Weasyl

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Weasyl
Weasyl-Home.png
Weasyl front page
Author(s) LLC Owner: Kihari
Website
Status Open beta
Genre Social art community
Rating(s)
Censor PG button.png
Censor NC17 button.png

Weasyl is a social art gallery website, intended to to serve artists in both the furry fandom and the broader online artistic community. Weasyl is "a social gallery website designed for artists, writers, musicians, and more to share their work with other artists and fans." [1] The project's stated primary goals are to provide a secure and easy-to-use site that grants its users the greatest possible margin of artistic freedom. As of May 2014, Weasyl hosted over 600,000 submissions, with 69,000 registered users, 51,000 journals and 36,000 characters.[2]

History[edit]

Illustration by Stereo, used to convey that the site was still a work in progress.

Serious development on Weasyl (then known as the Fergal Project[3]) began in early September 2011, with the intention of it being a simple gallery site exclusive to the furry art community; however, as development progressed and new features were added, the scope of the project expanded beyond its original intentions.

In October 2011 the project underwent major architectural changes (including a change in programming languages) in order to support a larger userbase and more advanced features. By the end of that month, a demonstration website was made available for users interested in testing the in-progress site.[4] Beginning in January 2012, the codebase underwent yet another refactoring phase coinciding with an upgrade away from its original user interface. The original site staff was also largely formed during this month.

Weasyl LLC was formed in March 2012,[5] becoming the website's operating organization. About three months later, staff launched a two-month long donation drive for site start-up costs, with a target goal of $5000. Donations of $5 or more earned the donor an invite to the beta release.[6] On August 1, the drive came to a close, with over 200 people donating a combined $6015.[7]

In June 2012, Weasyl presented a panel at Anthrocon, where a new user interface was demoed for the audience.[8] The panel met with a positive reception. Weasyl's forums opened July 26, two months ahead of the planned beta launch.[9]

Weasyl was slated to be released into open beta during the summer of 2012;[10] the launch was later moved to "late-September" 2012.[11] On September 30, the site came online, but was taken offline a day later to resolve "obvious issues",[12] remaining offline for a week, before being brought back online.

On February 14th, 2013, in celebration for Valentine's day, Weasyl went into Open Beta mode, meaning an invite is no longer required for account creation.[13]

On March 1st, 2013, Benchilla stepped down as an officer of Weasyl LLC[14] amidst accusations of Weasyl staff sockpuppeting on Fur Affinity's donation drive journal.[15] However, Benchilla has since stated that the accusation is simply a rumour, and to not believe anything without "actual physical evidence."[16] He has since officially relinquished any stock in the LLC as of December 2013, leaving Kihari to be the sole proprietor.

Features[edit]

The site boasts a number of features:

  • A Collections tool, which "enables a user to have a second gallery of submissions that were made for them, rather than by them." Through this, the intended effect is to reduce the number of duplicate uploads of commissioned, gift or shared-credit works in separate galleries. Followers are notified of collections updates.
  • Characters, allowing users to post reference sheets and biographies for their original characters and fursonas. These are considered separate from general "Content" (including art and literary works) and "Journals".
  • Streaming Notifications for informing users of when one is broadcasting live video of composition
  • Four-Tiered Rating System - "General", "13 and Up", "18 and Up" and "Graphic".
  • Folders for user submissions.

Mascot[edit]

The mascot of the website is Wesley, an ermine dressed in a beret and vest whose tail is usually tipped in wet paint (as he frequently uses it as a paintbrush). His markings change with the seasons, adorning him with either his summer or winter coat as appropriate. The mascot was originally designed by FayV, who created the character after input from the rest of the staff. Since the character's inception, Wesley has been drawn by many different artists.

Server configuration[edit]

Weasyl is partitioned into several servers, some of which are virtual machines (using VMware ESXi[17]):

  • davaux - front-end application and forums server (quad-core with three Nginx worker processes, 8GB RAM [16Gb to mid-December 2013])
  • chopin - PostgreSQL database server (quad-core, ~8GB RAM, ~160Gb HDD [VelociRaptor?])
  • mcd1 - Memcached server (single-core, 4GB RAM; possibly transferred from davaux, which briefly ran memcached)
  • eisler - backup server, bug-tracker, test site, pastebin, and projects host (dual-core, 4GB RAM)
  • fuchs - status monitoring and former Apache server (eight cores, 1GB RAM)
  • bach - development server (?)

The names effigy, eisler and median are mentioned in the context of handling requests, as were carlotta (to early January 2014) and saturn (to mid-April 2014).

The site has been hosted by EGIHosting (a Hurricane Electric reseller) since mid-December 2013.[18]

In October 2014, Weasyl staff reported the acquisition of a 32Tb disk array with SSD cache.[19][20] The announcement came during a series of DDoS attacks on major furry art sites which resulted in a burst of Weasyl users.

References[edit]

  1. https://www.weasyl.com/help/about Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  2. "We have just recently passed 600000 submissions! (Plus 36000 characters, 51000 journals, and 69000 registered users!)" - Weasyl, Twitter (10 May 2014)
  3. Fergal Project: User Page 1 - Kihari, Fur Affinity submission (7 September 2011)
  4. Fergal Project: Pre-Beta 1 Demo ONLINE - Kihari, Fur Affinity Journal (28 October 2011)
  5. Oh, By the Way - Benchilla & Kihari, Official Tumblr Post (4 March 2012)
  6. Profile: Upcoming art site Weasyl seeks $5000 by July 31 - GreenReaper, Flayrah (28 July 2012)
  7. Weasyl: A Community For Artists of All Sorts - IndieGoGo (1 August 2012)
  8. 2012 Weasyl Anthrocon Panel - Weasyl staff, YouTube (20 June 2012)
  9. Announcing the Official Opening of Our Forums! - Official Tumblr Post (26 July 2012)
  10. Do You Have An Estimate On When Your Site Goes Live? - Weasyl Tumblr (12 February 2012)
  11. We Did It! - Weasyl Tumblr (4 August 2012)
  12. Weasyl goes up, then down again over "obvious issues" - GreenReaper, Flayrah (2 October 2012)
  13. Weasyl <3’s You - OPEN BETA - Official Tumblr Post (14 February 2013)
  14. Wait, Wait, Fixate • Stepping Down From Weasyl - Benchilla, tumblr post (1 March 2013)
  15. Is it true what I heard about Weasyl staff catching one of the founders sockpuppeting? retrieved 4 May 2013.
  16. Q: is it true that you sockpuppeted on Furaffinity back in march telling people to donate to Weasyl instead of FA? post on Waitwaitfixate.com. Posted June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  17. Post-Mortem on Site Outage - Term, Weasyl forums (18 April 2014)
  18. Weasyl Server Migration - Fiz, Weasyl forums (17 December 2013)
  19. "Shiny new server to install this weekend, 32TB Array and SSD cache. More room for all your art! #Weasyl" - KeetOrca, Twitter (17 October 2014)
  20. Site Updates / DDoS Information - Fiz, Weasyl forums (21 October 2014)

External links[edit]


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