|Mark Smith (mark) wrote in dw_news,|
@ 2009-08-17 09:25 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||weekly announcements|
1. Code Push Tonight
Shortly after I finish writing and post this entry, I will be doing a code push. This process is an arcane mystery involving butter and woe... okay, so maybe not. It's actually fairly straightforward. But the amount of code that is going live is a lot.
If you've forgotten, Denise has been doing weekly code tours for the past few weeks, and she's documented all of the resolved bugs that will be going live tonight:
Some of the things I feel like calling out:
* The importer will no longer duplicate crossposted entries. You can now import as much as you want if you're using the crossposter.
* New "random user sponsor" feature which allows people to find random free users that they might like to buy a paid account for.
* Fix gmail threading on comment emails. Yay!
* Make the top half of the circle edit page far easier on the eyes and easier to use. We still have a lot planned for this page, too!
* Five new styles!
There are, as always, dozens of other fixes, improvements, tweaks, and miscellaneous things that go live with a code push. If you're interested in more detail, you can read the_dw_herald for a very high level overview (and other good information), changelog_digest for a breakdown of every commit in digest form, or the raw feed in changelog for the blow by blow analysis.
2. State of the Business
Today I made a post in dw_biz:
This post covers our current fiscal situation (pretty good) as well as invites you to ask any questions you might have about the business. In particular, we're having a discussion on one of the suggestions of raising revenue (virtual gifts / "vgifts") and would welcome your feedback.
If you have any other ideas on services you think would be appropriate to the site (mind our Guiding Principles and Diversity Statement!) that would make positive contributions to our bottom line, please let us know! You can email us directly (email@example.com) or you can comment to this or the above linked post.
3. Development Roadmap Update
Right now we have a few priorities on Dreamwidth as far as upcoming features and functionality. We're encouraging our volunteers who like design and styles to work on getting as many styles and layouts together, as we recognize that's a big shortcoming of the site right now.
On the other end of things, our newer developers are focusing on fixing the broken bits we have inherited from LiveJournal. Removing code that is dead/unused, updating code to use modern coding practices, fixing pages that are not "English stripped" so that our documentation team can actually copyedit the entire site, fixing long-standing bugs that have been annoying us for years, etc.
My personal current project is reading filters. I have another section in this post about this, so I'll say nothing more for now.
The next project that we will work on is site-wide search, allowing people to search the entire site (public posts only to begin with). We've decided to go with the privacy model that was favored by most of the commenters in the news post where we discussed this. (And of course, we will post more details when we actually implement it.)
After that, draft/scheduled posts is on the short list and then starting to get down to working on a photo/audio/video hosting component to the site. I'm excited about those, actually, because I've lost way too many posts in my life.
Of course, that's a lot of work for a site that is purely run by volunteers and people who already have day jobs... (but more on this later).
4. Reading Filters
The new "content filters" code is currently going into testing so that people can really bang on them and make sure they work. The reason it's taking so long - and I suppose I can spill the beans now - is that we added quite a bit of functionality to what you're used to.
In particular, we've made it so that when you create a content filter and add someone to it, you can now set options on which content, exactly, you want to see. For example, with the new system, you can do the following:
* Create a filter, name it 'Tech Stuff'
* Show posts by mark with ANY OF the tags: perl, code, computers, tech
* Show posts in dw_dev posted by a community maintainer
* Show posts in dw_biz
* Show posts in randomstuff with Safe For Work content
What does this filter show you? Exactly what it says. Any posts I make that are tagged with one of the listed tags (you can also choose 'all of' and 'none of'). Plus, posts in the first community that were made by a maintainer. All posts from the second community. And from the third, posts that are flagged as Safe For Work (or have no flag set).
These options give you a lot of flexibility over what you see and don't see in your filters. If you know that someone posts things that you don't care about, and they always tag it "tmi", you can now make sure that those posts don't show up on your reading page.
The system is pretty flexible, too. As people come up with new and interesting filters they want to make, we can fairly easily add them. If you have any great ideas for filters that you'd love to have, let me know.
Of course, one thing to note is that this is mostly a paid user feature. Free users will have access to create basic content filters which are exactly what you're used to from other sites. Only paid users will be able to filter by tag, poster, etc.
I expect an early version of reading filters to be in the next code push -- late August/early September.
5. Full Time Development
If you've ever thought "Wow, Dreamwidth has a lot planned. Where are they going to find the development time for all of that?" Well, I'm proud to announce that I have officially turned in my resignation to my current employeer (Google) and my last day there will be October 2nd. I will become Dreamwidth's second dedicated employee. (Denise is already working on Dreamwidth at fulltime+!)
I do have to say that Dreamwidth wouldn't be where it is now without the support of my employer. They've been aware of the project for a long time (I sought out official approval for me to work on it on the side, which they granted after a review) and have been nothing but happy to have me working on such a good project. Part of me is really sad to be leaving, but I know this is the right decision for me and for Dreamwidth.
This is a gamble, sure, but we believe it will work. Dreamwidth needs the development energy to keep it pointed in the direction it's been going, and this is a good way to help make that happen.
As you might expect, massive thanks to my wonderful wife janinedog who practically shoved me into doing what I kept talking about for months on end. She'll be making 80% of our combined income once I finish at Google. I can't thank her enough for being so damned supportive.
6. Miscellaneous Updates
It's hard to follow up that last section! Anyway, we have a few miscellaneous notes:
* The scheduled push of the crossposter to make it automatic (for third party clients) will not happen tonight. We decided to make some changes to the patch and it hasn't been committed yet.
* Our spam team is still almost without work to do. We have very, very little spam on the site now that the captcha issue from a few weeks ago has been fixed.
7. The End
Very exciting update this week. Dreamwidth is doing amazing things, and I'm really thankful for each of you being a part of this project.
If you have any feedback, any thoughts, comments, questions, or concerns, please let us know! You can comment to the news post here, and someone will get back to you. Specifically, if there's any reason that you're not really using the site right now (that isn't addressed above), please let me know!
As always: thanks for reading, and have a great week!