than the rest of New Eden. It is suggested that paring down those locations to somewhere under 15,000 locations, in line with the new personal location maximums, would be advisable.

There is much excitement here about the opportunities this new system presents, but a moment must be taken to acknowledge that with the implementation of this new system, the location vouchers that once filled cans across New Eden will be no more. The impact these vouchers have on server stability and performance is massive, and while they added some additional functionality for Escalation trading, the new system allows for a similar form of trading – with just a dash more of potential backstabbing.

The Details:

All of that said, here are some of the finer details of the new system:

  1. Locations are stored in folders, which are either personal or accessed through Access Lists
  • Personal folders work nearly the same as before.
  • Shared folders can be shared through access lists with your corp, alliance, coalition, friends…whomever you want!
  • Folders can contain subfolders to allow bookmarks to be further organized (existing location folders are converted into subfolders).
  • Subfolders are a one-level organization tool, they cannot be nested and do not have individual permission settings.
  • Shared folders must be “connected” to (basically a subscription) – they do not pop up automatically.
  • Shared folders can be linked (by dragging the folder into a text field) to allow anyone with access to connect to the folder.
bookmark-folders
  1. Shared folders have multiple access levels, each of which can be assigned an access list
  • View – View, Warp to locations
  • Use – Add locations, Edit/Delete own locations, Copy locations to a different folder
  • Manage – Edit/Remove locations or subfolders
  • Admin – Delete/Rename Shared Folder, Change ACL
bookmarks-shared-folder
  1. Capsuleers can set connected Shared Folders as Online/Offline
  • Only locations in online folders will be visible in space through the sensor overlay, space brackets, and the right-click menu.
  • Locations can only be added to online folders.
  • Capsuleers are able to online a maximum of five personal location folders and three shared location folders at any given time.
  1. Locations can be set to expire automatically
  • Locations can be set to expire automatically after some time from a set of pre-determined choices.
  • Previously-selected expiry settings will be remembered for each folder and subfolder.
  • Expiry can be removed by editing the location at a later date.
bookmarks-expiry
  1. Addition/Removal/Editing of Shared Locations, folders, and subfolders will happen instantly for all characters with access
  • The ability to warp to a newly created location will now have a hard delay of 2 minutes rather than the old 5 minute cache time.
  • Bookmarks that you cannot yet warp to will not appear in the right click menu.
  • Changes to access levels can be delayed by up to 5 minutes on the client, an unfortunate necessity due to server performance.
  1. Limits
  • Server and client performance were major topics both within EVE’s development team, as well as with the CSM while these changes were worked on. The volume of data involved is gargantuan and straining for the client, server, database and network layer. The previous system had several performance problems if a Capsuleer had too many locations saved. It was also by no means trivial to keep shared folders synchronized. It has been possible to make improvements in several areas, but there has also been a need to place some limitations on the new feature, in order to protect the entire system.
  • This means that the following were able to have their limits expanded:
    • Locations in a shared folder = 500
    • Locations in a personal folder = 3,000
    • Maximum online shared location folders = 3
    • Maximum online personal location folders = 5
    • Maximum location folders created and existing = 30
    • Maximum location folders connected = 30
  • These limits make for a new total of 15,000 (Online) personal locations and 1,500 (Online) shared locations as compared to 13,000 personal and 500 corporate locations available before.
  • Furthermore, there are limits in place for the rate of changes to the system, both per client and per shared folder to nip the potential for purposefully creating server lag in the bud.
  1. UI Changes
  • As such a significant set of changes were being implemented, the opportunity has also been taken to do some iteration and improvements to the user interface surrounding the saved location system
    • The display of Folders in the Locations tab (previously known as the Places tab) has been re-organized to make them more readable and to make personal and shared folders more distinct from each other.
    • When right-clicking in space, Saved locations will now all be organized under a “Locations” entry, rather than in the first menu. This change has been done for consistency with the other menu options (Stargates, Stations etc), and to keep the menu clean and clear. This is indeed a significant change to the flow of this menu if you use it regularly for bookmarks, and may take some adjustment, but the hope is that it should be easier to navigate in the long-term.
  1. ESI Endpoints
  • Replacement bookmark ESI endpoints will not be available at the release of Shared Locations. Unfortunately, further work is needed here, and details will be published in a 3rd party developer devblog. Due to this, it has been determined that no information is better than misinformation. The current ESI endpoints will return empty lists after the release on Tuesday 26 November 2019, so that applications using them will not get a 404 error. The plan is to have this resolved as soon as possible.

The Migration:

Radically altering the shared locations system is going to have an impact on New Eden, but the plan is to keep this as minimal as possible. The plan to migrate the old system to the new one is as follows:

  • Migrating all your locations from the old to the new system
    • Location folders are being converted into subfolders
  • Corporate locations will be converted to a shared locations folder
    • Useful and common sense defaults have been the aim, but given the unique nature of every corporation, it’s likely you’ll need to adjust this folder after migration.
    • All corp members will have view and use roles
    • Directors will have manage and admin roles
      • Note: This access list for directors will NOT be updated automatically when directors are added or removed, but can be managed like any other access list.
  • All location vouchers are being converted into regular bookmarks – except for those currently in a contract.
    • These locations will be placed in a subfolder named “Imported Vouchers” located in either your personal folder or the shared folder of your corporation.
    • Unfortunately they will not retain any markers or notes to identify their origin. That voucher you abandoned in Stain will at long last return home.
    • Bookmark vouchers in a contract: Because contracted vouchers have no clear owner system-side, these will not be migrating to the new system. These vouchers will be converted into a different item to avoid breaking the contracts.
  • Even if you have not taken it upon yourself to index over 350,000 locations as the aforementioned master stellar cartographer did, if you have a large number of saved locations, it is incredibly likely that your location folders will be over the set limits following migration.
    • Despite years of effort and research, the ability to read Capsuleer minds and accordingly know what sort of organizational structure makes the most sense for each individual does not yet exist. Your folders won’t be cleaned for you. You’ll need to tidy up your own saved location folders following migration. Think of this as an opportunity to reminisce on your days trapped in that one safe spot in J-Space as you create a shiny and new “Never Return” subfolder.
    • A few users might also hit the following limits, in which case they will not see all of their saved locations:
      • There will be a maximum of 3000 locations displayed in a single group, be that a subfolder or folder.
      • There will be a hard limit of 20,000 locations that can be loaded from the server.
        • If you are one of the fearless 102 cartographers with over 20,000 saved locations, you will need to exert caution in your winter location cleaning routine as the folders and subfolders you see might contain more locations than at first may appear.

The Advent of ‘Alliance Bookmarks’:

With the release of Shareable Bookmarks, the hope is to see a rise in the exchange of location data between alliances and more. There is much excitement for this new system and hopefully you agree that the wait for the ‘alliance bookmarks’ that have become Shareable Bookmarks has been well worth it. Here are a few fascinating numbers to serve as a cherry on top:

  • Pre-Migration there are:
    • Approximately 248 million saved locations in New Eden
    • Approximately 7.5 million location vouchers still waiting to feel the warmth of a location folder
    • Approximately 2.8 million bookmark folders

Great effort has been made to listen to Capsuleer feedback, the CSM, and use internal testing to ensure this system is the best it can be. As always, if you have any comments about this new system, please head over to the discussion thread on the EVE Online forums!

Thanks for taking this journey through saved locations. Fly Safe!

  • Team Five-0
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