|Denise (denise) wrote in dw_news,|
@ 2010-09-30 11:43 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||weekly announcements|
Behind the cut is a plethora of DW news. This week's sections are:
* Code Push
* More DW Creativity
* RIP, Vox
* DW Advocacy
* Icon Renames
This week's code tour host was Yours Truly, guiding you through a brief introduction to the 14 bugs we committed fixes for this week. Welcome this week to jld, who has contributed his first patch!
None of those fixes are live yet ... but they will be, which leads me to:
We are still planning on a code push this Sunday evening (Eastern time). We'll let you know an exact time when we get closer.
The full list of fixes that will be in this code push are:
(Some of) 2010 July 23 to 2010 August 10
Aug 10 - Aug 19, 2010
20 August - 25 August
26th August - 1st Sept
1st - 8th September
9-9 to 15-9
2010 September 15 to 2010 September 21
22 Sept to 30 Sept
If you don't want to read through the full code tours, here's my collection of favorites that will be going in this push:
* Over 50 new themes and layouts to customize your journal.
* Rename tokens! You'll be able to rename your DW account to anything you want (assuming that the "anything you want" is a deleted & purged account or an unregistered account, or under your control). A full overview of the rename process can be found at the bottom of the 20 August dw_news update.
* Adding links to choose your page setup (ie, how many columns you want your journal to have) on the Customize Style page as well as the Select a Style page, where it is now.
* Fixes to previewing entries and comments to prevent the way that things are spaced and formatted weirdly. (I don't usually put bugfixes in this roundup, but this has been driving me stone flat insane since I first noticed it.)
* The "URL for community rules" -- which comm admins have been able to set for a while, in the Community Settings on the Manage Community page -- will now be available for all communities at a fixed URL: http://examplecommunity.dreamwidth.o
* Polls will be "AJAXified" -- you'll be able to submit your poll answers without having to leave the page you're on. (This was a Google Summer of Code project, and I'm so excited about it!)
* You'll be able to set a poll to "anonymous responses" -- all responses to the poll will display to you-the-poll-owner as coming from numbers, not usernames. It won't be perfect anonymity, since if someone comments right after they answer you might be able to guess who it was, but it's close! (Another GSoC result!)
* You'll be able to specify a number of tickyboxes for people to tick in a poll, so (for instance) you'll be able to say "choose no more than three answers", and the system will enforce it. (And another!)
* Various sections on the profile will have an anchor, so you'll be able to link directly to them (with, for instance, http://denise.dreamwidth.org/profile#bl
* There'll be a "collapse cut" button at the end of an expanded cut-tag, so you can re-collapse something you've expanded once you're done with it. (And it's smart enough to fold up the cut and then bring you back straight to the bottom of where you were reading, instead of keeping you alllll the way down where the expanded cut ended, too!)
* There's been a "random icon" selector on the Post an Entry page, but with the next push, there'll be one for comments, too! It picks a random icon for you, and then lets you change it before hitting 'submit' if it isn't appropriate. (You would not want to use your "You suck and that's sad" Happy Bunny icon on a post about a death in someone's family, for instance. Or maybe you would, you sick fuck, I dunno.)
* Another bugfix that's been driving me nuts: If you made a comment in reply to another comment, and then the parent comment was deleted, you couldn't edit your comment in reply (even if it hadn't been replied to). This is a bugfix from andy at LJ, since they had the problem too, and we are grateful to them for the bugfix!
* You'll be able to specify a default security for your remote crossposting sites, so that editing the entry locally won't change the security remotely as well. (This would only happen if your DW account was public and your remote account was locked: when you'd edit the DW entry and save it, the edit sent to the remote service would include "hey, this entry is public", and the remote security would be updated.) You'll set this on your crossposting preferences here on DW, and once you set it, the security on remote sites won't be updated to anything less permissive than the default security.
* We'll be setting the base font to all styles and layouts to 1 em. This will likely result in a change to how your journal displays -- 1 em means, in most browsers, "display in your browser's default font," but some browsers act weird. If your journal text gets huge after the code push, go to the Font tab of the Customize Journal page and select your preferred size. (If you have already set your preferred size, it shouldn't be overridden.) The reason we did this was for accessibility -- it's better to define your font size as the browser default, so that people with low vision, who have already set their default browser font to much bigger than the 'norm', can read the text.
This isn't all that will be going live in this code push -- there's tons of stuff, mostly minor bugfixes and little tweaks to make your DW experience that much better. Because of the volume of fixes going out in this code push, there might be a small amount of downtime, or some rocky moments, while we push -- but we will do our absolute best to minimize the disruption.
More DW Creativity
So, when mark and I started Dreamwidth, we wanted it to be a haven for creative people of all sorts. We knew that we'd mostly start with people who were writers in some fashion -- creative writing, essay writing, or people who journal about their day -- because all of the tools we had in place when we forked from LJ were concentrated on textual expression. People can find people who write things they want to read really easily on DW, thanks to our site search and the Latest Things page, but since the reading page is centered around text, it's hard to find people who are into visual arts or crafts that you'd like to see.
We do have a lot of things planned to increase the tools for all other sorts of arts and crafts -- from image hosting to expanding the definition of "reading page" so that images, video files, audio files, and more can be posted on their own instead of as part of a separate entry. (I know we've been slow to introduce them -- there's just so much we have to do!)
In the meantime, though, there are other sites out there that offer a great place to show off artwork and craft work, and I'd like to start collecting lists of DW users on those other sites (and creating DW teams or groups there) so we can show off how awesomely creative DW users are. Here are some that we've already started:
* Etsy: If you have an Etsy shop, leave the URL of your shop in comments to this entry. I'll collect them all, and every week I'll feature a Treasury collection to show off the awesomeness that is made by DW users. This week's Treasury is here: Dreamwidth Users, 9/30/10. (Disclosure: sarah and I are 'faultlesspajama'.) Once I see how many of you there are, I'll probably start up a "Team Dreamwidth", too, and contact everyone who's got an Etsy shop and invite you to join. (There's also etsy here on DW for discussion of all things Etsy!)
* Artfire: If you have an Artfire shop, leave the URL in comments! I haven't explored Artfire much, but I will come up with a way to collect the DW people from there, too.
* Ravelry: If you're on Ravelry, there's a Dreamwidth Knitters group! Unfortunately, I don't believe the groups can be made public, but if you're on Ravelry already, we'd love to have you in the group.
* Flickr: If you're on Flickr, we've just started a Dreamwidth Flickr pool. Join the group, and add your photos, or just browse others' photos and revel in the awesomeness that is the creativity of DW users.
Is there an arts or crafts site out there that I'm missing? (For instance, I know that DeviantART is popular -- do they have some kind of group thing?) Let me know in the comments, and I'll start up a DW group there, with associated promo code so people stumbling across the group/pool/team/whatever can create an account if they want.
And speaking of promo codes, I'd like to take a minute to say goodbye to Vox, the (now-former) blogging platform from Six Apart. Mark and I were both working for Six Apart when they were making Vox, and a lot of the people I knew inside the company spent a lot of time and effort on trying to make Vox a success. It's a pity that we have to say goodbye to it now.
Welcome to everyone who came to Dreamwidth from Vox! I'm really sorry that we couldn't get a content import from Vox working in time to welcome you, but if you moved your content to TypePad or Wordpress, we do hope to offer import from both of those services in the future. We've had 844 accounts created from the special Vox promo code we gave out, and while I know that a lot of people were using it to move from elsewhere (not Vox in particular) or to create new journals, I've still seen enough people saying "Hey, I moved here from Vox" on the Latest Things page that I know we've had a bunch of Vox people move on over. So, welcome to you all, and I hope that DW can be a good new home for you!
And speaking of moving over to DW (my sections are blending nicely into each other this week!)...
Back when we were in closed beta, gearing up for the open beta launch, I made a page on the DW Wiki called Advocacy -- a set of guidelines for how people should promote the DW project, and the best ways to get the word out. Since then, I've linked to it here and there in the updates, but I'd like to ask everybody who talks about Dreamwidth to their friends to take a second and read it over to refresh your memory.
In the past few weeks and months, we've seen an increase in the number of people who are promoting DW as "the anti-LJ", or "better than LJ", or, in the most extreme examples, "the place you need to be because staying on LJ makes you an evil horrible person who probably kicks kittens when nobody's looking." This makes me really, really sad. I know that a lot of people have been really disappointed in the choices that LJ management have made lately, but nobody reacts well to the kind of pressure that I've seen some people using to try to get people to move to Dreamwidth, and it can cause people who haven't moved, for one reason or another, to really dig in their heels and refuse to even think about it.
Not to mention, positioning Dreamwidth entirely as "the place for disgruntled LJ users" stifles DW's growth in a lot of ways. If people think that DW is limited to LJ power users, or people who were on LJ and got fed up, that's going to turn a lot of people away. We want Dreamwidth to be a place where everyone feels welcome, no matter where they come from and what their experience is. By making a service with excellent tools for self-expression with a strong concentration on privacy and community, we think that we can appeal to everyone, not just to people who are coming from LJ -- and if you've noticed, we've been doing a lot of reaching out to populations of people who aren't from LJ, because we know that in order to survive, we need to have growth from everywhere.
So, if you want to help DW grow, the best thing to do is to tell your friends about all the positive things DW has and does -- not compare it to other services out there, and not make switching to DW into some kind of moral issue or something. (I mean, obviously we like to think that we're a moral company, but that doesn't mean that choosing to have an account here is on the level of a moral imperative!) And as a personal favor to me, I'd like to ask people to stop promoting DW so heavily in the comments to official LiveJournal communities. I've seen a lot of people on LJ saying that they'd never create an account here because of those comments, and that makes me really sad.
I'm not asking people not to promote Dreamwidth at all -- indeed, the best source of new, committed users is you guys, because when you bring your friends over, they automatically have at least one social connection, and the more social connections people have on a new-to-them service, the more likely they are to stick around! All I'm asking is for everybody to take a deep breath, think about what makes DW awesome, and tell people about that instead of telling them about how much other sites suck.
As I mentioned last week, icon keyword names are temporarily disabled while we do some work to speed up the process. (It's what was partially causing the slowness and timeouts last week.) Because I've seen some confusion: you still can change the keywords on your icons, or add new keywords to your icons, on the Edit Icons page! What you can't do is make that change retroactive -- old posts and comments that use that keyword will revert to your default icon, not change to use the new keyword or icon.
We've worked out a way to speed up the whole thing, and after the next codepush, we'll be making the conversion. It will involve a brief period of read-only mode for each account as we make the change. We'll keep you up to date in dw_maintenance.
That's it for us for another week! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page; if you've got an idea to make the site better, you can make a suggestion.
And, finally, since this week is a celebration of DW users' creativity, I leave you with the DW logo woven out of seed beads -- or icon-sized -- by weaverbird aka Weaverbird Beads. She says the icon's free for the taking, with credit to Weaverbird!
We'll see you next week for our next update.