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_news2011-06-10 02:28 am

Dreamwidth Update: 10 June 2011

Hello, Dreamwidth! I hope that those of you here in North America who are experiencing the same heat wave that Dreamwidth HQ is experiencing have managed to figure out ways to stay cool enough. (It's been brutal. Thank goodness the shipping company finally managed to find our last air conditioner that they'd lost in transit.) And, for those of you in the southern hemisphere -- anybody want a house guest to come join you for the winter months? Really, all I need is a couch to sleep on and internet access...

*ahem* Okay, really, being serious now. Behind the cut, we will find:

* Development
* Code Push
* New Update Page
* Deleted Account Purging
* Feature Tour: Importing
* Themes, Themes, Themes



Development



This fortnight in development was a quiet one, since [staff profile] fu's been working on a special project, but here's this update's code tour:

Code Tour: 26 May - 9 June

Special thanks goes to [personal profile] aedifica for her very first code tour, and a fine code tour it was, too!

If you're ever interested in being a code tour host, keep an eye out for the weekly or biweekly calls-to-volunteer in [site community profile] dw_volunteers. You don't need to be a super elite programmer to do it: there are always people who stand ready to help explain anything that you don't understand. The role of the code tour host is to go through the week's Bugzilla tickets and summarize them for everybody else, in "plain English", and I really, really love hearing from different people for each tour, because part of what is awesome about DW is how everybody who works or volunteers here gets to share things with everybody else in their own voice and with their own spin on things.

DW is a better place when we have a wide, diverse range of people contributing, and doing a code tour is a great way to have a hand in helping your fellow DW users to understand the awesome range of awesomeness we are working on. You don't need to have any special qualifications, or be an existing DW volunteer -- all you need is to read the list of bugs that were resolved that week, puzzle out what the change is and what it does, ask somebody if you aren't sure, and then write up each bug in a quick paragraph summary for everyone who's going to be reading it. (You even get the list of bugs in a pre-formatted, easily cut-and-pasteable format!) It's a great introduction to DW volunteering, and all you have to do is leave a comment on the [site community profile] dw_volunteers entry when I'm looking for somebody to host the tour.


Code Push



None of the changes in the code tour are yet live on the actual dreamwidth.org site, but we're planning a code push (syncing the code on dreamwidth.org itself with the development code we've been working on and making the new changes available) sometime this week! Keep an eye on [site community profile] dw_maintenance for further details.

This code push will cover the following code tours:

19 May - 25 May
26 May - 9 June

Most of the changes are either backend/optimization changes, or new themes. (We've got a theme bonanza coming up. Seriously. [personal profile] ninetydegrees has been working her tail off to get submissions to [site community profile] dreamscapes converted, committed, and on the site for everyone to use.) You probably won't notice most of the stuff in the code push, other than the themes, but one new user-facing change is that after the push, you'll be able to refer to users on Tumblr with the <user name> tag: <user name=username site=tumblr.com> will link to username's Tumblr account. (It won't work yet, but it will after the code push!)


New Update Page



We've had a bunch of people ask us lately about the new draft Update Journal page that we were showing off in demo form late last year. Rest assured, we haven't forgotten about it: [staff profile] fu has been working hard on it, alongside her other regular duties. The reason it's been taking so long is that she's needed to do a lot of backend work in order to make it possible. (It's kind of like the equivalent of having to raise the sheep, shear the sheep, card the fleece into roving, spin the roving into yarn, and then dye the yarn before you can knit a sweater.)

Still, we are nearing the point where we'll be able to release the first iteration of the new update page soon. We will likely release it to the Beta Features group first, in order to prevent the problem where that one show-stopping bug that didn't manifest in any of our testing shows up the minute we push things live...

Because it's impossible for us to maintain two versions of the code, this change will not be opt-out: the new update page will be the only update page available. The changes are necessary in order to modernize our user interface, bring our update page into alignment with the types of things that other services offer (in order to be competitive in the blogging/journaling market), and make it possible for us to offer draft/scheduled posts as our next major feature in the future. (The existing update page simply couldn't have been extended to make draft and schedule posts work without being horribly unusable!)

In order to prevent major problems with the design of the page, we ran the design through three public "demo versions" last year, taking everyone's feedback into account after each demo, and what we've come up with is pretty awesomely incredible. Major thanks to [personal profile] hope, who did an incredible amount of work on the user interface design, and to [staff profile] fu, who's been busting her ass to make it possible.

We'll keep you updated on the progress, but I'm so excited for this, you have no idea.


Deleted Account Purging



People have also asked us about the "purge deleted users" function, and why it is that deleted accounts stay in the "deleted" state, without being totally removed from the servers, for a long time past the 30 days mentioned in the FAQs and in the "this journal has been deleted" message. The answer is, the script that actually removes those accounts from the service places a heavy load on the database, and can cause disk-fragmentation problems if it's run too often (which slows down the service for everyone). Because of this, we tend to only run it once or twice a year.

We did realize it's been a while since the last time we did it, though, and we'll be starting the script up sometime this upcoming week, working slowly over time. If there's a particular username you've had your eye on, and the account is in the 'deleted' status, you can sign up to be notified when the account is purged. Just go to the Track This User page, replace 'username' in the address bar with the username of the journal you want to be notified about, and tick the "has been purged" notification.

Once an account has been deleted and purged, the username is freed up for you to use a rename token to change your username to that username. (You can't register the username from scratch, because while purging a journal does remove the entries in the journal, it doesn't remove the comments that were made by that journal, and the rename process is necessary to move those old comments to a new username.)

Meanwhile, if you've had a journal that you set to 'deleted' status in order to take a brief DW break, it's a good idea to undelete the journal temporarily right now, even if you don't think it's been 30 days since you set it to 'deleted' -- I know that some people rely on the fact that we don't run the deleted-account-purging script regularly, which is why we wanted to give you guys a heads up. We really don't recommend that people use deletion as a temporary way to take a break from DW, for that very reason; it's easy to lose track of time! We do have a bug open to add a "vacation mode" for journals, so people can take a break without having to risk deletion -- we just haven't gotten a chance to add it yet. In the meantime, if you have a journal temporarily deleted to give you an internet break, it really is a good idea to undelete it now, just to make sure.


Feature Tour: Importing



We've had a lot of new people join us in the past few months -- welcome, guys! -- and I wanted to start a series of semi-regular "feature tours" of things we've added that you might not be familiar with! Consider this a reminder of all the nifty things that Dreamwidth can do.

Did you know, for instance, that you can import your entries from LiveJournal or InsaneJournal into your Dreamwidth account? Go to the Import Journal page -- you'll find it under the "Organize" tab of the CORES menu on every site-schemed page (except in the Lynx/Light Mode scheme) -- and enter your username and password for the other service. (If you're uncomfortable with doing this, we recommend that you change your password on the other site both before and after you use the importer. We don't use the information for anything other than importing your journal -- it's covered by our Privacy Policy -- but we don't want anybody to do something they're not comfortable with. We hate that we even have to ask for your password, but it's the only way that Dreamwidth can authenticate to the remote site as someone authorized to retrieve your content.)

You can choose to import your entries, entries + comments on those entries (and the commenters will still have control of their comment if they log into Dreamwidth using their OpenID account), icons (although if you have more icons on the remote site than you have icon slots available on Dreamwidth, only your default icon will be imported), your "friends" list (imported as OpenID accounts, so people will be able to log into DW and still have access to your posts), your tags, and your profile bio.

Meanwhile, if you've previously imported your content, you can import again and not have to worry about duplicates: the importer will only fetch posts or comments that haven't been imported already. And if you've been using the crossposter to crosspost entries to the remote site, you also don't have to worry about duplicates; the importer will recognize that those entries were crossposted, and instead of duplicating the entries, it won't import them at all. (If you choose to import comments, it will just assign the comments from that entry to the entry on Dreamwidth that was originally crossposted.)

Imported entries will be posted to your journal with the "date out of order" option checked. This will prevent you from accidentally spamming your friends' reading lists with the two thousand entries you just brought over. So, go ahead and bring all your old stuff over. Even if it feels like the equivalent of the giant trunk full of notebooks from when I was 15 that I've been moving around with me for the past 20 years, full of my epic Tragic Emo Goth Poetry, we want you to be able to bring all your stuff with you when you move in.

Future improvements will include being able to import (certain types of) communities from other sites, being able to specify a date range to import from (so you can leave the truly embarrassing old stuff behind you -- or, conversely, only bring the old stuff with you!), and being able to import from non-LJ based sites like Wordpress, Tumblr, and TypePad. Keep an eye out in future [site community profile] dw_news announcements for improvements to the feature.


Themes, Themes, Themes



I mentioned earlier that the styles team (and especially [personal profile] ninetydegrees) has been doing an epic amount of work to bring you new themes to make your journal pretty!

If it's been a while since the last time you looked, check out the available styles and themes. You can check out all the featured themes, which are chosen from our newest themes, or all of the base layouts (each of which has tons of themes available -- just click the style name and see all the choices!), or -- for the truly brave with the reliable internet connections -- browse through all the themes and styles available -- over 400 at last count!

We've got styles that range from the complex to the simple, from the designed-for-accessibility to the bare-bones, designed-for-people-to-style. Got a favorite theme or style that you absolutely love and think more people should know about? Post a link to it, the thumbnail image, or the name of the theme in the comments. I love seeing what everybody finds "pretty", and I love seeing the wide range of preferences people display!

And, if you're using a custom theme that was made for DW and posted somewhere in a DW layout community, give the link in the comments. Some of the most awesome themes out there were made by unofficial layout comms, and I love seeing those, too.

*

That's it from us for another two weeks! 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 in two weeks (hopefully) for our next update. Meanwhile, [staff profile] fu is taking an actual vacation, so please join me in wishing her a pleasant one -- and tell her not to work through her whole vacation! (Maybe if a bunch of us say it, she'll believe us ...)
rising: an icon of the cheshire cat, with the text "the cadre" in the bottom right corner in a terminal-ish font (the cadre: cheshire cat)

[personal profile] rising 2011-06-10 06:33 am (UTC)(link)
You referred to fibre arts stuff. And code. In the same paragraph. We <3 you forever.

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[personal profile] magnolia 2011-06-10 06:55 am (UTC)(link)
Can I just say that I love you guys for actually explaining why the new update page won't be opt-out? I wish other sites would do that.

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aximili: (Animorphs - Aximili YMCA)

[personal profile] aximili 2011-06-10 06:55 am (UTC)(link)
Man, I can't make themes, but I'd love to see more orange themes. I have that orange theme from Pixmix on LiveJournal and an orange theme here, but nothing that really leaps out of me.

But that's mostly my fault for having no natural talent for web styles, haha.
nornoriel: (happy - exploding rainbows)

[personal profile] nornoriel 2011-06-10 06:58 am (UTC)(link)
I'm planning on working on an orange theme for one of my next batches of themes to submit to [site community profile] dreamscapes. I have more incentive to bump it up on the priorities list now (orange doesn't get enough love, IMO).

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watervole: (Default)

[personal profile] watervole 2011-06-10 07:01 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so looking forward to draft updates. I've promised myself that I'll go back to a paid account as soon as they appear.

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nornoriel: (Fluttershy)

[personal profile] nornoriel 2011-06-10 07:01 am (UTC)(link)
1. I'm really glad to see the draft/scheduled post option become available.

2. YAY LINKING TO TUMBLR. \o/

3. Well sometimes Tragic Emo Goth Poetry from when you were 15 is good for the lolz... :3

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goodbyebird: Batman returns: Catwoman seen through a glass window. (Default)

[personal profile] goodbyebird 2011-06-10 07:34 am (UTC)(link)
I am so looking forward to scheduled updates, and vacation mode sounds awesome. Great work as always :)
biodamped: (Default)

[personal profile] biodamped 2011-06-10 08:19 am (UTC)(link)
I'll trade you your heatwave any time you like. Big old house is big and old and generally delightful, but I am currently freezing my summer-child backside off. I'm this close to buying a summer house in LA. (Ok, maybe not quite that close. Damn disposable income, whatever.)

I clearly missed the demo of that new update page, but AWESOME. [personal profile] hope and [staff profile] fu have done a wonderful job so far. Can't wait to see it in action! (And I love that the tags respond to 'pie' as well. :D)
tyger: Sora's fist-in-the-air sprite from Re:coded.  Text: Hell yeah! (Sora - hell yeah!)

[personal profile] tyger 2011-06-10 08:20 am (UTC)(link)
Mine is a modified Orange Julius, which I really like! :D
I also really like Funky Circles, though it's a little too big to display on my browser without serious crowding - this is often a problem for me, but I like being able to see things other than my internet window too much to change it - and a slightly-modified Trasmogrified was my layout for a really long time, so! *laughs*

I'm also kind of interested in making something wholly my own - been playing along at [community profile] style_system's tutes! Which is fun!

Also it's so cold here I've got my hey it's winter! |D cough back, probably for about the next six months, so, uh. Trade?
Edited (Clarification and weather!) 2011-06-10 08:23 (UTC)
fyreharper: (Default)

[personal profile] fyreharper 2011-06-10 10:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, nice! Those are some lovely oranges :)

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samjohnsson: Fall into you / is all I seem / to do (- Summer Coast)

[personal profile] samjohnsson 2011-06-10 08:27 am (UTC)(link)
Loving the idea of draft updates, so that instead of twitterish posts, I can just keep a draft going for each day or so. Currently I'm having to jigger some copypasta from OneNote. (Course, a desktop client of some sort would be loverly. ^.- )
rauvlochar: A heavily chibified Piccolo (from Dragonball Z) in a superman pose. (Superchibi Piccolo)

[personal profile] rauvlochar 2011-06-11 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
(Course, a desktop client of some sort would be loverly. ^.- )

That's what I'm hoping for too. :D It would sure make things a lot more convenient for me, since my connection sucks and doesn't cooperate with LJ-esque sites very well sometimes.
artisan447: duotoned Uluru (aussie)

[personal profile] artisan447 2011-06-10 08:58 am (UTC)(link)
LOL! I can do better than a couch, I have a sofa bed! \o/

(it was 15C here today ;)
nonny: (Default)

[personal profile] nonny 2011-06-10 09:24 am (UTC)(link)
I really can't wait for the scheduled posts. It's a feature that I have in my Wordpress that I really have wished for here for a long time, particularly for things like the month-long memes.

I have a question that's not necessarily for you guys, but maybe someone else can answer for me. This might sound horribly clueless, but when you say that people delete their journals to take a DW break... why? I mean, I'm really not understanding, but maybe I'm just paranoid about deleting and losing years and years worth of stuff. D:

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sidheblessed: (Default)

[personal profile] sidheblessed 2011-06-10 10:14 am (UTC)(link)
I am looking forward to everything about the new update page. It's absolutely awesome and the drafts and scheduled posts are fantastic features.
crystallinedrop: Fantasy // Crystal Eyes (Fantasy // Crystal Eyes)

[personal profile] crystallinedrop 2011-06-10 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
I've actually made a few themes myself for Dreamwidth journals :)

Aside from the one I built for my own use, I created Four more similarly laid out themes:

Sun Kissed Wheat v1 and v2
Starfish and Fresh Dew
jjhunter: Closeup of the face from postcard of da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' with alterations made by Duchamp, i.e. moustache and goatee. (Default)

[personal profile] jjhunter 2011-06-10 04:20 pm (UTC)(link)
These are beautiful--thank you for sharing them!
trixtah: (Default)

[personal profile] trixtah 2011-06-10 01:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, you're quite welcome to visit here in Oz if you're happy to put up with minus-5s overnight. The thing about Australia being warm all the time is a LIE. :-)
nashira: ((Misc) Shit Thee Not)

[personal profile] nashira 2011-06-10 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
It is! It's amazing how many people don't believe us -.-


I think my toes are made of ice. And my town doesn't get snow.

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sunnysummoner: A photo of a woman's hand holding a miniature Eiffel Tower (P4 → cherry soda in the summer)

[personal profile] sunnysummoner 2011-06-10 01:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so excited about the new features for Tumblr! It's like peanut butter and chocolate coming together to make a delicious journaling experience.
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2011-06-10 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
make it possible for us to offer draft/scheduled posts as our next major feature in the future.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Also, while I am unlikely to use vacation mode, that's a great feature to add.

[personal profile] indigojo 2011-06-10 01:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Good that pressing "Enter" when entering tags no longer actually posts the entry (as it does in the current Update screen), even if you hadn't finished typing or tagging.
mm_writes: So you said you wanted a cookie... (Default)

[personal profile] mm_writes 2011-06-11 12:06 am (UTC)(link)
I can't even count how many times I've done that. I'm also overly subconsciously fond of hitting Post when I meant to hit Preview. Like, I have to practically sit on my hands not to do it, since I normally do lots of Previews, and something with doing a lot of them makes me start scrolling too fast after say the sixth one and the next thing I know I'm like, "Nooooooooo, oh damn it".
inoru_no_hoshi: The most ridiculous chandelier ever: shaped like a penis. Text: Sparklepeen. (Default)

[personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi 2011-06-10 02:14 pm (UTC)(link)
(It's kind of like the equivalent of having to raise the sheep, shear the sheep, card the fleece into roving, spin the roving into yarn, and then dye the yarn before you can knit a sweater.)

Oh, ouch. [staff profile] fu is pretty amazing if she can do the equivalent of that much work! (I drop spin and knit - the simile was way too easy to grok!) Which definitely means she deserves an actual vacation! Have a good one, [staff profile] fu! :D

Re: being able to link to Tumblr users - does that mean that the similar ability for Twitter is already live? Last I noticed, it wasn't live yet. (*Twitter addict*)

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musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)

[personal profile] musyc 2011-06-10 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)
New update page eventually coming? Draft posts and selectable tags, can has plz? *BIG HUGE EYES OF HUGENESS* *ponders what bribes to offer [staff profile] fu*

Actually, that reminds me. Will the draft post ability be only for individual users/journals, or will it be available for community posting as well? Possibly a feature only available to comm maintainers, if necessary, because whoa, that could be a mess otherwise. But it would be SO HANDY.

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adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)

[personal profile] adalger 2011-06-10 03:57 pm (UTC)(link)
"We hate that we even have to ask for your password, but it's the only way that Dreamwidth can authenticate to the remote site as someone authorized to retrieve your content."


This has probably been answered, but isn't there anything in the OpenID protocol that would work around that?

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nightdog_barks: (Dorrit by the Sea)

[personal profile] nightdog_barks 2011-06-10 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Just here to say thank you for posting these updates, clearly explaining your reasons for doing things before you do them, and soliciting feedback. Such a proactive stance seems all too rare these days in the blogging industry, and it is much appreciated.

*rereads*
Ye gods, I sound like I'm 150 years old. Sigh.
Edited 2011-06-10 17:09 (UTC)
montuos: red tiedye heart (tiedye heart)

[personal profile] montuos 2011-06-10 06:20 pm (UTC)(link)
+1

So much love!

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violamay: (Default)

[personal profile] violamay 2011-06-10 05:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't see the "has been purged" option on the Track This User page. Why is that?

Thanks for keeping us all informed. DW rocks!
ninetydegrees: Text: Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings (Default)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2011-06-10 07:51 pm (UTC)(link)
The option only appears once you've replaced username with the name of a deleted account in the page URL. For example, here's the URL with an old, deleted journal of mine:

http://www.dreamwidth.org/manage/tracking/user?journal=ninetyd_bugs

Can you see the option now?

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cyprinella: a red octopus on a white background with a red star above it (octopus supplies)

[personal profile] cyprinella 2011-06-10 07:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Question: I did a second import back a while ago when we were first getting started and it did import all of my comments a second time (must have been a hiccup that day or something). Is there a way to delete the extras without doing it manually? They're all mostly on locked posts from forever ago so I don't really care a great deal, but it would tidy things up a bit.

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got_swagger: (Default)

[personal profile] got_swagger 2011-06-11 12:33 am (UTC)(link)
This is probably a random question (truthfully random questions are my favorite kinds of questions)... Has there been any recent news on a potential Dreamwidth iPhone/iTouch/Android/Blackberry App?
twisted_times: Dreamwidth logo  done with red stiching on greyish background. (DW)

[personal profile] twisted_times 2011-06-11 01:12 pm (UTC)(link)

I think there already is one in the pipeline, if not already available. Possibly there's more details in one of the DW dev or coding comms?

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