denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2010-11-12 01:44 am

Weekly News: 12 November

So, last week I predicted that by this week I'd be freaking out about the fact that someone thought [personal profile] sarah and I were grownups enough to let us buy a freaking house. I am happy to report that this freakout is continuing right on pace. Oh my God, the closing is in ten days.

We don't have to be out of our current place until the end of December, so the Dreamwidth payment and administrative address won't be changing until mid-December. We'll be sure to let you know when it does.

In this week's update, behind the cut, we have:

* Development
* Code Push
* DW via Newsreaders: A Poll
* Wayward Check Payment
* Community Awesomeness
* NaNoWriMo
* Holiday Promotion
* DW Merchandise


This week's code tour comes to us courtesy of [personal profile] truelove (her first, and thank you for doing it!) This week's work includes a whole whackload of bugfixes for little things that have been annoying us for a while, including an instance where [personal profile] yvi noticed a bug while using her journal, chased it down, filed a bug for it, and patched the bug, all within something like 45 minutes. Go, [personal profile] yvi! (That's one of the things I like the most about DW dev work. I always have these moments where I stumble across one of the little things that have been driving me batty for years, and right as I'm gritting my teeth to work around it for the eight jillionth time, I realize: hey, wait, I can TOTALLY FIX THIS MYSELF NOW.)

Also, I accidentally overlooked [personal profile] cheyinka's first contribution two weeks ago! [personal profile] cheyinka contributed two new themes, which I totally spaced on giving public kudos for. Thanks, [personal profile] cheyinka!

Code Push

As is growing standard, we have tentatively scheduled a code push this weekend, to cover the things that are in last week's code tour and this week's code tour. Keep an eye on [site community profile] dw_maintenance for the 411.

DW via Newsreaders: Poll

So, a while back (and we're a little embarrassed to admit how long this has been sitting in the patch review queue -- we're really sorry about that), [personal profile] noodles wrote an epic patch to allow users to access Dreamwidth via NNTP, the protocol that Usenet runs on. This means that you'd be able to interact with DW via a newsreader program such as Forté, Seamonkey Mail & Newsgroups, XNews, or Unison. Or, indeed, anything that serves as a Usenet client. (tin all the way, baby.)

We've been sort of torn on this one, because on the one hand, it'd be kind of really awesome to access DW via NNTP, and I have been missing Usenet incredibly fiercely for a while. (Yes, I know Usenet still exists. I miss Usenet when it was readable.) Plus, we know we're short on desktop-type programs that people can use to interact with DW. (We're working on 'em. Really.) On the other hand, NNTP access isn't one of our core focuses, and we don't want to add something (that we'd then have to support) if people aren't going to use it, since that would result in more opportunities for things to break horribly and more developer time and effort needed to maintain it.

So, to that effect, a poll:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 604

Would you use a newsreader to interact with DW if we added the option?

View Answers

Hell yes, absolutely!
44 (7.3%)

I would try it out to see I liked the implementation.
89 (14.7%)

I would try it out if I found a newsreader I liked.
64 (10.6%)

No, it's not my thing. Change is annoying, man.
109 (18.0%)

You are speaking words. I am sure they are in English, and yet I know not what you are saying.
286 (47.4%)

I will complain about the narrow options given in this poll in the comments!
12 (2.0%)

Wayward Check Payment

If you are Dana S of New Jersey, and you recently sent us a check to pay for your order, please contact me at or open a Support request in the Account Payments category! The order number written on your check isn't properly matching up with a checked-out cart, and I want to make sure that we can credit your payment to your account.

Community Awesomeness

* This week's Dreamwidth Etsy Treasury has items from several new or newly-opened shops in addition to the usual assortment -- check it out to see some of the craft work our DW users come up with. (And if you've got an Etsy shop I don't have on my list, comment here or in that entry with the link so I can be sure to add you.)

* Since I've been skewed towards Etsy for the last month or so when highlighting DW artisans, mostly because Etsy's treasury feature makes it really easy to make the weekly list, I figured I would start adding the weekly artisan shop elsewhere on the internet as a separate highlight! This week, we bring you the designs of Nik Sanders, who makes jewelry (and who has awesome item naming schemes -- that's always the worst part for me and [personal profile] sarah when we're listing items!)

* The photo of the week from the Dreamwidth Flickr pool is this awesome Cambridge pub sign by Kake Pugh. (I had a hard time choosing this week, but this one very narrowly edged out Gali-Dana's shot at the Natural History museum.) There's something about the composition and the lighting that really draws my eye!

* For the fiber artists among us, how about the Dreamwidth Knitters group on Ravelry? Ravelry users can check out Knitronomicon's knitted TARDIS. (Ravelry account required, alas, although [personal profile] aunty_marion, the knitter, has pictures up on Flickr too: 1, 2.)


We are rapidly approaching the midpoint of November (oh god please don't remind me), so I figured it was a good time to mention our NaNoWriMo tag on the Latest Things page! If you are looking for some fellow Wrimos on DW, that's the place to go.

Our special offer for NaNo participants will be active through to November 30.

Holiday Promotion

The end-of-year holidays are rapidly approaching (my family celebrates Christmas, so if y'all catch me saying "Christmas season" by default in one of these updates, please gently nudge me to cut it out), and I am proud to announce that a) this year, [personal profile] sarah and I finished all of our holiday shopping in January; b) we are hosting the family celebration ourselves, in our new house. This also means that it's time to start thinking about our holiday present to y'all, namely, our annual holiday sale/promotion.

There are two options we can do this year, and you all get to vote on which one you would rather have!

Option A: For every six months of paid time (or the equivalent in points) you buy for someone else, get 60 Dreamwidth points (the equivalent of 2 months of paid time) for yourself.

Option B: All orders receive a 10% points bonus: if you buy 100 points (or the equivalent in paid time), you actually receive 110 points.

(Dreamwidth points can be used for orders, or stored for later. I am particularly looking forward to the combination of v-gifts and points: no more hauling out the credit card and going through the hassle of typing it in for a $1 charge every time you want to send a v-gift, just buy $10 of points whenever you run out and use those to send v-gifts whenever you want.)

There are pluses and minuses for both: Option A gives you a reward for gift-giving and facilitates giving presents, but doesn't give you any benefit to buying paid time for yourself, while Option B is a slightly more generous bonus, but doesn't encourage gift-giving quite as much.

On the code side, while the code for both has been written at one point, option B is the only one that was designed for the points system to begin with; we'd have to do more work to adapt last year's promotion for option A to the points system. We'd prefer to go with Option B because of that, but we did Option A last year and we don't want to change things up on people if they really prefer the other way. So, you get your second poll of the update:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 342

The holiday promotion should be:

View Answers

Option A (2 months paid time for me for every 6 months I buy for someone else)
95 (27.8%)

Option B (10% points bonus on all orders)
247 (72.2%)

DW Merchandise

And, may I say, Dreamwidth swag makes excellent holiday presents. In fact, I think I may take some time this weekend and finally make the Dreamsheep line of DW swag I've been meaning to! If there are any other designs you'd like to see, let us know in the comments.

If you have a DW-related design that you think would be awesome on some DW swag, let us know too. Vector art of the Dreamwidth logo can be found as attachments to Bug 104 in Bugzilla. We'd absolutely love to have a wider variety of stuff using the DW logo, in as many different looks as possible -- no two DW users are the same, so why should our tshirts and mugs all look alike?

You can design for specific products, or just give us artwork and let us run with putting it on whatever merchandise we think it will look good on. Please submit artwork emailed to denise AT dreamwidth DOT org, as vector graphics or as PNG files with a minimum of 150ppi resolution -- you can see Zazzle's image guidelines for more information. You will retain full rights to your design, but we will ask you to sign a Contributor Licensing Agreement giving us a worldwide, non-exclusive license to print and distribute your work.

We'll give you 500 Dreamwidth Points (which will buy 12 months of Premium Paid time, or a little less than a year and a half of regular paid time) for each design we accept. We'll also give you a $25 Zazzle gift certificate so you can order some of your merch. (Designs will be counted as base artwork, not per item it's designed for.)


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.

We'll see you next week for our next update. At which point it will be three days to closing, and I will be freaking out even more.

[personal profile] puzzlement 2010-11-12 08:14 am (UTC)(link)
The winter holidays are rapidly approaching (my family celebrates Christmas, so if y'all catch me saying "Christmas season" by default in one of these updates, please gently nudge me to cut it out)

This really isn't a terribly big deal to me personally, but it might be worth thinking of a different term again: it's summer in the southern hemisphere and I assume you still want to give us a present...

Then again, even Google messed this up (with Summer of Code).

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thorfinn: <user name="seedy_girl"> and <user name="thorfinn"> (Default)

[personal profile] thorfinn 2010-11-12 08:55 am (UTC)(link)
NNTP, ye gods. I'm still on the USEFOR mailing list... which I subscribed to more than a decade ago now. Haven't fired up a newsreader of any kind in years though. :-)
twisted_times: A grey yin-yang like symbol, but with a pentagon and a golden apple incribed with the word "Kallisti" replacing circles. (Sacred Chao)

[personal profile] twisted_times 2010-11-15 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)

I use Opera's newsgroups reader on the odd occasion I make use of Usenet. :)


ewx: (Default)


[personal profile] ewx 2010-11-12 09:18 am (UTC)(link)

FWIW, I maintain a (unidirectional) RSS-to-news gateway which a number of people have been using to follow my and other LJs via a private hierarchy; it would work just as well against DW. So the market for NNTP access to DW-like things does seem to exist.

Whether Usenet is readable depends entirely on which bit of it you read, IME. Being the right side of spam filter certainly helps.

shyfoxling: fox in a witch's hat and Ravenclaw colors scarf with a wand and shiny swirly bits (Default)

[personal profile] shyfoxling 2010-11-12 09:32 am (UTC)(link)
NNTP: An interesting idea. Totally not a way I would have thought of interacting with a journal site. I'd be interested to see what the heck it would look like (what maps to a news group? is all of DW a single one? etc.).
ideological_cuddle: (Default)

[personal profile] ideological_cuddle 2010-11-12 10:22 am (UTC)(link)
I would imagine that a journal or community maps to a newsgroup, then you're presented with the entries as articles, and comments as articles with appropriate References pointing back to make it all threadable.

Done right it could be a really great way to keep track of bigger conversations -- one problem I've always had with LJ and other similar sites is the way that it's difficult to track which comments you've read and which you haven't. It's always felt like a rebuild of what we had a long time ago, with pretty pictures and a browser interface but missing a whole heap of the really useful functionality that made it usable.

(Yes, I know there are hacks that try to track read/unread state of comments on the browser side, but they've never quite worked right for me.)

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wide_worlds_joy: (Burst into Flames)

[personal profile] wide_worlds_joy 2010-11-12 09:33 am (UTC)(link)
One place I can see the NNTP coming in really hand is corporate (and ISP) crackdowns on things they don't like (or understand) under the umbrella of "keeping the internets safe". If the ebil corps blocked DW totally for one reason or another, this is a good back up for getting all your feeds/followers because NO ONE remembers to block the NNTP for that same site. You have RSS implementation for all the places, this would be good too.

But, the fear of breakage and so on is legit.

My overall opinion? implement it, see how it runs. Go, say six months (to really SHAKE it down) and if it's still a sow's ear instead of a silk purse, dump it. No harm, no foul. DW users are more resilient than others, and won't regret having something they don't use taken back, if you explain it all.

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palmer_kun: (Pants On Head Retarded)

[personal profile] palmer_kun 2010-11-12 09:43 am (UTC)(link)
Ummm... how hard would it be to tweak the 10% bonus system into

"All purchases generate a GIFT CREDIT of 10%, which must be gifted to another account"?

Basically give the 10%, but make that 10% mandatory to gift to another account.

It's not as giving-oriented as option A, for sure... but it WILL generate a lot of small gifts going everywhere, and those will add up.
You could bump it to 20-30%
At 30%, it would almost match up with the "buy 6 months, get 2 months" of option A.

Or you can go for the best of both.
1: Purchases for yourself get a 10% bonus.
2: Purchases for other users get a 20% kickback
Extra fun
3: Purchases for RANDOM users get a 30-35% kickback

Something for everyone, rewarding generosity, and rewarding random generosity more.
phidari: (Barcode)

[personal profile] phidari 2010-11-12 09:52 am (UTC)(link)
Ooh, I like this a lot.

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green_knight: (Bravo)

[personal profile] green_knight 2010-11-12 10:49 am (UTC)(link)
Usenet protocol! I will love DW forever if you- no, wait, I already love DW forever.

That would be a really totally utterly AWESOME way of being able to follow discussions with deeply-threaded comments for which usenet is and remains the best medium.

And I just want to express more undieing love for the fact that you've changed the polls and only the poll reloads insead of the whole page. That's just awesome.

(Not so awesome is a side-effect of success I'm seeing more and more - loading my rlist has slowed considerably to the point where I often get only part of the page, so I need to reload, which increases the server load and is counterproductive... but I need to read all of it!)

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aunty_marion: Keeper of the Knitronomicon (Knitronomicon)

[personal profile] aunty_marion 2010-11-12 10:59 am (UTC)(link)
Hee! Thanks for featuring my knitted TARDIS!

For anyone without a Ravelry account, pics are hosted on my flickr account, in the Knitting (etc) collection. (Open the collection, go to the Knitting set and scroll down to near the bottom for the TARDIS; there's other stuff there too, though... *g*)

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Stargate jewelry

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benedict: Well, it's a person. With a bag on their head.  Perhaps they are sad? Perhaps they're just embarassed. It is hard to say (bag onna head by wendleberry)

[personal profile] benedict 2010-11-12 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
So where do we submit these merch designs?

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tree: coloured circles; text: infj ([else] infj)

[personal profile] tree 2010-11-12 11:54 am (UTC)(link)
i chose the "you are speaking words" option not because i don't know what it's all about, but because my brain keeps trying to translate NNTP into an MBTI (meyers-briggs type inventory) acronym.

i'm guessing no one else is having this problem.
mumblemutter: ([etc] kermit is taking names)

[personal profile] mumblemutter 2010-11-12 12:09 pm (UTC)(link)
OH GOD ME TOO. I skimmed through the comments and kept having this weird disconnect where I thought everyone was suddenly talking about their personality type.

I've *heard* of Usenet though, so I just went with "Change is annoying", which is also true.

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illariy: entrance into a swimming pool (sttosspockcorner)

holiday promotion

[personal profile] illariy 2010-11-12 12:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm all for option B because you can gift the bonus points, too, or gift all the rest except keep the bonus points. Or just keep it all, of course. Seems more versatile.
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)

[personal profile] sophie 2010-11-12 12:47 pm (UTC)(link)
We are rapidly approaching the midpoint of November (oh god please don't remind me), so I figured it was a good time to mention our NaNoWriMo tag on the Latest Things page! If you are looking for some fellow Wrimos on DW, that's the place to go.

Or, even better, the NaNoWriMo feed, which includes several other tags related to NaNo too. :) (although it was already mentioned a few news posts ago, IIRC)
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2010-11-12 01:06 pm (UTC)(link)
My complaint about this poll:

I am a late enough arrival to the internet that I've never used a newsreader before. But for DW, I might try it to see if I liked it, because that would be Interesting!

(I suppose this could count as "if I found a news reader that I liked", though that seems to imply that I already know and dislike news readers.)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2010-11-12 01:15 pm (UTC)(link)
My first Internet fandoms and communities were Usenet, but I no longer even bother to have a newsreader installed on this machine--and also couldn't have one installed at work, which is a big reason why I gave up checking on Usenet groups even cursorily. So while I love the idea I think it would be a very narrow user base even for people who *do* know what NNTP is.
trixtah: (Default)

[personal profile] trixtah 2010-11-12 01:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconded. If the effort is trivial, sure, why not. But since NNTP is almost moribund, if it's going to be more than a few days work, then it seems like a lot more effort than the potential return for the VERY FEW would warrant.

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sofiaviolet: drawing of three violets and three leaves (Default)

[personal profile] sofiaviolet 2010-11-12 02:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I might try a newsreader in order to try the new feature. I've never used one before. I don't know enough about how they work to know whether that would be a useful addition to my use of Dreamwidth.

And having read the relevant comments to the news post, I think it does seem potentially useful. I agree with the people who've suggested that it be implemented explicitly as a trial feature.
Edited 2010-11-12 14:17 (UTC)
tangent_woman: (Default)

[personal profile] tangent_woman 2010-11-12 11:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd be hoping for a "newsreaders for beginners" tutorial or comm to assist people without the first clue about how to use a newsreader.

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kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)

[personal profile] kake 2010-11-12 02:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you like my photo! I mainly took it so I'd have a record of the information written on the door, and was quite surprised when it turned out to be a good photo in itself.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2010-11-12 02:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I chose the "you're using words, but..." option because basically this is not something I'll ever use myself, but if it's something other people really want, I have no problem with DW implementing it. So I don't want to vote yes and inflate the "I want to use it" vote, but neither do I want to vote no, because it puts words in my mouth that I don't agree with.
bergey: Motorcycle carburator, partly disassembled to show jets (Default)


[personal profile] bergey 2010-11-12 02:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the first post I ever wrote on LJ was about how LJ needed NNTP integration, so people could stop reinventing the wheel. If this happens, I will tell all my friends on other blogging engines how much they are missing out.

In particular, I'm looking forward to these things that Usenet clients already do:
tracking of new posts and comments, with threading
offline reading (and reply composition)
integration of new DW content with content from RSS feeds

Also, it may be the only way I will ever get a good terminal client for DW.


[personal profile] desh 2010-11-12 05:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Not surprised to see you here.

[personal profile] ex_tachycardi133 2010-11-12 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Any word on when we'll be able to take deleted and purged usernames?

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[personal profile] ex_tachycardi133 - 2010-11-13 13:24 (UTC) - Expand

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[personal profile] phidari - 2010-11-15 01:19 (UTC) - Expand

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[personal profile] fu - 2010-11-15 03:37 (UTC) - Expand
sraun: portrait (Default)

[personal profile] sraun 2010-11-12 03:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I dabbled in Usenet lo, these many moons ago. At the time, I was using Agent on a Win2k box.

I would go searching for news readers if DW supported bi-directional NNTP. I would adore the threading, being able to easily read from oldest forward, and seeing new comments on old posts possibilities.

I'd be most likely to go for a basic text-mode run-in-by-Bash-shell reader. Anyone have recommendations? I'd prefer something that already has a Debian package. Although I'd be willing to at least look at something that runs on Win7.
reddragdiva: (Default)

[personal profile] reddragdiva 2010-11-12 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
slrn. There is no other.

Hey, it might even reach 1.0 one day!

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[personal profile] tangent_woman - 2010-11-12 23:06 (UTC) - Expand

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[personal profile] mneme - 2010-11-12 19:42 (UTC) - Expand
bell: a dreamwidth sheep with a psychadelic background and the text "dreaming in color" (dw sheep)

[personal profile] bell 2010-11-12 03:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Oooh, the color schemes in the versions created by [personal profile] cheyinka are so pretty! *SEVERELY TEMPTED*

And, yay, end of year bonuses! <3
Edited 2010-11-12 15:31 (UTC)
cheyinka: A glowing blue sheep with green eyes (electric sheep)

[personal profile] cheyinka 2010-11-12 05:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Eee, thank you :)

[personal profile] talkswithwind 2010-11-12 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Back in 2001-2003 I was still using NNTP to read a couple of newsgroups that I'd been in for umpty years and still kept up with. Around that time in one newsgroup a thread popped up decrying the flight of the community to LiveJournal and dedicated forums for the topic. During that discussion one of the more active members pointed out that he was hard of seeing and the screen-reader he uses works MUCH better for NNTP than it did for web-forums.

When hitting refresh on a forum room to get the new posts the screen-reader has to read off all the existing content before getting to the new stuff, which takes a really long time. Where in a newsreader, it's a lot faster to browse to the new stuff, which in turn yields a much less laggy internet experience.

Admittedly I have no idea what the state-of-the-art has produced in the intervening 7+ years, but at least back then, NNTP provided a more accessible community experience.
reddragdiva: (Default)

[personal profile] reddragdiva 2010-11-12 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
We need a two-way PHPbb-NNTP interface as well.

important comment

[personal profile] softestbullet - 2010-11-17 08:02 (UTC) - Expand
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dancing_serpent: (Default)

Re: Holiday Promotion

[personal profile] dancing_serpent 2010-11-12 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Last year's was option A: buy someone else six months, get two month for yourself/ buy someone else a year, get four months for yourself.

Re: Holiday Promotion

[personal profile] iris - 2010-11-12 16:44 (UTC) - Expand

Re: Holiday Promotion

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Re: Holiday Promotion

[personal profile] dancing_serpent - 2010-11-12 16:50 (UTC) - Expand
darkemeralds: DarkEm self portrait in magenta cowl, left profile, against a black wall (Default)

[personal profile] darkemeralds 2010-11-12 04:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign sign...

That's mortgage closing day. It's terrifying and there's all this weird outdated banky language still in the many, many, many documents you'll be signing (mine were legally required to identify me as "a spinster" which I objected to and they said, well, you can object or you can get your house).

And then you'll take this enormous sheaf of papers (yes, still paper) home and put them reverently into a file somewhere, and if you ever look at those papers again, it'll be a strange day.

And then you have your house! \o/

foxfirefey: A picture of GIR. (gir)

[personal profile] foxfirefey 2010-11-12 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Spinster? Seriously? Wow.

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holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2010-11-12 04:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say that I recently had cause to use screened comments and I am VERY PLEASED that replying to screened comments no longer unscreens them. :D Great feature.

Now I'm just eagerly anticipating scheduled posts....

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