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Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2013-04-29 11:49 am

Dreamwidth news: 29 April 2013

Hello, Dreamwidth! This week we celebrate DW's fourth birthday (as of tomorrow) with a whole slew of new stuff to play with. It's been a wild ride these four years, and it's only getting more awesome as we go.

Behind the cut:

* Development
* Reply-by-email
* Comment search
* Subscription filters module
* Image placeholder settings
* New styles
* Feed cleanup
* Credit card charges
* Dreamwidth in person



Development



We've had a whole host of new bugfixes, feature tweaks, new features, FAQ updates, and other improvements. I'll get into more of them in detail in a moment, but you can read the whole slew of them in our code tours:

8 Jan - 1 Mar, part one
8 Jan - 1 Mar, part two
2 Mar - 21 Mar, part one
2 Mar - 21 Mar, part two
2 Mar - 21 Mar, part three
2 Mar - 21 Mar, part four
21 Mar - 21 Apr

You'll notice a number of older bugs in there (especially in the 2 Mar - 21 Mar sections) -- we spent March doing a great deal of spring cleaning in Bugzilla, our bug tracker. I think I personally read through every bug we have open at least four or five times!

As part of the Spring Cleaning, we not only closed a lot of older bugs that had the majority of the work finished on them, we also added a bunch of new features. Some of the more interesting ones include:

Reply-by-email



People have been asking us for a while for a better way of handling replying to comments from the notification emails we send out. The existing method required you to be logged into the same Dreamwidth account you were replying from (so, not useful for people with multiple accounts) and required you to be able to load the Dreamwidth website (so, not useful for people whose workplaces blocked DW).

[staff profile] fu spent a whole whackload of time redesigning the reply process, so now you can reply to a comment by replying to the comment notification email. For more details, check the How do I reply to comments from email notifications? FAQ.

Several things of note:

* If you send email from the same address you've confirmed for your account, you don't have to do anything special to take advantage of this. If your outgoing email uses a different email address, you'll need to set that address as an authorized email address first. (So, if you use the example+foo@example.com trick for sorting/filtering your email locally, you'll need to authorize example@example.com.)

* Each comment notification uses a unique reply-to address that includes information about what comment it's in reply to, as well as a secret authorization token to identify you. When you hit 'reply', your email client should use the reply-to address, which will make sure the email gets to where it's going. (If your email client isn't set up to use the reply-to address rather than the 'from' address automatically, you'll need to either change that setting, or remember to always use the reply-to address instead.)

If you ever accidentally share the reply-to address with someone else, that person might be able to reply as you under some (rare) circumstances, so it's important to keep the reply-to address secret. If you ever accidentally share it with someone, you'll be able to reset the secret authorization token on the Mobile tab of Account Settings. Resetting the token will mean you won't be able to reply to old comment emails anymore, but new comment emails will generate a new secret authorization token for future use.

* Comments sent in by email will be parsed using Markdown formatting.


Comment search



Journal search is now "journal and comments search"! Comments made in paid accounts are now indexed just like journal entries are. To search including comments, tick the "include comments in search results" box.

(And if you'd like to change your search privacy, you can do that on the Privacy tab of Account Settings.)

This update to the search system also made searching for text in Cyrillic alphabets work as well. If there are any other alphabets you'd like added, let us know through a suggestion.


Subscription filters module



People often want to create subscription filters, to show only a subset of their reading page at a time -- perhaps you've got a "fandom" and a "not fandom" filter, or want to pull out your physical-world friends from your internet friends. You've been able to create subscription filters for a while, but now you can make them public (so others can use them, too) and add a module to your journal that will show all your public filters for easy access.

To make a filter public, go to Manage Subscription Filters, choose a filter to edit, and select the privacy from the "Visibility" drop-down. (All existing subscription filters defaulted to private; if you'd already created one, you'll need to explicitly make it public.) To add the module to your journal, go to the Modules tab of Customize Journal Style and check the "Subscription Filters" module.

You can change the order of the filters in the Subscription Filters module by choosing the filter name and setting an order on the Manage Subscription Filters page.

If you make a subscription filter public, other people viewing your journal in their own style will be able to see the names of any of your public filters, even if you don't have the module in your journal, so don't set the filter to be public if you don't want other people to see the name of it. (This only applies to public filters, though! Private filters will never appear to anyone but you.)


Image placeholder settings



The Image Placeholder setting, selectable on the Display tab of Manage Settings, allows you to replace images with a much smaller placeholder, to avoid wide content breaking your style (or to avoid being surprised by images when you were expecting text!)

Previously, we had settings to replace medium images (over 320x240 pixels) and large images (over 640x480 pixels). Screen sizes have marched onward, though, and the definition of 'large' has changed over time, so we've added a new setting: "extra large", for only blocking images that are over 800x600 and letting smaller ones through.


New styles



Thanks to the tireless efforts of our styles team, particularly [personal profile] momijizukamori, we bring you six new journal styles to choose from:

Leftovers, by [personal profile] sforzinda
Lefty, by [personal profile] sarken
Motion, by [personal profile] momijizukamori and [personal profile] mythos
Patsy, by [personal profile] sforzinda
Planet Caravan, by [personal profile] momijizukamori based on a layout by [livejournal.com profile] daemon
Tectonic, by by [personal profile] momijizukamori based on a layout by [livejournal.com profile] daemon

There were also a bunch of new themes added for many different styles, and a screaming whackload (that's a technical term) of display bugfixes, CSS improvements, new customization options in the customization wizard, and other tweaks and polishings that you can read in more detail by going through the code tours linked above.


Feed cleanup



We do a bunch of checks when you create a new feed on Dreamwidth to make sure the feed isn't a duplicate, but those checks don't always catch and prevent duplicates. Thanks to the hard cleanup work of [personal profile] kaberett, along with some backend magic from [personal profile] exor674, we've been working on reducing and merging the duplicate feeds on the site. So, if you notice that you're suddenly subscribed to a feed under a different username than you saw before, that's why.

If you ever identify a feed that isn't updating (because the source has moved), or notice two feeds that are pulling from the same source into two separate accounts, you can open a support request in the brand-spanking-new Feeds category, and helpful people will fix it for you!


Credit card charges



We've added a reminder into the shop checkout process, but a personal plea: if you're going to be using someone else's credit card to buy paid time on Dreamwidth, please please please let them know first, and let them know that the charges will appear on their card statement from "Dreamwidth Studios, LLC".

I've been getting more and more phone calls lately from peope who don't recognize the charge on their statement, and most of the time those phone calls come a) from people who are very angry and b) late at night! So, if the card you're using belongs to someone else, or someone else reads the statement and checks for unfamiliar charges, be sure to let them know what the charge will look like, and get permission first.

If you don't have a credit card of your own, we do take prepaid cards as well -- prepaid VISA cards work much more reliably than any other prepaid card. (And, before anybody asks -- we can't accept PayPal, because PayPal closed our account with them after we refused to censor our users' content.)


Dreamwidth in person



Summer technical conference season is almost upon us, and we've worked out where we're going to be! All of the Dreamwidth employees and contractors, plus a number of volunteer developers, will be attending YAPC::NA in Austin, TX in early June. [staff profile] fu, [staff profile] misskat, [staff profile] mark and I will be at Open Source Bridge in Portland in mid-June, and [staff profile] mark, [personal profile] deborah and I will be at OSCON in late July. Many of us will be speaking at various of the three, so if you're attending any of them, look us up!

We're really excited about being able to bring so many of our contributors to YAPC this year -- it's all thanks to y'all supporting us that we can afford to do it. We're adding a few extra days to the conference trip for an in-person hackathon, so hopefully you'll get some awesome new features out of it!

*

That's it from us for another update! 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 soon for our next update, and happy birthday, Dreamwidth!

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