Update for January 2021

After a strange and different year, the calendar now says it is 2021. That means that next month Super8database will be one year old. But we are still not there, and in the meantime we have made several changes we hope will be of interest:

This update at a glance

  • Support for multiple languages, including German
  • Filters for languages
  • Filter for covers
  • Community news
  • Performance improvements (better caching and more CPU)
  • New page selector for large search result sets
  • Optional grid view of the search results (good for browsing covers)

First off; we have now support for multiple languages! This has been planned for a long time, but finally it is here! The statistics tells us we have a lot of German users, and now I am glad to say we are adding many German films. A special thanks to Andreas Chmielewski and Super8rezensionen for a lot of fantastic cover scans of German covers! We still have a lot of German covers to add, and there are new ones added each week. There are a few covers from other countries as well, and any non English release are of interest.

German covers
German covers

Non English covers are marked with a flag in the top left corner. Of course the flag won’t be a part of the cover if you download it, but on the front page and in the search results it is easy to see the language if it is non English.

It is easy to filter the search result for a specific language if you are looking for something specific. English films and films without a spoken language or language on the cover are treated the same.

We also added the possibility to filter search results by cover status: If you want to look at covers; make sure to only show the results that do have one!

Filter for language
Filter for films with cover

The second big news is the inclusion of Community News. It is important in our small community to share what is going on, and this is our attempt to make awareness about what is going on in the rest of the community. Any tip of news we should include is most appreciated!

We have a new Community News section on the front page.

Lately we also got hammered by someone with many servers hosted at one of the big cloud providers. They searched for many films, found them through google in our list of all films as a spreadsheet, and them hammered our site in a rapid succession and in parallel. They didn’t respect the crawling standard like all the normal web crawlers (should) do, and long story short; they took us down for a few minutes every day. To avoid this, we added caching to the generation of our spreadsheets for all the files in the database (these spreadsheets are available at the about page). This compilation of the list started to get very heavy to generate, and you had to wait for 40 seconds which is nowhere near acceptable. These files are now pregenerated, cached and are quick to download. In addition we did some server tuning. If the server software died, it will now auto restart itself, so hopefully we will not be taken down like this.

As a second part to get more robust, and as a general upgrade, we added more CPU to the server. All parts of the site should now be more responsive with lower load times.

Some problems shows up as the database grows. If you ever tried to search for “Derann” lately, you would see that the number of pages in the search result was bigger than what the screen width could show. This means that we now have a serious amount of releases in the database, but it also meant that something had to be done. So we made a new page selector! You will now always see the first and last page in the selector, and the closest pages to the current page:

The improved page selector in the search result

And finally we have one more change for the search functionality: Whenever you search for something, you can now choose between the default view (with a list of search results highlighting the matching search terms and more information about each item) and the brand new grid view. The optional grid view, especially in combination with the filter to only show results with a cover scan, makes it much easier to browse the covers. Your browser will remember your choice, and the choice between each type of view is easily reachable right under the input field:

The new optional grid view for the search result.

That was all the technical changes this time, but in the end it is all about the data. Since last time we have added a lot of new films, with and without a cover. It may not be as easily spotted month by month as the technical changes, but they are way more important and requires more of the time! Thanks again for all the covers we have received so far!